REVIEW: Duncan Hines Gooey Bakes

Duncan Hines Gooey Confetti Sugar Cookie and Chocolate Chip Cookie

I say Duncan Hines. You say Pusha T’s verse: “That white frost on that pound cake so your Duncan Hines is irrelevant.”

But, contrary to rap music’s opinion, Duncan Hines is pretty relevant with all its innovative drops. It just made money moves into the frozen aisle with its new Gooey Bakes line with four new products:

  • Chocolate Chip Cookie – a chocolate chip cookie with melted chocolate chunk and chips with a super gooey center.
  • Confetti Sugar Cookie – a confetti sugar cookie with a super gooey center and with melted confetti chips and sprinkles.
  • Butterscotch Oatmeal Cookie – an oatmeal cookie loaded with melted butterscotch-flavored chips and a gooey center.
  • Double Chocolate Brownie – a double chocolate brownie with a gooey center and loaded with melted chocolate chunks.

Duncan Hines Gooey Chocolate Chip Cookie

Duncan Hines Gooey Confetti Sugar Cookie

I was only able to find two of the cookies, but if the other two taste half as good, that would still be pretty dang tasty. Between the two cookies, I favored the more true-to-form chocolate chip one. The latter was delicious and festive, but more like a vanilla confetti cake than a sugar cookie.

I was amazed by how easy this made it to have a “fresh” cookie. It was just a minute or so of microwave time. To be precise, I preferred 1 minute 15 seconds for the more melted chunks in the choco chip one, and one minute was fine for the other.

So, you may be wondering what’s different with this and the “Perfect Size” line? From my vantage point, it’s THAT, but even EASIER – no need to add/mix ingredients.

Duncan Hines Gooey Chocolate Chip Cookie Spoonful

But, because it’s heated up in the microwave, there weren’t any crispy edges. I prefer cookies with crispy edges and gooey centers. That said, the chocolate chip one’s texture feels more like a slightly under-baked cookie, whereas the confetti one is like a cake.

Duncan Hines Gooey Confetti Sugar Cookie Spoonful

Note that it wasn’t quite as fluffy or risen as Duncan Hines’ mug cakes, but it didn’t seems as cookie-like to me. Also, another gripe was that the confetti chips added nothing; they melted down into white blobs that I thought was unmixed flour.

The size probably also contributed to the perception of cake because each of these babies has NINE servings. I wanted to eat both in one sitting by myself, but I failed. If you find yourself in a cookie surplus situation as I did, you can put it in the fridge overnight and microwave it for a quick minute when you want to consume it. It’s like new again!

Folks, we have entered a new era of cookie craze – from edible cookie dough to these new ready-to-eat frozen cookies – and I’m here for it.

Purchased Price: $3.89 each
Size: 10 oz. box
Purchased at: Meijer
Rating: 9 out of 10 (Chocolate Chip), 8 out of 10 (Confetti Sugar Cookie
Nutrition Facts: (1/9 cookie) Chocolate Chip – 140 calories, 6 grams of fat, 3 grams of saturated fat, 20 milligrams of cholesterol, 140 milligrams of sodium, 21 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of fiber, 13 grams of sugar, and 1 gram of protein. Confetti Sugar Cookie – 140 calories, 6 grams of fat, 2.5 grams of saturated fat, 15 milligrams of cholesterol, 80 milligrams of sodium, 19 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of fiber, 12 grams of sugar, and 1 gram of protein..

REVIEW: Limited Edition 2019 Mystery Oreo Cookies

Limited Edition 2019 Mystery Oreo Cookies

Who doesn’t love a good mystery?

Well, after Oreo’s previous lame mystery flavor, I’m sure plenty of people don’t.

Despite already releasing a flavor called “Fruity Crisp,” the big reveal ended up being Fruity Pebbles. They were barely different, and it all felt like a publicity stunt slash brand partnership.

In fairness to Oreo, many people suspected that flavor but didn’t pick it because, well, it’s been done already.

I guessed Froot Loops, so I found the reveal to be disappointing and lazy, which is why I was excited to see Nabisco give the “Mystery Oreo” another go-round.

I believe it was the legendary mystery author, Agatha Christie, who once said:

“The less you think, the more you’ll know. Whilst solving Mystery Oreo.”

While I respect old Aggie’s knowledge on the matter, I knew damn well I was gonna overanalyze the so-called mystery that sat before me.

I went into the review blind, avoiding all online chatter.

First, I checked the ingredients. Nothing. Just a list of stuff that translates to “don’t worry about what you’re eating.” Nabisco wouldn’t be so sloppy as to give it away there anyway.

The package had a hint that read:

“History is divided on how this came to exist. A shepherd? A sailor? There’s no easy fix.”

Using my Holmesian intellect, I deduced this riddle was clearly alluding to some kind of spice? Perhaps an ancient edible adhesive of some sort? Molasses?

The crème is the mystery, so I theorized it would most likely be a flavor that goes well with a chocolate cookie. Then I remembered many Oreo flavors before – including Fruity Pebbles – really didn’t, so I quickly tossed that out.

Limited Edition 2019 Mystery Oreo Cookies Tray

It was time to tear open the package and push all preconceived notions to the back burner. Like Toucan Sam, I had to first follow my nose.

I was hit with an immediate waft of cinnamon bun – a flavor Oreo has already tackled. Could this be a rebranding like the Fruity Pebbles fiasco? Are these Pillsbury Cinnamon Bun Oreos? Cinnabon?

It was time to chow. I separated the cookie, scraped the crème off with my teeth and yeah, it tasted like it smelled. Did a Shepherd or Sailor discover cinnamon? Invent the cinnamon bun?

Limited Edition 2019 Mystery Oreo Cookies Halves

With $50,000 riding on this guess, I have to imagine Oreo would try a little harder than to reuse an old flavor. Did it stick with the cereal theme of the last one? Is this Cinnamon Toast Crunch Cereal Milk Oreo? Hmmm. That ain’t bad.

Before I tell you my final guess, I have to say; these are damn good. The alleged cinnamon and chocolate are an excellent pairing. If nothing else, these crush the previous Mystery Oreo.

Ok, back to the mystery. The cinnamon flavor is prominent, but it doesn’t punch you in the face, so I’m suspecting it’s a cinnamon based dessert with a co-star. There hasn’t been a Churro Oreo, but there’s more to it than that. Is Cinnamon Pie a thing? Shoofly Pie?

Limited Edition 2019 Mystery Oreo Cookies What

I kept thinking there must be some kind of dessert that’s made with cinnamon and possibly tea (?) that I wasn’t aware of, but in the end – and this pains me to say – I had to lock in on an answer I’m pretty positive is wrong – Cinnabon. Yes, Oreo is pulling another one over on us, and re-releasing an old flavor with a brand partnership. Good cookie, boring outcome.

Proceed to tell me how wrong I am, and enjoy.

Purchased Price: $3.49
Size: 12.2 oz. package
Purchased at: ShopRite
Rating: 8 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (2 Cookies) 140 calories, 7 grams of fat, 2 grams of saturated fat, 0 gram of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 85 milligrams of sodium, 21 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of fiber, 13 grams of sugar, and less than 1 gram of protein.

REVIEW: Oreo China Six Flavors

1 Oreo Six Flavors

I’ve never been to China, but I feel like I’ve eaten enough of their Oreo flavors to be named Ambassador. Hot Chicken Wing and Wasabi, Seaweed, Strawberry, Blueberry, Orange-Mango, Grape-Peach and now – Six Flavors. Is “Cookie Ambassador” a thing? Can I be that?

A collaboration with the Palace Museum in Beijing, Oreo Six Flavors are inspired by traditional foods eaten by Chinese royalty at The Forbidden City. I took to eBay recently to track them down, since they haven’t been released here in the U.S.

2 Oreo Six Flavors Wrappers

The Six Flavors are: Green Tea Cake, Red Bean Cake, Lychee Rose Cake, Vintage Haw, Chaoshan-style BBQ Pork Pastry, and Spicy Pepper Pastry. They sounded both delicious and challenging.

3 Oreo Six Flavors Boxart

4 Oreo Six Flavors Boxart

The packaging on this collection is fantastic. The box was telling me an epic story, and each flavor had a unique wrapper with a gorgeous design. There were five cookies per flavor – a perfect size to sample and share. China – KILLING IT on Oreo beauty and practicality.

5 Oreo Six Flavors Green Tea

I’ll get right to the flavors. First up was Green Tea Cake. I wasn’t sure about this one – sometimes green tea tastes like dirt to me. But here, it was really nice. Earthy but low-key, it worked really well with the slightly-less-sweet chocolate cookie that I notice all the Chinese Oreo have in common.

The Red Bean Cake Oreo was also earthy, but not as sweet as other red bean desserts I’ve had. My first reaction was “interesting, but not awesome,” but they grew on me the more bites I took.

6 Oreo Six Flavors LycheeRose

Next up – Lychee Rose Cake. Now, Rose is a very tricky flavor. One molecule too much, and it tastes like the smell of a Granny’s bathroom. It was surprisingly well done here, though – definitely present and dominant, but not annoying. The lychee was more of a background fruit taste, but it did a lot to keep the rose in its place. I really enjoyed these.

I didn’t know what Vintage Haw flavor was, but I wanted to taste it blind. It was sweet and flowery – something in the neighborhood of strawberry, grape and a gorgeous tropical bloom. These were my favorite of the six – I could eat a whole bag. Afterwards, Google told me that Hawthorn (Haw) is a Chinese berry. I’m on board the Haw train after these Oreo cookies!

7 Oreo Six Flavors Pepper

I left the savory flavors for last. Spicy Pepper Pastry Oreo smelled a lot like black pepper, but on first taste, it was very subtle. But when I tried the creme filling alone, it was quite strong – the chocolate cookies cut the spice on it considerably. They weren’t terrible, but I wouldn’t buy them again.

And lastly, Chaoshan-Style BBQ Pork Pastry. This flavor worked a lot better than the Hot Chicken Wing Oreo – less salty, meatier, very BBQ’y (a little sweet, a little tangy). Still not a flavor I need more than one shot at, but not totally disgusting!

8 Oreo Six Flavors Cookies

These were the most fragile Oreos I’d ever handled. Some had broken in transit, which I expected, but even the intact cookies seemed to crumble when I tried to twist them open.

I really enjoyed this collection of flavors and the presentation. They were well worth the money and the wait for overseas shipping. I hope they get an official release here in America.

Purchased Price: $17.99 + free shipping
Size: 291g box (30 cookies)
Purchased at: eBay
Rating: 7 out of 10 (Green Tea Cake)
Rating: 7 out of 10 (Red Bean Cake)
Rating: 9 out of 10 (Lychee Rose Cake)
Rating: 10 out of 10 (Vintage Haw)
Rating: 5 out of 10 (Spicy Pepper Pastry)
Rating: 6 out of 10 (Chaoshan-Style BBQ Pork Pastry)
Nutrition Facts: (per 100g) 489 calories, 21.5 grams of fat, 480 milligrams of sodium, 67.5 grams of carbohydrates, and 5.3 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Limited Edition Maple Creme Oreo Cookies

Limited Edition Maple Creme Oreo Cookies

Poor maple.

Since the dawn of seasonal snack food proliferation and the veritable arms race of limited-edition flavors, it’s been getting overlooked each fall by pumpkin spice and any combination of apple flavors. And while it seems obvious maple would make its way into prime-time cookie form, it sure took its sweet time. Hell, it took Oreo 25 other flavors to even consider maple!

Frankly, Maple Creme Oreo Cookies are long overdue, especially given the fact that people have been smuggling Dare Maple Leaf Crème cookies across the Canadian border for as long as I can remember.

Limited Edition Maple Creme Oreo Cookies Creme

Like any rational human being, I eagerly enjoyed my first Maple Creme Oreo by twisting the cookies ends off and licking the crème, which looks like peanut butter. More viscous than regular Oreo creme and slightly gritty, it has a delicate depth and slightly unprocessed flavor. These are not woodsy, warming, or even caramel, all flavors associated with darker colored maple syrups. But for what they lack in a romantic conception of drizzling maple syrup over pancakes after a long day of chopping wood in Vermont with our best flannel shirt, they make up in general appeal.

Limited Edition Maple Creme Oreo Cookies in Package

In that light, the creme does hit a maple note, although one that straddles a slightly-more-sweet-than-it-needs-to-be mixture of corn syrup and light brown sugar. You’re getting maple flavor, but you’re not getting maple syrup — a sensation complicated by the Golden Oreo wafers.

While the creme is far too sweet on its own, the Golden Oreo wafers help balance out the taste. When I first bit into one, an odd but welcomed memory of Golden Grahams surfaced on my tongue. I’m not sure if the wafers received a slight flavor change for the cookie, or if was the combination of being stuck to the maple-flavored creme, but the taste was different and better than the average Golden Oreo.

Limited Edition Maple Creme Oreo Cookies Wafers

In any case, the wafers had enough complexity to dull the sweetness while rounding out the maple flavor, making the complete cookie chomp the preferred method for eating these.

While Oreo could have gone a lot of different ways in pairing the maple flavor, I tend to think the simplest variation is often the best. It definitely works here, and although Maple Creme Oreo Cookies are not quite as good as Canada’s Maple Leaf Crème cookies (which are made with real maple syrup), they’re still good enough on their own to deserve consideration to be in the regular lineup.

Purchased Price: $2.99
Size:12.2 oz. package
Purchased at: Walmart
Rating: 7 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (2 cookies) 140 calories, 6 grams of total fat, 2 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 65 milligrams of sodium, 21 grams of total carbohydrates, 0 grams of dietary fiber, 13 grams of total sugars, 13 grams of added sugars, and less than 1 gram of protein.

REVIEW: Limited Edition Baskin-Robbins Mint Chocolate Chip Oreo Cookies

Limited Edition Baskin Robbins Mint Chocolate Chip Oreo Cookies

Baskin-Robbins Stranger Things Mind Flayer Mint Ice Cream recently popped up at Target, along with three other Stranger Things-branded pints. I bought them all, but, sadly, only one was a new flavor.

If only I hadn’t ignored the description on the pint like it was instructions for IKEA furniture. Then I would’ve realized Mind Flayer Mint was Baskin-Robbins’ regular ol’ mint chocolate chip ice cream in Stranger Things clothing.

Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.

Well, I have been fooled again within a month by a Baskin-Robbins branded product — Limited Edition Baskin-Robbins Mint Chocolate Chip Oreo Cookies.

Shame on me.

Limited Edition Baskin Robbins Mint Chocolate Chip Oreo Cookies Creme

The snack features chocolate Oreo wafers with two layers of creme — chocolate and mint with chocolate chip bits in it. This is Oreo’s second cookie collaboration with Dunkin’ Brands, the first being 2017’s Dunkin’ Donuts Mocha Oreo Cookies. Of course, this isn’t the first time we’ve seen Baskin-Robbins and Oreo in the same product name. The iconic cookie has been an ingredient in 75% of Baskin-Robbins’ Flavors of the Month. Okay, that’s an exaggeration, but doesn’t it seem like it’s in three out of four flavors.

Twisting off a wafer reveals an image that looks like what I saw when I peeled back the lid of Mind Flayer Mint – a light green staring back at me with dark specks of chocolate.

And, this is where I got fooled a second time by a Baskin-Robbins-branded product. Even though there’s a layer of chocolate creme and there are chocolate chip bits in the mint creme, this cookie tastes like something that already exists — regular Mint Oreo. Sure, there might be some slight difference in the level of chocolate because of the other creme, but, bite after bite, all that comes to mind is a Mint Oreo. I mean, that isn’t bad, but I was hoping for a bit more.

Limited Edition Baskin Robbins Mint Chocolate Chip Oreo Cookies Top

Well, there might be a bit more. Is it my imagination, or is there an extra cooling sensation with these cookies? Perhaps to make it feel more like ice cream? I dunno. Maybe it’s my strong desire for these to be something more than a Mint Oreo in green cheetah print. Oh, speaking of textures, the chocolate chip bits add some when eating just the creme, but they’re not noticeable when eating a cookie whole.

Before limited edition flavors became the norm back in the early 2000s, Mint Oreo was one of my favorites. So it’s hard for me to knock Limited Edition Baskin-Robbins Mint Chocolate Chip Oreo hard for tasting like it. But I still feel a little disappointed this variety is like Baskin-Robbins’ Mind Flayer Mint Ice Cream in that it looks different on the outside, but doesn’t taste different than what already exists.

Purchased Price: $2.99
Size: 10.7 oz.
Purchased at: Target
Rating: 7 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (2 cookies) 140 calories, 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, less than 1 gram of fiber, 13 grams of sugar, and 1 gram of protein.

REVIEW: Seaweed Oreo, Strawberry Oreo, and Blueberry Oreo (China)

Chinese Oreo 1

What are they?

First, just look at this package. Nothing says “I have a problem” clearer than when your snack foods arrive looking like they were crowbarred out of the quarter panel of a car crossing the border.

Chinese Oreo 2

China has figured out the optimal way to sell novelty flavored Oreo cookies – in a variety pack! (Meanwhile, we’re still stuck with 20-packs of Swedish Fish Oreo.) This box had two identical sleeves containing eight Oreo of varying bizarro-ness. Genius.

Chinese Oreo 3

There was a classic Oreo, Chocolate, Mango, Spicy Chicken Wing, Strawberry, Wasabi, Blueberry, and Seaweed (a flavor I haven’t seen sold on its own yet).

Chinese Oreo 4

How are they?

I expected the aroma inside the sleeve to be a mishmash of sweet and savory, but it was a general chocolate and slightly citrus-y sweetness.

Chinese Oreo 5

I’ll skip the classic and chocolate because they’re basically the same cookies we have here and the Spicy Chicken Wing and Wasabi, as they’ve been reviewed before. The Mango I’ll also skip because it tasted the same as the Orange & Mango that was reviewed earlier, just with a single color filing.

The first cookie I tried was Blueberry, which was really lovely. Not totally natural, but not unpleasantly fake. It was tangy and went nicely with the chocolate cookie. I picked up a good amount of raspberry as well, which made me think this is a single-color version of the Chinese Blueberry/Raspberry Double-Fruit Oreos (Orange/Mango). In any case, I could have eaten a whole package of these.

Chinese Oreo 6

The Strawberry didn’t work as well, mostly because it was so subtle that it almost disappeared under the chocolate. On its own, the filling was OK – actually a hair more authentic than the blueberry – but anything it’s paired with will overwhelm it.

Chinese Oreo 7

Lastly, the Seaweed. In the words of Rihanna, this is what you came for. The filling was a beige tint with little green flecks and some tiny yellowish chunks (still haven’t figured out what those were). They still tasted like the basic Oreo, but with a savory overlay. It wasn’t particularly fishy or salty, but that vaguely defined “umami.”

Unlike the Chicken Wing and Wasabi, which were downright horror shows, these were edible and genuinely interesting. I can easily see them finding an audience with people who prefer their treats on the less-sweet side. While I wouldn’t want a 20-pack of them (two is perfect for me), I liked them a lot more than I thought I would.

Is there anything else you need to know?

The flavors in the sleeve did not match the running order on the back of the box. Very upsetting for us OCD-adjacent folk.

Conclusion:

Blueberry(/Raspberry) I want more of. They’re worth buying on their own if they come here. Strawberry – meh – not great enough to seek out. Seaweed – better than I expected and worth a try for the adventurous snackers or to goad your friends into eating at a party.

Purchased Price: $14.95 + free shipping
Size: 155g box (16 cookies)
Purchased at: eBay
Rating: 9 out of 10 (Blueberry)
Rating: 6 out of 10 (Strawberry)
Rating: 5 out of 10 (Seaweed)
Nutrition Facts:: (per 100g) 486 calories, 21.2 grams of fat, 440 milligrams of sodium, 67.6 grams of carbohydrates, and 5.2 grams of protein.