A rep from Fresh Beginnings contacted me last week telling me she would send me a customized cookie tin! Fresh Beginnings specializes in freshly baked cookies (although they have other stuff too like pretzels and nuts) and they make tins with pretty designs as well as logos and messages on them. I sent her a picture for the tin that I knew my mom would like. Quick background story before I get to the video: Moms Nguyen went to Penn State in the 70's as a refugee, married my dad, had my sis, quit college, had more of us, became an amazing amazing amazing single parent, all the meanwhile dreaming of the day she could go back and obtain her degree but putting us first (and putting UP with us first) always. FINALLY in 2007 my younger sis went off to college as a Triton (UCSD!) which gave my mom the go ahead to go back to school. After some mild drama getting back into school; LOOONG nights; walks in the hard rain, wind and snow; and LOTS of papers (emphasis on LOTS), she not only obtained her bachelor's but my mother now holds a Master's degree in American Studies from Penn State University -- a dream my mother has held for over 30 years!! (Fun fact for you college football buffs: In the 70's, Joe Paterno was coaching the Nittany Lions. When my mom went back, he was still coaching!) This is a HUGE deal to the fam, and we are all so proud of her. Thus, the cookie tin. Watch and see! (Remember my mom didn't know who it was from or what it was or anything!) And here is Moms saying thank you to Fresh Beginnings One thing we found out after is that there was a handwritten card accompanying the cookies! Ok, I'm special, but not *that* special. A handwritten note comes with all of them. Soooo personalized! And some shots of the tins. Really, the pictures don't do the tins justice: The great thing about it is that I supplied the company with the picture and what I wanted it to say. They chose the design and the cute background! They certainly have an eye for what looks good. And now for the cookies! As mentioned in the video, there were chocolate chip and chocolate dipped chocolate chip cookies in here. Here's what I dug into first, the chocolate covered chocolate chip cookie: I read the reviews on the Fresh Beginnings site that highly praised the cookies, but I don't believe it until I taste it. And now I believe it. They definitely deserve the 5 stars. My work friend commented that there is one THICK layer of chocolate on this cookie. I've had chocolate covered sweets before, but none that taste like this. The chocolate complements the rest of the cookie so well in such a way that adds another level of taste to it, unlike other foods where the chocolate layer is really much more independent and doesn't fit the rest of the treat exactly right. Now, about the actual cookie: (Apologies for slightly lower photo quality.. I took this picture with my camera on my phone) This is one of those cookies where you do a double take and go, "holy crap, this IS good!" I think the best thing about these cookies is that they're soft and gooey on the inside (thanks to the fact that they're freshly baked). They're not crumbly and they hit the sweet craving (you know, the one you didn't know you had until you bit into this cookie) just right. Funny thing is that even though there is only a medium amount of chocolate chips in here (and I require a LOT), I'm not complaining about that this time around. It's probably because the rest of the cookie tasted so good. Oh, and by the way. THE COOKIES ARE ONLY 90 CALORIES EACH!!! The chocolate covered ones have 170. I totally ate one of each today but it was SO worth it. And the tins are so awesome and totally reusable. For more cookies, of course. HOWEVER. One thing I don't like is that these cookies have partially hydrogenated oils in them. Probably one of the reasons why they taste so good! If they did away with the hydrogenated oils I would like them so much more. Also, the chocolate gets on your hands when you touch it. For normal people it would be ok because you would just hold it by the non-dipped part. But for us cookie bloggers who hold the cookies in the palm of our hands for comparison purposes, it's just something we're bound to notice. Fresh Beginnings More custom designs: http://www.freshbeginnings.com/Photo-Tins-W8C23.aspx Twitter: @FreshBeginnings Facebook: Fresh Beginnings Or, you can message me / leave a comment if you want me to hook it up for you.
- Taste: 10
- Crust and center moistness: soft and gooey!
- Value: $20 for 20 chocolate chip cookies; $33 for 40 chocolate chip cookies. It's an extra $3 for the customized tin, then there's shipping from Georgia. GREAT price!!! TOTALLY worth it!
- Overall: I'm pretty picky about my food, so the partially hydrogenated oils are a turn off. But on the other hand, this would be more about the cookies AND the tin rather than just the cookies. (Also, it's worth mentioning that the hydrogenated oils wouldn't stop me from buying them from others.. nor does it stop me from eating them.) Anyway, I know that most other people don't care about the hydrogenated oil, so this would make a wonderful gift for family or corporate! BUY! 9 for the partially hydrogenated oil, 10 for everyone else besides me.