I was watching the Food Network recently, and one of the dozens of “Best of…” programs was featuring State Fair food. I hadn’t been to so much as a county fair in a long time, so I was not mentally prepared for the monuments to gluttony that I saw.
The last time I checked, funnel cake with powdered sugar or maybe an extra long churro was peak-indulgence. I’m not complaining, but we’re living in a world with fried cheesecake hot fudge sundaes topped with caramel, pralines, brownie pieces, and whipped cream, so I needed to reorient my worldview.
When I saw Oreo’s new Chocolate Crunch State Fair Cookies at Walmart, I knew I had to try to try them. Can the State Fair experience be recreated at home?
There are two cooking instructions on the box, conventional and microwave oven, so in the interest of experiencing everything these cookies had to offer, I tried both methods. The conventional oven preparation is pictured on the left and microwave on the right. I’m pleased that neither preparation has resulted in Oreo Crème leaking out the sides. I get inordinately angry at burst filling.
Right out of the oven, the scent immediately reminds me of french toast sticks. That’s a bit…strange, but not too off-putting. As I bite into it, my first impression is of chicken nuggets.
No, the sharp chocolaty sweetness is quickly apparent, followed by the filling’s mild creaminess. So, they taste like Oreo cookies, but what’s going on here? Both the conventional and microwave oven samples share the same aroma, and I realize that what I’m detecting the ubiquitous essence that all deep fried and frozen snacks share, like fryer oil that should’ve been changed sooner. These also have the soggy breading that is the fate of so many other freezer-to-oven items.
These are not the little morsels of bliss that I was hoping for, so I decide to deconstruct them in an effort to see where everything went wrong. The crème is ordinary Oreo filling that thankfully never gets too hot or melty. (Imagine burning your tongue on molten crème filling.) The Oreo cookie is plain Oreo cookie that’s a bit soggy. The breading is plain breading that, despite the name, doesn’t taste like chocolate and never gets very crunchy. Combine all this and you get something that’s edible, but doesn’t even surpass common Oreo cookies, much less something you could get at a State Fair.
In the end, these State Fair Oreo Cookies are a bit disappointing. Perhaps Food Network programming has set my expectations for decadence too high. Will normal deserts now turn to ash in my mouth, forcing me to seek ever-loftier sensual delights until the line between pleasure and pain, virtue and vice are blurred? I dunno, but normal Oreo still taste pretty good, so I’m probably safe.
(Nutrition Facts – 1 cookies – 130 calories, 6 grams of fat, 1.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 85 milligrams of sodium, 18 grams of carbohydrates, less than 1 gram of fiber, 8 grams of sugar, and 1 gram of protein.)
Purchased Price: $3.99
Size: 10 oz. box
Purchased at: Walmart
Rating: 5 out of 10
Pros: Warm Oreo Crème doesn’t leak out the sides and is very tasty.
Cons: Odd-yet-familiar deep-fried frozen item scent and flavor. Doesn’t get very crisp even in a very hot oven.