A tale of two cookies

3 07 2009

WITH ALL due respect to Charles Dickens, I’m shamelessly stealing four of the five words in the title of his masterpiece of a novel, arguably the most printed English novel of all time.  But I do notice that with my choice for the fifth word on my blog post’s title – cookies – I’m also brazen enough to steal even the manner by which the novel’s title is uttered, with a continuant fricative sound as the last three letters – “ies” – are forced through the constricted passage formed by my lips.

Lips that have been very satisfied with the treats I’m sharing here with you guys and gals.

Just like in the said novel, the two cookies I’m talking about here couldn’t have come from more different of places.  Couldn’t be more different from each other.  But at the same time, couldn’t be more similar in just how much I’ve come to appreciate them.

Cookie - Marks & Spencer Shortbread

Marks & Spencer's Organic Scottish all butter shortbread fingers

Words fail me to give justice to Marks & Spencer Organic Scottish all butter shortbread fingers.  Either that, or the packaging verbiage leaves no more room for words from an ordinary consumer like me.  Hahaha!  Honestly, I don’t think I’ll ever be able to articulate better how good these cookies “from the organic bakery…” are.  The tartan package proudly declares, “These irresistibly rich and crumbly biscuits are baked in Edinburgh, the home of shortbread, to our exclusive recipe using plenty of sweet cream organic butter.

If that hasn’t made you drool, I don’t know what will.  Perhaps, only an actual taste of it can top that!  I’ve loved these cookies from when I first tasted it courtesy of – who else?! – Friendship!  You should know by now that she has been clueing me in on a number of (eventually) my beloved food choices and restaurants.  What I particularly love about Marks & Spencer’s shortbread fingers are the crumbly texture and the creaminess.  And this is because they use only the best butter and they use it plenty!  Never skimping on this key ingredient gives the cookies their crumbly texture.  And I think the “short” in the shortbread comes from the fact that it has a lot of butter, a form of “shortening.”  Best of all, they’re never dry and are actually quite substantial.

I like this a lot, that if I give you a pack of this, you should very well know that I really like you as a person!  Probably, even on the brink of loving you.  Hahaha!  (It’s that good for me, I mean).

Halfway around the globe – from some 6957 miles away – comes the other cookie I want to tell you about.  I found a pack of it lying on my desk after office hours yesterday.  I was quite excited to get my hands on it, from the moment a text message – right in the middle of a heated discussion I was having (Hahaha!) – heralded its (the cookie’s) presence at my office area.

Cookie - Salvaro Coconut Crunchies 02

Salvaro Coconut Crunchies

Quite the opposite of Marks & Spencer’s really beautiful packaging, this one is rather very simple, with an “improvised” sticker slapped on top of a pre-existing print.  The sticker says, “Salvaro Coconut Crunchies”.  The ingredients list is even simpler, saying that only flour, sugar, coconut and water went into the creation of these really thin – really thin – cookies.

Cookie - Salvaro Coconut Crunchies 00

Notice how thin these are!

I just tore the package open and am passing the treat around to my engineers, as I write.  And just like most of them, I find it to be the flattened version of the “puto seco” – the Filipino traditional coconut-flavored bite-sized cookies.  Being very thin, the crunch that I get with each bite is quite expected.  Surprisingly, it is not sweet at all.  But even more plesantly surprising is the fact that it is creamy, even in the absence of any ingredient that would directly render richness and creaminess to any batter.  I am holding one piece right now and I couldn’t help but wonder how something so thin could feel so filling.  Just goes to show that these coconut crunchies are not only good – they are more than meets the eye.  Hahaha!

Very much like the comparison and the contrast that Charles Dickens presented in the parallel lives of his two subjects in his novel, I feel that Marks & Spencer’s Organic Scottish all butter shortbread fingers and Salvaro Coconut Crunchies, while being so very different from each other, do succeed to fulfill any cookie-lover’s whims.

They did mine!

Cookie - Salvaro Coconut Crunchies 01

I loved these – Salvaro Coconut Crunchies!

In heat redux

3 07 2009
Coffee California Chocolate Blizzard 01

Coffee California's Chocolate Espresso Blizzard

JUST THE other day, I harped about my my sort of discovery at the office cafeteria – Coffee California’s California Heath Frappe.  And just a couple of days back, when they ran out of some of the ingredients to whip it up, they acquainted me with their other offering – the Chocolate Espresso Blizzard.  As one of my engineers would say, “Ayluvet!!!

Here are a couple of photos of this sinful harmonized medley of freshly brewed espresso, chocolate ice cream, fresh whole milk, ice and chocolate syrup.  Again, my good friend Stave Michael took these, using his Nokia N73 camera phone with the Carl Zeiss lens.

Yes, I’m the one behind the drink.  I had on my green Mickey Mouse shirt from Hong Kong, and my “vintage” automatic Swiss Army wristwatch (which was a gift!).  I’ve had this wristwatch for the longest time and I love it to bits!

Coffee California Chocolate Blizzard 00

Of mouse and man – you can't tell but that's a Mickey Mouse shirt I have on. And the wristwatch is a favorite – "vintage" automatic Swiss Army.