The most popular grocery store cookies, ranked worst to best

It if were possible, we would probably eat fresh, homemade cookies every single day. But in reality, baking fresh cookies from scratch might happen a little less frequently. We're talking weekly, monthly, or once in a blue moon. But if you're not baking them at home, how's a cookie lover to get their fix? Thank goodness for grocery store varieties coming to the rescue.

But let's get one thing straight here. Some grocery store cookies are just simply better than others. There are some brands, whether they've been around for a century or they're new on the market, that just make bigger waves on the cookie aisle than others, and we're here to tell you all about them. 

While any type of cookie can be a good sugar-craving fix in a pinch, there are certainly some varieties that you might want to put on your grocery store list first. Some taste closer to a homemade version, some have less processed ingredients, and let's face it, some are just way more fun than others. Luckily, we did the heavy lifting for you and tried a slew of popular cookie varieties. These are the most popular grocery store cookies, ranked worst to best.

17. Golden Oreos

We might be starting this off with a controversial statement, but we're holding steady on Golden Oreos ranking far far away from the crown on this grocery store cookie list. Sure, some find that this Oreo flavor is ideal, and perhaps it has even been their favorite for years. But we're having a hard time figuring out why. Unless of course, they're meant for cookie eaters who don't want much flavor.

These little golden sandwich cookies debuted in 2004, offering up the simplest combination of flavors. Really, they just took the chocolate out of the Original Oreo and called it a new flavor. But why mess with a good thing?

Golden Oreos are a simple vanilla cookie with creme filling. And yes, certainly, maybe if the creme filling were flavored, this cookie would have the potential to be far more interesting. But just a combination of dull and plain? We're not that into it.

16. Nilla Wafers

Nilla Wafers have been hanging out on the grocery store cookie aisle shelves for over a century. They were developed in 1898 by Gustav A. Mayer, and then the recipe was sold to Nabisco.

The first release of Nilla Wafers was under the name Nabisco Vanilla Wafers, but the name finally changed and stuck in 1967, leaving us with the popular name we use today.

But has anyone ever actually eaten Nilla Wafers on their own? Sure, they're a quintessential topping for traditional banana pudding, and you might even use them to make a crust for a cheesecake. But can you sense the theme here of having to pair them with other flavors? Because snacking on these cookies on their own? Dry and boring. The first bite into one of these small cookies offers a slight crunch and a dry texture with a simple vanilla flavor. But can they even really be considered a cookie if you have to pair them with another dessert?

15. Nutter Butter

If you're a huge peanut butter fan, Nutter Butter cookies may be a staple on your snacking list. And certainly, if you're looking for a quick fix of peanut butter flavor, they can do the trick if you've run out of other options. But let's face it, these little sandwich cookies are pretty boring.

Nabisco debuted these little peanut butter cookies in 1969. And since then, the grocery store cookies have been offered in a variety of sizes and packages for any snacker. The Nutter Butter cookie itself is dry and dull, but luckily, the peanut butter filling adds a touch of flavor. And those shapes certainly have always been fun. But is it worth it for all of the processed ingredients included in these cookies? With high fructose corn syrup and partially hydrogenated soybean oil, there's plenty of ingredients that don't exactly evoke the same feeling as home-baked cookies. Oh, and don't forget the inclusion of vanillin, an flavor.

14. Famous Amos Chocolate Chip Cookies

If you want an okay-ish cookie, then Famous Amos Chocolate Chip Cookies is probably a decent bet for you. They're not bad, but they're certainly not anything to write home about.

The good thing about Famous Amos cookies is that they're wildly portable, coming in a variety of sizes. Most often, we're used to seeing the small pouches of these little cookies, and they'll definitely curb a sweet craving in a pinch. These little bite-sized cookies have been around for quite a while, as the company was founded by Wally Amos in 1975. But maybe over time, the great concept of these little cookies just began to get stale.

Famous Amos cookies are definitely on the crunchier side of the spectrum on the grocery store cookie aisle, but they honestly might be too crunchy. A little crisp in a cookie can be great, but biting into a stale, crumbly cookie with a few chocolate chips thrown in just isn't that incredible.

13. Strawberry Newtons

How many people actually head to the grocery store cookie aisle as adults and choose Fig Newtons? Certainly, these little soft-baked cookies made an appearance during our childhood — but was it only so we could pretend we were eating a healthy cookie?

Fig Newtons were invented in 1891, with their chewy, gooey fig filling. In the 1980s other flavors began to pop up like apple cinnamon and strawberry, while still keeping the original fig flavor. But by 2012, the word "fig" was dropped from the line of cookies altogether, leaving each fruit-inspired treat with just the "Newton" in its name. 

These cookies are soft and chewy, but overall, the flavor is pretty dull. Unfortunately, the actual baked square doesn't hold much flavor, so we're left to rely on the sticky strawberry filling. But with such a minimal ratio of filling to cookie, taking a bite has us wishing for more.

12. Lotus Biscoff Cookies

Ah, Biscoff Cookies — one of the most popular airplane snacks.

Biscoff Cookies have long been served on Delta flights (in addition to being a grocery store cookie), serving as the perfect little in-flight pick-me-up. Right off the bat, the cookies were served with coffee, providing a lovely, relaxing pairing. And often, people don't consume these little biscuit cookies any other time. But truly, these things are good, and keeping them around the house certainly won't disappoint.

The original recipe for Biscoff Cookies was developed in 1932, and they continue to be baked in Belgium. They contain all-natural ingredients, without any trans fats or preservatives, and they're even vegan. But if you don't like a cookie with a powerful crunch, this definitely isn't the cookie for you. The deep, caramel flavor with a hint of spice is incredible, but the texture can definitely be off-putting. Unless, of course, you have a nice warm cup of coffee or a glass of milk to dip them in. 

11. Keebler Fudge Stripes

Keebler's Fudge Stripes cookies are definitely one of those pantry staple grocery store cookies that have been around a long time. And we really mean a long time. The first Keebler cookie debuted in 1853, and since then, the company has continued to make a name for itself.

We could say we owe it all to the cute little elves for making these cookies, but we know there must be a few hard-working employees behind them as well. And while we'd love to thank them for how amazing these cookies are, we just wish there was a little more to them.

The cookie starts with a simple, crunchy sugar cookie base. Then, they're striped with Keebler's real fudge. And while the fudge is certainly the best part of the cookie, adding a layer of sweetness, we just wish the base had a bit more flavor to up the ante.

10. Walkers Shortbread

We know, shortbread may only seem like a cookie that makes its big debut around Christmas, but hear us out. Walkers Shortbread is well worth the wait until the holidays (if you have to). But it's just as good at any other time of the year.

Walkers Shortbread has been around since 1898. The founder, Joseph Walker, was 21 at the time. But despite his young age, Walker was on a mission to make the best shortbread in the world from the very beginning. And really, the cookies that Walker came up with are ridiculously good.

Shortbread is a very traditional Scottish treat, combining only a few ingredients to make a delicious cookie. It's an incredibly simple recipe, and it's all about the ratios when it comes to making great shortbread. This cookie has the tiniest crunch, leading to a soft center and a super buttery flavor. You should definitely look for some in the grocery store cookie aisle.

9. Mother's Circus Animal Cookies

Did you manage to get through childhood without a handful of Mother's Circus Animal Cookies? Nope, we didn't either. Yes, we're talking about the package with the bright pink-and-white circus vibe. And what you found inside were the pink and white frosted animal cookies with rainbow sprinkles that immediately put a smile on your face. Yep, those are the ones.

Mother's Cookies launched in Oakland, California, in 1914. The brand had great success over the years, until 2006, when the company had to close its California operations and move production to Canada and Ohio. By 2008 the company had completely shut down, but luckily, the brand was revived in 2009. And with that meant Mother's Circus Animal Cookies were back.

These animal-shaped sugar cookies are dipped in frosting, providing a bit of a crunch. But with the crunch paired with the melt-in-your-mouth frosting, eating these fun and happy cookies becomes a whole experience.

8. Chips Ahoy! Chewy

Let's face it, there are few things better than fresh, warm chocolate chip cookies. And part of that love for fresh cookies is the fact that they come out of the oven soft.

That same texture is pretty difficult to capture in a store-bought cookie, which is probably why so many crunchier cookie brands rose in popularity first. But once Chips Ahoy had its first soft-baked cookie recipe out there in grocery store cookie aisles, it was time for the big leagues.

Chips Ahoy! Chewy debuted in 1983, and we are so glad they did. These cookies are the perfect little bite of chewy cookie with chocolate chips. However, they certainly don't get the top spot for a reason. While the texture is great, these cookies actually taste like they're full of processed ingredients. And they are. With partially hydrogenated oil, high fructose corn syrup, and caramel color in the ingredients, these are definitely not what mom used to make. 

7. Keebler Coconut Dreams

Keebler's Coconut Dreams cookies are literally just that: a dream come true. This is one of the cookie options you can grab off the grocery store cookie shelf when you have a craving for Girl Scout Cookies. While most people eat Thin Mints by the sleeve, Samoas are maybe the next best in the line-up, and this cookie captures the flavors of those magical treats perfectly. And coincidentally enough, Keebler actually knows a thing or two about baking Girl Scout Cookies, as some of the organization's popular cookies are baked at Little Brownie Bakers, which is a subsidiary of Keebler.

The cookie itself is a sugar cookie base coated in caramel and toasted coconut and then topped with a drizzle of fudge. Biting into this cookie, you get a bit of a crunch from the hard sugar cookie base, but it leads you on a delicious journey of flavors. Sure, it might be a copycat of the coveted Samoa cookie you can only get at certain times of the year, but it's a darn good one.

6. Mint Chocolate Milano

Doesn't the thought of eating Milano cookies immediately make you feel fancy? Even just saying the word "Milano" sounds extravagant. Well, let us let you in on a little secret. That's all intentional.

Margaret Rudkin is responsible for starting Pepperidge Farm, the company that makes the Milano cookies you'll find in your grocery store cookie aisle, along with a slew of other cookies, crackers, and bread products. But when it comes to the recipe for Milano cookies, it may have never been hers to begin with. On a European tasting tour, Ruskin discovered the perfect cookie in Brussels at a plant called Delacre. The cookie company wasn't selling its products in the United States at the time, and Rudkin managed to convince them to license her the recipe so she could produce the perfect delicate cookie in America.

Of course, Milano cookies come in a variety of flavors, but there's one clear winner when it comes to the balance of flavors. Mint Chocolate Milano cookies are seriously refreshing, with real peppermint oil in the recipe and the perfect amount of chocolate. 

5. Tate's Chocolate Chip Cookies

Tate's Cookies came about in grocery store cookie aisles in 2000, thanks to company founder Kathleen King. But King had been baking for roadside stand sales since she was a kid. She graduated from baking at home to renting her first bakery at age 21, and even through a business failure and plenty of sticks of butter, King persevered and started Tate's Bake Shop. 

Considering how good these cookies are, we sure are glad King held strong and never gave up on her dream of opening a bakery. Tate's Chocolate Chip Cookies are perhaps the most recognized cookies the brand carries. These cookies offer the perfect balance of buttery, caramel flavor, with a thin crisp for texture. They're such a unique cookie and could make even the most die-hard soft cookie lover fall in love. And of course, there are plenty of chocolate chips in every bite, making them that much better. Rachael Ray even ranked Tate's as her favorite chocolate chip cookies in 2016.

4. Original Oreos

There's no way we could complete a list of grocery store cookies without including Oreos. After all, they're one of the oldest grocery store cookies on the market. And really, forever one of the best.

Oreos were first produced in 1912, and since then, the number of flavor options debuted has been astonishing. And with all of the innovation Oreo has continued to put forth over the years, they've become the best-selling cookie in the world. And it's definitely not hard to understand why.

But despite all of the many Oreo flavors available, there's still something so perfect about the Original Oreo, with its ideal ratio of crunchy, chocolate cookie with creme filling. It's the perfect cookie for dipping in milk, including in desserts such as cookies and creme cheesecake or ice cream, or simply eating a whole sleeve on its own. With so much versatility, what more could you ask for? 

3. Grandma's Peanut Butter Cookies

There's just something so special about a vending machine. The convenience of snacks right at your fingertips, in a hotel, at a hospital, or even on the school grounds? It's a beautiful concept.

Grandma's Cookies seem to always be one of the options in vending machines and at grocery store cookie aisles. And the company certainly been around for years. Grandma's Cookies first launched in Portland, Oregon, in 1914. As the company continued to grow, Frito-Lay Inc. took note, and eventually, the food and beverage giant bought the brand in 1980 and began distributing Grandma's Cookies far and wide by 1983.

There are other flavors of Grandma's Cookies, but for the purpose of this list, the peanut butter cookie is standing strong at the top. These giant cookies come two to a pack, and they're the perfect indulgent snack. The soft cookie provides such great texture, balanced with a sweet and bold peanut butter flavor, that's coming from, yes, actual peanuts in the recipe.

2. Peanut Butter Oreos

Certainly, Oreos have had their genius recipe down pat for years. After all, the Original Oreo is one of the most quintessential grocery store cookies out there. But when the company threw Peanut Butter Oreos into the mix, all bets were off. These cookies are the perfect balance of crunchy, chocolatey cookie paired with smooth peanut butter creme filling. And yes, Oreo actually lists real peanut butter in the ingredients on the label, so we can all feel good about that. 

The reason these cookies are so delicious could all be due to the actual science behind humans loving the combo of peanut butter and chocolate. We're all pretty much wired to love contrasting sensory experiences. When a food has contrasting textures, like with a crunchy cookie and a smooth filling, it creates a whole experience. Plus, utilizing a different sense, peanut butter Oreos are the ideal balance of sweet and salty.

1. Lofthouse Frosted Sugar Cookies

We know, this ranking will certainly come with some debate. Really, these bright pink, yellow, and sometimes blue sugar cookies have been argued over for years. There's the category of people who think they're absolutely disgusting, and then there's those who could, quite literally, eat the entire container in one sitting. We're definitely in the latter category. Oops.

Lofthouse Sugar Cookies are the dreams that school parties are made of. Countless school functions have put these delicious treats front and center for assemblies, class celebrations, holiday gatherings, and more. They're made and sold by TreeHouse Foods, which has facilities all over the U.S. and Canada.

What makes these sugar cookies so special is, of course, their soft and fluffy texture, as opposed to a typical flat and gooey cookie. And the frosting — who wouldn't want a brightly colored cookie decked out in sprinkles? It's the perfect ratio of cookie to frosting, and the colorful sprinkles make them that much better. You can't miss these in the grocery store cookie aisle.