It’s been a pretty considerable amount of time since I’ve bought pre-made, refrigerated cookie dough — but I might have to change that soon, because Toll House’s 2018 Cookie of the Year is here, and it is Ice Cream Sundae-flavored. Arriving in “bar dough” form — the type of refrigerated cookie dough that looks like a flat sheet until you break it up along pre-scored lines to make individual cookies — the flavor has begun to surface on various snack food blogs and Instagram accounts, including Candy Hunting and Snack Betch; however, the most notable appearance by far popped up on The Three Snackateers: They actually bought and baked the dough in question. What was their verdict? In a word: Good!
Information about the whole “Cookie of the Year” thing is surprisingly hard to come by. As The Three Snackateers point out, exactly how the Cookie of the Year flavor is determined each year is something of a mystery; note the intrepid snackers of that most hallowed of sites, “There is no fanfare. No voting. No huge marketing campaign.” The dough just… appears, bringing with it a title that suggests it emerged victorious from some kind of contest, even when there’s no such contest in sight. I’m not even sure how long Toll House’s Cookie of the Year has been a thing, although for what it’s worth, the oldest Cookie of the Year for which I’ve been able to unearth evidence dates back to 2013. (For the curious, that Cookie of the Year was Triple Chip Cookie Dough.)
In any event, though, the 2018 Cookie of the Year certainly flexes Toll House’s creative muscles in a way that none of the previous five years’ flavors did. While past Cookies of the Year have all been relatively conventional — following Triple Chip Cookie Dough, they consisted of German Chocolate, Salted Caramel, Butterfinger Baking Bits (which was basically a sugar cookie with crumbled-up Butterfingers mixed into the dough), and Chocolate Fudge Pretzel — attempting to recreate an ice cream sundae in cookie form represents quite a departure.
So how did Toll House do it? They started with a basic chocolate chip cookie, added in some sundae sprinkles (or jimmies, if that’s your preferred term), and then topped everything off with a ton of crunched-up waffle cones. According to The Three Snackateers, it all holds up after baking, too — even if it’s ultimately not incredibly sundae-like. Wrote Snackateer Micky, “So did this 2018 Cookie of the Year taste like an ice cream sundae? No, not really. Did it remind me of an ice cream sundae? Also, no. Was it delicious anyway? Heck yeah!” She drew particular notice to the waffle cone pieces, writing, “There is a crunch you can hear from across the room when you take your first bite. And there is also a distinct malty, waffle cone flavor.” Consider me sold.
Interestingly, Toll House also has a make-it-from-scratch recipe for Ice Cream Sundae Cookies on its website. They’re a little bit different from the refrigerated dough version, but a lot of the same elements remain: The base is a chocolate chip cookie; waffle cones are involved; and an additional mix-in adds some sundae-themed festiveness. The differences lie in the chocolate chips (the refrigerated version has only regular chocolate chips, while the from-scratch recipe includes both semi-sweet and white chocolate chips), how the waffle cone bits are incorporated (they’re crumbled on top of the refrigerated dough, but the recipe has you mix the pieces directly into the dough), and in the type of mix-in used (the refrigerated dough has sprinkles, while the from-scratch dough includes chopped maraschino cherries).
The Three Snackateers and Candy Hunting both noted that they found the 2018 Toll House Cookie of the Year dough at Meijer; however, it doesn’t seem to be available on Meijer’s website yet. Heck, it’s not even up on Toll House’s website yet — the only Cookie of the Year currently listed there is last year’s. I did find an incomplete listing on Hannaford’s website, though, so my sense is that the cookie dough is just so new that it hasn’t appeared in most places yet — but it’ll likely be available at retailers across the country in short order.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I have a grocery list to make. Can you imagine the ice cream sandwiches you could make with these things? Yes please!