It still really hurts to think. It still really hurts to breathe. I know I sound like an OTT moaner right now, but I feel like a prisoner wearing heavy chains in my own body. My body and my brain don’t agree whatsoever, and I feel bigger each day – justified by the fact that I’m still tripping up with binging and purging, the urge getting harder to fight, the worse I feel about myself… I hate that this still follows me, even onto a mental health unit where I’m supposed to be putting things right.
But I thought I’d channel a bit of ‘opposite to emotion action’ (DBT skill) with this post and write something that I would if I didn’t have an eating disorder. So how about we talk white chocolate cookies… ?! Sounds a lot better than moaning about body image, right? …I suppose you could say that despite all the sh*t running through my head about my body, to be able to talk positively about food in detail is still a bloody big deal. It would have been an impossible task through much of these 10 years. The shame of discussing food in a positive light, would have crippled me with shame and the self-hatred would spiral. I would have been scared that talking about the nice taste of food would make the scales go up, and the weight pile on. Eating disorders are weird, weird things…
I’ve often found it hard, thinking back to before these 10 years, what I actually enjoyed eating most… what my favourite was/is. But because I banished certain foods for so long and my diet became rigid, I swore with Anorexia by the fact that my favourite was melon, yoghurt and sugar-free jelly… or a big bowl of mushrooms… or a bag of swede with BBQ sauce. And then during Bulimia, my favourite foods have probably been all the foods that I have banned from my diet for so long, because you crave everything you can’t allow yourself to ordinarily have.
But I think I’ve finally found something, that although I can’t bring myself to eat just yet without being sick, that is my favourite. Yep, white chocolate cookies. I like to say I ‘like’ something. It makes me feel like I have preferences and a sense of self to be able to recognise that. White chocolate and crisps (not together) did used to be my favourites during my early teens.
I know I say I can’t yet eat them without being sick, and I’m sorry if that’s awkward for you to read. But that’s only because my binging and purging has been out of hand just lately, and white chocolate cookies seem to have been a part of that. I don’t intend for this to carry on, and my aim for this year is to be able to eat one and not get rid of it. To accept it into my body and get on with the rest of my day.
Eating disorder, or not eating disorder… these are my top 5 white chocolate cookies and my reasons why:
1. LIDL (5/5)… By farrrrrrrrrrrrr THE best. When you break one in half, it’s like a slow-motion Marks & Spencer advert, with all the angelic music tinkering in the background. The luke-warm baked dough softly parts, like opening the heavens, as the white chunks ooze with melting magic. When you go to select one (1?? Who I am I kidding – ahem, 5…) with the tongs, from the shelves of baked goods, the bottom of the cookie still clings on a little to the one beneath. Even a white chocolate cookie’s favourite food is a white chocolate cookie. Seriously though, the ratio of white chocolate chunk: cookie biscuit, is well more what it should be. Instead of having to just eat the bits where there’s chocolatey goodness inside, you can eat the full thing happily that you will get a swig of the good stuff in each bite. I can’t remember the price but I have a feeling they’re around 45p ish?
2. GREGGS (4/5)… Not far behind the Swedish legendary supermarket is our very own English bakery store. Whether they’ve altered the recipe for their white chocolate cookies over the years, I don’t know… but either way most of the time they’ve still always been up there for me. But AT THE MOMENT (they are in Grimsby anyway… ) the cookie is more puffy, like it’s trying to be a ‘Ben’s cookie’ (special London ones) but then it stops growing midway through baking. It’s about the right thickness for a cookie, because although lots of us like it nice and chunky, we have to remember that a cookie is a cookie, and not a cake. So we have to appreciate it for what it is. What am I going on about right now, seriously…
Anyway, there is a lovely tingly vanilla taste in a Gregg’s cookie like none of the others on this list quite have. The cookie sometimes is a tad spongy, which I love. But then they have that subtle crispy edge, especially on the outer parts. The chocolate chunk: biscuit ratio isn’t quite as good as Lidl’s, but other than that, it gets my vote for being one of the best cookies on the high street.
Price: 4 for £2.25
3. MARKS & SPENCER (4/5)… What gets me excited about a good ol’ M&S cookie, is the quality of the chocolate inside. I think this is what trumps the previous two cookies here, but the LIDL ones are the overall full package top dog.
These ones still taste very fresh and have the crisp outer edge like the GREGG’s ones, but are perhaps more biscuit-y than them. They’re almost like half buttery-shortbread, half cookie for want of a better description. I don’t know about you, but I’ve got a secret fetish for a rustic, flawed-shaped cookie (or cake) – one that isn’t perfectly round. For some reason, the wonky edges speak more passion, less robotically made – more passion = more flavour. Whether this is true or not (I think it is for smaller, independent food companies) I don’t know but that’s what often runs through my head. So yeah, I love the shape of these ones, because the wonky edges puff up a little.
Price: think they’re 5 for £2
4. SUBWAY (3.5/5)… These little monkeys also come with macadamia nuts in, too. So for those of you allergic to nuts, please don’t take a bite out of one! What I love about Subway’s cookies is (although I don’t *think* they’re baked in store – don’t quote me) is 1: their value for money, and 2: the contrast of crunchy nut versus white chocolate. They work out at something like 40p each at 3 for £1.20, or you can get 12 cookies for £3.50 which works out an absolute bargain. (they are much smaller than the previous cookies mentioned though)
The firm spongey texture of the cookie, sings vanilla as a soft glide through a white chocolate chunk meets a crunchy macadamia nut. They also do a gorgeous oat and raisin flavour, which I probably prefer more than the white chocolate one, actually. It’s more moist in texture and there’s a tingly sweetness of cinnamon dancing through.
5. MILLIE’S COOKIES (2.5/5)… I’m really shocked to have to say this, but the last time I bought some Millie’s cookies – what used to be such a luxury and brought so much excitement as a kid, I was utterly disappointed. They were as flat as a pancake, with no texture, except for the stale-like chewy crunch they had. Bad batch? I don’t know… but for what I paid, I was pretty gutted. At the time I bought, I think 12 for £7.99? (yes, I’m sorry it was a binge/purge… but that’s a big factor of my life so it’s worth pointing out)
The ratio of chocolate:cookie was poor and I don’t think I experienced barely any ‘bite’ through a chocolate chunk, as it all seemed to be fused into one bland texture as a cookie.
Not how I remembered them at all, but like I say it could have been a bad batch. The value for money is rubbish in comparison to the other cookies written about here, from shops that aren’t even specialities in cookies.
I did like the pretty pink box though, I’ll give them that.
Well, that’s my top five white chocolate cookies from the high street! I have found that my eating disorder in some ways has given me more sensitivity to taste – or perhaps I’ve always had that, I’m not sure. But I do love talking about food (yes, f*ck off eating disorder, I’m allowed to say that)… so if you’d like more blog posts like this, please let me know – I’d be happy to hear your suggestions.
Hope you’re having a great weekend. 😊