By OnMilwaukee Staff Writers   Published Jan 07, 2008 at 5:27 AM Photography: Andy Tarnoff

Like a lot of Milwaukeeans, we were thrilled when we heard Midwest Airlines' famous chocolate chip cookies could now be made right in our own homes thanks to a frozen dough available at local Sendik's shops.

We decided not only to test them out to see if they were as good as the ones you get on the flights, but also to pit them against a famous, established brand -- Nestle -- to see how they stood up to the competition in the grocer's freezer. We found Midwest's cookies to be superior, by a vote of four to one:

Molly Snyder Edler
Staff Writer
Pick: Nestle

I found the two cookies taste similar; both were sweet and chewy with that very slight salty taste, but I would probably pick the Nestle cookie over the Midwest variety because of the major price difference. Plus, the Nestle cookies get points for nostalgia, because I grew up making and eating them with my mom and my grandma. Just seeing the yellow and brown bag makes me regress a decade or two. I wouldn't, however, shun a Midwest cookie if offered to me because they are dang good, but somehow they taste better when I've been 30,000 feet in the air.

Julie Lawrence
Staff writer
Pick: Midwest Airlines

I have something of a haunting history with Midwest Airlines' freshly-baked chocolate chip cookies, and it harkens back to the adage that proclaims that if something is denied it quickly becomes the thing most desired. I was 8 years old, exhausted and starving on a plane ride back from a long trip. My mom and I were seated in the back near the bathrooms and I was getting wafts of warm, chocolatey goodness as the airline attendants distributed the goods, staring in the front, row by row. Long story short, they ran out of the delicious dough literally at the row in front of ours. I can't remember if I cried. I was 8 -- I probably did.

Needless to say, I've always been thrilled to get my two-cookie ration on subsequent Midwest flights and they've always tasted perfect to me. This challenge was no exception, even when pitted against the classic cookie I remember mom making when I was a kid. The unparalleled gooeyness gets me every time.
Drew Olson
Senior editor

Pick: Midwest Airlines


Chocolate chip cookies may come with varying quality levels, but they are almost never bad. I can buy Chips Ahoy or a knockoff brand, dunk them in a glass of cold milk and be happy. Home-baked cookies are better than store-bought cookies. Home-made, home-baked cookies are slightly better still.

When it comes to convenience, though, the take and bake variety rule. The Midwest cookies we tested were tasty and maybe a slight notch above the Nestle brand, which featured fewer chocolate chips. Though they come in similar perforated constructions, the Midwest cookies seemed less uniform in size when baking than the Nestle version. That made them seem closer to homemade. In the interest of disclosure, we should reveal that we did not test our cookies straight out of the oven. In fact, the Nestle brand were a tad overdone, which added crunch. The Midwest cookies served on board are soft and gooey. It's hard to achieve that consistency with the store-bought brand, but it still deserves a slight edge.

Bobby Tanzilo
Managing Editor
Pick: Midwest Airlines

I'll give the edge to Midwest Airlines cookies for the experience I've had eating them on flights, but, really, that yumminess probably came in part from the pleasant experience of being en route someplace. The frozen take and bake version tasted nearly identical to the Nestle Toll House equivalent.

The Midwest cookies are a bit larger, but also considerably pricier ($8.99 for 32 cookies, compared to nearly a third the price for 24 Nestle cookies). Considering they don't taste all that much different, confronted with the two products in the freezer aisle of the supermarket, the cheap me would likely lean toward choosing the Nestle. But I'm also a hometown supporter, so in this case I might go with Midwest.

Now there's a rousing recommendation, eh?

Andy Tarnoff
Pick: Midwest Airlines

Honestly, I could barely tell the difference between these two cookies. I feel like any of the qualities could've been changed by one minute more or less in the oven, so any attributes are so highly subjective that this was virtually a draw. But that's no fun, so here's what I came away with: the Midwest cookies had bigger chocolate chips and a more "gourmet" overall taste. The chocolate chips tasted sweeter than the Nestle chips -- that were also few and far between. By comparison, the dough in the Midwest cookies tasted less sweet than Nestle's. I found Nestle's dough to be a bit more dense and salty, too. By the narrowest of margins, I'd pick Midwest's cookies ... but they seem to taste better at 30,000 feet than at my office.