Effie's Homemade

This little company was the "it girl" of the FFS with their gourmet biscuit-cookie-cracker conglomerates, but we never really had a chance to check them out in further detail. It might have been because cookies were kind of the bitch of the show, really. When we needed to sample at least fifty new things each day, cookies were filling and high in calories and weighed us down, thus preventing us from getting a wider range of oddities in our gullets.

But this was definitely a massive oversight on my part, in not trying these earlier. When I got the samples, Effie's Oatcakes had already won the gold SOFI for best cookie, and her corncakes had won the silver SOFI for best cracker.

And let me tell you, these are cookies you want to talk about. Seriously, stop writing Facebook updates to your friends about ninjas and nudie pics of Dumbledore, I want you to get the word out about these cookies. Better yet, try them. They are excrutiatingly versatile and so. Damned. Good.What's especially neat about these is that they're versatile enough to serve as vehicles for savory toppings just as well as they perform on their own, or dunked in milk as a cookie. Starting with the oatcake, the ingredient list is spartan, but the overall result is stunning. The oatcakes are thin and crispy, and liberally sprinkled with oats. Upon the first taste, you are hit with an immediate note of sea salt, segueing smoothly into a buttery, rich, and even sweet flavor, without being too sugary and cloying. The texture is like shortbread, but even that comes off as a little rough and Wallace-esque. It's smoother, it's crumblier, it's better. There's an omnipresent nuttiness that I could see lending itself beautifully to the application of pumpkin cream cheese or a spicy chutney.

The intensity of this sea salt is what really throws these into another dimension of flavor. Really. I'd have thought too much would have been overwhelming, but it treads the balance between sweet and salty so damned well, and proves itself to be a very unique cookie. Cracker. Thing.The next cookie in the selection was the pecan nutcake. They are thinner and denser than the oatcakes, but still soften in a bit of liquid. The flavor is quite impressive, with a dark, rich, molasses infusion. The clover honey is ideal in this and makes it rich and sweet, but like the oatcake, diffuses the sweetness well so as not to bother the palate. The pecans were present in the form of little, finely ground pieces, but the moniker is a little misleading. The cake, made more with nutmeal than actual nuts, leads one to search for nuts when there aren't many.This is an issue I can overlook, though, because the flavor is so buttery and the dark caramelized flavor of the molasses with the salt is a treasure on its own.

The last cake is the most delicate and exquisite of this divine triad, eliciting such a reaction from your faithful scribe, dear readers, that Keepitcoming put them on the top shelf of the cupboard so that I could no longer reach them without my stepstool. These are incredible. We start with the texture, densely packed, condensed little pieces of cornmeal that crunch, each piece sweet and rough against the tongue. The scent is aromatic with the addition of anise, a staple in Italian Christmas cookies, and gives a gentle caress of licorice flavor, less of a candied taste than a spice, a fennel reminiscent, sweet flavor.The combination of these bright, rustic flavors creates a sophisticated and texturally ingenious cookie that I'd be proud to serve at any small party. These cookies also have the ability to soak up any liquid they're immersed in and still maintain their crunchy, crumbly texture. Cornmeal. Who'd have thought? I love these cookies. The six dollar price tag might dissuade some from making them a regular household staple, but for a special event or a party, spring for these. They will not disappoint.

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