For those with a sweet tooth and nocturnal disposition, I advise you to proceed with caution. Knowledge gained from this article may break your bank account.
In 2003, University of Pennsylvania student Seth Berkowitz began baking and delivering cookies around campus from his dorm room after identifying an opening in the market of late-night munchies: sweets. From there, a make-shift delivery service progressively evolved into a $500-million cookie franchise. Insomnia Cookies, open between 10 a.m. and 3 a.m. from Monday to Friday and between 12 p.m. and 3 a.m. on weekends, is perfectly designed for the erratic sleep schedules and insatiable appetites of college students — literally. Most of the company’s 155 stores line college campuses, where students time and time again fall prey to the temptation of convenient carbohydrates in the dark hours of the night. Last Sunday, I was one of those students.
Upon browsing Insomnia Cookies’ menu, I was floored by my options. With classic flavors, deluxe packages, ‘wiches, cookie cakes, ice cream and even chocolate milk, every sugary flavor and texture appears at your disposal. In fact, Insomnia Cookies offers a few options for those with dietary restrictions, including three vegan cookies — Vegan Chocolate Chunk, Vegan Double Chocolate Chunk, and Vegan Birthday Cake — the last of which was (spoiler alert) my favorite purchase. Pleased with the mere $3 delivery fee (INSANE), I waited patiently for the variety pack that I ordered for me and my roommates to sample.
After a brief knock on the front door 30 minutes later, everyone raced to the kitchen. The room-temperature box, however, provided a bit of disappointment — Insomnia Cookies has made piping-hot cookies the focal point of its advertising. These cookies could not even be described as warmish. Maybe this was just a fluke, but I could imagine many obstacles in maintaining temperature throughout transportation. Needless to say, when I went for a classic chocolate chip, I was not greeted with the gooey texture and melted chocolate that I had dreamed of. I quickly decided that the Chocolate Chunk was a bust — something one might receive as a complimentary item at a hotel buffet or diner. The Oatmeal Raisin and Sugar cookies were equally generic and twice as dry. The Snickerdoodle, however, represented a significant improvement with its playful, spicy-sugary notes. Likewise, the Double Chocolate Chunk offered a fairly unique flavor — a sort of ode to hot chocolate and fudge. Nevertheless, nothing compared to the Vegan Birthday Cake cookie. Although I am not typically a fan of birthday cake flavors or any excess of vanilla, this cookie greatly outshined the others. Easily the moistest and distinctive of the bunch, the Vegan Birthday Cake cookie balanced a buttery taste with one of childish sweetness. Its rainbow confetti and smooth outer coat also gave it an appealing look.
At any rate, I would recommend placing a delivery for Insomnia Cookies more for the experience than the actual product. Split a variety pack with a group of friends during a late night, but do not expect a homemade or small-town bakery taste. These are corporate cookies. Insomnia Cookies has not built a brand on the quality of its cookies — its appeal lies entirely in expediency.