You always hear about pregnant women having unusual cravings for particular foods. I have heard about women who crave things like pickles, spicy food, ice cubes, or even mud! How anyone can wake up in the morning and think “I NEED a giant bowl of earthy, slimy mud” I cannot fathom, but apparently it is a real thing.
As someone who generally obsesses about food and plans my next meal before even finishing my current one, I’m sure you can imagine that pregnancy has obviously also affected my appetite. Despite a considerable amount of nausea for the first few months, thankfully this did not inhibit my ability to eat, aside from the odd aversion to previously loved foods (arriving home one night to the smell of salmon, which was supposed to be my dinner, once caused a toddleresque tantrum resulting in the husband having to go out to buy ingredients for grilled cheese sandwiches!).
As for pregnancy cravings, for me, it’s all about cookies. Not to be confused with biscuits, I am referring to real, American-style, chewy, gooey, delicious chocolate chip cookies. I NEED cookies in my life. Every. Single. Day.
During my hunt for cookies to satisfy my veritable pregnancy cravings, I decided it would only be fair to the pregnant women of Hong Kong, or indeed to the average Joe – pregnant or not – for me to share my list of tried and tested cookies from Hong Kong shops and restaurants, so that you, too, can satisfy your cravings.
As a caveat here, I am particular about my cookies. They need to have that perfect balance of chewy and crunchy and the darker the chocolate chip, the better, so that the cookie is not sickeningly sweet. My review of the below is therefore based on my own cookie criteria and may differ to yours. I have ranked them in order of craving satisfied – from least to most satisfied.
Type of cookie: Milk chocolate cookie
Price: HKD13, or 3 for $33
Location: Multiple locations all over town
This is a huge cookie you’ll find in the bakery section of M&S Food. It looks and smells so very tempting. The texture is pretty spot on, with crispy edges and a chewy middle, with big chocolate chunks that are still molten when you bite into it. However, these chocolate chunks are milk chocolate with a very, very low cacao percentage. What this means is that, for me, the cookie is far too sickeningly sweet, resulting in a sugar high, followed by a sugar slump, and a feeling of guilt that isn’t outweighed by the taste of the cookie. Perhaps if they offered a dark chocolate chip cookie it would rank much higher, but this, for me, is a big fail.
Craving satisfied: 55%
Type of cookie: Semi-sweet chocolate chip cookie
Price: HKD14.50, or buy 5 get one free
Location: Multiple locations, all over town, usually in MTR stations
The cookies at Mrs. Fields are not generous in size. It would take around four of these to make one M&S cookie. I remember these being amazing during my childhood, but was pretty disappointed during my recent cookie hunt. The chewy factor is there and the chunks are a good size, but, again, it is far too sweet for my liking and the satisfaction doesn’t last.
Craving satisfied 60%
Type of cookie: Chunky chocolate cookie
Location: Great Food Hall, Pacific Place
This is an American brand that specialises in frozen, ready-to-bake cookies, but you can buy them ready-made at Great. They’re pretty decent for mass-produced cookies, with a satisfying chewiness and good-sized chocolate chunks, but again, a little too sweet. However, a lovely friend baked me some at home and they were so much better than the store-bought ones, as the chocolate was still beautifully gooey.
Craving satisfied 65%
Elephant Grounds – Homie Cookies
Type of cookie: Keyser Soze (classic chocolate chip)
Location: Multiple locations – Star Street, Caine Road, Gough Street, Causeway Bay, Sha Tin
This cookie has all the right things going for it, but it somehow just doesn’t cut it. It is satisfyingly chewy and not overly sweet, with a flavour that actually tastes like baked cookie dough should taste (if that makes sense outside of my own head), but the chocolate chunks are thin and lacking, leaving a little to be desired.
Craving satisfied 65%
Type of cookie: Chocolate chunk cookie
Location: All over town, usually in MTR stations, office buildings and shopping malls
I was actually pleasantly surprised by Pret’s small but tasty cookies. They are about the same size as Mrs. Fields’, but half the price and much more satisfying, meaning you can have more than one and not feel too guilty. The cookie is chewy, yet with a sort of oaty, gritty, yet not unpleasant texture, and wonderfully soft chocolate chunks. It is sweet, but not overwhelmingly so.
Craving satisfied 70%
Type of cookie: Everything cookie
Location: Pacific Place
The everything cookie wouldn’t have been my go-to choice, but for the purpose of this cookie hunt, it was the only relevant choice (let’s be serious now – no hormonal pregnant woman actually craves oatmeal and raisin cookies). This one is crunchier than others, yet the chewiness is there beneath it. It gets its name from the fact that it contains chunks of dark chocolate and broken up pretzels, resulting in a salty-sweet combo that somehow works. If the regular chocolate chip cookie is available when you visit, though, that one is pretty spectacular.
Craving satisfied 75%
Type of cookie: Dark chocolate and walnut cookie
Location: Multiple locations – Caine Road, Happy Valley, Queen’s Road East, Sheung Wan, soon to be Kennedy Town
This is a harder, fatter cookie, but it still has a lovely soft centre. Although some might argue that the walnuts are unnecessary and get in the way of the enjoyment, I actually think they work nicely. The dark chocolate chunks (white and milk also available if you’re that way inclined) are large and generously distributed. Heat it in the oven for a few minutes and it’s even better.
Craving satisfied 80%
Type of cookie: Chocolate chip cookie
Location: Multiple locations – Pacific Place, The Avenue (Wan Chai) and Elements Mall
I didn’t have high hopes for this cookie, but it pleasantly surprised me. It’s a bit crunchier than others, with chewy parts within. The chocolate chunks are large and dark, just the way I like them, and it is not overly sweet. This cookie definitely hits the spot.
Craving satisfied 80%
Type of cookie: Double chocolate chip cookie
Location: Tai Wong Street East, Wan Chai
Everything Gregoire Michaud creates is pretty magical, and his cookie is no exception. Almost a cross between a brownie and a cookie, this has crispy outer edges and gooey, molten, deliciousness in the centre. The large chocolate chunks, which are liberally interspersed, remain soft and molten even hours after purchase. It’s sweet, but in the best way.
Craving satisfied 95%
Type of cookie: Salted chocolate cookie
Location: Peel Street
This is the most expensive out of all of the cookies I tried, but worth every cent and also much bigger than the others (with the exception of the huge yet dissatisfying M&S one). The dark chocolate chunks are the biggest I have come across and the sprinkle of salt nicely balances the sweetness, making this one incredibly wonderful cookie.
Craving satisfied 95%
Some say that whatever a mother craves during pregnancy results in her child being obsessed with that same food. I wouldn’t be surprised, therefore, if my child comes out as a bit of a cookie monster, and I wouldn’t have him any other way!
I hope this list helps you fulfil all your cookie cravings!