Aldi is a weird grocery store. I can’t really lean on it for all of my grocery needs, since they lack consistency in the things they carry, particularly in certain staples needed in my partially gluten-free, low-dairy home. But I can appreciate the interesting stuff they bring in the snack realm, as well as the fact that the stuff they carry is all free of unnecessary additives and preservatives. So while I don’t go there all the time, I do check in from time to time, and on a recent Aldi run, I came across three snack items that really screamed out for some online love.
First (and second), as pictured above, the Clancy’s Kettle Chips in Cuban Sandwich AND Nashville Hot Chicken flavors are AMAZING. I couldn’t decide which flavor to get, but at just over $2 a bag, it seemed like BOTH was as good as option as either on their own. And somehow, they’re equally incredible.
The Cuban Sandwich chips have a nice mix of dill-pickle sour mixed with a mustardy zing, a little spicy heat and a fairly convincing hammy aftertaste. The Nashville Hot Chicken chips are more on the hot-spicy side, but not overwhelmingly so by any means, and carry a nice bit of zingy-tang as well, followed by a damn convincing chickeny flavor on the finish. As far as inventive flavors on good, crispy chips, I’d put these up against anything put out by the Frito-Lays and Utzs of the world. And as I said, they’re just $2ish a bag!
Lastly, I found some good gluten-free snack options for my wife, so I scouted around for some proper cookies for myself, and laid eyes on a great option I had tried before, and have longed for ever since: The Bake Shop Kitchen Sink cookies.
In case you aren’t able to read the label, allow me to transcribe it for you: “Rich peanut butter cookies with chocolate chunks, peanut butter chips, white chocolate chunks, pretzels & coconut.”
They’re pre-packaged, but they seem fresh-baked. The cookie itself — the stage for this glorious production — is a soft and chewy, peanut buttery delight. The mix-ins seem well-balanced, so you can count on every bite to bring some combination of chocolates, peanut butter, and something a bit crunchy. Some bites, with chocolate and peanut butter and pretzel all together (plus maybe a bit of sneaky coconut) almost taste of toffee, which is lovely for me as a toffee fan.
My only notes are that the pretzel chunks aren’t quite as crispy as I would hope for, and they don’t have as much coconut as I’d like. On the other hand, it’s probably for the best that the pretzels are just a bit less than fully crispy in these soft cookies (the better to avoid hurting your teeth or gums on a too-hard chunk). And to be honest, I didn’t even realize there was coconut in these until I re-read the label, so you can take that as a positive if you’re not the biggest fan of coconut. I personally love coconut in cookies, but I find it hard to quibble too much with the balance as it is.
The package of 10 cookies was close to $4, so maybe not as much of a bargain as the chips, but definitely worth it for those of us who love a good cookie. I eat them quickly enough I can honestly say I’ve never had a stale one.