As a professional baker who produces regular, vegan, and gluten-free baked goods, I tend to be skeptical of cookies that are both vegan and gluten-free. While there are many great cookies that cater to both dietary restrictions, there are also some really terrible ones. They’re too sweet, or too oily, or the consistency is off. So when I was asked to review Maxine’s Heavenly Cookies, I was apprehensive.
When I received four bags of four different flavours, three of which contained chocolate, my apprehension turned into excitement. The first one I cracked open was the Almond Chocolate Chip. Upon opening, the smell of almond extract was overwhelmingly present. I’ll just add a footnote here and say I really dislike almond extract. I nervously reached into the bag and took a small bite. My first thought was that the cookie was beautifully chewy and moist. My second thought was that I didn’t hate it, despite the almond extract (the chocolate chips may have helped). I loved that there were almond chunks, because while I hate almond flavouring, I love almonds. The crunchiness of the almonds was also a nice contrast the chewy oats. Ten minutes later, I found myself grabbing another one. I liked this one much more than I thought I would.
The texture was pretty much the same for all four cookies, but the flavours were surprisingly different. The Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip, like the Almond Chocolate Chip, had the crunchy nuts that the other two flavours did not. Unlike almond extract, I love peanut butter with all my heart, so I was very excited to try this one. It did not disappoint. The peanut butter added an extra richness that made this one taste a little naughtier. I liked the presence of actual peanuts in it as well. This was my second favourite flavour.
When I opened the Cinnamon Oatmeal Raisin bag, naturally the first thing that hit me was the smell of cinnamon. I’ve never really been one for raisins, but a girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do, so I dove in. I found the cookie to be chewy enough that the texture of the raisins went unnoticed. I even decided to crumble one into my cashew yogurt for breakfast (highly recommended). It was the perfect amount of cinnamon. I was pleasantly surprised.
The last, and my favourite flavour, was the Chocolate Chocolate Chip. While the other cookies were good, this was the one that truly felt like an indulgence. It wasn’t overwhelmingly chocolate, so it wouldn’t turn off people who aren’t diehard chocolate fans, but it was chocolate-y enough to satisfy this chocoholic. It was hard for me to not reach for more. These were definitely dessert-worthy.
While I really enjoyed these cookies, I don’t know that these would satisfy a true dessert craving. They just taste a little too healthy to me. That being said, they’d be perfect for breakfast, an afternoon pick-me-up, or if you want a little sweet but don’t want a calorie bomb. I think it’s only fair to disclose that, while it’s organic, it does contain palm oil, which I know can be a touchy subject. However, I definitely recommend this product, and will definitely be buying those Chocolate Chocolate Chip cookies again. The great thing about Maxine’s Heavenly Cookies is that there’s a flavour for everyone.