The verdict is out: the best BJ’s pizookies

by Will Li (’23) and Kyle Nguyen (’23) | March 10, 2023

Photography by Kyle Nguyen (’23)

As you stroll into a BJ’s Restaurant & Brewhouse, a medley of scrumptious scents wafts from the kitchen—ribs, burgers, pasta, chicken wings, and other delectable delights that await you on the menu. But no matter how full you feel post-entrée, there’s always room for dessert—which, at BJ’s, means pizookies. A portmanteau of “pizza” and “cookie,” a pizookie is a soft, personal pizza-sized cookie, typically topped with scoops of vanilla or chocolate ice cream. 

The wide variety of pizookie flavors on the BJ’s menu begs the question of which ones are the best. Here at The Lancer, we tried to find an answer, becoming pizookie connoisseurs for an evening and testing all eleven flavors at our local BJ’s to see what was hot and what was not. Our observations and analyses are below. 

  1. Hot Fudge Brownie

With a solid, rich texture, the Hot Fudge Brownie pizookie lives up to its brownie namesake—the crisp and cakey crust makes it a delectable treat for brownie enjoyers. The taste is not too chocolatey but still packs enough of a punch to be savored. Its rich, fudgy essence makes it seem as though it were the love child between the Chocolate Chip and Cookies ‘n’ Cream pizookies. However, the crunch of the walnut pieces sprinkled on top feels unnecessary.

  1. Strawberry Shortcake

Like the cartoon, the taste of the Strawberry Shortcake pizookie sets the foundation to a light-hearted, sugary ambiance. But beware—the taste of the cake itself may be overwhelming. Still, with the balance of the actual strawberry slices, baked batter, and ice cream, the flavors are immaculate.

  1. Salted Caramel

The sharp caramel flavors reminded us of See’s Candy toffee and are perfect for those with a sweet tooth. Yet, for those who enjoy more neutral flavors, this may not be the treat for you—the sweetness tends to outshine the pizookie’s other flavors. 

  1. Monkey Bread

Unlike a traditional cookie, the monkey bread pizookie consists of thick puff pastry pieces. Aside from its unique appearance, this pizookie’s cinnamon flavors rival those of actual monkey bread. The airiness of the pastry complements the thickness of the ice cream, making each bite delectable and seemingly perfect. The best comparison to this treat would be a Cinnabon.

5. Cookies ‘n’ Cream

Muhammad Ali once said, “Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee.” The same goes for this pizookie. The thickness of the cookie and the smoothness of the cream and mousse on top complement each other very well. However, unlike Ali, it doesn’t pack much of a punch—it was hard to tell this pizookie was Cookies and Cream aside from its dark color. However, its delicious flavors outweigh this fainter taste.

6. Chocolate Chunk 

The first bite of this pizookie evokes childhood memories of chocolate chip cookies, whether from grandma’s house or the school cafeteria. The cute little chunks of stretchy and gooey chocolate are a notable highlight of this pizookie, as they not only cemented the childhood memories but also melted in our mouths. Yet, this pizookie tastes slightly salty, an awkward contrast to its other flavors.

7. Gluten-Free Chocolate Chip 

While the chocolate chip flavor is still present in this one, it feels fainter than that of the version with gluten, and the chocolate pieces are less gooey. It was easy for us to recognize that this pizookie was gluten-free, especially with the taste of Chocolate Chunk still lingering in our mouths. 

8. Triple Chocolate Made with Ghirardelli 

This pizookie smacks the tongue with a rich blend of several dark chocolate flavors, an ideal treat for chocolate fanatics but maybe not for all. The taste is oversaturated with intense chocolatey flavors and the chunks of dark chocolate are slightly too chunky, a poor integration within the soft pizookie texture. And while the textures of other pizookies resemble those of a cookie, this one’s clearly takes after a brownie’s.

9. White Chocolate Macadamia Nut 

Unlike raw macadamias nuts typically characterized by their hardness, the nuts in this pizookie are easy to chew and incorporated well its the soft texture. But contrary to its name, this pizookie features a taste too sweet to be paired well with that of macadamia nuts, typically more neutral in sweetness. And even with the excess sweetness, it is difficult to detect the taste of white chocolate.

10. Peanut Butter 

Peanut butter overpowers all other flavors in this pizookie. Texture-wise, it feels as though a few spoonfuls of pure peanut butter were slathered on a plate and baked—there is little to no resemblance to a cookie’s texture. The tiny peanut pieces scattered throughout this pizookie produce an unsettling, unnatural crunch when eaten. 

11. Sugar Cookie

Similar to Chocolate Chunk, the sugar cookie pizookie conjures up cherished childhood memories of another cookie: the snickerdoodle. And despite its name, this pizookie never runs into the issue of too much sweetness; the balance of flavors seems just right. However, the taste is too similar to that of the Strawberry Shortcake pizookie.

After careful contemplation, we produced a list of our favorites: 

  1. Monkey Bread
  2. Hot Fudge Brownie 
  3. Chocolate Chunk
  4. Strawberry Shortcake 

So there you have it—a comprehensive pizookie review, complete with taste descriptions, merits, demerits, and our favorite four. We hope our gustatory efforts have paid off in the form of your greater pizookie knowledge the next time you set foot in a BJ’s. And perhaps we might have inspired within you a spirit of alimentary exploration so that you might also embark on a journey through the depths of the pizookie realm.

Categories: Food

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