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.

REVIEW: Nabisco S’mores Chips Ahoy Cookies

Nabisco S'mores Chips Ahoy Cookies

Ahoy-hoy!

It is believed s’mores were invented in 1927. Chips Ahoy (!) first hit shelves in 1963. We had to wait ’til 2016 for the first collaboration. What took so long?

Just in case you live under a rock that rests under a boulder and don’t know what’s in a s’more, please allow Hamilton “The Great Hambino” Porter from The Sandlot to explain the recipe:

“First you take the graham. You stick the chocolate on the graham. Then, you roast the mallow. Once the mallow’s flaming, you stick it on the chocolate. Then, you cover it with the other end.”

Graham. Chocolate. Marshmallow. Simple as the simplest of pies.

So, after 53 years in the making, do S’mores Chips Ahoy stack up to the classic campfire staple? The better question would be, is “s’more” the singular or is it always “s’mores”? Inquiring minds (me) would like to know.

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Nabisco claims their new S’mores Chips Ahoy cookies contain choco and marshmallow flavored chips. Despite no hint on the packaging, they seem to have tweaked their classic cookie recipe to make it taste like a graham cracker. I think. I’ll get back to that.

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Each cookie has standard chocolate chips and a chocolate center, which instantly put me in mind of the brownie-flavored Chips Ahoy put out recently. From memory, the taste was almost identical.

I tried my best to dissect the cookie and eat a white chip by itself. They’re supposedly “marshmallow flavored” but they just tasted like indistinguishable vanilla chips. Marshmallow flavor only goes so far, you really need the texture to go along with it. That was definitely the most disappointing part.

These cookies really just taste like a regular Chewy Chips Ahoy with extra chocolate. They are a campfire misfire! The middle should have been marshmallow. I don’t understand why they didn’t go that route. Why skimp on arguably the most important detail? You’re killing me, Smalls!

What about the graham?

Each cookie has a tinge of cinnamon, which I assume was their attempt to mock the graham flavor. I had to eat a few and really think about whether or not I tasted it before I read the ingredient list to confirm my cinnamon suspicions.

A crunchy graham cracker is the foundation of a great s’more. Sure, they’re a pain in the neck to eat, but not having one is akin to making a BLT with a pickle instead of a tomato. No one’s ever heard of a BLP!

That actually sounds kinda good. Scratch that from the record. Still, without a tasty graham, you’re only two-thirds of the way to a s’more.

You’ll never hear me say what I’m about to say again. I wish these were regular crunchy Chips Ahoy. I’m of the opinion that since the advent of the chewy variety, the blue bag has been rendered pointless, but when we’re talking s’mores, I need a crunch substitute for the graham cracker.

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The package advises to pop these in the microwave for ten seconds. While they didn’t get super gooey or “s’morsey,” they did taste a bit better. But again, it was just a warm Chewy Chips Ahoy.

I don’t think you’d ever in a million years guess the flavor of this cookie without a hint. They don’t look like a s’more, they don’t smell like a s’more (but they still smell delicious), and they don’t taste like a s’more.

I’ve whined a lot, but in the end these taste like a Chewy Chips Ahoy, and I like Chewy Chips Ahoy.

They still go down easy, but if you’re expecting that classic s’mores flavor, tough break.

(Nutrition Facts – 2 Cookies – 140 calories, 60 calories from fat, 7 grams of fat, 3.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 70 milligrams of sodium, 21 grams of carbohydrates, 13 grams of sugar, and 1 gram of protein..)

Purchased Price: $3.00
Size: 9.6 oz.
Purchased at: Stop & Shop
Rating: 5 out of 10
Pros: Chewy Chips Ahoy are a solid cookie. Chocolate center is fine. Even though they don’t smell like s’mores, they smell delicious. Cinnamon Suspicions is a good band name. The Sandlot. BLPs.
Cons: Tastes like previous flavors. Marshmallow chips don’t taste or feel like marshmallow. Needs s’more graham. In no way, shape, or form a s’more. Punctuation in product names.

REVIEW: Keebler Limited Batch Birthday Cake Fudge Stripes Cookies

Keebler Limited Batch Birthday Cake Fudge Stripes Cookies

During the 45 years or so of the Cold War, the United States and Soviet Union built up massive quantities of nuclear weapons in an effort to counter each other and become the world’s leading super power.

Each had their own spheres of influence, but since separate hemispheres weren’t enough, both nations just kept building more and bigger missiles until one couldn’t keep up any longer.

A quarter century after the Berlin Wall fell, another arms race is occurring. The good news is that the entire existence of the human race is no longer at stake. The bad news is that we are all going to get massively obese.

It’s a trade I am totally cool with.

Gone are the days when Oreo was content with being the world’s leading chocolate sandwich cookie; likewise, Keebler’s elves aspire to an empire greater than just fudge covered shortbreads. The two companies have fought for cookie supremacy in recent limited time offerings of red velvet and pumpkin spice, but the latest flashpoint in the great cookie conflict is one flavor that I never get tired of celebrating: Birthday Cake.

While I give the elves credit for creating a cookie that has all three traditional elements of birthday cake (sprinkles, frosting, and uh, “cake”) I do need to point out that the box artwork features a cupcake. At first I thought this was just a celebration of portion control, but since the package also happens to be non-resalable — thus increasing my chances of inhaling all the cookies in one sitting — I realize the elves probably just suck at making distinctions.

I, however, do not. And to be sure, the distinction of Birthday Cake vs. Cupcake is one I take seriously. If you show me a cupcake, I expect the frosting to steal the show. That’s not the case with these cookies, though.

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Oh, I mean the shortbread element is fine. It’s buttery with a delectably fine crumb and the non-overpowering element of sweetness I admire about the original Fudge Stripe.

But whereas the original Fudge Stripe can get away with a faux-chocolate glaze that works to balance the shortbread, the frosting glaze on the latest batch of shortbread just tastes like that generic palm oil glaze we’ve all had a million times. It’s not buttercream frosting; it’s not cream cheese frosting; it’s not even a damn Swiss meringue. It’s just way too sweet, and lacks that luscious mouthfeel of an actual frosting element. Likewise, it’s cut off from the sprinkles, which themselves lack the crunchy contrast I want buried in frosting.

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Fortunately, since my pantry is always willing to celebrate an actual birthday, I had some rainbow chip frosting handy. Now, while I realize this stuff would be good on anything from pancakes to Ritz crackers, I did find it especially wonderful when stuffed between the Fudge Stripe Birthday Cake cookies.

Biting through the crunchy shortbread into actual, sprinkled-filled frosting — even in an artificial, shelf-stable form — reminded me of Oreo’s birthday cake attempt and how providing just a level of textural contrast can go a long way to really making a birthday cake-flavored product worth the purchase.

Does the fact that Oreo makes a better birthday cake cookie than Keebler mean that the Elves are destined to toil in a downtrodden economy until an ex-KGB spy who likes to take his shirt off attempts to assert them as the world’s leading cookie makers? Probably not. But in the arms race of cookie flavors, Keebler’s latest gambit just can’t keep pace.

(Nutrition Facts – 2 cookies – 130 calories, 6 grams of fat, 4 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 70 milligrams of sodium, 18 grams of carbohydrates, 10 grams of sugar, and less than 1 gram of protein.)

Purchased Price: $2.99
Size: $2.99
Purchased at: Weis Markets
Rating: 5 out of 10
Pros: Delectable shortbread crumb. Crunchy sprinkle pieces. Wonderful vehicle birthday cake frosting.
Cons: Waxy, mostly tasteless frosting element. Too much shortbread taste for a birthday cake product. Non-resalable packaging. Cookie company flavor arms races.

REVIEW: Limited Edition Blueberry Pie Oreo Cookies

Limited Edition Blueberry Pie Oreo Cookies

I imagine there are some of you out there who are absolutely sick of all these limited edition Oreo flavors. You’ve probably left a comment on someone’s Facebook post about a new Oreo variety that was somewhere along the lines of “Enough with the Oreo flavors” or “Oreo needs to stop” or “OreOh no, not moreo Oreos.”

But think of the food scientists who develop these flavors. Oreo is the canvas on which they can use natural and artificial flavors to unleash their creativity. Would you take away a paintbrush from Van Gogh? Would you cut the strings in Beethoven’s piano? Would you smash Hemingway’s typewriter with a sledgehammer? Would you take Chicago away from Dick Wolf?

Without the Oreo cookie, some food scientists might have less fun jobs to do, like coming up with new ways for Nature Valley to use granola or trying to shoehorn Kashi’s seven whole grains into something edible.

The latest flavor that’ll make Oreo haters roll their eyes is Limited Edition Blueberry Pie.

The cookie combines the graham-flavored wafer that comes with S’mores, Strawberry Shortcake, and Key Lime Pie Oreo cookies with a Violet Beauregard-colored blueberry creme.

These aren’t the first blueberry Oreo cookies to enter my mouth. I’ve had blueberry ice cream flavored Oreo cookies from Asia that used chocolate wafers. While they were good, they didn’t make me instantly call Nabisco’s Customer Service line and demand the company bring blueberry Oreo cookies to the U.S. But these Blueberry Pie Oreo Cookies make me want to call the Nabisco Customer Service line and demand they never leave shelves or send me a signed letter from the current Mondelez CEO promising they’ll be back next year.

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While I’ve never had a blueberry pie with a graham cracker crust, I’ve mostly had the lattice top ones depicted on the front of the packaging, this Oreo makes me pie-curious. Now I must try a blueberry pie with a graham cracker crust, because I think these are the best fruit-flavored Oreo cookies so far.

The slightly tart blueberry flavor reminds me of what I’d get from a blueberry pie, muffin, scone, or (insert baked good here). Good job, food scientists! The graham-flavored wafers do a great job of complementing the creme. They go together like Cagney & Lacey, Norm & Cliff, and Ren & Stimpy. The wafers don’t heavily dampen the creme’s flavor and there’s the same level of graham flavor as there would be a crust flavor in an actual blueberry pie. It’s a great combination and one that’s surprising because of my previous blueberry Oreo experience.

But there are two minor issues. Even though, these are wonderful cookies, the image of the lattice top pie on the packaging doesn’t represent what the cookies taste like. Also, these are currently available only at Target for a limited time. But again, minor issues.

Overall, I think these Limited Edition Blueberry Pie Oreo Cookies are good enough to make new Oreo flavor haters still hate new Oreo flavors. Yes, haters are going to still hate no matter what. But if you’re a fan of blueberry baked goods, I think you’ll love these.

(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, 65 milligrams of sodium, 15 milligrams of potassium, 21 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of fiber, 12 grams of sugar, and less than 1 gram of protein.)

Purchased Price: $2.99
Size: 10.7 oz.
Purchased at: Target
Rating: 9 out of 10
Pros: Blueberry flavor reminds me of baked goods. My favorite fruit-flavored Oreo cookie. Letting food scientists be creative. Creme and wafers are a great combination. Wafer doesn’t mute the creme’s flavor much.
Cons: Limited edition Oreo haters are gonna to hate these. Blueberry haters are gonna hate these. Limited edition. Available only at Target.

REVIEW: Limited Edition Fruity Crisp Oreo Cookies

Nabisco Limited Edition Fruity Crisp Oreo Cookies

Well, I guess this is how it starts.

Yes, “it.”

Don’t act like you don’t know what I’m talking about. It’s only the single worst thing in the universe; the thing people have been warning us about for years. It’s the reason why I’ve been stocking up the shelves in my basement, quietly prepping for the disaster I knew would eventually befall us. And to think the harbinger of the impending doom is America’s most beloved cookie company.

The cerealapocalypse.

After tasting the new Fruity Crisp Oreo Cookies I’m convinced the end of cereal eating as we know could be near. We already knew people were ditching cereal because they’ve been too damn lazy to wash out their bowls, but now that Oreo has managed to pack the flavor of Fruity Pebbles in between their Golden wafers, well, Post might as well file Chapter 11.

Every time Oreo releases a new flavor people say things like, “This is a game-changer.” But I’m not here to tell you what is and is not a gamer changer; I’m here to tell you these cookies taste exactly like Fruity freaking Pebbles, right on down to that initial Paleolithic burst of cloying artificial fruit flavor.

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From the moment I opened the bag the unmistakable aroma of Fruity Pebbles assaulted my nostrils like a friendly prehistoric child with a large club, while an initial sampling of the Golden Oreo base revealed the distinct aftertaste of the Fruity Pebbles cereal we all remember from the days when we smuggled it into our mommies’ shopping carts at the supermarket.

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After effortlessly separating the filling from the cookies, I sampled the frosting-like creme on its own. This is not your standard Oreo creme. It’s not as chalky or stiff as regular Oreo creme, and it has a shelf-stable frosting like quality in the way you can pluck it from the cookie with your finger. The taste, bursting with crispy, fruity cereal pieces, is unmistakably milky and sweet, like cereal that’s been steeped in milk for the better part of a day. If I was going to make an ice cream out of cereal, I imagine it would taste a lot like the creme.

Yes, the cerealapocalypse is upon us.

Biting into each cookie, you get every element of a bowl of Fruity Pebbles; the milk is there, the crispy cereal texture is there, and of course, the hypersweet fruity taste dominates. Basically, each cookie renders the cereal box and carton of milk a relic from the past. As a traditional cereal eater, even I will admit it tastes insanely awesome.

But there may be one hope for those of us used to eating cereal the old fashioned way. For as much as I enjoyed the first couple of cookies, I couldn’t get into the same kind of mindless cookie eating groove that I can get into with a standard Oreo. I mean, you have to really love Fruity Pebbles to make it through an entire package, mostly because the overwhelmingly sweet, artificial taste of Fruity Pebbles is so accurate that you feel like you’ve just eaten 3-4 bowls of Fruity Pebbles after just 3-4 cookies. With that in mind, I can see some Oreo fanatics loving these cookies, but not making them a repeat purchase.

In any case, that’s my only hope for the cereal industry, because these cookies are so accurate in copying the taste of Fruity Pebbles, they’ll make you forget Fred Flintstone existed.

(Nutrition Facts – 2 cookies – 140 calories, 7 grams of fat, 2 grams of saturated fat, 0 mg of cholesterol, 80 mg of sodium, 23 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of dietary fiber, 12 grams of sugars, and less than 1 gram of protein..)

Purchased Price: $3.00
Size: 10.7 oz
Purchased at: Giant
Rating: 7 out of 10
Pros: Perfectly captures the taste of Fruity Pebbles in every bite. Milky, frosting-like creme. Crispy textural contrast. Golden wafers that have fruity cereal taste.
Cons: Exceptionally sweet and artificial, to the point where the Fruity Pebbles taste can wear on you. Packaging literally out of the Stone Age. Not as good as some of the other limited edition Oreo flavors. Needs a chocolate lovers equivalent with chocolate wafers and Cocoa Pebbles.