Summer reissue: We fought when she ranked the chips. We bickered when she ranked the lollies. And now, Madeleine Chapman returns to bring the nation together as one, with this, her longest list yet, an unimpeachable ranking of the biscuits.
First published April 26 2020
In a world without restaurants, cafes and bakeries, all that remains for supper is biscuits. And oh so many. Arguably too many.
This had to be done. To mention some biscuits and not others would simply be an attempt to hide our biscuit privilege. Because we do have biscuit privilege. You probably thought there were a handful of good biscuits at the supermarket but you’ll soon see that there are respectable choices well into the 60s on this list.
Perhaps in 2019 we would have been fooled into accepting a top 10 list, or even a top 20. Not in this climate. In times of crises, every biscuit counts.
But before we can count them, some ground rules.
A Cookie Time is a one-off snack. They’re made and sold as a single item, to be eaten alone. They are not a biscuit, as I believe a biscuit is something you would eat more than one of in a sitting.
Girl Guide Biscuits
Girl Guide biscuits aren’t available at supermarkets year-round (they certainly weren’t there this month) and therefore don’t make the list. Rest assured, if they were available all the time, they would rank highly.
Every novelty flavour
No, you will not find some weird, cursed, orange-flavoured Tim Tam on this list.
142-141. Milk Arrowroot (Arnott’s), Milk Arrowroot (Griffin’s)
Here’s a fun lockdown crafts activity. Cut out a piece of cardboard in the shape of an oval. Congratulations, you just baked an Arrowroot biscuit.
140. Belvita (The Sahara)
Like going for a walk through the desert, but the desert’s in your mouth.
139. Fernz Caramelised White Chocolate Biscuits (Griffin’s)
When searching for biscuits in the New World online shop and sorting by popularity, lowest to highest, this abomination was the first result.
138. Rugby-shaped cookies (The devil, probably)
Where did these even come from? I thought they were a Rugby World Cup thing that stuck around while they tried to get rid of stock but the world cup was so long ago. Rugby is but a faint memory in our collective conscience and yet these gross biscuits refuse to die. The chunky black packaging is a stain on an otherwise beautiful biscuit aisle.
137. Rice Cookie (Arnott’s)
What are these? Seriously I’ve never seen them before and everything about them sounds yuck.
136. Bran Biscuits (Arnott’s)
135-117. Super Tea (Countdown), Cranberry White Choc (Countdown), Peanut Brownie (Countdown), Choc Fudge (Countdown), Fruit and Oat (Countdown), Choc Chip Cookies (Countdown), Shortbread (Countdown), Choccy Wheats (Countdown), Choccy Mints (Countdown), Choccy Caramels (Countdown), Choccy Fingers (Countdown), Mallow Wheels (Countdown), Thins (Countdown), Rocky Road (Countdown), Chocolate Sandwich (Pams), Chocolate Mint Slice (Pams), Chocolate Caramel Treat (Pams), Chocolate Rocky Road (Pams), Milk Chocolate Digestives (Pams)
As much as I love a bargain and love an underdog, the Countdown and Pams basic ranges are all bad rip-offs of the real deal. There are a few exceptions, which you’ll see further down the list, but as a rule of thumb, go for the name brand on special and it’s the same price, only infinitely better.
116. Malt (Griffin’s)
Not all named brand biscuits are good. Griffin’s malt? Cardboard Arrowroot but make it brown.
115. Malt O’Milk (Arnott’s)
The Arnott’s with the plain white packaging has a lot of similar but good biscuits. This one, though, is entirely dispensable.
114-112. Fruit Digestives (Griffin’s), Wheat Digestives (Griffin’s), Digestives Milk (Griffin’s)
Just as I have no business wearing dresses with thin straps, Griffin’s has no business making digestives.
111. Afghans (Griffin’s)
A double felony has been committed. First crime: taking the name of a beloved biscuit and then not being anything like it. Second crime: being bad.
110. Vanilla Wafers (Countdown)
These are Countdown brand, wafers (notoriously maligned), and vanilla (literally used as an insult against boring people). Join the dots.
109. Choccy Chip (Countdown)
The only reason these are here-
108. Scotch Fingers (Countdown)
Is because I felt bad about-
107. Malt Biscuits (Countdown)
Putting them all in that group at the start. It’s like every Countdown brand biscuit is actually made from exactly the same stuff and just painted to look like different flavours. What a waste! Just pool your money and make one good biscuit! Ideas like this are why I will never be rich.
106-102. Ginger Ninja (I Love Baking), Gingernuts (Countdown), Finest Ginger Chunk (Pams), Gingernut (Baker Boys) , Ginger Nut (Arnott’s)
Unless you come in green packaging, take your ginger and your nuts and get the hell out.
101. Tim Tam White Chocolate (Arnott’s)
Tim Tams are one of the greats. Great enough to not need a white chocolate version.
100. Every single Chanui flavour
I had such high hopes. The packaging was a bit different and the famous buzzy tea ads had me expecting the unexpected. In this case, the unexpected was to eat a biscuit that tasted like it was comically large (you know how all massive foods taste crap) except it was tiny.
99. Dundee (Griffin’s)
What is there to say about the Dundee?
98-97. Wheaten Dark (Griffin’s), Wheaten Milk (Griffin’s)
Wheaten? More like weaken. Is that a joke? Regardless, they are a thicker, worse version of a digestive. Anyone eating wheatens has simply never seen a digestive before. Or a thin.
96. Marie (Arnott’s)
When Vanilla Wines exist, why do these?
95. Super Wine (Griffin’s)
I’ll be the first to say that super wine biscuits are good. And many would argue that they’re better than vanilla wines. But the time for arguing is later. The time for placing super wines insultingly low on a biscuit ranking is now.
94. MallowPuff Double Chocolate (Griffin’s)
This placing is for all the times I got a headache after trying to smash one of these rocks on my forehead.
93. Oaty Sultana (Baker Boys)
Once again I have committed to something foolishly. I didn’t realise there’d be more biscuit options than chip options.
92. Raspberry Tartlets (Countdown)
“There’ll be like 50,” I mumbled last week. Not the first time I’ve lied to myself.
91. Hundreds and Thousands (Countdown)
There are some biscuits that every brand has tried (choc chip, digestive) and some that are originals (Squiggles, Oreos). Hundreds and thousands should be an original.
90. Butter Shortbread (Griffin’s)
Shortbread. Somehow both underrated and extremely meh at the same time. Griffin’s doesn’t do it that well.
89. Mānuka Honey Muesli (I Love Baking)
Go back to where you came from, the cereal aisle.
88. Shortbread (Baker Boys)
How’s everyone’s lockdown going? I watched seven seasons of Nurse Jackie in seven days. Make of that what you will.
87. Rainbow Choc Magic (I Love Baking)
These are pretty good but they’re so expensive. Five bucks for 180g? Big oof.
86. Tim Tam Classic Dark (Arnott’s)
Dark chocolate is for the sophisticated, apparently. Well, these rankings have never promised to be sophisticated. Truly dark chocolate belongs in a block and maybe a chunky choc chip cookie. Not a Tim Tam.
85. Sultana Pasties (Griffin’s)
Chocolate biscuits? Absolutely. Fruit biscuits? Yeah sure. Chocolate fruit biscuits? Get in the bin.
84. Pull O’Fruit (Arnott’s), Golden Fruit (Griffin’s)
Just so, so chewy. And so, so thin.
83. Melting Moments (Griffin’s)
Did anyone else not notice until now that both Griffin’s and Arnott’s have apostrophes in their names?
82. Belgian (Griffin’s)
Who is Griffin? Who is Arnott?
81. Custard Cream (Arnott’s)
Whomst named their kid Arnott.
80. Chocolate Wafers (Countdown)
There’s a shocking lack of “brand name” wafers at the supermarket. Like wafers have been patented by the budget brands and they only let it out for the Sampler box. Which is how the understudy chocolate wafer isn’t right at the bottom of this list. Sometimes you want a wafer and that means you have to buy a nearly tasteless, budget version of one and pretend to like it.
79. Chocolate Chip (Baker Boys)
Everyone has a standard chocolate chip cookie and to be honest, there’s no clear winner. This one is fine, as are most of these biscuits here in the middle. But it’s a ranking so on we march.
78. Apricot and Pistachio (Edmonds)
Again, these are Edmonds so you know they’ll probably be good but you’ll never find out because no one’s coughing up five bucks for a probably.
77. Shortbread Cream (Arnott’s)
Look, I don’t know what to say about this. It’s shortbread.
76. White Choc (Farmbake)
Did they change the Farmbake formula? I swear they didn’t used to be this grainy.
75-73. Choc Creams (Countdown), Coconut Creams (Countdown), Custard Creams (Countdown)
WHY ARE THERE SO MANY COUNTDOWN FLAVOURS??? WHO IS BUYING A COUNTDOWN BRAND CUSTARD CREAM???
72. Coconut Choc Chunk (I Love Baking)
If you’re mad that I Love Baking biscuits aren’t right at the top I have one thing to say to you…
71. Munchy Choc Chip (I Love Baking)
Please send $5 (or more) to Madeleine Chapman c/- The Spinoff, 14 McDonald St, Morningside, Auckland 1025. If you have enough money to buy these biscuits so regularly that you’re outraged on their behalf, you have enough to give me $5. Thanks in advance.
70. Crunchy Oat and Fruit (Farmbake)
Did anyone else think lockdown would make them reassess their work habits? It’s 1.04am and I’m writing about crunchy oat and fruit biscuits.
69. Choc Chip Cookies (Ernest Adams)
Is Ernest Adams better than Farmbake? On a general level? I rarely purchase either and my purchasing of them for this list hasn’t changed that.
68. Scotch Finger (Arnott’s)
You’ll feel mature eating this but it’s honestly not worth it. Get the chocolate scotch finger instead, you know you want to.
67. Butter Shortbread (Ernest Adams)
Too many shortbread options. Just one is enough, thanks.
66-65. Finest Dark Chocolate Peanut (Pams), Finest Salted Caramel and Almond (Pams)
I’m allergic to both peanuts and almonds so I didn’t eat these. But the Finest range from Pams is surprisingly good so I’ll confidently place them here as I’m sure they’re… fine.
64. Chocolate Fingers Gingernut (Griffin’s)
I’m morally opposed to novelty flavours but given this is a simple mix of two classics, I’ll let it go. They’re good but the whole is definitely less than the sum of its parts.
63. Shrewsbury (Griffin’s)
Hugely overrated. This is a child’s biscuit and unless you are eating the leftovers from someone’s 5th birthday party, eat something else.
62. Toffee Pops Double Choc (Griffin’s)
Double the chocolate is always a good idea when baking stock standard cookies at home. Unfortunately the same can’t be said for making Toffee Pops.
61. Hob Nobs (McVities)
Hob Nobs Shlob Nobs.
60. Choc Fudge (Farmbake)
This biscuit shouldn’t work (choc fudge? Just eat a brownie) but it kinda does.
59. Anzac (Baker Boys)
This list is also acting as a nationwide social experiment. Would a country in lockdown, attempting to stamp out a global virus, still get mad about a list of foods?
58. Golden Crunch (Farmbake)
Is this an essential service?
57. Digestives Dark (McVities)
What is an essential service? It’s week four of lockdown and I still don’t know.
56. Caramelised White Choc Chunk (I Love Baking)
Appreciate the ambitious flavour pairing here above anything else.
55. MallowPuffs Original (Griffin’s)
You read that right. What’s the big deal with MallowPuffs? I’ll accept that they were fun to eat as a kid. Smash them on your forehead, make a piece of impressionist art, then eat it piece by piece. But you can’t and shouldn’t do that as an adult, which means biting straight into it with no preamble. That’s like biting into a KitKat without breaking it first. Illegal and cursed.
54. Digestives Fruit (Arnott’s)
Digestives are one of my favourite biscuits and I would happily eat these fruit ones if they were out on the table. I would also not notice for 12 years if they disappeared entirely.
53. Iced Animals (Arnott’s)
Iced animals are a great snack. They ultimately taste like nothing and don’t even have a great texture, yet they’re so popular. I think the shape and small size fools us. If they sold iced animals as regular-sized round biscuits, would you buy them? I wouldn’t.
52. Choc Centre (Cadbury)
As much as I avoid buying Cadbury chocolate, I can’t help but like their biscuit range. When Whittaker’s eventually brings out a biscuit range, I’ll reconsider.
51. Choco-ade (Griffin’s)
This was one of those things that everyone thought was great only because it wasn’t around, and then they brought it back and everyone was reminded how average it’s always been.
50. Freddos (Cadbury)
I’m surprised there aren’t more biscuits that are just a literal piece of chocolate with a bit of plain biscuit stuck to it. Zero effort, faultless concept. Apparently Pams has something like this but I couldn’t find them at New World SORRY.
49. Triple Chocolate (Ernest Adams)
Plain cookie with three types of chocolate. It’s an open lay-up.
48. Amo Shortbread (Arnott’s)
*DJ Khaled voice*
47. Triple Chocolate Mocha (Edmonds)
See above, but fancy.
46. Chocolate Chip (Griffin’s)
The classic choc chip. There’s a nostalgia attached, and a friendly bear. But the actual biscuit… doesn’t really taste like a biscuit? And they’re always harder than you expect (don’t you dare say it).
45. Tim Tam Original (Arnott’s)
Yes, an original Tim Tam is always a safe biscuit bet, but safe bets don’t inspire greatness. And what sort of locked-down nation are we if we don’t expect more from our baked snacks?
44. Peanut Butter (Edmonds)
If I ate a peanut butter biscuit my face would turn into one giant hive but people seem to love peanut butter and I’ve heard good things about these expensive biscuits.
43. Krispie (Griffin’s)
I have a 13-year-old nephew whose favourite biscuit is Krispie. That an inherently old person biscuit can reach the youth of today is admirable.
42. Stripes (Griffin’s)
A flattened scotch finger with chocolate that’s not that nice poured over it? Sure, it’ll do.
41. Red Velvet Oreos
This is arguably a novelty flavour which would disqualify it but I’m chucking it here for the VEGANS because did you know that Oreos are VEGAN? So if you ctrl+f’d VEGAN immediately, here you go. (Ed’s note: Apparently Red Velvet Oreos are not actually vegan 😬)
40. Jaffa (Baker Boys)
Imagine if jaffa thins were thick.
39. Swiss Cremes (Griffin’s)
The ultimate old lady biscuit. That beautiful blue on the packaging matches perfectly with a white doily. As for taste? I’ll take two when your nana offers them to me, but I won’t be buying any.
38. Digestives Milk (McVities)
These are good. Good chocolate, good consistency, but unfortunately they are just a tiny, tiny bit too thick. That extra millimeter of wheat is the difference between a good biscuit and a great biscuit.
37. Chocolate Chunk (Edmonds)
It’s got chunks of chocolate, of course it’s good.
Veganism is back, baby. Welcome to the second and final result in your search. Oreos are a pretty good hangover biscuit but colour me ignorant, I just don’t think they’re that great. And while I’m here, the biscuit part of the oreo is better than the filling part.
35. Mint Treat (Griffin’s)
Griffin’s and Arnott’s each have their unique strengths but for some reason Griffin’s also tries to beat Arnott’s at their own game. Mint Treat, you’re never gonna be Mint Slice. Give it up.
34. Digestives Milk (Arnott’s)
Considering how many of these I ate while at uni and how much I still love them, I’ve even shocked myself with this placing. But when dipping in an already sweet milo as I do, the dark chocolate provides a finer balance than milk.
33. Squiggles Pink (Griffin’s)
It’s a squiggle so it’s good. But it’s not the yellow squiggle so it’s not that good.
32. Triple Choc (Farmbake)
See above for triple choc comments.
31. Monte Carlo (Arnott’s)
For some reason I grew up thinking the monte carlo was a fancy, grown up biscuit. I have yet to solve the mystery of why exactly the filling is coated in something red. Whatever it is, monte carlos are for special occasions, even though they as available and cheap as any other biscuit.
30. Chit Chat (Griffin’s)
Anyone who says Chit Chats are better than Tim Tams is no friend of mine. Imagine a Tim Tam that wasn’t as smooth, had a grainier consistency, and left a very thin film in your mouth after consuming. You can realise that fantasy by eating a Chit Chat. The only reason it’s placed this high is because technically you can still use it as a straw, which makes it an automatic finalist.
29. Cameo Cremes (Griffin’s)
A polarising biscuit. Ultimately very plain and I don’t really know what the flavours are supposed to be but sometimes not knowing is nice.
28. Finest Dark Chocolate Cranberry (Pams)
The biggest surprise of this whole exercise was discovering Pams’ Finest range. This biscuit was great, against all odds. Flavoursome, plenty of chocolate, and soaks well in a hot drink. Turns out Pams know how to make good biscuits. So why, then, do they insist on making a bunch of shite ones too? And while I’m here, Pams has no apostrophe. If the brand isn’t named for someone named Pam then what the hell does Pams mean?!
27. Butter Shortbread (Farmbake)
According to someone who appreciates shortbread more than I do, this is the superior option. I am taking their word for it because why wouldn’t I?
26. Apricot Choc Cookies (Ernest Adams)
If I’m being completely honest, I’m not sure why these are so high on this list. They surely don’t deserve to be.
25. Fruit Fingers (Griffin’s)
I kinda love a fruit finger. Yes it’s filled with weird fruit paste and is dangerously close to being a budget muesli bar. But it also tastes wholesome and not sickly sweet like many lesser biscuits.
24. Kingston (Arnott’s)
Like the monte carlo, the kingston (is that a deliberate place name trend?) feels fancy. But instead of the white filling, it’s chocolate and it’s marvellous. I only learned last year that the yum fat biscuit from those Christmas sampler boxes was a called a kingston.
23. Krispie Chocolate (Griffin’s)
In case you haven’t noticed, I generally believe that every biscuit would be elevated with the addition of chocolate. Never is that more evident than seeing how much better the chocolate krispie is versus the plain krispie.
22. Thins Jaffa (Griffin’s)
Jaffa thins are great. Whether or not you prefer them to the original is largely based on how many you plan to eat. Eating one jaffa thin is better than eating one original thin. But as you consume more, the jaffa drops and the original rises.
21. Tim Tam Caramel (Arnott’s)
Like the jaffa thin, a caramel tim tam can be the perfect one-off treat. It’s like eating a ferrero rocher. You simply cannot purchase and consume them as if it’s an ordinary day. When caramel tim tams are in your basket, something big is about to happen.
20. Macaroon (Griffin’s)
Shortly before the lockdown began, my brother and I walked to the dairy to get some movie snacks. While we scanned the biscuit options, my brother said “let’s get one that we won’t eat the whole packet of without realising”. So we picked macaroons and thought we were so clever. It didn’t work.
19. Peanut Brownie (Farmbake)
18. Breakaway (Cadbury)
Eating one breakaway tastes and feels like eating a Timeout chocolate bar. That’s great. But that means eating three biscuits (which is not super wierd) is like eating three Timeouts (which is super weird). They’re dangerous, is what I’m trying to say.
17. Thins Original (Griffin’s)
Original thins would’ve ranked in the top five if it weren’t for the fact that I’m certain they’ve shrunk. Not only does the packet look a lot smaller lately, the individual biscuits are definitely smaller. I haven’t had this theory confirmed yet but it’s taken up room in my brain for ten days now so that’s something.
16. Nice (Arnott’s)
Another place name! I could just google this place-names-as-biscuit-names theory but I’d rather keep typing instead because it’s 3am and I’m stiiiillll noooot finiiished. I still don’t know how to pronounce this biscuit and for that reason alone I will never discuss it with anyone in person. But I love how confident this little guy is. Just solid, you know? It doesn’t even try to look pretty. Just a slab of biscuit with large granules of sugar chucked on top, daring you to complain about aesthetic. And will you? No, because you don’t know how to pronounce its name either.
15. Chocolate Fingers (Griffin’s)
Few biscuits have played with convention like the chocolate finger. The absolute gall of some random worker long ago saying, out loud, “what if we just made the biscuit into a stick?” A genius and a lost legend.
14. Toffee Pops Original (Griffin’s)
Were toffee pops the sexy biscuit before Carlos Spencer in a bathrobe or did Carlos Spencer in a bathrobe make toffee pops the sexy biscuit? Somebody please tell me, I genuinely want to know. The only biscuit to pull off a genuine liquid caramel deserves all the recognition it gets.
13. Afghans (Baker Boys)
Shout out to the Baker Boys for being the unsung hero of New Zealand biscuits. Based out of Christchurch, Baker Boys make consistently excellent biscuits with no-nonsense packaging and a low price point. Their afghans are on an ilk with the Cookie Time afghan (ie great), except you can buy a bunch of them in one packet.
12. Hundreds and Thousands (Griffin’s)
This biscuit shouldn’t work. It’s so thin, the icing is mostly flavourless, and hundreds and thousands are notoriously just colour, no flavour. So why are they so bloody yum? It almost makes me angry thinking about it.
11. Chocolate Scotch Fingers (Arnott’s)
Scotch fingers are just shortbread that’s been to the gym. And that’s my scientific opinion. Chocolate scotch fingers are an incredible supper biscuit. The satisfaction of breaking the biscuit in two (like two fat chocolate fingers) to make incredible dipping implements is unmatched. But the real joy is that one biscuit transforms into two. You eat one scotch finger and think ‘should I have another? Is two biscuits too many?’ and then you look down and see that you’ve actually only eaten half a biscuit. It’s a modern miracle.
10. Vanilla Wine (Griffin’s)
One of the few versatile biscuits. Perfect for s’mores, great in a cheesecake base, and one of the riskiest but best dipping biscuits. There is less than half a second between the ideal wine biscuit dip and having disgusting mush sink to the bottom of your drink. The lows are low but the highs are oh so high.
Recipe: Put one vanilla wine upside down on a plate, place three baking chocolate melts in a triangle formation on the vanilla wine, then place one marshmallow on top. Microwave for 10 seconds. Enjoy.
9. Mint Slice (Arnott’s)
There are only two mint biscuits in the biscuit aisle, the Mint Slice and the Mint Treat. They sound the same. They even look the same. They are not the same. Whenever there are two of the same biscuit from Arnott’s and Griffin’s, believe me when I say Arnott’s will be better (see also: Tim Tams, Digestives). A Mint Slice is what you put out when you didn’t make a dessert for your dinner guests and they’ve annoyingly decided to hang around for a cup of tea. It’s a little bit classy, literally only because there’s mint in it. But it works. A Mint Slice makes you feel sophisticated and proper and is arguably the grown-up less horny Toffee Pop.
8. Gingernuts (Griffin’s)
Show me another biscuit that can be dunked into a hot drink, held there for 45 seconds, and still keep its shape, and I will take Griffin’s Gingernuts off this list entirely. But until that day, which will never come, Gingernuts will remain a staple in every New Zealand household.
7. Strawberry Wafers (Countdown)
I blame all other biscuit brands for allowing this objectively bad product to make the top 10. How are there no good wafers available in this godforsaken place? I love the wafers in the Griffin’s Sampler but they’re the only option in the pack that can’t be purchased on their own. Ten years ago, there were those packets of mini biscuits, of which wafers were included. I think about those mini pink wafers every other day. I miss them. Sometimes I buy Countdown’s weak excuse for a strawberry wafer to try to feel something and they always disappoint. But it’s as close as I’ll get to the heady days of the Griffin’s minis. Somebody help me before I start a one-woman online petition like that woman who got Choco-ades back.
6. Digestives Dark (Arnott’s)
Digestives sound like an old person biscuit. And I guess they are. But they’re an old person biscuit that everyone respects. They’re not too thick and therefore have a beautiful biscuit-to-chocolate ratio. They work well on their own but even better as a dipper. And while the milk digestive might be your instinctive flavour of choice, don’t sleep on the dark. It brings the sweetness down just enough to make it taste less like a sweet treat and more like an adult experience.
5. Lemon Treats (Griffin’s)
The Lemon Treat is the riskiest biscuit available, and the risk pays off. A sweet biscuit with what you’d be forgiven for believing is a cracker on it and heavy salt sprinkled on top? You wouldn’t dare. But the Lemon Treat did. Many people turn away from the Lemon Treat because it looks boring. Well, looks can be deceiving. The Lemon Treat is one of the greatest snack creations of all time. And those who claim to hate it simply don’t have the palate for such sophisticated flavour blends.
4. Squiggles Yellow (Griffin’s)
Squiggles are the funnest biscuit. And yes I’m deliberately saying funnest because if Squiggles were a word, that word would be funnest. Adults are old enough to know better on both counts and yet continue to live in a world populated by a lolly biscuit and a word that doesn’t exist. It’s a chaotic biscuit for chaotic times, which makes it the perfect accessory for 2020.
3. Choko Crunch (Baker Boys)
Choko Crunch cookies aren’t for small people. It’s the heartiest biscuit in the country, which makes it all the more incredible that they’re mostly sold in bulk and are cheap. You may not be familiar with a Choko Crunch and for that I pity you. Picture a large Anzac-style biscuit (about as wide as an Arnott’s digestive and twice as thick) with lines of chocolate across the top (like stripes). They’re a little bit crunchy and delightfully chewy at the same time. When dipped, the chocolate on top, which looks a bit budget, melts delectably. It takes about four full bites to finish a Choko Crunch. Like I said, they’re not for small people.
Shopping tip: New World sells Baker Boys biscuits in packets of six for $3. Pak’n’Save, the original distributor, sells them in packs of 26 for $6. Do the maths and make smart choices.
2. Tim Tam Double Coat (Arnott’s)
Confession: In 2017 I emailed Arnott’s and offered to make a marketing campaign for them centred around the Tim Tam slam because I was an expert and had seen many people do it wrong. They didn’t email me back but a year later, bus stops were covered in Tim Tam slam ads, showing a technique that was fundamentally wrong. I’m not accusing anyone of anything, I’m just saying. The double coat Tim Tam is the best one for slamming because that extra layer of chocolate allows for greater structural integrity and therefore fuller absorption of the liquid. Don’t listen to the ads, Tim Tam slams do not involve biting off just two corners. Bite off both ends so that you can complete the slam hands-free. And if you can’t do it hands-free, you simply haven’t practised enough.
1. Chocolate Butternut Snap (Arnott’s)
Oh, how my heart flutters when I think of the butternut snap. It’s the perfect biscuit. A crunchy biscuit with just a hint of caramel sweetness, dipped in a high-quality chocolate. You can’t help but smile.
There are two ways that biscuits can be eaten: on their own (cold), or with a drink (hot). Chocolate Butternut Snap is a medallist in both categories: it’s the second best biscuit to eat on its own (behind Yellow Squiggle) and the third best to dip (behind Tim Tam Double Coat and gingernuts). This is why it has to be number one. Meryl wishes she had such range.
The best thing about Chocolate Butternut Snap is that it’s still somehow underrated. It’s never sold out at the supermarket, despite often being on special and therefore as affordable as middling options. But it doesn’t care because the butternut snap is self-assured. It knows its worth and nothing you or I say will affect it.
Some of you will be reading this having lived years, even decades, of your life without ever trying a Chocolate Butternut Snap. I hope your first taste adds a sprinkle of joy to your day.
Chocolate Butternut Snap is the best biscuit in New Zealand.
Independent journalism depends on you. Help us stay curious in 2021. The Spinoff’s journalism is funded by its members – click here to learn more about how you can support us from as little as $1.
The Spinoff Weekly compiles the best stories of the week – an essential guide to modern life in New Zealand, emailed out on Monday evenings.