[review] hidden garden cookies
I was recently asked if I wanted to review some new cookies. These are “sneaky” veggie cookies called Hidden Garden Cookies. Each cookie has different vegetables “hidden” inside of them so you are eating something healthier while also eating cookies! They are also gluten free! I agreed to try the product out and they sent me a few complimentary bags of cookies to try. I brought them into the office so my co-workers could also give a little bit of commentary on the Hidden Garden Cookies.
Can I first say that I love the type face and design of these cookie bags?! They look so bright and cheerful!
I had everyone try all four of the tiny cookies. Here’s the order – starting with the most liked cookie to the least liked cookie.
Chocolate Chip with Pumpkin Hidden Garden Cookies
The chocolate chip cookie is the most familiar flavor of the cookies. The sneaky veggie in these cookies is pumpkin which makes a lot of sense to me. I love pumpkin chocolate chip cookies (especially those soft ones from Ralph’s that are sort of like half muffin/half cookie).
These little bite sized cookies are crunchy little suckers studded with tiny chocolate chips. Here’s a bit of commentary about this flavor:
“Best flavor of the bunch – had a nice crisp, buttery flavor with bits of chocolate. Pumpkin is pretty mild. Excellent crunch. Would eat again.”
“The one on the site looks like a soft cookie.”
“Mellow, smooth, and rounded out with pumpkin flavor that is subtle, but still makes me realize that every day can be Halloween (if I want it to be).”
“Chocolate chip was actually pretty yummy. It wasn’t overly pumpkinized nor was it overly chocolate chippy. This one, I wouldn’t mind having in my life.”
“This one was just ok. It’s hard to mess with a classic cookie and make it better than the original.”
Gingersnap with Butternut Squash Hidden Garden Cookies
The next flavor up: Ginger Snap! There’s butternut squash hidden in these little cookies.
The sugar on top makes these look like they are sparkly. Commentary:
“Really, these are tied with the chocolate chip pumpkin. Gluten free with a spicy bite, and they taste like real ginger snaps, too! (You may have to hide these from me.)”
“I’m a fan of ginger, so this wasn’t really a stretch for me in terms of taste. Oddly enough, this tasted less like ginger than the non-veggie versions I’ve had. I wish it was a bit spicier.”
“That nutmeg doe.”
“Nice smell – definitely smells like ginger! Has a big “bite” – tastes spicy and has a really strong ginger flavor. Not for the weak of heart!”
“I like the crispiness for the ginger snap cookie.”
Cocoa Cherry with Spinach Hidden Garden Cookies
Now we’re getting into iffy territory with cookies that have hidden spinach in them. Some people liked this flavor the best while some people didn’t care for it at all. It was kind of a mixed bag.
“I’m at a loss on how to describe the cocoa cherry. The other cookies were good in their own way and it wasn’t as noticeable that these cookies were living that sneaky lifestyle. However, the cocoa cherry cookie blatantly tasted like a cookie for a health nut.”
“I actually liked this one the best. It reminded me of a chocolate-cherry malt that I used to get as a kid at Baskin Robbins. The veggie taste wasn’t really all that apparent.”
“Sewer-colored but pungent and flavorful. I feel like I’m getting my daily dose of antioxidants with the healthy trifecta of names, so I don’t feel guilty eating these.”
“Tastes familiar. For some reason, the Oreo cracker is coming to mind. Tastes like a brownie! Like one of the darker chocolate brownies.”
“Very deep, darker chocolate flavor with a hint of cherry. Almost reminiscent of an Oreo, but with a darker flavor. Good texture, thick and crunchy. I don’t detect the spinach.”
One person ranked “dog food” above these cookies in their list because they disliked these cookies so much.
Red Velvet with Beets Hidden Garden Cookies
“Red Velvet” cookies. Yeah. There was a wide range of reaction to these little red suckers.
The colorful commentary:
“Very bitter flavor, bad aftertaste. Tastes like chewing on bitter vegetables.”
“Tastes burnt to me?”
“Good texture but the aftertaste is a little beat.”
“Where do I begin? Underwhelming with an aftertaste of sadness. No, wait— these cookies taste like despair’s cousin, remorse. These cookies make me realize why they’re from the Hidden Garden; it’s where all the dead bodies and souls of once-tasty cookies lurk under the bushes (zombie cookies?). If Willy Wonka ever wanted to punish his nut-cracking squirrels for not cracking enough nuts for his chocolate, he would banish them forever to the Hidden Garden, where those poor, disobedient squirrels would be forced to eat these cookies in perpetuity. In turn, their tears would water and fertilize the sewage and stank where the zombie cookie bodies are buried, and they would rise from the grave once more to terrorize the world, the afterworld, and the gastrointestinal systems of the unfortunate and downtrodden everywhere. (So, yeah—it’s Pet Sematary, but with cookies.) And the cycle would continue forever and ever.”
“If your kids are ever misbehaving, pull a mean prank on them by saying that you got them Beats by Dre. And watch their horrified expression as they chomp down on the beet cookies. I can’t imagine anyone enjoying this flavor.”
“I feel like the red velvet should have been on the chewier side.”
“Why would you put a vegetable that no one likes inside a cookie and make the cookie as seemingly unhealthy as an Oreo? One of the mysteries of life.”
One of my co-workers actually started to like the red velvet cookies, so I left the rest of the bag on her desk since everyone else refuses to eat them. It was an unpopular flavor.
Here some general commentary that didn’t quite fit in with the above as well:
“I think for the demographic they’re after, they will love them. For more mainstream, don’t stray outside of the cherry cola and ginger snaps. They’d make for a good snack while hiking or doing something outside when it’s hot cuz those rocks will NOT melt.”
“I still kind of taste them haha, the texture is really tough, and they get bits stuck in your teeth. The chocolate pumpkin and ginger butternut squash taste better than you expect, the other ones are fun to dare people to eat, but not fun to eat yourself.”
Overall it seems like a mixed bag. I’d say the best flavors are the Chocolate Chip and Gingersnap as they taste mostly like “normal” cookies – and they were pretty good for being gluten-free! Some folks really enjoyed the cherry flavor in the Cocoa Cherry cookies but overall the Red Velvet cookies were a fail. Maybe if I could find someone that actually liked beets they would enjoy these cookies? Try that flavor at your own risk, my friends.
Disclaimer: I was send complimentary bags of Hidden Garden cookies. I was not further compensated for this post and all opinions reflect that of me and my co-workers.