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Over a number of years, Chocolate Chip has become the favourite Kea Cookies flavour. The cookies crunch and seemingly melt like the snow under our feet on a spring day. The chocolate chips pop out from the cookie like river stones in a fast flowing river heading from the mountains to the sea. A classic taste of New Zealand that can be found in any classic New Zealand setting.
Miss Five really likes chocolate so she was delighted when I told her she could not only try the first biscuit in the packet, but could also put the rest on a plate and pose for a photo with them. She is a generous little girl and likes to offer things around so this was her job for the day - to ensure everyone present got at least one and gave her (and me!) their feedback.
My cousin was quite enthusiastic about them. She said that chocolate chip biscuits vary a lot in quality. Often they are too chocolatey and can be sticky and likely to melt on a hot day. These cookies held their shape well, and she thought the chocolate was well integrated with the other ingredients so that it did not separate out when she bit into them. The other thing she commented on was the buttery flavour which is the sign of a good home made shortbread. Even though these cookies are not actually marketed as a shortbread, they do share some characteristics despite being crisper.
Miss Five, of course, thought they were wonderful. The chocolate pieces were not as sweet as those she is used to and I thought that might put her off, but she seemed to be quite happy with the stronger chocolate taste and carefully picked a piece out of her biscuit so she could taste it on its own and prove a point. Her brother was not quite so keen; he said they were ok but not his favourite because he thought the chocolate had an unusual aftertaste. There again, he is known to be quite picky with his food.
The adults all enjoyed them. As with other biscuits in the range, we found it hard to believe that this was a gluten free product. They tasted exactly like "normal" biscuits apart from being marginally crisper: my daughter thought they would go really well with coffee as the result would be a mocha blend - a flavour she is very keen on. Despite the price, she said she would buy them as a treat or to keep in the cupboard for visitors who are gluten-intolerant as it is often difficult to cater for people with specific dietary requirements.
We gave the product two ticks, one for being a local product as it is good to support NZ producers, and one for the 100% recyclable packaging. Both of these would encourage us to choose them over another brand. And as far as the texture is concerned, I inadvertently did a little experiment which proves how well the biscuits stay in one piece. I accidentally dropped the last biscuit into the sink when I was clearing the plates away and it fell straight into a mixture of hot water and dishwash liquid! Instead of discarding it, I scooped it straight out, rinsed it well and then put it in the sun to dry. (I have to add that we had not at that time put any dishes into the sink so apart from the detergent the water was pretty clean!)
After a few hours, the biscuit had completely dried out and had held its shape perfectly. It looked just like a biscuit fresh from the packet. I could not resist it - I ate it just to see if I could tell the difference. And I couldn't. It had survived its brief dunking with chocolate pieces intact, texture retained, and original taste preserved. This bodes well for future coffee dunking as I know now it won't disintegrate into the contents of the cup!
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