Okay, more sweet posts. Hooray!
I’ve gained two kilos over this quarantine because I’ve been home eating and baking. This reminded me about a post I’ve always wanted to do: my recommendation for cookie souvenirs.
Since Hokkaido–or really, Japan in general–is such a souvenir-crazed country, you can’t really escape traveling without buying any edible souvenirs. There’s so much to choose from: chocolate, pastries, cookies, mochi, savory crackers, local cuisine and flavors, etc.
You get the point. There’s so much of it, it’s difficult to decide what to buy.
Full disclosure before I start, though: I’m not really a fan of cookies in general, which is why you have to take these recommendations with a grain of salt. If anything, I really am more of cake fan. However, these cookies must really be spectacular if they make me get over my natural dislike for treats that leave a dry taste in my mouth. I suspect it’s because the American cookies that I grew up with were just junk compared to the ones you can get in Japan.
So with that out of the way, here are my top three Hokkaido-company cookies, ranked in reverse favorite order:
3. Kinotoya: Hokkaido milk cookies produced by Sapporo Agricultural College
These cookies are plain in that there’s nothing like nuts or chocolate chips mixed within. Because of this, though, the taste of the milk and the butter stand out. It is a little bit dry and crispy, but it’s still moist enough that you don’t need a drink on hand when you’re eating them.
The pack I bought had three individually-wrapped cookies inside so they make great souvenirs to give away to lots of people. The packaging says limited to Hokkaido University only, but I’ve seen them at the kiosks and various souvenir shops, too, so they’re easy to pick up everywhere.
2. Ishiya: Shiroi Koibito chocolate cookies
And of course, these cookies cannot be excluded from the list. These cookies are world famous and they rank really high on lists of what to buy from Hokkaido. There’s a legit reason, of course. They are delicious: buttery lengue de chat cookies that sandwich a firm white chocolate filling.
Ishiya makes two versions: the white chocolate and the regular chocolate version. Personally, I prefer the white chocolate version because they are more delicious–particularly with black coffee. Again, these are ubiquitous Hokkaido souvenirs and they are really good so you can’t go wrong if you pick these up.
1. Robakashitsuka: Kuranama cookies
Finally, my favorite: Kuranama cookies made by Robakashitsuka, which is a very small confectionary company based in Asahikawa City. This company is not as well known as Kinotoya and Ishiya, but these cookies are my favorite. Again, I’ve mentioned that I don’t really dry cookies, so it makes sense that these would be my favorite. These cookies are gooey and chewey and are very delicate. They’ll fall apart as soon as you hold it in your hand.
As you can see, they are larger and thinner, but the inside of the cookie has a soft, yummy filling. You can choose between the regular chocolate or white chocolate versions. They’ve also recently introduced an almond version that I have yet to savor. One of these days, I’ll go pick up a pack and let you all know how it goes.
These are the top three so far that are worthy of writing about. Of course, I’ve sampled many more, but some of them are normal and not worth the money, I think. The ones I’ve mentioned above are definitely something I would go out of my way to pick up if I were in Hokkaido.