Book and Snack Pairing: Simple Cookies

My plan for this Book and Snack Pairing post series is to taste snacks (two new and one old favorite) and pair them with romances (two recent first time reads and one old favorite). The romances reflect my reading habits, so they tend contemporary, and are a mix of pairings. I am marking the ones with no sex with ***.

(As a general heads up, this post discusses food in detail.)

Of course, with any tasting project, we all bring our own specificity to it. In my case, some relevant things for this post:

  • I’m autistic, so texture and mouthfeel are very important to me, and I am super sensitized sensorily due to autistic burnout, so intense flavors are likely more intense and often overwhelming for me.
  • I’m diabetic, so one of the things that influences my choice and experience of snacks is how they impact my blood sugar.
  • I don’t generally enjoy things with a lot of heat, for a bunch of reasons. Some of which are about my health conditions, some are about my personal taste and experience of that kind of intense flavor, and some are about culture. (I was raised by a Midwestern white Jewish parent who mostly flavored things with salt, pepper, and garlic, and that has impacted my palate.)

This post is focused on cookies!

New-to-Me Snack #1

Lillys Black and White Cookies

Why did I pick this snack?

I wanted to try Lilly’s Black and White Cookies because I was hoping I might find cookies that remind me of home here in the Bay. Lilly’s hamantashen are pretty great, so it was definitely worth a try. Black and white cookies aren’t the Jewish baked good I miss most about NYC, but I do miss them. Especially since Grand Bakery closed and my supply of Jewish breads and desserts has diminished considerably.

The taste experience?

They smell like chocolate mostly. The chocolate taste is pretty good; rich but not overpowering. The texture of the cookie is pretty close to what I would want it to be for a classic black and white cookie, almost cakelike, but the flavor isn’t right. This is too bland, it doesn’t have the hint of lemon it needs. The white half hits the right note with the frosting,  just a bit too sweet. That’s where I miss the lemon the most, it needs the tart to balance it. The Zabars version remains my fave.

Verdict?

A pretty good black and white cookie, but not exactly right. These lean a bit too sweet. Still, I would get these again and definitely enjoyed them.

What book would I pair it with?

second chanceSecond Chance by Chelsea M. Cameron!

I enjoyed this first summer after starting college second chance with your high school girlfriend who broke your heart contemporary f/f romance novella. It felt very NA in all the right ways, so specific to that time of life. I love the queer haven the characters create/find away from their parents.

(Rep: Demisexual demiromantic bisexual woman MC. Lesbian woman MC. Queer demigirl author.)

New-to-Me Snack #2

stauffers ginger snaps

Why did I pick this snack?

I love ginger flavored things, and ginger cookies are a favorite, both the chewy and the crispy kinds. I hadn’t tried Stauffer’s Ginger Snaps, thought I would give them a chance.

The taste experience?

They smell of ginger and cloves, just the scent is comforting. They are pretty thin, but still substantial. These have a lovely snap, a satisfying texture and a great flavor–not super sweet. These are classic, less bite than I prefer, more of a spice cookie than a very gingery cookie, but really wonderful, with a lovely mild ginger heat to them as part of the aftertaste. They didn’t have a big impact on my blood sugar, which I appreciate.

Verdict?

These are great, not my most favorite ginger snap–Trader Joes three ginger snaps still have that honor–but very good. I liked them a lot, they have a great snap, and I would get them again.

What book would I pair it with?

scot appealScot Appeal by Melissa Blue! I devoured this series centering Scottish heroes in the same family, and Black American heroines in big gulps, one right after the other. They are well plotted, deeply compelling, smoking hot romances with complex characters that I fell hard for. This one is a neighbors to lovers story with a ginger hero (yes I went there, I couldn’t resist) and a virgin heroine and they have amazing chemistry and an arc that was intensely satisfying.

(Rep: Black woman MC. Black woman author.)

Old Fave Snack

trefoils

Why did I pick this snack?

Trefoils are one of my fave Girl Scout cookies. I love them for the simplicity so they seemed like the best choice for this post.

The taste experience?

Smells like butter. The taste is buttery without being too sweet. Nice and crumbly texture. Melts in the mouth if you hold it there. A lovely shortbread experience. Not too intense of an impact on my blood sugar either.

Verdict?

Still one of my fave simple cookie options. No fancy bells and whistles, just right as it is.

What book would I pair it with?

challenge acceptedChallenge Accepted by Annabeth Leong

A fave contemporary m/f neighbors to lovers BDSM erotic romance novella. Novice submissive man works to prove he’s up for a date with a dominant woman who’s wary and has been burned too often. The BDSM in this book is delicious, and I love how vulnerable the dominant MC is.

(Rep: Chinese American man MC. Latinx woman MC. Multiracial Chinese-Hawaiian woman author.)

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