A Crumbly Mess: Starbucks holiday treat leaves little to be desired

Photo: Elevate staff

WITH THE HOLIDAY SEASON IN FULL SWING, there’s no shortage of festive food items available for those who want to buy some Christmas spirit. While many chains have milkshakes and other products in line with a typical fast-food diet, I wanted to try something a little more homey this year, something that would make me feel less like I was eating the usual garbage with peppermint added. The Starbucks Snowman Cookie fit the bill and, after a particularly cold day of school, I went to pick one up.

An ideal Christmas cookie should check two boxes: it should be decorative, fitting the aesthetic conventions associated with the season, and it should taste good in a sweet, childish way. The cookie I purchased from Starbucks mostly passed in terms of looks. It was cute. It was clearly a snowman, and the frosting was neat. Despite this, there was an off-putting rigidity about it that I guess should be expected from something made by a company as big as Starbucks. It would be hard to mistake it for something homemade, but the design is still charming and feels more personal than, say, a peppermint latte. When I bit into it, however, I was immediately aware that what I had purchased would never be fully satisfying. It was intensely dry, not quite hard enough to be called stale. There was no warmth to it and little in the way of flavor, either. Overall, it felt unnatural and stiff. 

It would be stupid to complain about a cookie from Starbucks for feeling exactly how food from a multi-national coffee corporation is supposed to feel. It’s fine. I think if you want to eat something with a smile on it, you should try it. And, if we’re comparing it to the kind of Christmas cookies you might make yourself, or the kind that someone close gives you, I think the Starbucks Snowman Cookie isn’t far off. You eat them because they look fun and it’s the thing you’re supposed to do over the holidays, not because they’re delicious. 

Maybe the Snowman Cookie didn’t taste fantastic, but doesn’t it feel nice to eat something that looks fun? Don’t you feel like you’re doing exactly what you’re supposed to be doing? ‘Tis the season.