The Impulsive Buy

REVIEW: Nabisco Chips Ahoy Thins Cinnamon Sugar Cookies

Whether they’re about a tree falling in the forest or a bear dropping logs in the woods, there are plenty of age-old questions to ponder. One of my favorites is: “What do holiday cookies do once Christmas is over?”

Some answers are obvious: speculoos fly home to visit their Dutch families, gingerbread men work as security guards at the Keebler Elves’ Hollow Tree, and butter cookies are melted down into a fine paste to make mannequins for Madame Tussauds.

But the secret life of snickerdoodles (which sounds like it could be the name of Pixar’s next movie) has long been a mystery -— until now. Now we know that during the summertime, snickerdoodles everywhere hit the treadmill to become Cinnamon Sugar Chips Ahoy! Thins.

During the winter, snickerdoodles need to be thick in order to supply Santa with enough energy to travel 650 miles per second and reach every home in one night. But now that it’s cookie bikini season, snickerdoodles have to stay competitive with every other trendy treat.

I mean, have you seen Oreo’s midriff in that dark brown two-piece?

Each Cinnamon Sugar Chips Ahoy! Thin is thin. And I don’t mean the “someone pushed the spatula down a little too hard” kind of thin. This is the “touched by an old gypsy woman from a Stephen King novel” kind of thin.

The Thins have the girth of 2-3 stacked dimes, but they’re far from sterling when it comes to fragility. They’ll shatter into bits the moment you so much as think an unflattering thought about their mother, so don’t pack these as a snack before a half marathon or Slipknot concert. This crumbliness also gives them a mildly crisp, yet disappointingly light “crunch.” It’s like eating that last, awkwardly browned cookie in a batch.

You know, the one that was just barely large enough to justify baking instead of gobbling down the raw, doughy evidence?

The flavor is a two-part deal. The Chips Ahoy! Thins’ plain sections are half-sweet, half-bland and sandy, as if they were the result of some deluded 8-year old’s entrepreneurial quest to invent a cookie you can make while relaxing on a hot beach.

Thankfully, the overall size and dense chip ratio of these one-bite wonders means that there’ll rarely be a nibble without one or more creamy cinnamon baking chips. The slightly buttery, mildly milky, and faintly spicy chips smack of cinnamon sugar goodness, and their icing-esque nature is what makes these Cinnamon Sugar Chips Ahoy! Thins taste like abridged snickerdoodles.

But the problem with these crumbly Thins is that they’re all payoff and no buildup. The sugary cinnamon punch strikes fast and is vaporized into oblivion just as quickly—don’t expect any layers of complex flavor that unravel as you chew. It’s like a rollercoaster that instantly drop you 100 feet before booting you off the ride. Your only choice is to get back in line, or in this case: clear another line of cookies.

Despite my complaints of fleeting ecstasy, I think Cinnamon Sugar Chips Ahoy! Thins are a step in the right direction for condensed cookies. They use their size to their advantage; if this gimmick were tried in full-sized Chips Ahoy! cookies, the goodness of the chips would get lost in a desert of boring dough.

Plus, their airy crispness makes them taste exactly like the imaginary “Snickerdoodle Toast Crunch” cereal I always put on my Christmas list. One of these days, General Mills Claus will inevitably deliver, but in the meantime…

Ho ho ho.

(Nutrition Facts – 4 cookies – 150 calories, 7 grams of fat, 2.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 60 milligrams of sodium, 20 milligrams of potassium, 21 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of fiber, 12 grams of sugar, and 1 gram of protein.)

Purchased Price: $2.49
Size: 7 oz.
Purchased at: Walmart
Rating: 7 out of 10
Pros: The surprisingly creamy wallop of microcosmic snickerdoodle chips. Gloriously milk-soaked cinnamon sugar shards. Cookie swimsuit competitions. Posing with a butter cookie paste replica of Bill Murray.
Cons: Rare nibbles of Saharan cookie dryness. The Chips Ahoy! equivalent of a Top Thrill Dragster ride. Accidentally eating thirty 30¢-thick cookies. The unlikelihood of Gingerbread Toast Crunch. Sandy selling sandy Sandies by the seashore.