We can't be the only ones who think it should be easier to get your holiday baking finished on time. This is why prepackaged holiday cookie doughs are such a sweet timesaver when end-of-year activities roll around. Baking companies like Pillsbury, Nestle, and even grocery store signature labels have latched on to the notion that easier is better when it comes to getting Christmas goodies out of the oven and into hungry bellies. If time is short and your to-do list is long, having a fridge filled with these tasty solutions is a no-shame situation that lets you share holiday cheer without adding to your stress.
However, not all products in this sector are created equally. When it comes to flavor, quality, and how much baked bang you get for your buck, there's a definite hierarchy to prepackaged cookie dough. By considering customer reviews and rating averages, a few consumer website write-ups, and our own impeccable taste buds, we've arranged a ranking of a baker's dozen of popular cookie doughs that can make or break your kitchen plans.
13. Simple Truth Organic Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookie
Maybe the visions of sugarplums that dance in your head during the holidays don't come with an organic banner spanning the label. Simple Truth Organic Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookie didn't get the memo, so it emblazoned an announcement that suggests baked goods can be better with organic ingredients. Anyone in search of a more wholesome experience can rest easy knowing that 11 out of 15 elements listed on the label begin with the word organic. The fact that the other ingredients are sugar, flour, palm oil, and chocolate might tip the balance back in the less wholesome direction. We are talking about cookies here, though, so this may be as wholesome as it gets.
Does all this focus on a seemingly more healthful formula come through when it comes to the finished product? It would be great to know first-hand from any customers. Sadly, Simple Truth Organic Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookie is entirely lacking in reviews, raves or otherwise. This Kroger-only dough does appear on the Fooducate website, garnering a C-minus rating for its sugar and carb content, the inclusion of agave nectar in the recipe, and the use of soy lecithin as an emulsifier. Darn, we thought we had a good thing on our plate with this one. Instead, it seems more like a lump of coal at the bottom of our stocking.
12. Private Selection Sea Salt Caramel Chocolate Chunk
Bringing fans of contemporary cookie trends a prepackaged dough like Kroger's Private Selection Sea Salt Caramel Chocolate Chunk presents a sweet opportunity to include a more premium bake among your holiday treat plates for friends and loved ones. Any home baker knows how much extra trouble it would be to work caramel into the recipe, so this combination should be a step saver and a budget keeper that's easy to buy and nearly as easy to prepare.
But all of that means nothing if the resulting cookies aren't easy to enjoy. There's not much evidence that these seemingly simple confections are the slam dunk they promise to be. Though the Kroger site shows a 5-star average for this packaged dough, the total of two reviews puts the high mean rating into a less impressive perspective. On social media, reviewers found that baking and tasting them revealed too much spread and not enough flavor. The D-minus rating on Fooducate due to the cookies' high sugar content and highly processed ingredients singles out this convenient package as one you can leave at the bottom of your Christmas list.
11. Great Value Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough
Walmart always jumps into the generic grocery game when it finds products that consumers love elsewhere, and it appears that the premade cookie dough arena is no different. This time, it's Great Value Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough emulating the ease and availability of brand name slice-and-bake selections. With the company's characteristically low prices, the question of quality is bound to be on the minds of shoppers who love saving money, but also love serving flavorful cookies. Is it possible to have the best of both worlds at Christmas time, like a kitchen miracle that even Hallmark couldn't see coming?
Not so much. The price is a highly attractive $2.94, making this an under $3.00 steal that seems downright ridiculous compared to the other doughs. But this roll will only get you 16 cookies, meaning you'll likely need to double your purchase to make enough for gifts, desserts, and sneaking a few while you bake.
Meanwhile, the 3.8-star average among 45 reviews isn't the worst, though for a company like Walmart, we expected a more impressive number, if not a higher average. You may not be doing yourself a disservice by grabbing a bargain cookie dough to make your festivity funds go further, but with your baking reputation on the line, you'll want to consider this Christmas cookie very carefully before throwing it in your cart.
10. Signature Select Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough
Easier holiday cookies made Safeway-style include the Signature Select Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough ready-to-bake dough. This house label option provides two dozen break-and-bake or 16 spoon-and-bake cookies in what purports to be classic buttery dough studded with chocolate chips, all for $3.99. With name brands on the Safeway site priced at $5.99, having an affordable second option -- especially from a company that claims to take its private brand seriously -- gives cooks choices for convenient creations.
Though the Safeway website shows a 4.5-star average for the break-and-bake version, there are only 30 reviews in total, a modest number compared to some more familiar doughs. The spoon-and-bake variety fares slightly better with a 4.7-star average, though a 21-review total levels the playing field.
Still, both forms of this second-tier cookie dough seem to be popular with Safeway shoppers. One reviewer even declares them to be "Better than Nestle," and in all caps, which seems too emphatic to ignore. Others are a bit more reserved in their praise, however. If you're willing to spin the wheel of chance with your holiday treats, Signature Select provides passable treats to add to your dessert table.
9. Pillsbury Eat Or Bake Oreo Pieces Cookie Dough
Pillsbury has tried something out of the box with its Pillsbury Ready to Bake Cookie Dough with Oreo Pieces. As the label says, this cookie dough is specially prepared to be safe for consumption without cooking. That means you can make both baked cookies and cookie-and-cream chocolate-dipped truffles with this dough. Though the wrapper announces it's safe to eat this dough, to keep things as safe as possible, don't leave the uncooked dough or your finished unbaked creations out of the fridge for more than two hours.
A humble 39 reviews provide a 3.44-star average at Fry's Food, cluing us to the less-than-stellar reputation of this package. A slightly higher 43 reviews with a nearly 4.0-star average on Pillsbury still appear low, considering it's the company's site and all. A few reviewers knock the flavor for not being quite Oreo enough, which can be a problem for a cookie dough with Oreo in the name.
Prices average out to $3.99 for 12 large cookies. Our experience with Pillsbury's break-and-bake products tells us that you can easily split each piece in half to double your cookie count. If you're willing to risk a disappointing Oreo quotient, you could get away with putting this dough in your holiday plans.
8. Pillsbury Christmas Tree Sugar Cookie Dough
A Christmas cookie with an image embedded in the dough is a genuine crowd-pleaser, especially for younger revelers. To that end, Pillsbury's Christmas Tree Sugar Cookie Dough has been delighting folks for years. The fun mystery of how the company gets the tree into each cookie is a secret only the elves (or canny bakers) seem to know. Luckily, each slice comes ready to heat and eat, serving up 20 cookies per box. At Walmart, you can score these whimsical bites for around $3.68 — not too shabby for almost two dozen cookies. Saving yourself frosting costs and decorating work prevents some last-minute cookie-making mistakes, freeing you up to enjoy your creations along with the crowd.
Reviews on the Pillsbury site feel a little trim, with a 4.5-star average out of only 81 reviews. Walmart's site shows similar numbers, with a 4.4-star average out of 86 reviews. Complaints about a possible change in the recipe that has altered the flavor are prevalent, though some reviewers allow that only more sophisticated palates can detect a middling cookie when they taste one. However, we can't deny that we remember the taste very well, and now we're concerned that it may not be what it used to be. Maybe the current iteration simply can't live up to our childhood memories. Though, what can?
7. Pillsbury Snowman Sugar Cookie Dough
Who could resist a charming snowman peeking out from the center of their sugar cookie? Frosty's sweet face shines on every slice of the Pillsbury Snowman Sugar Cookie Dough premade dough, happily animating your cookies without you ever having to pick up a piping bag. Twenty super smiley break-and-bake cookies await shoppers to take the pressure off, providing themed treats that practically decorate themselves, or as close to that fantasy as you can get. With a generous portion of finished bakes to pass around the table, the urge to take advantage of an artful goodie like this may be too alluring to pass up.
The real question is: Will you be getting your money's worth in quality? At Target, where you'll likely pay $3.99 per package for these chilled-out treats, a respectable 4.6-star average rating stands amongst 170 reviews in total. Over at Walmart's site, a much smaller 17-review total fields a 3.6-star average.
Could it be that Walmart reviewers are simply choosier about their prepackaged cookie doughs during the holidays? Maybe ... but Pillsbury's site currently only shows 11 reviews with a 3-star average, which doesn't bode well for the wintery wonders of no-mix baking. With customer feedback that ranges from superlative to sorely disappointed, it's a toss-up as to whether you'll want to add a little snow to your holiday baking forecast.
6. Nestle Pecan Turtle Delight Cookie Dough
If the idea of gooey caramel and crisp pecans mixed in with your chocolate chip cookies sounds like a holiday delight, then perhaps Nestle Pecan Turtle Delight Cookie Dough should be on your shopping list. By adding all of the elements of a beloved traditional candy without forcing you to shop separately for each item, Nestle has potentially shaved hours of travel and work off your baking schedule. With these charming treats, you can share a more upscale take on a prepackaged dough to make it appear as if you've spent weeks leading up to the holidays toiling away in the kitchen when all you did was heat the oven and slide in the tray. This must be how the elves get it all done!
Though the Nestle website shows 30 consumer reviews with a 3.7-star average, Walmart holds up a generous 236 reviews with a 4.6-star average, while selling a package of 12 large cookies for $3.74. A little industriousness will double that count, giving you even more sugary joy to share with neighbors and co-workers. Though lower-starred reviews allege a change in flavor and inaccurate baking times on the wrapper that lead to burned treats, seasoned bakers who watch their ovens and know what to expect from a cookie laden with candy should get by just fine.
5. Pillsbury Ready-To-Bake Elf Sugar Cookie Dough
Buddy the Elf teams up with the Pillsbury Doughboy for whimsical and instantly recognizable yellow-banded elf hats that bring the iconic film into your kitchen on every sugared slice of Pillsbury Ready-to-Bake Elf Sugar Cookie Dough. It's like seeing a stamp of approval from the North Pole on a food that surely fits into the elves' four major food groups. Just seeing the cheerful colors on trays and in tins is enough to inspire the spirit of Christmas in anyone lucky enough to receive them.
With a 4.5-star average among 142 reviews at Target, a 2.6-star average among 37 reviews at Walmart, and a 2.6-star average across 10 reviews at Fry's Food, this dough is something of a head-scratcher. How could a cookie that calls to mind a beloved holiday film be so up and down among consumers? Food review site Influenster displays just 9 reviews with a 4.4-star average, though the majority of reviewers note how cute these cookies turn out, while many laud the flavor. So maybe this is more of a visual treat than one you choose for its gourmet tasting notes. Add them to your cookie exchange selections and watch recipients' eyes light up regardless.
4. Sweet Loren's Chocolate Chunk Cookie Dough
This thoughtful selection does a great deal of heavy lifting for prepackaged dough, which makes it seem a little too eager to please. But is there such a thing as being too eager when it comes to creating holiday bakes? Sweet Loren's Gluten Free Vegan Chocolate Chunk Cookie Dough provides bakers with a plant-based, dairy-free, and nut-allergen-free option that's verified non-GMO. The only thing missing in the package is a tiny little chef to hop out and do the baking for you.
Sweet Loren's listing at Target is showered with an incredible cosmos of 717 reviews with a 4.6-star average. This is a stunning feat for any prepackaged dough, but for a health-conscious cookie that wears its mindfulness with pride, it's a pleasant surprise. Add to this specialty status the fact that a 12-cookie pack costs around $5.99, and the notion that deluxe cookie dough from a lesser-known brand can stand up to bigger-name competitors indicates a holiday triumph.
3. Nestle Toll House Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough
The reigning champ of the chocolate chip cookie game comes in clutch with its special recipe. Home bakers can find Nestle Toll House Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough in several forms in the grocery store, too. Whether you prefer slice-and-bake, break-and-bake, or scoopable portions, there's an option available to suit you. In all forms, we know Santa's sure to love it, as well as our relatives and revelers looking for a tasty nosh they can recognize.
Walmart currently sells 24-serving packages for $3.74, with a 3.9-star average among 658 reviews. Another 349 reviews with a 3.4-star average on the Nestle site say that customers know this ready-to-bake treat is pretty close to being a peak performer. So while it may be tempting to haul out the mixing bowl and make your own special recipe, you can save yourself a mess and a holiday time suck by picking up a roll or two to lower the temperature of your kitchen chaos.
2. Pillsbury Ready-To-Bake Reese's Peanut Butter Cookie Dough
There's no question that peanut butter cookies will make an appearance in holiday baking arrangements, no matter the generation. The timeless appeal of these crisp yet creamy bakes makes them a perfect alternative to the ever-present sugar cookies and chocolate chippers that crowd the spotlight. With Pillsbury Ready-to-Bake Reese's Peanut Butter cookie dough, a perennial favorite can become even easier to create, thanks to a dream partnership between two major brands. With peanut butter added to the dough, you have an upgrade to your hand-me-down formula that makes all the sense in the world. Skippy can't pull off a hat trick like this, and Jif wishes it could be so cool.
Add 406 reviews with a tasty 4.6-star average at Target to another 328 reviews also with a 4.6-star average at Walmart and you have baking math that equals one of your sweetest options for pre-made dough. But what puts this cookie colossus so close to the top of our list is the overwhelming 2,433 reviews holding an identical 4.6-star average from Amazon shoppers. While Target sells this dough for $3.99 for 24 servings and Amazon top-lines it for $4.49, Walmart squeaks in at $3.68, giving you a wealth of options to suit your baking budget.
1. Pillsbury Ready-To-Bake Chocolate Chip
As the O.G. of prepackaged baking products, Pillsbury Ready-To-Bake Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough is the undeniable shining star topper of our ranking Christmas tree. You can find this reliable winner in roll form for easy slicing or as 24 break-and-bake chunks that make prep work even easier. Pillsbury's time-tested taste and texture ensure that you'll have tasty cookies for your treat table in minimal time and with limited labor. Isn't it a relief knowing the Pillsbury Doughboy has got your Christmas cookie considerations well in hand? It's like having a sous chef who gets everything ready before you even step into the kitchen.
A delicious 1,209 reviews with a solid 4-star average on the Pillsbury site and an even tastier 3,176 reviews with a glowing 4.5-star average on Walmart casts unmistakable holiday magic. With this champion dough in your fridge, you'll have no trouble finishing your baking without wearing yourself out. Remember to leave a plate out for Santa, and take a few for yourself while you're at it. To the baker go the spoils!
How We Chose Our Cookie Doughs
Our cookie doughs were chosen for this ranking according to availability and broad consumer recognition. We ranked the selected products on a combination of customer reviews, price, and the personal preferences of our taste testers.
Read the original article on Mashed.