Today is one of the greatest of all national holidays: National Cookie Day. Ahem. It seems only fitting that today would be the day for me to tell you about my experience completing the Holiday Cookie Stroll at the Epcot International Festival of the Holidays.
For those who may not know, the Holiday Cookie Stroll is an activity that Epcot guests may participate in at an added expense during the Festival of the Holidays. Five different cookies are offered at five of the holiday kitchen locations sprinkled around the World Showcase. The Holiday Cookie Stroll cookies cost $2.50 each, and, once a guest has purchased five cookies (you don’t have to purchase one of each, just five cookies total) and collected the coordinating stamps in his or her festival passport, they may show their completed festival passport for a free completer cookie. The Holiday Cookie Stroll details, cookie names and locations, and stamp page are located on the last page of the festival passport. Festival passports can be picked up at any of the Festival of the Holidays food location, as well as at many of the merchandise locations.
With the exception of the Black and White cookie, all cookies on the Holiday Cookie Stroll are new this year.
I started the cookie stroll in the area between the France and Morocco pavilions at L’Chaim! Holiday Kitchen. The Black and White cookie is offered here at L’Chaim!, and it is one of the two best cookies offered in the stroll. Little did I know how hard it was going to be for the other cookies to stand up against the Black and White.
The Black and White cookie has a cake-like consistency, and is covered by a flood of sugary icing. There is a slight spiced taste to this cookie, and a hint of citrus is denoted. For those who are vegan, it might be good to know that the Black and White is plant-based. This is a delicious cookie. There’s just no other way to say it. This is also a large cookie, and is perfect for sharing with members of your traveling party. Don’t get me wrong; it’s also perfect for gobbling up all by yourself. I would purchase this cookie again in a heartbeat.
My next stop on the Holiday Cookie Stroll was to try the Gingerbread cookie at American Holiday Table in The American Adventure. Unlike the gingerbread shingles that you will find at both the Grand Floridian's gingerbread house and the Contemporary Resort's gingerbread display, this gingerbread cookie, while having a somewhat similar spice profile, is quite thin.
The outside of the cookie is crispy, and the middle was just a bit chewy, which I appreciated. Unfortunately, the Gingerbread cookie fell a bit flat. It was, in my opinion, too thin, and was nothing extraordinary. It was incredibly cute, and made for a great photo op or two, but would not be a cookie that I would repurchase.
I next made my way to the Germany pavilion for the Linzer cookie at Bavaria Holiday Kitchen. The Linzer cookie had a delicious buttery taste, and was generously dusted with confectioners' sugar. It was filled with raspberry jam, and was a lighter option when compared to the heftier Black and White cookie.
I enjoyed the Linzer cookie, and I appreciated the level of detail that had been put into its construction. If this type of cookie is your jam (pun intended), I imagine you would be likely to repurchase it. For me, the Linzer cookie falls into the middle of the pack, behind the Black and White, and behind our next cookie. Public service announcement: after enjoying this cookie, please take a moment to check yourself in a nearby mirror. Confectioners' sugar tends to travel.
Friends, in my opinion, the next cookie takes the cake, or, in this case, the cookie. My next stop was located in between the Mexico pavilion and Showcase Plaza at Feast of the Three Kings. The Chocolate Crinkle cookie is, quite simply, perfection. I would repurchase this cookie again and again. It is a large and weighty cookie that, from first bite, was worth every penny of the $2.50 paid for it. This cookie offers a deep and rich cocoa flavor throughout.
Its outer shell is as you would want a Crinkle cookie's exterior to be: crunchy. The inside was fudgy and chewy and decadent. The exterior of the cookie is coated in confectioners' sugar, and, in every bite, there is the slight crunch of granulated sugar. This cookie is perfect for sharing, or, as it was in my case, perfect for eating half of and taking the other half home to be savored at a later time. This cookie takes the blue ribbon in my book. Best in show, hands down.
My next stop was at Yukon Holiday Kitchen near the Canada pavilion for the Peppermint Pinwheel cookie. Unfortunately, everything that the Chocolate Crinkle cookie was, the Peppermint Pinwheel cookie was not. This cookie, while visually pleasing, was dry and lifeless.
Unfortunately, the peppermint taste was not as strong as I’d hoped it would be. I do appreciate that the cookie was rolled in both sprinkles and sugar balls, but they did little to help the cookie’s case. It just didn’t taste very good. And, gasp, I threw half of it away. Please know that I hardly ever throw half of a dessert/treat/sugary-anything away. Needless to say, I would not repurchase this cookie. And here’s where it’s good to note that guests who participate in the Holiday Cookie Stroll do not have to purchase one of every cookie, they simply need to purchase five cookies total in order to complete the stroll and receive their completer cookie.
This year’s complimentary completer cookie is the Santa Mickey Sugar cookie, complete with white chocolate Santa hat and 8 ounce bottle of milk. The completer cookie is found at Holiday Sweets and Treats in Showcase Plaza.
As you can probably tell from the pictures, this cookie was thin and dry. I loved the extra effort that was put forth in its construction (and the excitement of the location's cast members when a guest has completed the cookie stroll), but the overall product did not taste great. It didn't really taste like a sugar cookie, but I did appreciate that Mickey’s ears were coated in chocolate. The white chocolate hat did taste good, and I liked that milk was served with the cookie.
In my mind, when stacked up against the perfection that is the Chocolate Crinkle cookie, and the excellence that is poured into the Black and White cookie, the completer cookie fell short of being the pinnacle of the experience that it should be.
If you'd like a souvenir to remember your cookie stroll by, guests have the opportunity to purchase the Holiday Cookie Stroll cookie jar for $24.99. The jar can be found at festival merchandise locations throughout Epcot.
Have you had a chance to experience the 2019 Holiday Cookie Stroll? If so, please let me know your favorites in the comment section down below. And, if you’ll be in the park anytime soon, look for me at the Feast of the Three Kings. I’ll likely be there gobbling up another Chocolate Crinkle cookie. And shoving one in my backpack for later, of course.
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