It's not exactly peak strawberry season right now, but for some reason, Pillsbury recently released limited edition Strawberry Cheesecake Sugar Cookies. Regardless of the timing, my friends and I who were craving a sweet, summery treat decided to give this latest creation a try. We were excited by the promise of 12 BIG COOKIES, and the opportunity to have cheesecake without the mess that it usually makes. 

Initial Reactions

Arielle Gordon

The packaging is colorful and includes pictures of strawberries and pieces of cheesecake. The photo of the cookie says that it is "enlarged to show detail" but our cookies turned out to be roughly the same size. 

The cookie dough looked and smelled similar to plain sugar cookie dough, the only difference being the red pieces or "strawberry flavored bits." The cheesecake part was not immediately noticeable. There are no real strawberries or cheesecake ingredients listed on the package. The label has a warning for nuts, which we did not find any evidence of in our batch. My friends were tempted to break one open to see if the cheesecake was in the center, but we didn't want to ruin any of our precious cookies, and we assumed they would taste better warm, so we put them in the oven as they were. 

Into the oven they went, still looking and acting like normal sugar cookies. On the bright side, the dough was round, and not square, which was a welcome change from other brands that come in cubes and tend to leave you with oval-ish cookies that still have part of a rectangle visible in the center when you bake them.

Taste Test

Arielle Gordon

After 18 long minutes, the cookies were finally done. They spread out on the pan, but fortunately did not stick to each other or the bottom of the tray. We gave them a few minutes to cool (and for us to look for a spatula) and then gave them a try. 

The cookies were still warm, but that was basically the only good thing about them. They held their shape and cooked properly at altitude which was a pleasant surprise. This cheesecake business was nowhere to be found. The cookies were just slightly crunchy sugar cookies with freeze-dried strawberry pieces inside. 

One friend went so far as to describe the cookies as "a sugar cookie masquerading as cheesecake," and a "loose interpretation of cheesecake." Another common complaint was that even just a few minutes out of the oven, the cookies were crunchy and crumbly, not soft like most sugar cookies. Of course, we finished our plates, but then went to have dinner since we did not fill up on a less-than-stellar dessert. 

Arielle Gordon

In conclusion, I feel no need to make these cookies again. They weren't inedible, but there are many better options for pre-made cookie dough. We gave the extras to another friend and they still haven't given us a reaction, probably because they don't actually want to eat these funky looking cookies. I still have one package left in my refrigerator and we are planning to use the dough to make a cheesecake crust and then fill it with real cheesecake. Final ranking: 4.5/10 strawberries.