REVIEW: Limited Edition Apple Pie Oreo Cookies

Limited Edition Apple Pie Oreo Cookies

I’ve run into the same problem almost every time I’ve had a particular discussion – what is the quintessential American food? Due to the melting pot nature of our country, everything seems to be imported, or even worse, STOLEN, from somewhere else.

The first food that comes to mind is the iconic burger, but nope, that one goes to Otto Kuase, in Hamburg, Germany. There’s New York’s pizza, taken from Italy, San Francisco’s burritos, adapted from Mexico, Los Angeles’ sushi, taken from Japan. You get the picture. All of our staples are a result of our acceptance, inclusion, (and colonization – yikes) of all types of cultures.

But apple pie, nothing is more American than apple pie, right? Wrong! Even apple pie, which is considered so American it was used as motivational propaganda for BOTH World Wars was brought over by the Dutch and Swedes during the 18th century. Can we do anything for ourselves?

Yes, yes we can. American’s can claim the Oreo, the shining sandwich star that has been the top dog of all factory cookies since 1912, as truly American. Since a burger Oreo would be pretty gross, next in line for a purely patriotic collab is apple pie, and that’s exactly what we got – apple pie creme in graham wafer cookies.

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The smell-o-vision on these Oreo is fantastic – immediately and unmistakably apple pie with sharp fruity apple and spicy sweet cinnamon jumping out of the package. Sometimes the golden wafers can overpower my initial sniff and taste impression of a new Oreo and I’m glad they went with graham here as I’m not getting any unnecessary vanilla sweetness, just pure apple power.

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Crunching into these circular slices of American hope and dreams is nothing short of a relaxing countryside morning full of perfection. The flavor starts with fresh, tart, juicy apple and quickly turns to cinnamon before finishing with smooth, golden, and slightly earthy graham notes. There are hints of caramel and a wonderful balance of sweetness that’s kept in check by the bursts of acidity brought by the apple. The overall profile is very true to the sweet-yet-tart nature of apples and is deliciously convincing as a cookie.

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The creme on this pie-eo is also softer and creamier than a lot of other varieties. It’s more like what I expect from a Trader Joe’s Joe-Joe. There’s a certain unctuous-ness that’s pleasant and draws immediate comparisons to gooey fresh apple pie filling. This Oreo isn’t tame, and it might not be for everyone, but I love it and think they nailed the execution.

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While last year’s Blueberry Pie was one of my favorites flavor-wise, it’s pretty hard to capture true blueberry flavor in a factory setting. These Apple Pie guys not only deliver a great sweet snack, but seamless flavor emulation to boot.

(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, 70 milligrams of sodium, 21 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of fiber, 12 grams of sugar, and 0 grams of protein.)

Purchased Price: $3.29
Size: 10.7 oz.
Purchased at: Target
Rating: 10 out of 10
Pros: Big, authentic tart apple flavor. Slight cinnamon spiciness. Perfectly balanced sweetness. Mellow earthy graham finish. Soft fresh creme.
Cons: They don’t come a la mode.

REVIEW: Nestle Toll House Cookie of the Year Chocolate Fudge Pretzel Cookies

Nestle Toll House Cookie of the Year Chocolate Fudge Pretzel

Hey there, everyone.

For the second year in a row, I’m here to accept the Nestle Toll House Cookie of the Year Award. I’m not sure why the award committee keeps inviting me back to make these speeches on behalf of a cookie. I guess they must believe in the old adage, “you are what you eat.”

*crickets*

Yeesh. Tough crowd.

Let me be clear, folks. This isn’t an envelope mix-up, like that “La La Land” and “Moonlight” fiasco. Believe it or not, Nestle Toll House’s Chocolate Fudge Pretzel cookie dough really did beat out other contenders like PB&J Oreo for the Cookie of the Year award. Sorry, PB&J Oreo. Between you and me, I have a feeling that Nestle Toll House might have rigged this thing.

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I’ve got to give a quick shout-out to the crew on this production, also known as my oven and baking sheet. The 11-12 minutes it took to fully bake this project took longer than those “straight-to-plate” cookies, but these guys were nothing but professional.

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For all of you drama fans out there, Nestle Toll House Chocolate Fudge Pretzel cookies are set against a dark backdrop…of chocolate, that is. The chocolate cookie dough steals the show with a perfectly rich cocoa flavor. Like Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, it’s the kind of role player that you can build a franchise around.

I was pleasantly surprised by the performance of the milk chocolate morsels. They add a sweeter, creamier element throughout. It can be hard to stand out when one of your co-stars is so dominant, but the milk chocolate morsels play off of the chocolate cookie dough really well.

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The pretzel pieces are a welcome addition to the cast, too. They’re salty, floury, and retain a good crunch. But if I’m being honest, they can be pretty erratic. Some cookies have a lot of them, and others hardly have any. It would be nice to see some consistency from those pretzel prima donnas.

Some of you in the audience might look at these Chocolate Fudge Pretzel cookies and think, “they could use something more, like caramel.” But I’ve got to disagree with you. Adding another ingredient here would be like Michael Bay’s use of explosions -— excessive.

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Once again, the Nestle Toll House Cookie of the Year is a real winner. The chocolate cookie dough, milk chocolate morsels, and pretzel pieces combine to make a formidable cast that puts on a great performance. Congratulations to the 2017 Cookie of the Year: Nestle Toll House Chocolate Fudge Pretzel Cookies.

I don’t know what the 2018 Cookie of the Year will be, but I do know this: it’ll be made by Nestle Toll House…

…and I’ll have to give yet another acceptance speech for a fake cookie award.

(Nutrition Facts – 1 cookie – 80 calories, 40 calories from fat, 4 grams of fat, 2 grams of saturated fat, 1.5 grams of monounsaturated fat, 10 milligrams of cholesterol, 65 milligrams of sodium, 11 grams of carbohydrates, 8 grams of sugar, and less than 1 gram of protein.)

Purchased Price: $2.50
Size: 16 oz. (makes 24 cookies)
Purchased at: Walmart
Rating: 8 out of 10
Pros: Rich, fudgy cookie dough. Sweet milk chocolate morsels add nice variety. Crunchy pretzel pieces. Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson.
Cons: Still a totally made-up award, possibly rigged. Uneven distribution of pretzel pieces. Michael Bay.

REVIEW: Limited Edition PB&J Oreo Cookies

Limited Edition PB J Oreo Cookies

If you’re holding a grudge against Oreo for temporarily ruining your taste buds with its Swedish Fish flavor or turning your poop pink with Peeps Oreo, Limited Edition PB&J Oreo might be the olive branch that causes you to forgive.

The sandwich cookie features a creme layer that’s half peanut butter-flavored and half raspberry jelly-flavored between two Golden Oreo wafers. It’s disappointing Nabisco didn’t use their Oreo Thins technology to stack two thin creme layers on top of each other to make it look more like a PB&J sandwich and less like Grimace lying on top his own filth after drinking too many McDonald’s chocolate shakes.

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The peanut butter creme has a pleasant balance of sweet and salty. I haven’t had Peanut Butter Oreo Cookies in a long time, so I’m not sure if this one tastes similar. But when I lick the creme and eat the cookie, Nutter Butter pops into my head. The jelly creme tastes like the same one used in the Limited Edition Jelly Donut Oreo. While I didn’t care for it with that cookie, I like it in this one. While it has an artificial raspberry flavor when eaten alone, it’s turns into a generic berry flavor when eating a whole cookie.

When the two cremes come together in one bite, it brings a smile to my face because the cookie hits the PB&J flavor target. There’s the right balance between the two cremes, one flavor doesn’t overwhelm the other. These cookies make Smuckers Uncrustables seem more like Unbearables. The Golden wafers are great as the “bread” for these cookies because, while sweet, they’re also mild enough to allow the cremes to shine.

These cookies are delightful, so much so that I’d bet money we’ll be seeing these as a permanent or returning flavor in the future. Also, let me include more praise by stating this is one of my Top 5 favorite limited edition Oreo cookies.

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While wonderful, I do have some minor issues with it. The way the creme layer is forces us to bite into a particular side to get both flavors in our mouths. Approach it from the wrong side and you end up with all peanut butter or all jelly. Of course, one can overcome that by shoving the whole cookie into your mouth like a competitive Oreo eater.

Also, raspberry jelly is an odd choice. If I was playing Family Feud and Steve Harvey asked me “Name me a jelly flavor you’d put on a PB&J sandwich,” I’m sure answering “raspberry” wouldn’t be any help towards getting to 200 points.

So to all who have been burned by previous Oreo flavors, the Limited Edition PB&J Oreo is one helluva “I’m Sorry” card from Nabisco.

(Nutrition Facts – 2 cookies – 140 calories, 50 calories from fat, 6 grams of fat, 1.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 95 milligrams of sodium, 25 milligrams of potassium, 21 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of fiber, 11 grams of sugar, and 1 gram of protein.)

Purchased Price: Too much from eBay
Size: 10.7 oz. package
Purchased at: Kroger (by eBay seller)
Rating: 9 out of 10
Pros: Does PB&J well. Peanut butter reminds me of Nutter Butter. Jelly creme works better with this cookie than Jelly Donut Oreo. Possible future varieties, like strawberry jelly, grape jelly, or crunchy peanut butter creme.
Cons: Raspberry jelly seems like an odd choice for jelly. Creme is half peanut butter and half jelly, not two layers on top of each other. Currently a Kroger-exclusive.

REVIEW: Keebler Limited Batch Dark Chocolate Mint Fudge Stripes Cookies

Keebler Limited Batch Dark Chocolate Mint Fudge Stripes Cookies

I know what you’re thinking.

Thin Mints.

When chocolate and mint come together these days, the inevitable comparison is to those bewitching Girl Scout goodies. But my first impression of Fudge Stripes Dark Chocolate Mint cookies was something a little closer to my own ‘80s heart. Andes candies.

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I have memories of my parents putting Andes out in crystal bowls when they had company over, but I’m not sure if that was real life or an Andes commercial that I dreamed my family into. In either case, I had the distinct impression that these were sophisticated adult treats that I was lucky to get my grubby paws on. I wouldn’t taste Thin Mints until near middle-age and still have not partaken in a Shamrock Shake, so those tiny slabs are my mint touchstone.

After the disappointment of Strawberry Cheesecake Fudge Stripes, I was a little leery when I opened this package. My deep inhale was met by the cool minty aromatic embrace of Andes. “Come in,” they purred. “Remember us?” It’s summer, so the light green frosting stripes smeared on my fingers while trying to separate the cookies.

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I took a bite and YES – FUDGE STRIPES ARE BACK ON THEIR GAME!

The mint was a bright, refreshing flavor and sensation – there was a tiny kick of cool menthol there. The chocolate was a perfect companion, grounding the mint, but not competing against it. This was an Andes candies cookie and I loved it!

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My one (minuscule and easily dismissible) criticism is that while billed as dark chocolate, the cookie base didn’t read as such to me. It was like Oreos or the Fudge Stripes Cookies & Creme variation – a rich dark color, but not the bitter bite of dark chocolate. That being said, it was still delicious, so I’ll hold my thumb over the word “dark” on the package and happily chow down.

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These belong on the “should be a permanent Fudge Stripes release” shelf with Cinnamon Roll, Lemon Cream Pie, and Birthday Cake.

I had the urge to repurpose these and decided on a Stripe-S’Mallow-Mint Sandwich. Two cookies, one marshmallow, a few seconds in the microwave and I had a gooey decadent summer dessert.

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I made mine with jumbo marshmallows, but they were too big and I had a bit of a blowout. Take 2 (pictured) was half a jumbo. A regular ‘mallow would have been perfect.

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(Nutrition Facts – 2 cookies – 140 calories, 6 grams of fat, 4 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 120 milligrams of sodium, 20 grams of carbohydrates, less than 1 gram of dietary fiber, 11 grams of total sugars including 11 grams of added sugars, and 1 gram of protein.)

Purchased Price: $2.69
Size: 11.5 oz. package
Purchased at: Target
Rating: 9 out of 10
Pros: Minty fresh taste! Chocolate-y chocolate-ness. Crystal-bowl-worthy.
Cons: Not really dark chocolate. Not a deal breaker, though.

REVIEW: Limited Edition Dunkin’ Donuts Mocha Oreo Cookies

Limited Edition Dunkin Donuts Mocha Oreo Cookies

A limited edition Oreo cookie gets a lot of attention. But a limited edition Oreo cookie that features another brand gets a lot more attention. The combining of two brands is what I believe marketing people call “synergy.”

We’ve seen it before with Swedish Fish and Peeps Oreo. And we’re seeing it again with these Limited Edition Dunkin’ Donuts Mocha Oreo Cookies.

While one of those earlier flavors is in the running for Worst Oreo Flavor Ever and the other one turned our poop pink, this mocha-flavored sandwich cookie seems like an idea that can’t go wrong and won’t turn poop an unnatural color.

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The cookie looks like a regular Oreo with chocolate creme. But while the wafer is the standard one, the creme is Dunkin’ Donuts Mocha-flavored. As you all know, mocha is coffee and chocolate, and coffee has a distinguishable aroma. But these cookies smell like what they look like, Oreo cookies with chocolate creme. Despite using my nose as hard as a dog sniffing where several other dogs have peed, I couldn’t get a hint of coffee.

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While their scent is not what I expected, I also did not expect to see a crease on the side of the creme layer. It looks as if the creme machine spit out two applications at one time. Of course, yours might look different. But the machine that made these needs some recalibration.

If you’re hoping for a decent coffee flavor from these sandwich cookies, you’re not going to get it. The creme alone does have a mocha flavor to it, and it tastes decent, but it leans more toward the chocolate than the coffee. This leads to a problem. When the two wafers are in the mix, the cookie falls completely over to the chocolate side. I thought the slight bitterness of the wafers would somehow enhance the coffee flavor, but it didn’t. I believe that’s what psychologists would call “wishful thinking.”

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The Limited Edition Dunkin’ Donuts Mocha Oreo Cookies are mediocre. There’s no coffee aroma and no coffee flavor when eaten whole, so there’s no way I’d recommend picking them up if you’re wanting a coffee Oreo. With that said, they’re tasty as a chocolate cookie, but that’s not what I want.

They’re so disappointing that I just want to get some Hydrox cookies and dunk them in Starbucks coffee. And I believe that’s what my therapist would call “spite.”

(Nutrition Facts – 2 cookies – 140 calories, 60 calories from fat, 6 grams of fat, 2 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 90 milligrams of sodium, 40 milligrams of potassium, 21 grams of carbohydrates, less than 1 gram of fiber, 13 grams of sugar, and less than 1 gram of protein.)

Purchased Price: $3.98
Size: 10.7 oz. package
Purchased at: Walmart
Rating: 5 out of 10
Pros: Fine as a chocolate cookie. Creme has a decent artificial mocha flavor.
Cons: Creme leans more towards chocolate than coffee. When eaten whole, there isn’t any coffee flavor. Doesn’t have a coffee aroma. Seeing the word “synergy” on a PowerPoint presentation.