Disco and bananas: these are my two cravings when summer rolls around. Not hammocks. Not reruns of Seinfeld (a year-round craving). Not ice cream. Well, yeah, ice cream. But also bananas.
So it was with great delight that I spotted these Pepperidge Farm Coffee Shop Banana Nut Cookies while bobbing my head to the tune of “Dancing Queen.” It felt like destiny.
Having just come off of an immensely satisfactory sugar rush triggered by Pepperidge Farm’s Cinnamon Bun Cookies, my hopes were set high. Like 40,000 feet above sea level. Up with the goats. And the yodelers.
And when I popped open the bag, the smell didn’t let that hope down: wafts of bananas, sugar, and maybe some subtle honey-flour-preservative dust, echoed into every pocket of memory that involves banana bread, a jar of peanut butter, Saturday mornings, and Reading Rainbow.
But the taste couldn’t quite sustain the same level of nostalgia-induced delusion. Sure, the cookie was soft without being spongy, cakey without being dry, and the taste wasn’t half bad: there was definitely some sugar, maybe a dash of vanilla extract, yet, while the whole “banana” part existed, it felt dulled out like a wafty ghost in the back of my throat. I do not appreciate having banana ghosts in my throat.
Thankfully, the hunks and chunks of walnuts brought me back down to Earth, providing soft, crunchy nubbins with hints of bitterness to contrast the half-hearted-bananainess of the cookie. The whole experience wasn’t bad, but it’s just not enough to satisfy my Inner Banana Monkey. And my Inner Banana Monkey wants bananas. Must. Have. Bananas!
No joke: these cookies are NOT the most innovative fare. They don’t involve liquid nitrogen. They don’t provide you with a magical wizard who will pay for your car insurance. Heck, they don’t even have chocolate chips. However, it is this very trait of boringness that makes them a spectacular base for other, more creative projects. One chomp and I found myself living in a perpetual, five-step cycle: 1) Eat cookie, 2) Allow visions of peanut butter and banana cookie sandwiches to flood brain, 3) Make peanut butter and banana cookie sandwich, 4) Chomp, 5) Repeat process as often as possible.
If you, too, find yourself undergoing a similar pattern, you may come to the realization that there are so many options: Crumble them on your parfait! Smoosh them with Nutella! Make a Breakfast Sundae! You, fine reader, are surely more creative than me. Expand. Grow. YOU CAN DO BETTER.
Whether you’re feeling like a bum or undergoing a temporary bout of psychosis, cookies are good, and these Pepperidge Farm Coffee Shop Banana Nut Cookies exemplify a solid, if somewhat boring, reflection of said philosophy: nice texture, soft-ish nuts, mild taste, and peanut butter sandwich cookies good enough to get you down at the discotheque.
Plus, bananas have potassium, right? So no shin splints. And that’s okay for today, but count this as a first strike in mediocrity, Pepperidge. You’ve got two more to go. Two more.
(Nutrition Facts – 1 cookie – 130 calories, 45 calories from fat, 5 grams of fat, 2 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 5 milligrams of cholesterol, 135 milligrams of sodium, 20 grams of carbohydrates, 3 grams of dietary fiber, 10 grams of sugar, and 2 grams of protein.)
Item: Pepperidge Farm Coffee Shop Banana Nut Cookies
Purchased Price: $3.49
Size: 8.6 oz.
Purchased at: Met Foods
Rating: 5 out of 10
Pros: Strong banana smell. Soft chew. Walnut bits add texture. Good base for creative dessert escapades. Could prevent shin splints. Magical Wizards that pay your car insurance. Reading Rainbow. Goats on the mountaintops.
Cons: Below moderate banana taste. Boring by itself. Walnut pieces are teensy weensy. Absence of chocolate chips. Ghosts of bananas in your throat. Nostalgia-induced delusion. Bad disco. Unfulfilled Inner Banana Monkey.