While the phrase “black and white” often connotes unchallenged simplicity, Oreo has instead presented us with the gustatory puzzle of a cookie flavored like a cookie that is technically a cake. Could any dessert be as delicious as the irony?
Whether you know them as black and whites or half moon cookies, the iconic deli staple sweet is the brand’s newest inspiration. Traditional black and white cookies are soft, cakey cookies sleekly coated with vanilla icing on one half and chocolate icing on the other. Limited Edition Black & White Cookie Oreo Cookies consist of golden vanilla wafer cookies and overlapping circles of vanilla and chocolate cremes.
It sounds like a fancy name for a lazy concept — a pet peeve of mine when it comes to product naming. (Unless it has sprinkles and a cherry, it isn’t hot fudge sundae flavored — it’s just chocolate and vanilla!)
Happily, the duo of cremes in this Oreo avoided that naming trap and pleasantly surprised me. The white creme has a distinct vanilla flavor, just like royal icing enhanced by a touch of vanilla extract. I expected to taste Oreo’s traditional white filling, but this creme is very vanilla-forward and less sugary-sweet. The complementary black creme has a deep, almost bittersweet cocoa taste. It is similar to the dark chocolate fillings of Oreo’s past, but not as rich. They are delicious apart, but both cremes together remind me of a black and white cookie in a way that makes “chocolate and vanilla” feel like an inadequate description.
Like the colors black and white, Oreo fans may also be separated into dichotomous categories: those who eat Oreo cookies by twisting the wafers apart to savor the creme first and those who just take a big bite out of the sandwich. Because of the well-flavored filling, B&WC Oreos were made for the first category of tasters. With one bite, the buttery cookies take over, and it is hard to taste the cremes. As a result, the entire cookie becomes just okay instead of special. The golden vanilla wafers were a good choice to represent the cookie’s inspiration dessert, but, like an overcast sky, they hide the understated beauty of the (half) moon.
The enduring success of the original Oreo proves that there is perfection in simplicity. The Limited Edition Black & White Cookie Oreo approaches, but doesn’t quite live up to, that truth. The cookie may have been more successful in the Double Stuf variety, where the filling could really shine. I hope Oreo revisits these cremes before it rushes to develop something more wacky or luxurious because they are too good to be written off as basic.
Purchased Price: $4.69
Size: 10.68 oz (303 g) package
Purchased at: Target
Rating: 6 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (per 2 cookies) 140 calories, 7 grams of fat, 2 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 95 milligrams of sodium, 20 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of fiber, 11 grams of sugar, and 1 gram of protein.