BJ's Pizookie Flavors Ranked Worst To Best

No one would have suspected a time-honored treat like the humble cookie needed an innovative boost until BJ's Brewhouse introduced the Pizookie. Suddenly, cookies were hot — literally — meaning they were served before the baked dough had a chance to solidify, with a scoop of ice cream and a spray of whipped topping gracing the whole glorious creation. Everyone who discovered these gorgeous morsels fell under their sway. Arizona pizza chain Oregano's even served up a comparable confection that it called a pizza cookie, but BJ's put a legal lockdown on the pizza-cookie combo name.

With special occasion flavors like the Valentine's Day Red Velvet Pizookie and the Sweet Apple Cinnamon for fall, BJ's keeps the menu hopping, offering a flight-style sampler plate that lets diners choose three different flavors to indulge in. But which ones are the best of the best?

Aside from the limited-time-only Confetti, we tried the whole collection to determine the Pizookie pecking order. With creations so devious, we knew it wouldn't be easy to get things squared away. After a few rounds of tasting, however, we formed a ranking that puts every selection in its proper place.

11. White Chocolate Macadamia Nut

The extreme sweetness of White Chocolate Macadamia Nut is surprising, with a flavor that pairs the tropical creaminess of macadamia nuts with the unassuming candy notes of white chocolate. That all comes in a buttery cookie that is baked golden brown around the edges. There are no spices or seasonings to clutter the purity of what should be highly complementary tastes, which is both a baked blessing and a confectionary curse. Where a bit of sizzle from spices like cinnamon or nutmeg would help differentiate the similar flavors, there's not a sprinkle to be found.

At first bite, the brown butter-toffee goodness of the cookie comes through, leaving room for a taste of white chocolate and a bit of crunch from the macadamia nuts. With bite number two, the flavors merge harmonically. But by bite number three, it all starts to taste the same. By the time you're halfway through, you're just eating sweetness. It takes a huge slow-down and a few sips of something plain and unflavored in between bites just to keep pace. You'll be happy to share this one.

10. Peanut Butter

Anyone who loves a less-than-sticky version of old-fashioned peanut butter cookies will be all-in on Peanut Butter Pizookie. Though the peanut butter flavor is out in full force, the texture is a bit tougher than the rest of its cookie cohort. This isn't necessarily a checkmark in the cons column, but it is something that we weren't aware of before we took our first bite (though the lack of glossiness should have clued us in). If we were wiser eaters, we would have tasted with our eyes before our tongues. But the smell of warm peanut butter cookies was overpowering, and we're nothing if not faithful to our appetite for traditional delights.

The good news is that there's no melted chocolate to interfere with the lovely peanut simplicity present in every bite. The bad news is that the lack of moisture makes those bites a bit challenging to swallow. The inclusion of whole peanuts is an artful touch that makes a crunchy impact, which we found preferable to a sweeter add-in that might detract from the peanut purity. This is one Pizookie where ice cream and whipped topping would serve more than just looks.

9. Sugar Cookie

Sometimes sweet and simple is the best way to go when the dessert cart comes around. With its Sugar Cookie, the Pizookie gets a successful make-under that strips back the razzle-dazzle of fancier flavors and presents a straightforward treat that aims to please. Not needing a bunch of magical mix-ins to entertain a hungry crowd is a rare trick in the dessert industry these days. This modest recipe gets bonus points for not putting on airs or trying to be anything more than what it is.

It may not do much, but what Sugar Cookie Pizookie does, it does exceedingly well. The warm dough under the tender crust is like a fluffy batter that wears its buttery heart on its sleeve. Vanilla wafts out in a steamy cloud to draw you in and ... that's it. Its golden goodness is limited to a double flavor blend, but it's an exceptional take on a sort of cookie that usually sees its uncomplicated nature mowed over by frosting. If you're in the mood for something soothing but not too showy, you'll be in good company with this sugary sweetheart at your table.

8. Salted Caramel

Jumping on the sweet and salty bandwagon, the Salted Caramel Pizookie slathers slick caramel sauce atop a toffee-caramel cookie that's loaded with pieces of pretzel and dark chocolate chips. It's easy to dismiss the combination as a messy mélange that tastes like too many things all at once, but the fun of finding each on its own makes this dazzling delight something of a treasure hunt. Sharing one with friends invites comparisons of who got what in each bite and who might be looking for something else with the next go.

With so much happening on the plate, it's easy to lose track of the salted elements, which we presume are in the cookie since they weren't visibly sprinkled on top. Even so, the busy Salted Caramel casts a charmed spell that's hard to resist. The caramel is several steps beyond basic ice cream topping, making it more substantial as it slowly sinks into the warm dough. By the end of this dessert, there's a swirl of incredibly inviting flavor on the dish that feels far more sophisticated than gloppy mush should. If you can tolerate a lot, it works well enough from the first bite to the last

7. Gluten-Free Chocolate Chip

Now this is how you do a gooey Pizookie! Served warm, the Gluten-Free Chocolate Chip version is the softest and sloppiest bake of the bunch, which is mostly a good thing that recalls eating barely-done Toll House cookies fresh from the oven when you were too eager to wait for them to cool. That sort of childlike wonder is waiting on the plate, with soft dough and chocolate chips that don't resist a spoon. Perhaps the lack of gluten here prevents the dough from toughening up too much. Whatever the trick is, this one comes through with flying flavors.

It is a bit plain, however. Even forgoing the toppings for this taste test, we could see where this Pizookie is deserving of ice cream and whipped topping to dress it up a little more. But getting to try it in its purest form showed us that an unadorned chocolate chip cookie served warm is a dessert treat that shouldn't move to the back of the bakery, no matter how many more flashy sweets there are on the menu.

6. Monkey Bread

The only Pizookie that takes a form other than a cookie, Monkey Bread keeps true to its namesake form with dough orbs fused with caramelized brown sugar, butter, and cinnamon. This decadent pull-apart goes out on a limb, giving each diner at the table the chance to break off a piece and dip it into the caramel swirl at the bottom of the pan.

But no nuts on top or bottom or anywhere throughout? No chewy chunks or crunchy bits to break up the doughy dilemma we found ourselves in? Other forms of monkey bread often gives pecans a chance to shine, especially with such a sticky situation for Pizookie diners to spoon through. Something al dente that doesn't melt under heat could shake up the order of the list and move Monkey Bread much closer to the top. Alas, this monkey isn't mischievous enough and just can't muster up the moxie to rise any higher. Halfway will have to do.

5. Chocolate Chunk

The most recognizable of the Pizookie parade, Chocolate Chunk is an old-fashioned favorite that puts the heat on a classic chocolate chip cookie studded with oversized morsels. Served while everything is still melting into delicious oblivion, it's a perfectly fine dessert experience that can best be described as a handshake instead of a hug. It's not going to disappoint you, but it also isn't going to dazzle you. And isn't that why you're ordering a Pizookie in the first place?

There's absolutely nothing wrong with this sure and stable sweet, and what it offers is a fantastic take on a cookie everyone knows and loves. But it also doesn't take any risks. Maybe you'll want to order a Chocolate Chunk out of all the other dynamic options on the menu, but only if the others give your eyes too much to digest and you don't want to take a chance on something more exciting. A little chocolate sauce and some sprinkles would go a long way toward improving this, but that's not how it arrives at your table.

4. Triple Chocolate

If you're going to have a triple-play on your dessert plate, there's no better player to call up than chocolate. The wise creators of the Triple Chocolate Pizookie know this, and so they make the most of this power trio. The three Cs come in the form of chocolate dough, Ghirardelli chips, and tiny chocolate kisses. These microscopic munchies were the talk of the table, given that they were by far the smallest and most adorable version of chocolate chips we've ever seen. That alone puts this Pizookie in the top half of our ranking.

Then, there's the flavor. Talk about a cocoa-fueled powerhouse! The chocolate-on-chocolate-on-chocolate turned out to be a blend of textures and flavors that kept the festivities rocking like a rollercoaster, rather than bringing it to a too-sweet halt midway through the ride. BJ's wisely makes the cookie somewhat bittersweet to avoid overwhelming diners with too much sugar. This lets the other forms of chocolate bounce in and out of the scene. Just when you think you've finished all the tiny chocolate chips, BAM — you get another hit that makes you smile and throw your hands up in the air.

3. Hot Fudge Brownie

For fans of super gooey chocolate treats, BJ's brings the Hot Fudge Brownie Pizookie. With its rich sauce, toasted pecans worn like jewels, and a perfect maraschino cherry riding along for the fun of it, this exciting variation on a brownie sundae takes the cake. It brings to mind childhood birthday parties at ice cream parlors where an off-key chorus of waitstaff sings to the guest of honor. Who knew there could be so much nostalgia in a hot cookie?

Even in its more unadorned form, it was easy to see that both whipped topping and ice cream would bring that image to a crescendo. The cookie is actually a brownie, which means chewy middles and crisp edges all around, perfect for a table looking to share the joy. The toasted pecans were even candied, adding a nutty sweetness that shone through the double-chocolate showstopper. Bring a few friends when you order this one so you can turn the dessert course into a full-blown celebration. Balloon bouquets and circus clowns are entirely optional, but not a bad idea.

2. Cookies N Cream

The name Cookies N Cream suggests bits of Oreos embedded in the batter, like an "Inception" scenario but with baked goods instead of Leonardo DiCaprio's brain. What appeared instead was a chocolate cookie with a dollop of buttercream featuring cookie crumbles swirled throughout. This odd interpretation put us on high alert at first, but after the first bite, we were convinced that we had a clever recreation of the classic sandwich cookie. It's an inside-out cream-and-cookie creation that makes the filling the main event without losing sight of its chocolate co-star.

The flavors here are spot-on. As the buttercream slowly softens and melts across the top of the cookie, the real magic takes over. Instead of having to pull chocolate cookies apart to get to the creamy middle, you get the cream front and center, with a bite of dark chocolate dough riding shotgun. Finally, the real power player gets a chance to shine, without forgetting the chocolate compadre who brought them to the big dance. If you're a kook for cookies and cream, your new favorite goodie has arrived.

1. Strawberry Shortcake

With so many chocolate options on the menu, it may be surprising to learn that Strawberry Shortcake ends up at the top of the heap. But when the warm sugar cookie base of this treat is soaked in the bright strawberry sauce, the comfort of familiar flavors with such delicious contrast comes shining through. Not only did this Pizookie taste better and better as the sauce sank below the surface, but our excitement at taking another bite grew, too. The experience was like discovering a taste you've known about forever but abandoned in favor of flashier fare. You wonder how you were so easily swayed, and you vow to never be that foolish again. Yeah ... it's that good.

Maybe this one is such a stand-out because of all the zealous flair of the other flavors on the list. They're all fantastic in their way, but Strawberry Shortcake is amazing without putting on airs. It's both a throwback to a familiar favorite and a leap forward where presentation is as prized as the treat itself. It's a strawberry short-cookie that gives warm feelings without trying too hard to impress, which makes it the most impressive Pizookie of them all.