The arena is tense. On one side of the ring, Red Eye Cookie Company has their fresh-baked dough ready to fire. On the other side, Campus Cookies has made a wall of chocolate chips ready to retaliate. VCU students are licking their lips, waiting for a crumb to fall. Only one store will leave as the victor.
After two nights of tasting fresh-baked chocolate chip, oatmeal raisin and snickerdoodle cookies, four VCU students and one culinary graduate chose Campus Cookies as their winner.
The test was done blindly. The cookies were placed next to each other according to flavor with a sticky note labeling a corresponding letter and number. Taking place at the Student Media Center, the test was conducted Monday, Nov. 17 and again Wednesday, Nov. 19. Each student took a bite from one flavor and described their reaction. After tasting both cookies, the students named which one of the flavor set they preferred.
Eliza Guido, graduate of Le Cordon Bleu, said the oatmeal raisin cookie from Red Eye Cookie Company was overbaked for her taste.
“(The cookie) was denser … it was like a thicker cookie,” Guido said.
The votes were tied between the chocolate chip cookies from both stores. Guido said she could tell the chocolate chip from Red Eye Cookie Company was underbaked but she preferred it to the boxed-cookie taste of Campus Cookies. On the other hand, VCU journalism major Shakola Walker said the cookie from Red Eye was too soft.
“I like the texture, how it’s soft in the middle and crunchy on the outside,” Walker said. “It is a little too gooey though.”
For the snickerdoodle cookie, most of the participants said the flavor from both locations was too bland. Still, Campus Cookies beat Red Eye three-to-one. Walker said the snickerdoodle from Campus Cookies was more moist than its counterpart. Still, Guido said she preferred the version from Red Eye.
“That one (the snickerdoodle from Campus Cookies) is a little too soft, it’s kind of mushy,” Guido said.
While each flavor from the companies got at least one vote, the snickerdoodle cookie was the deciding factor. Most of the participants said the texture of the Red Eye cookie was pleasing, but the flavor was too bland.
Both stores are within walking distance of each other on West Grace Street, with Red Eye serving the Richmond community since March and Campus Cookies opening in early November. According to the business news website Richmond BizSense, Red Eye uses their own recipes for cookies, while Campus Cookies buys their dough from other vendors.
Since the test was qualitative, the results cannot be taken as pure fact. Anyone interested in coming to their own conclusions will have to buy a cookie and test for themselves.