REVIEW: Limited Edition Chocolate Strawberry Oreo Cookies

Limited Edition Chocolate Strawberry Oreo Cookies

Two years ago, on a hazy New Year’s morning (my birthday), my girlfriend woke me up with a package of Birthday Cake Oreo in bed, and the secret junk food junkie in me silently screamed with joy.

Now, thanks to the cookie scientists at Nabisco, I can return the favor to my one true love on Valentine’s Day with the Limited Edition Chocolate Strawberry Oreo. Whether or not a crinkly package of factory cookies can successfully replace four-dollars-a-pop chocolate-covered strawberries remains to be seen, but whether or not these Oreo’s are a decent start to the pending onslaught of 2017’s limited offerings can be laid to rest right now.

Limited Edition Chocolate Strawberry Oreo Cookies 2

The Oreo cookies look no different than the always available chocolate flavor, with a dark creme sandwiched between two classic wafer cookies; but the aroma is distinctly different and heavy on the strawberry. Something about the chocolate strawberry smell is immediately nostalgic, channeling Neapolitan ice cream sandwiches, kiddy cereal, and strawberry Pocky sticks. While it is definitely an artificial fruit smell, it is not too perfumey or cloying in any way.

Limited Edition Chocolate Strawberry Oreo Cookies 3

Digging into the cookies, the strong strawberry smell is put on the back burner as chocolate takes the more dominant role in overall flavor, which makes sense as the chocolate outweighs the strawberry components 2-to-1. The textures of the chocolate and strawberry cremes are exactly the same, which mixes the two flavors together in a way that is cohesive but ultimately not too special.

There’s nothing off-putting about the fruit flavor like the strange Swedish Fish Oreo, but there’s also nothing particularly new or unique, like the slightly differing textures in the Filled Cupcake Oreo.

Limited Edition Chocolate Strawberry Oreo Cookies 4

A chocolate covered strawberry, as the design of the package directly implies, should have a more strawberry-forward flavor, and while these cookies do a good job of conveying both elements, the ratios and authenticity feel a bit off.

They’re a tasty crunchy cookie that will definitely be agreeable to most average palates but don’t provide any level of satisfaction that the original Oreo have delivered for over 100 years (literally). I’m not sure my Valentine’s chocolate thirst will be satiated with these come February 14, so I may have to go back to dropping $30 at Godiva to show how much I truly care.

(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, 21 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of fiber, 13 grams of sugar, and 1 gram of protein..)

Purchased Price: $2.50
Size: 10.7 oz. package
Purchased at: Safeway
Rating: 7 out of 10
Pros: Full choco-strawberry aroma. Not too artificial tasting. Hey, it’s an Oreo.
Cons: Not enough genuine strawberry flavor. Not enough contrast, too much chocolate. Will not replace expensive Valentine’s Day candy.

REVIEW: Pepperidge Farm Toasted Marshmallow Milano Cookies

Pepperidge Farm Toasted Marshmallow Milano Cookies

I’m starting to think I might have the wrong mailing address for Santa Claus.

You see, twenty years ago, I sent Santa a letter asking for a Super Soaker CPS 2000. All of the kids in my neighborhood were getting one, so I just had to get one too. I’d be blasting my friends in the face with ice cold water in no time!

But there was one problem…the Super Soaker CPS 2000 never came. Surely there was just a mistake at the North Pole Postal Service—they’re very busy during this time of year. So every December since, I’ve written Santa a letter asking for a brand new Super Soaker CPS 2000. You’re probably thinking, “Ben, you loser, you’re an adult! You can’t go around playing with Super Soakers, even if you do get one.” Ha! The joke’s on you. I’m a grown male who still writes letters to Santa Claus. Do you really expect me to care about what people think of me playing with a Super Soaker? Who’s the loser now?

Just to make sure Santa stops by my house this year, I’ll be leaving him these new Pepperidge Farm Toasted Marshmallow Milano Cookies. I hope Santa isn’t a s’mores lover; these cookies aren’t made to include any graham flavor whatsoever. Instead, Toasted Marshmallow Milano cookies are just regular Milano cookies with an additional marshmallow-flavored layer.

Pepperidge Farm Toasted Marshmallow Milano Cookies 2

Well, at least I think there’s an additional marshmallow-flavored layer. Toasted Marshmallow Milano cookies have a sugary, creamy flavor to them, but it’s hard to tell whether that’s distinctly “marshmallow” or if it’s just coming from the milk chocolate layer. Either way, it’s certainly not toasted. I’m not saying Pepperidge Farm had to dip each of these cookies in liquid smoke — that would actually be pretty disgusting — but with a name like “Toasted Marshmallow,” I would hope that these Milano cookies could have some semblance of being toasted.

Pepperidge Farm Toasted Marshmallow Milano Cookies 3

I searched for a toasted flavor in the cookie, too. No luck. It’s just the same standard Milano cookie, like a lighter shortbread. Its rich, floury-yet-buttery flavor is good, but it dominates the overall flavor of the cookie. Aside from a few lucky bites, the cookie tends to overpower the flavors within — and that is the real problem with Toasted Marshmallow Milano cookies. You can taste “marshmallow” and milk chocolate, but never together. In short, these cookies are pretty good, but not nearly as great as they could have been.

If the last twenty years have taught me anything, it’s how to deal with failed expectations. But as Pepperidge Farm just taught me, two can play that game.

Pepperidge Farm Toasted Marshmallow Milano Cookies 4

(Nutrition Facts – 2 cookies – 130 calories, 60 calories from fat, 7 grams of fat, 4 grams of saturated fat, less than 5 milligrams of cholesterol, 40 milligrams of sodium, 16 grams of carbohydrates, 9 grams of sugar, and 1 gram of protein..)

Purchased Price: $2.50
Size: 7 oz. package
Purchased at: Target
Rating: 7 out of 10
Pros: Marshmallow and milk chocolate layers are sweet and creamy. Familiar rich, buttery cookie. Learning life lessons. The North Pole Postal Service.
Cons: Not toasted. Shortbread cookie dominates the overall flavor. Still wishing for a Super Soaker CPS 2000. Passive-aggressively leaving one cookie for Santa Claus.

REVIEW: Pepperidge Farm Limited Edition Brussels Mint Cookies

Pepperidge Farm Limited Edition Brussels Mint Cookies

Pepperidge Farm has a whole line of lesser known cookies that most of you probably can’t name. To see if I’m right, I made a list of four possible Pepperidge Farm cookies below. One is real. Guess which one it is without using the internet.

  • Madagascar
  • Rochester
  • Verona
  • Montenegro

Okay, now you can use the internet to check your answer.

While you may have had trouble determining which one is a real Pepperidge Farm cookie name, the one everyone can name is the Milano. It has to be the most popular of all gazillion PeFa cookies (I’m trying to make PeFa a thing because I’m tired of typing Pepperidge Farm). But right now, I’m about to say something that might be blasphemous. It’s not their best cookie. That, my friends, goes to the Brussels.

For those of you not familiar with the original Brussels, the Pepperidge Farm website describes them as “lace-thin, crisp cookies embrace a layer of smooth, luxurious, dark chocolate.” Perhaps a better description, using fewer adjectives, would be calling it a thin sandwich cookie.

Granted, the first time I’ve ever tried a Brussels was when I tasted these Limited Edition Brussels Mint Cookies. But it took just one cookie to know they’re better. Sure, they look like Milano cookies that got run over by a steamroller before being baked, but they have a satisfying crunch that makes the crispiness of the Milano seem quaint.

Pepperidge Farm Limited Edition Brussels Mint Cookies 2

The mint version out for the holidays has the same thin crunchy wafers and layer of dark chocolate as the original, but it also has a blanket of mint creme. At this point, with the combination of chocolate and mint, you’re probably thinking these might taste like Girl Scouts Thin Mints, and they do. They don’t make my mouth as minty, but, dare I say, because of that thunderous crunch, they’re better than Thin Mints.

Yup, I said it. These are awesome and kick Thin Mints butt!

You don’t control my wallet anymore, Girl Scouts.

Oh wait. These are limited edition.

I’m sorry, Girl Scouts. I’ll take four boxes of Thin Mints.

(Nutrition Facts – 3 cookies – 190 calories, 90 calories from fat, 10 grams of fat, 5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 100 milligrams of sodium, 22 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of fiber, 13 grams of sugar, and 2 grams of protein.)

Purchased Price: $2.50
Size: 6.25 oz
Purchased at: Target
Rating: 9 out of 10
Pros: I think they’re better than Thin Mints. I think Brussels are better than Milano cookies. Wonderful crunch. Supporting Girl Scouts even though the prices for the cookies seem to be increasing while the size seems to be shrinking.
Cons: Limited Edition. Trying to make PeFa a thing. Not supporting Girl Scouts.

REVIEW: Keebler Limited Batch Peppermint Fudge Stripes Cookies

Keebler Limited Batch Peppermint Fudge Stripes Cookies

Candy Canes and Cookies.

It has a cute ring to it, doesn’t it? Like the title of a baking blog, or a children’s Christmas story, or even a specialty store that sells holiday-themed socks. But eaten together?

Sure, we’ve had Candy Cane Oreo Cookies, but a part of me has always felt the confection world should never be combined with the creaming method world. It’s sort of like fish and cheese. Conventional wisdom tells us these things just don’t “go” together, and far be it for drumming up iconoclasm once Christmas comes around.

Keebler Limited Batch Peppermint Fudge Stripes Cookies change all that. It really shouldn’t be a surprise; I mean, these are cookies baked by magical elves. Yes, they may live in a tree owned by Kellogg’s, but I like to think of the Keebler elves as cousins to Santa’s elves, except more proficient in cookie making than toy making.

And let me tell you something: The Keebler elves nail the cookie thing here, just like how Santa’s elves nailed my 1997 request for a Nintendo Gameboy. The familiar shortbread cookie base is crunchy, buttery, and not overpoweringly sweet; small bursts of red nonpareils lend a sweet sugar cookie vibe, while the white fudge coating further adds to the frosting-like texture of the cookie.

Keebler Limited Batch Peppermint Fudge Stripes Cookies 2

Keebler Limited Batch Peppermint Fudge Stripes Cookies 4

As for the peppermint taste, it’s right where it needs to be. The danger with peppermint anything is that the floral, light taste of mint overwhelms the taste buds and makes you feel like you’re eating a Tic-Tac. Thankfully, that is not the case with these cookies. The peppermint taste is there, but it’s not that rush of winter freshness that comes from binging on a box of candy canes (pro tip: not good). Instead, the floral taste gives a cool relief to the frosting-like white fudge, which has a rich vanilla sweetness.

Keebler Limited Batch Peppermint Fudge Stripes Cookies 3

While Keebler’s elves are clearly taking a page from Santa’s elves in the design of a Christmas themed cookie, what they haven’t managed to do is perfect a flawless packaging and delivery system. The same nonresealable package that plagues Fudge Stripes houses the limited edition cookie, while the white fudge coating had melted by the time I opened the package. The ensuing peppermint white fudge, while lickable and probably awesome on cupcakes, was stickier and harder to wash off my paws than the sugar coating of a half-eaten candy cane.

You gotta give it to the Keebler elves. After years of offering plain Fudge Stripes (which are delicious) they’ve tinkered their treehouse production facilities and expanded into pumpkin spice, birthday cake, cookies & creme, and now peppermint. I’m not saying these would be a great cookie to leave out for Santa, but yeah, with the frosted shortbread cookie vibe, crunchy vanilla, and peppermint sweetness, I am kind of saying that.

(Nutrition Facts – 2 cookies – 140 calories from fat, 60 calories from fat, 6 grams of fat, 4 grams of sat fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 70 milligrams of sodium, 19 grams of carbohydrates, 10 grams of sugar, 0 grams of fiber, and less than 1 gram of protein..)

Purchased Price: $2.00
Size: 11.5 oz
Purchased at: United Supermarkets
Rating: 8 out of 10
Pros: Fresh and floral peppermint taste that doesn’t linger on your tongue like a candy cane. Crunchy shortbread cookie with rich white fudge and crunchy vanilla flavor. Would make a solid seasonal ice cream sandwich base.
Cons: Keebler’s absolute reluctance to embrace resealable packaging. White fudge coating can melt and be messy. Limited appeal for non-peppermint lovers. The politics of elf family trees.

REVIEW: Nabisco Oreo Thins Tiramisu Cookies (Korea)

Nabisco Oreo Thins Tiramisu Cookies

I love Oreo Thins.

I’ve said statements like that publicly and when I’m alone with a package in my kitchen, serenading it with the Peyton Manning Nationwide Insurance commercial jingle melody.

Oreo Thins, you taste so good.

I also like to order tiramisu whenever I’m not full or tired from eating large amounts of carbohydrates at Italian chain restaurants like Romano’s Macaroni Grill and Bucca di Beppo.

For those of you unfamiliar with the Italian desert, it features coffee dipped ladyfingers; layers of an eggs, sugar, and mascarpone cheese mixture; is flavored with cocoa; and may contain rum. It’s light, it has a fun name to say in a sexy voice, and it’s delicious.

So including a tiramisu-flavored creme in an Oreo Thins Cookie looks like a slam dunk or a home run. But, surprisingly, it was not. It was an air ball or an inning-ending 6-4-3 double play with the bases loaded when (insert your team here) is down one run in the bottom of the ninth inning in Game 7 of the World Series. Okay, maybe not that soul crushing.

Actually, my disappointment with these began before I even tasted one. I thought these would’ve been nice if they had the soft cookie of Oreo Cakesters (remember those), which would’ve matched the actual dessert’s texture.

Nabisco Oreo Thins Tiramisu Cookies 2

The tiramisu-flavored creme tastes very similar to the Italian dessert. It’s got the coffee, the cocoa, and I detect a little bit of alcohol flavor. But the thing is, when eaten whole, the creme is in the background while the chocolate wafer dominates the cookie’s flavor.

That’s typical with the Oreo Thins varieties and it’s the reason why I sing to them when we’re alone. That ratio makes them less sweet and allows me to easily pop them into my mouth one after another like potato chips. But I really wanted the tiramisu to shine, which it doesn’t. Perhaps, this flavor would’ve been better as a regular Oreo.

These Oreo Thins Tiramisu Cookies are okay. Are they good enough that you should buy a box from an eBay seller in another country since these cookie aren’t available in the U.S.? Well, if they’re not tasty enough for me to serenade, then they’re not good enough.

Purchased Price: $6.00
Size: 84 g box/2 sleeves of 7 cookies
Purchased at: eBay
Rating: 6 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (1 sleeve) 220 kcal, 11 grams of fat, 6 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 140 milligrams of sodium, 28 grams of carbohydrates, 15 grams of sugar, and 2 grams of protein