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The gourmet cookie jar. (Brand-Name Rating).

Indulgence is in. And it's reached the cookie aisle.

"Make every day a celebration," say packages of Pepperidge Farm's cream-filled Pirouettes. And the queen of indulgence, Mrs. Fields, now hawks versions of her cookies in supermarkets.

What do you get for all the fancy names and packaging? In many cases, a lighter wallet and more heart-damaging fat than regular cookies.

Take Delacre Matadi cookies. Most of the ingredients for these chocolate-dipped, cream-filled wafers belong on a Ten Most Wanted poster: bittersweet chocolate, sugar, cocoa butter, butterfat, sugar, partially hydrogenated coconut and/or palm and/or palm kernel and/or canola and/or sunflower oil, unbleached wheat flour, egg yolks, and cream. Your arteries could harden before you finish reading the label.

If the saturated tropical oils don't get you, the partially hydrogenated vegetable oils will. They contain hidden trans fat, which raises your cholesterol at least as much as saturated fat does. And labels don't tell you how much trans you're getting.

To get some idea, we sent a sample of Pepperidge Farm Shortbread to an independent laboratory. (It's made using more partially hydrogenated oil than butter; most shortbreads use an all-butter recipe.) The results: A serving (two cookies) has 1 1/2 grams of trans. Add that to their 2 1/2 grams of saturated fat and you've squandered nearly a quarter of a day's bad fat on two measly cookies. (That's also about how much you'll waste on an ounce of Oreos or Chips Ahoy! if you count their trans fat.)

That's why cookies made with shortening, partially hydrogenated oils, or margarine were "Better Bites" only if a serving had no more than one gram of sat fat. (Odds are they probably had at least another half gram of trans.)

Cookies that are made with non-hydrogenated oils or butter contain little or no hidden trans fat, so Better Bites were allowed up to 1 1/2 grams of sat fat. (Since cookies are basically white flour, sugar, and fat, Best Bites were out of the question.)

And remember: Nutrition Facts labels list calories, sugar, fat, and sat fat for the number of cookies that comes closest to one ounce. That could be anywhere from one cookie to a half-dozen. If you eat more (not that you ever would), get out your calculator ... and loosen your belt.

More Sat Fat

The worst cookies are typically made with butter and/or tropical oils--coconut, palm, or palm kernel. Most are dipped in--or contain--chocolate. And many are wafers.

An ounce of Bahlsen Hannover Waffeln sugar wafers (five cookies), for example, packs 160 calories and nine grams of saturated fat--almost half a day's worth. And chocolate-dipped or chocolate-stuffed wafers like Delacre Matadis, LU Le Chocolatiers, Cadbury Wafers, or Bahlsen First Class Choco-Stars batter your arteries with seven grams of sat fat.

Shortbreads aren't much better. Two of Walkers Shortbread Rounds contain 180 calories and six grams of saturated fat--as much sat fat as a McDonald's Cheeseburger.

Then there are upscale chocolate chip cookies. A single Mrs. Fields Milk Chocolate Chip or White Chunk Macadamia weighs in at around 150 calories and eight grams of fat--4 1/2 of them saturated. Eat one and you've polished off the equivalent of four strips of bacon for dessert.

Pepperidge Farm knows a good thing when it sees one. It now sells six different spin-offs of its popular Milanos. An ounce (three cookies) of the worst--Endless Chocolate, Orange, Mint, or Double Chocolate--has five grams of saturated fat. The original, Raspberry, or Milk Chocolate Milanos have around four grams. Their partially hydrogenated vegetable oil or shortening could add another gram or two of hidden trans fat. Without trans-fat labeling we'll never know.

The company must have an in-house geographer. Most of its Distinctive line (Geneva, Brussels, Verona, etc.) and its Big and Soft Baked lines (Tahoe, Sausalito, Nantucket, etc.) have about 140 calories and two to four grams of sat fat.

Less Sat Fat

Our Better Bites have no more than 1 1/2 grams of saturated fat in a one-ounce serving (no more than one gram of sat fat if they contain shortening, partially hydrogenated oils, or margarine).

That pretty much boils down to biscotti and ginger cookies, with a handful of others thrown in. The best-tasting ginger cookies: Pepperidge Farm Ginger Man. Peak Freans Ginger Crisps run a close second.

Nonni's Originali Biscotti take the biscotti prize, though Stella D'oro Biscottis would also make great dunkers for your coffee, tea, or milk.

The real finds were both from Pepperidge Farm: the rich, fruity, and absolutely delicious Raspberry Chantilly and the "I-can't-believe-it's-not-home-baked" Santa Cruz Oatmeal Raisin Soft Baked. The company clearly knows how to bake a cookie.

The information for this article was compiled by Tamar Genger.

RELATED ARITLCE: The way they crumble.

A one-once serving of our Better Bites has no more than 1 1/2 grams of saturated fat. If the cookies contain shortening, partially hydrogenated oils, or margarine, they can't have more than one gram of sat fat. The number of cookies that comes closest to 30 grams (just over one ounce) is in parentheses following each name. Within each category, cookies are ranked from best to worst--from least to most saturated fat, total fat, calories, and sugar.
Cookies Calories Total Fat
 (grams)

[check] Stella D'oro Breakfast Treats (1) (1) 90 3
[check] Stella D'oro Biscotti (1) (1) 90 3
[check] Pepperidge Farm Raspberry
 Chantilly (2) 120 3
[check] Pepperidge Farm Ginger Man (4) 130 4
[check] Stella D'oro Lady Stella (3) 130 5
[check] Stella D'oro Marguerite (2) 140 5
[check] Pepperidge Farm Santa Cruz Oatmeal
 Raisin Soft Baked (1) 140 5
[check] Peek Freans Arrowroot or Ginger
 Crisp (4) 150 5
[check] Brent & Sam's Oatmeal Raisin (3) 120 6
 LU Le Pim's (2) (1) 90 3
[check] Nonni's Originali Biscotti (1) 100 4
 Peek Freans Petit Beurre (4) 130 4
 Parmalat Bed & Breakfast
 Cranberry Raisin Oatmeal (1) 110 5
 Bahlsen Deloba (4) 130 5
 Carrs Petits Bijoux (4) 140 5
 Peek Freans Rich Tea (4) 160 5
 Stella D'oro Swiss Fudge (2) 120 6
 Pepperidge Farm Sugar (3) 140 6
 Brent & Sam's Chocolate Chip
 Pecan (3) 130 7
 Pepperidge Farm Spritzers (5) (1) 140 7
 Peek Freans Fruit Creme (2) 130 5
 LU Le Petit Provence Apricot &
 Almond (4) 150 5
 Brent & Sam's Raspberry Chocolate
 Chip (3) 120 6
 Bahlsen Delice (6) 140 6
 Anna's Thins (6) (1) 140 6
 Pepperidge Farm Verona (3) (1) 140 6
 Pepperidge Farm Salzburg (2) 150 6
 Pepperidge Farm Lemon Nut (3) 170 9
 LU Le Bastogne Cinnamon (2) 120 5
 Pepperidge Farm Bordeaux (4) 130 5
 LU Le Petit Normandie Apple &
 Cream (4) 140 5
 Brent & Sam's Key Lime White
 Chocolate (3) 120 6
 Carrs Hob Nobs (2) 140 6
 Parmalat Bed & Breakfast
 White Chocolate & Macadamia (1) 130 7
 Brent & Sam's
 White Chocolate Macadamia Nut (3) 130 7
 Pepperidge Farm Big Cookies (1) (1) 140 7
 Pepperidge Farm Soft Baked, except
 Santa Cruz Oatmeal Raisin (1) (1) 150 7
 Parmalat Bed & Breakfast
 Chocolate Chunk Pecan (1) 130 8
 Pepperidge Farm Dessert Bliss (3) (1) 170 8
 Peek Freans Original Dream Puffs (2) 110 4
 Pepperidge Farm Chessmen (3) 120 5
 Carrs Biscuits for Tea (2) 130 6
 Nonni's Paradiso Biscotti (1) 130 6
 Peek Freans Nice (4) 160 6
 Peek Freans Shortcake (2) 140 7
 Mrs. Fields Oatmeal Raisin with
 Nuts (1) 150 7
 Pepperidge Farm Brussels (3) 150 7
 Bahlsen Kipferl (4) 150 9
 Pepperidge Farm Lido (2) 180 10
 Peek Freans Petit Beret Black
 Forest (2) 110 5
 LU Le Petit Ecolier (2) (1) 120 6
 Brent & Sam's
 All Natural Extra Chocolate (3) 130 6
 Pepperidge Farm Geneva (3) 160 9
 Pepperidge Farm Milano or
 Milk Chocolate Milano (3) 170 9
 Nonni's Biscottini (2) 120 6
 Pepperidge Farm Pirouette (2) (1) 140 6
 Delacre Crepes au Chocolat (6) 150 6
 Pepperidge Farm Shortbread (2) 140 7
 Walkers Stem Ginger Shortbread (2) 140 7
 Bahlsen Choco Leibniz (2) 140 7
 Carrs Ginger Lemon Cremes (2) 140 7
 Carrs Chocolate Imperials (2) (1) 150 7
 Mrs. Fields Semi-Sweet Chocolate
 Chip (1) 150 7
 Pepperidge Farm Raspberry Milano (3) 200 11
 Mrs. Fields Milk Chocolate Chip (1) 150 8
 Mrs. Fields White Chunk Macadamia (1) 160 8
 Creme de Pirouline (3) 150 7
 Walkers Chocolate Chip Shortbread (2) 140 8
 Bahlsen Granor or Truffet (4) 160 9
 Cadbury Fingers (6) 170 9
 Pepperidge Farm Endless Chocolate,
 Double Chocolate, Mint, or Orange
 Milano (3) 180 10
 Bahlsen Waffeletten (4) 150 9
 Carrs Chococcines (3) 150 9
 Walkers Shortbread Rounds (2) 180 10
 Walkers Chocolate Shortbread
 Rings (2) 180 10
 LU Le Chocolatier (3) 150 8
 Cadbury Wafers (4) 160 9
 LU Le Truffe Chocolate Praline (4) 170 9
 Delacre Matadi (3) 190 11
 Bahlsen First Class Choco-Star (3) 180 12
 Bahlsen Hannover Waffeln (5) 160 10

 Saturated Fat Sugar
 (grams) (grams)

[check] Stella D'oro Breakfast Treats (1) (1) 0.5 7
[check] Stella D'oro Biscotti (1) (1) 1 8
[check] Pepperidge Farm Raspberry
 Chantilly (2) 1 11
[check] Pepperidge Farm Ginger Man (4) 1 11
[check] Stella D'oro Lady Stella (3) 1 9
[check] Stella D'oro Marguerite (2) 1 8
[check] Pepperidge Farm Santa Cruz Oatmeal
 Raisin Soft Baked (1) 1 11
[check] Peek Freans Arrowroot or Ginger
 Crisp (4) 1 9
[check] Brent & Sam's Oatmeal Raisin (3) 1 9
 LU Le Pim's (2) (1) 1.5 12
[check] Nonni's Originali Biscotti (1) 1.5 8
 Peek Freans Petit Beurre (4) 1.5 5
 Parmalat Bed & Breakfast
 Cranberry Raisin Oatmeal (1) 1.5 9
 Bahlsen Deloba (4) 1.5 8
 Carrs Petits Bijoux (4) 1.5 9
 Peek Freans Rich Tea (4) 1.5 7
 Stella D'oro Swiss Fudge (2) 1.5 8
 Pepperidge Farm Sugar (3) 1.5 10
 Brent & Sam's Chocolate Chip
 Pecan (3) 1.5 10
 Pepperidge Farm Spritzers (5) (1) 1.5 9
 Peek Freans Fruit Creme (2) 2 10
 LU Le Petit Provence Apricot &
 Almond (4) 2 8
 Brent & Sam's Raspberry Chocolate
 Chip (3) 2 12
 Bahlsen Delice (6) 2 5
 Anna's Thins (6) (1) 2 8
 Pepperidge Farm Verona (3) (1) 2 10
 Pepperidge Farm Salzburg (2) 2 9
 Pepperidge Farm Lemon Nut (3) 2 7
 LU Le Bastogne Cinnamon (2) 2.5 10
 Pepperidge Farm Bordeaux (4) 2.5 12
 LU Le Petit Normandie Apple &
 Cream (4) 2.5 8
 Brent & Sam's Key Lime White
 Chocolate (3) 2.5 13
 Carrs Hob Nobs (2) 2.5 7
 Parmalat Bed & Breakfast
 White Chocolate & Macadamia (1) 2.5 8
 Brent & Sam's
 White Chocolate Macadamia Nut (3) 2.5 11
 Pepperidge Farm Big Cookies (1) (1) 2.5 9
 Pepperidge Farm Soft Baked, except
 Santa Cruz Oatmeal Raisin (1) (1) 2.5 12
 Parmalat Bed & Breakfast
 Chocolate Chunk Pecan (1) 2.5 7
 Pepperidge Farm Dessert Bliss (3) (1) 2.5 13
 Peek Freans Original Dream Puffs (2) 3 12
 Pepperidge Farm Chessmen (3) 3 5
 Carrs Biscuits for Tea (2) 3 6
 Nonni's Paradiso Biscotti (1) 3 11
 Peek Freans Nice (4) 3 9
 Peek Freans Shortcake (2) 3 5
 Mrs. Fields Oatmeal Raisin with
 Nuts (1) 3 9
 Pepperidge Farm Brussels (3) 3 11
 Bahlsen Kipferl (4) 3 6
 Pepperidge Farm Lido (2) 3 10
 Peek Freans Petit Beret Black
 Forest (2) 3.5 10
 LU Le Petit Ecolier (2) (1) 3.5 9
 Brent & Sam's
 All Natural Extra Chocolate (3) 3.5 12
 Pepperidge Farm Geneva (3) 3.5 8
 Pepperidge Farm Milano or
 Milk Chocolate Milano (3) 3.5 12
 Nonni's Biscottini (2) 4 12
 Pepperidge Farm Pirouette (2) (1) 4 11
 Delacre Crepes au Chocolat (6) 4 16
 Pepperidge Farm Shortbread (2) 4 * 5
 Walkers Stem Ginger Shortbread (2) 4 9
 Bahlsen Choco Leibniz (2) 4 11
 Carrs Ginger Lemon Cremes (2) 4 11
 Carrs Chocolate Imperials (2) (1) 4 11
 Mrs. Fields Semi-Sweet Chocolate
 Chip (1) 4 14
 Pepperidge Farm Raspberry Milano (3) 4 12
 Mrs. Fields Milk Chocolate Chip (1) 4.5 14
 Mrs. Fields White Chunk Macadamia (1) 4.5 14
 Creme de Pirouline (3) 5 9
 Walkers Chocolate Chip Shortbread (2) 5 8
 Bahlsen Granor or Truffet (4) 5 13
 Cadbury Fingers (6) 5 11
 Pepperidge Farm Endless Chocolate,
 Double Chocolate, Mint, or Orange
 Milano (3) 5 12
 Bahlsen Waffeletten (4) 6 11
 Carrs Chococcines (3) 6 12
 Walkers Shortbread Rounds (2) 6 6
 Walkers Chocolate Shortbread
 Rings (2) 6 8
 LU Le Chocolatier (3) 7 11
 Cadbury Wafers (4) 7 12
 LU Le Truffe Chocolate Praline (4) 7 15
 Delacre Matadi (3) 7 15
 Bahlsen First Class Choco-Star (3) 7 11
 Bahlsen Hannover Waffeln (5) 9 8

[check] Better Bite. (1) Average of the entire line. * Includes trans
fat (other cookies in the chart haven't been analyzed for trans).

The use of information from this article for commercial purposes is
prohibited without written permission from CSPI.

Source: Manufacturers.
COPYRIGHT 2002 Center for Science in the Public Interest
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2002, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

Article Details
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Title Annotation:high fat, high calorie gourmet cookies
Author:Hurley, Jayne
Publication:Nutrition Action Healthletter
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Oct 1, 2002
Words:2135
Previous Article:Brain boosters & busters. (Special Feature).
Next Article:Can't stop this. (Right Stuff).
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