REVIEW: Nestle Toll House Cookie of the Year Butterfinger Baking Bits Cookies

Nestle Toll House Cookie of the Year Butterfinger Baking Bits Cookies

Hi, everyone.

I’m here to accept this Cookie of the Year award on behalf of Nestle Toll House Cookie of the Year Butterfinger Baking Bits Cookies. They couldn’t be here because…well, because I ate all of them.

First off, I’d just like to congratulate and thank the other nominees. I’m not really sure who any of you are, because this award is entirely made up by Nestle Toll House, but you all did a great job this year and should feel really proud. Except for you, Swedish Fish Oreos. You were not nominated for this fake award and you should be ashamed of yourselves.

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Next, I want to thank “break and bake” technology. Thanks to you, making sugary, fattening cookies is SO much easier! No more worrying about whether I have enough flour on hand or if the eggs have expired…I can just open the package, break the premade dough along its perforations, and 10-11 minutes later I have some perfectly baked cookies. And another 10-11 minutes later, I have a stomach ache from inhaling those perfectly baked cookies.

The sugar cookie dough is really what made this whole thing possible. It’s sweet and buttery, with just a hint of floury goodness. Its performance doesn’t take any risks, but it doesn’t have to. It’s the same sugar cookie flavor we know and love from Nestle Toll House–a real classic.

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The Butterfinger Baking Bits did a pretty good job in the starring role, too. Their stick-to-your-teeth presence is definitely noticeable, and shows their peanut buttery range through a dynamic sweet and salty combination. As enjoyable as that peanut butter element aspect is, I really wish there had been more of it from start to finish. It just popped up here and there, upstaged by the fantastic sugar cookie dough. But those occasional cameos are really satisfying when they do happen.

I’ve got to say, I’m a little surprised that the milk chocolate took such a minor role in this whole project. When it’s there, it’s creamy and sweet, but I was hoping for a lot more of it. When I think of Butterfingers, I think of a crispy peanut butter center enveloped in a creamy milk chocolate coating. This cookie nailed the peanut butter part, but didn’t quite reach its full milk chocolate potential. With a better peanut butter-to-chocolate ratio, I have no doubt this cookie would go down as one of the all-time greats.

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Having said that, Nestle Toll House Cookie of the Year Butterfinger Baking Bits Cookies wouldn’t have won this award without good reason (okay, actually, they did). The sugar cookie dough does an incredible job carrying the cookie, and the Butterfinger Baking Bits mimic the inside of a Butterfinger candy bar quite well. The milk chocolate flavor is a bit underwhelming, but hey, not everybody can be the star of the show. Let’s all raise a glass of milk to the 2016 Cookie of the Year: Nestle Toll House Cookie of the Year Butterfinger Baking Bits Cookies.

Thank you for allowing me the honor of devouring them.

(Nutrition Facts – 1 cookie – 80 calories, 30 calories from fat, 3.5 grams of fat, 1.5 grams of saturated fat, 10 milligrams of cholesterol, 65 milligrams of sodium, 12 grams of carbohydrates, 5 grams of sugar, and 1 gram of protei.)

Purchased Price: $2.50
Size: 16 oz (makes 24 cookies)
Purchased at: Walmart
Rating: 8 out of 10
Pros: Sugary and rich sugar cookie dough. Peanut butter flavor shines through sweet and salty buddy cop duo. Baking Bits stick to your teeth just like an actual Butterfinger. Giving acceptance speeches just for eating cookies.
Cons: Totally made-up award. Milk chocolate flavor could have been better. Swedish Fish Oreos.

REVIEW: Limited Edition Swedish Fish Oreo Cookies

Limited Edition Swedish Fish Oreo Cookies

“Your scientists were so preoccupied with whether or not they could, they didn’t stop to think if they should.”

Dr. Ian Malcolm famously spoke this line in Jurassic Park, and ever since, it echoes in my brain whenever a particularly weird, strange, or repulsive snack food is released. But I bet even Dr. Malcolm would choose an ocean cruise in a plesiosaur’s stomach over a tall stack of Swedish Fish Oreo Cookies. Nabisco might as well have printed the word “WHY?” on the side of every wafer.

But I plan to eat these Oreo cookies with an open mind. Why?

Because I may not be a Jurassic paleontologist, but I am a self-described gummy-ologist. I’ve documented every species of gummy bear. I once caught a 30-pound blue gummy shark with a single gummy worm. Heck, I even rallied for gummy octopus rights when I discovered their intelligence was nearly on par with humans.

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But Swedish Fish Oreos are an entirely different creature. Even though they have Oreo’s iconic, pleasantly crunchy, and cocoa buttery chocolate cookie wafers, Swedish Fish Oreo have a unique creme filling the world hasn’t tasted since the Paleozoic era.

Or so I’m assuming, since the decision to make Swedish Fish Oreo could’ve only been made by either a Neanderthal or a giant roulette wheel in Nabisco’s office.

See, this creme isn’t perfectly pillowy, soft, and squishy. It’s a little more sticky, chewy, and dare I say…slimy. It cracks and falls apart like a child’s Play-Doh diorama of the Berlin Wall, and each Oreo I opened contained a different Rorschach test image in its pasty folds. Below I see Donald Trump angrily looking out a castle window:

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The creme’s taste, though, is just like Swedish Fish. It has potent, puckering pops of candied cherry and a slightly off-putting finish of waxy gelatin. I could probably recreate it with a box of Swedish Fish and a blender, but like shooting fish in a barrel, eating fish in an Oreo is way easier.

I can’t say if it’s more pleasant, though. Eating the cookie and creme together, I can really only taste the overpowering cherry creme. There’s a processed chocolate aftertaste, but even then, it has to battle for supremacy with the cherry cough syrup layer that the creme plastered on the back of my throat.

I really wanted to like Swedish Fish Oreo, but the “crispy fruit medicine puree” textural contrast is too much for even a quasi-licensed gummy-ologist. I thought dunking them might intensify the chocolate flavor, but I worried that dipping these bizarre things in milk might make the beverage renounce Oreo as its favorite cookie.

So since I already felt ridiculous, I dipped ‘em in Kool-Aid instead.

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Surprisingly, it wasn’t even bad. When soggy, the cocoa wafers are “activated,” and the whole Oreo starts to taste like a vaguely pleasant Dirt Pie.

Remember Dirt Pies? Those chocolate pudding cups with scattered Oreo crumb soil and gummy worms on top? The desserts you haven’t had since your cousin’s 4th grade Halloween party? They’re delicious, and after squinting my eyes and eating a juice-soaked Swedish Fish Oreo, I relived a little of that nostalgia.

For 99 percent of people, these cookies will be a major “no.” The texture’s weird, the flavor’s medicinal, and the smell would scare a coyote. But for those rare one percent who are eternal kids-at-heart and want to scratch a doozy off their “Culinary Adventure Bucket List,” then oh boy, does Nabisco have an Oreo for you.

As for me? I’m just gonna lay down and dream about Dirt Pies for a week.

(Nutrition Facts – 2 cookies – 140 calories, 60 calories from fat, 7 grams of fat, 2 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 85 milligrams of sodium, 35 milligrams of potassium, 20 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of fiber, 13 grams of sugar, and less than 1 gram of protein.)

Purchased Price: $2.99
Size: 10.7 oz package
Purchased at: Kroger
Rating: 3 out of 10
Pros: Wistful Dirt Pie memories. Completing my Gummy Pokédex. Cookie creme ink blot tests. Googling pictures of plesiosaurs to cleanse my palate.
Cons: Chemical cherry fish paste. Chocolate flavor that disappears faster than Houdini. Scraping the bottom of the flavor idea fish barrel. “Oreo: Milk’s Recently Divorced Cookie.” The falling Frankenstein piñata that broke my nose at my cousin’s 4th grade Halloween party.

REVIEW: Nabisco Chips Ahoy Thins Cinnamon Sugar Cookies

Chips Ahoy Thins Cinnamon Sugar Cookies

Whether they’re about a tree falling in the forest or a bear dropping logs in the woods, there are plenty of age-old questions to ponder. One of my favorites is: “What do holiday cookies do once Christmas is over?”

Some answers are obvious: speculoos fly home to visit their Dutch families, gingerbread men work as security guards at the Keebler Elves’ Hollow Tree, and butter cookies are melted down into a fine paste to make mannequins for Madame Tussauds.

But the secret life of snickerdoodles (which sounds like it could be the name of Pixar’s next movie) has long been a mystery -— until now. Now we know that during the summertime, snickerdoodles everywhere hit the treadmill to become Cinnamon Sugar Chips Ahoy! Thins.

During the winter, snickerdoodles need to be thick in order to supply Santa with enough energy to travel 650 miles per second and reach every home in one night. But now that it’s cookie bikini season, snickerdoodles have to stay competitive with every other trendy treat.

I mean, have you seen Oreo’s midriff in that dark brown two-piece?

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Each Cinnamon Sugar Chips Ahoy! Thin is thin. And I don’t mean the “someone pushed the spatula down a little too hard” kind of thin. This is the “touched by an old gypsy woman from a Stephen King novel” kind of thin.

The Thins have the girth of 2-3 stacked dimes, but they’re far from sterling when it comes to fragility. They’ll shatter into bits the moment you so much as think an unflattering thought about their mother, so don’t pack these as a snack before a half marathon or Slipknot concert. This crumbliness also gives them a mildly crisp, yet disappointingly light “crunch.” It’s like eating that last, awkwardly browned cookie in a batch.

You know, the one that was just barely large enough to justify baking instead of gobbling down the raw, doughy evidence?

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The flavor is a two-part deal. The Chips Ahoy! Thins’ plain sections are half-sweet, half-bland and sandy, as if they were the result of some deluded 8-year old’s entrepreneurial quest to invent a cookie you can make while relaxing on a hot beach.

Thankfully, the overall size and dense chip ratio of these one-bite wonders means that there’ll rarely be a nibble without one or more creamy cinnamon baking chips. The slightly buttery, mildly milky, and faintly spicy chips smack of cinnamon sugar goodness, and their icing-esque nature is what makes these Cinnamon Sugar Chips Ahoy! Thins taste like abridged snickerdoodles.

But the problem with these crumbly Thins is that they’re all payoff and no buildup. The sugary cinnamon punch strikes fast and is vaporized into oblivion just as quickly—don’t expect any layers of complex flavor that unravel as you chew. It’s like a rollercoaster that instantly drop you 100 feet before booting you off the ride. Your only choice is to get back in line, or in this case: clear another line of cookies.

Despite my complaints of fleeting ecstasy, I think Cinnamon Sugar Chips Ahoy! Thins are a step in the right direction for condensed cookies. They use their size to their advantage; if this gimmick were tried in full-sized Chips Ahoy! cookies, the goodness of the chips would get lost in a desert of boring dough.

Plus, their airy crispness makes them taste exactly like the imaginary “Snickerdoodle Toast Crunch” cereal I always put on my Christmas list. One of these days, General Mills Claus will inevitably deliver, but in the meantime…

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Ho ho ho.

(Nutrition Facts – 4 cookies – 150 calories, 7 grams of fat, 2.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 60 milligrams of sodium, 20 milligrams of potassium, 21 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of fiber, 12 grams of sugar, and 1 gram of protein.)

Purchased Price: $2.49
Size: 7 oz.
Purchased at: Walmart
Rating: 7 out of 10
Pros: The surprisingly creamy wallop of microcosmic snickerdoodle chips. Gloriously milk-soaked cinnamon sugar shards. Cookie swimsuit competitions. Posing with a butter cookie paste replica of Bill Murray.
Cons: Rare nibbles of Saharan cookie dryness. The Chips Ahoy! equivalent of a Top Thrill Dragster ride. Accidentally eating thirty 30¢-thick cookies. The unlikelihood of Gingerbread Toast Crunch. Sandy selling sandy Sandies by the seashore.

REVIEW: Chips Ahoy Thins Original Cookies

Chips Ahoy Thins Original

Nutter Butter Thins.

Ginger Snap Thins.

Nilla Thins.

belVita Thins.

Teddy Graham Thins.

Famous Chocolate Wafer Thins.

Pinwheel Thins.

Oh, hello there!

I’m just going through a list of Nabisco cookies that have yet to be thin-ified by Mondelez International.

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After the success of Oreo Thins, which I’ve said are better than regular Oreo cookies on numerous occasions to random people in the cookie aisle who didn’t ask for my opinion, Nabisco has given the thin treatment to the beloved(?) Chips Ahoy. They appear to be slightly more than half as thin as the original, but they aren’t as thin as those chip-like cookies out there.

Oh. Why is there’s a question mark in parentheses? Because I’ve been told by numerous people in person and on the internet that the mass produced snack is a sad excuse for a chocolate chip cookie. For the record, I do not feel this way.

But here’s a better use of a question mark: Are Chips Ahoy Thins better than regular Chips Ahoy cookies, much like I believe Oreo Thins are greater than regular Oreo cookies?

Yes(?)

Why is there a question mark there? Well, why is there an exclamation point after Chips Ahoy? It’s unnecessary and it makes you think there’s more to it than there really is, but there isn’t.

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The flavor of Chips Ahoy Thins isn’t exactly like the regular variety, but in no way will it make you think of anything other than Chips Ahoy. I think the chocolatey chips are a little more pronounced since there’s less of the cookie part and that’s about it. As someone who enjoys Chips Ahoy, I think they taste fine and if I was Santa Claus (Maybe I am. HO! HO! HO!) I’d enjoy these with a glass of milk.

But what makes these better in my mind is their molar-satisfying, head-rattling crunch. They have a more gratifying crunch than a regular Chips Ahoy, but they’re not as crispy as the previously mentioned cookie chips. Their combination of flavor and texture make them hard to stop eating. I want to eat these like I do potato chips, which is the same thing I experienced with Oreo Thins.

Basically, Chips Ahoy Thins are a different experience of something you know and love, if you love Chips Ahoy. I imagine it’s like discovered in unattempted part of the Kama Sutra or watching Game of Thrones in a different language.

(Nutrition Facts – 4 cookies – 150 calories, 60 calories from fat, 7 grams of fat, 2.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 50 milligrams of sodium, 30 milligrams of potassium, 21 grams of carbohydrates, less than 1 gram of fiber, 12 grams of sugar, and 1 gram of protein.)

Purchased Price: $3.00
Size: 7 oz.
Purchased at: Safeway
Rating: 8 out of 10
Pros: Tastes like Chips Ahoy, but maybe a little more chocolatey. Gratifying crunch. Combination of flavor and texture makes it hard to stop eating. Game of Thrones. Kama Sutra.
Cons: Just a thinner version of Chips Ahoy. Using weird question mark references in a review. Too easy to a dozen in one sitting. Giving snack opinions to strangers in a store.

REVIEW: Limited Edition Choco Chip Oreo Cookies

Limited Edition Choco Chip Oreo Cookies

Sometime during the 1920s, amidst the green oak pines of St. Lambert Country Club in Quebec, a wealthy hotel mogul by the name of David Mulligan tightened his knickers, squared up to the tee, drew his driver back, and proceeded to hit a golf ball directly into a sand trap—on an adjacent hole.

“Shiitake mushroom!” he exclaimed, realizing there were ladies nearby and wishing to abstain from obscenities. “I do believe I shall need a correction shot for that one!”

“Another one!?!” his friend, Rupert T. Bosworth Esquire III bellowed. “My, you take so many correction shots they ought to just call them mulligans!”

And so the common term for a do-over was born.

Food companies don’t often get mulligans —- at least not as many as the U.S. golfers admit to taking. But then again, companies don’t really deserve second chances, if you ask me. If you’re paying people to engineer delicious, they damn well better engineer delicious the first time around. That or they need a really good reason to try a flavor again.

In the case of Cookie Dough Oreo Cookies, I’m glad Oreo took a mulligan. It’s not that the 2014 limited edition cookie was bad, but rather that it should have been called “Caramel Latte” Oreos. Such was the intensity of the coffee flavor. But when it came to pure, unadulterated, E. coli-be-damned cookie dough madness, well, Cookie Dough Oreo left a lot to be desired.

The new Limited Edition Choco Chip Oreo leave far less to be desired. This is a cookie that blurs the line between sandwich cookie and chocolate chip cookie like no other, capturing the very best of packaged chocolate chip cookie flavor without forcing you to stop in front of the Chips Ahoy! display and ponder the question chewy or original?

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The “choco chip” cookie base, an entirely new conception for Oreo, is crunchy and balanced, with notes of brown sugar and tiny bursts of chocolate. It’s not the greatest representation of a chocolate chip cookie we’ve ever seen in packaged form, but it has a sort of dippable appeal that I’d compare to a chocolate chip Teddy Graham or those old Nabisco Chips Ahoy! 100-calorie pack cookie thins.

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Speaking of dippable –- yeah, that’s where the creme center comes in. Where traditional Oreo creme is a bit stiff and grainy, the choco chip cookie creme has a frosting-like smoothness and viscosity to go along with a strong burst of sweetness and an aftertaste of molasses and brown sugar. On its own it’s a bit too sweet, but taken in a complete bite with the crunchy wafer, it’s like chomping down on a cookie dough stuffed cookie.

There’s no coffee flavors, and unlike the sometimes disjointed bite of the Cookie Dough Oreo, where the chocolate wafer and coffee creme competed, the flavor of the Choco Chip Oreo is pure chocolate chip cookie. The only downside is predictable: there’s only so much buttery and eggy richness that can be stuffed inside a shelf-stable 14-ounce cookie.

Choco Chip Oreo Cookies aren’t a hole in one, but I’m okay with that. Sometimes you just gotta admire a straight drive down the fairway, and be content with very good. I mean, it could be worse. You could be eating coffee-flavored cookies out of a sand trap or something. So thank you, Mr. Mulligan, for sucking at golf. This Oreo redo is for you.

(Nutrition Facts – 2 cookies – 140 calories, 60 calories from fat, 7 grams of fat, 2.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 25 milligrams of cholesterol, 65 milligrams of sodium, 18 grams of carbohydrates, 0 gram of dietary fiber, 15 grams of sugar, and 2 grams of protein..)

Purchased Price: $2.98
Size: 10.7 oz package
Purchased at: Walmart
Rating: 8 out of 10
Pros: Chocolate chip cookie dough meets Duncan Hines frosting. Much more authentic chocolate chip cookie flavor than Cookie Dough Oreo. Second chances in the cookie aisle.
Cons: A bit too sweet. Both the wafer and filling lack eggy and buttery richness. What the fudge is “choco” anyway?

REVIEW: Nabisco Red Velvet Chips Ahoy Cookies

Nabisco Red Velvet Chips Ahoy Cookies

Wouldn’t life be more fun if humans were stuffed with sugary white crème?

Doctors would use frosting bags instead of syringes. Getting a paper cut could help you ice that last cupcake. Donating blood would be as easy as pushing down on your nose like a whipped cream nozzle. What a good ol’ gooey world it would be.

Hey, I see you groaning out there. Why don’t you try writing an entertaining introduction to yet another processed snack cookie?

Today’s Instagram-able and instantly grab-able treat is Red Velvet Chips Ahoy!, a new flavor from Nabisco’s cookie brand that loves pissing off autocorrect by requiring exclamation points in the middle of sentences.

Look Chips Ahoy!, just because you’ll never live up to big brother Oreo’s legacy doesn’t mean you have to take it out on us.

Speaking of brothers, Red Velvet Chips Ahoy! debuted alongside S’mores Chips Ahoy!. But while S’mores is the extroverted cookie that goes to bonfires, Red Velvet is the basement-dwelling “womanizer” who tries to act classy while lamenting to his body pillow.

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Like any such basement “gentleman,” these cookies are super oily, more than a little buttery, and have a belly full of cream cheese. Slick and crumbly to the touch, my moist cookie practically melted under the weight of my gaze, let alone my teeth.

With one cookie down, I can already say these taste a lot like real red velvet cake. Well, maybe not “As Seen And Drooled Over on the Food Network” real, but definitely “As Purchased from the Walmart Bakery” real red velvet cake.

The maroon dough has a great fluffy, sweetened cocoa base inside of its squishy exterior, and there are persistent pulses of browned butter throughout.

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I’m not sure if the cream cheese chips and crème core are supposed to taste the same, but as I crammed entire cookies into my mouth like they were plastic pizza disks into that retro Ninja Turtles toy we all owned, they certainly had the same flavor. The crème and chips are quite buttery, creamy, and buttercream frosting-y, with a slightly off-putting — but no less authentic — granulated texture.

As for red velvet cake’s signature, slightly sour tang, it can be tasted in these Red Velvet Chips Ahoy! cookies, but not if you nibble on ‘em slowly. To get “astronaut beverage” levels of biting tang, you have to cram entire cookies into your mouth like they’re obscure Ninja Turtles metaphors crammed into my reviews.

Red Velvet Chips Ahoy! cookies really do taste like 1-2 bite sized versions of grocery store red velvet cakes —- the kind you buy on clearance because they already have “Happy 74th Birthday Clarence” sloppily iced onto them. Though these cookies have a more tactile cookie “crust” than a real cake, they share all the buttery ups and gritty downs of the real thing.

They even have the faint chemical aftertaste from the food dye. While this artificialness may be off-putting to some, I’ve tasted eau de Red 40 in so many red velvet cakes that it’s become a welcome part of the red velvet experience.

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These pleasant, yet shamelessly processed cookies would nonetheless work as a welcome snack at a summer picnic or a dessert pizza at an action figure birthday party.

And if that last picture didn’t clue you in:, let me tell you: I am not a S’mores Chips Ahoy! in real life.

(Nutrition Facts – 2 cookies – 140 calories, 60 calories from fat, 6 grams of fat, 3.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 55 milligrams of sodium, 65 milligrams of potassium, 21 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of dietary fiber, 13 grams of sugar, and 1 gram of protein..)

Purchased Price: $2.59
Size: 9.6 oz
Purchased at: Walmart
Rating: 8 out of 10
Pros: Grocery store-grade red velvet authenticity. Moist and spongy cookie “crust.” The underrated joy of buttery saturated fat. Lifesaving cookie crème transfusions.
Cons: Mostly unwanted dye aftertaste. The necessary evil of gritty cream. Secretly being a basement-loving cookie in real life. Accidentally spilling cookies on my floor while checking nutrition facts.