REVIEW: Limited Edition Gingerbread Oreo

Limited Edition Gingerbread Oreo Cookies 2020 Package

“Gin-ger-bread gin-ger-bread gin-ger-bread Or-eee-ooo. Oh what fun it is to snack-on-you even though-there-is-no snow. Hey!”

That’s right, baby! It’s only October, and there’s ZERO snow in sight, but my heart is-a-singin’ cause Gingerbread Oreo are back! Sort of. Originally released way back in 2012 and making appearances for several years after, Gingerbread Oreo have returned to usher in the 2020 holiday season in a new festive form.

The original Gingerbread Oreo, last seen in 2015, was a standard Golden Oreo cookie filled with a gingerbread-flavored creme. The newest iteration is a gingerbread-flavored cookie filled with classic Oreo creme and crunchy sugar crystals. The wafers are garnished with five wintery designs to warm our holiday hearts.

Limited Edition Gingerbread Oreo Cookies 2020 Designs

I’m an autumn boy through and through, and spice is the name of my game. The last three years, Pumpkin Spice Oreo have vanished from shelves, and while Maple is a nice addition, it doesn’t quite hit with the same punch as those lovely warming spices. Needless to say, I love the new Gingerbread Oreo.

Limited Edition Gingerbread Oreo Cookies 2020 Sleeves

Opening the package is like a cozy holiday nostril massage full of cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger, rounded out with a cool vanilla sweetness. Gingerbread is at its best when its aggressive spice is complimented by a sweet, soothing and creamy, frosting. The cookie itself isn’t over the top spicy, but it’s more pronounced in its assertiveness than Cinnamon Bun and a whole helluva lot more impressive than the lackluster Cookie Butter.

Limited Edition Gingerbread Oreo Cookies 2020 Creme

The balance between the cookie and the creme is great. While I wouldn’t have been mad at a cream cheese flavored filling, the original Oreo “white stuf” does a convincing job at bringing the sugary blast my tinsel-y tastebuds want.

The crunchy sugar crystals add a nice little textural intrigue. Their red color, paired with the undeniably cute designs on the outside, really brings the jingle bell vibes full circle. The Oreo actually look like a perfect cookie representation of an inverted slice of gingerbread loaf, and I find the visual-meets-taste appeal to be hard to stop eating. I just want to keep going. Run run as fast as you can, you can’t catch me I’m the gingerbread man!

Yes, it’s still spooky season, and I actually dug into these right before watching “The Thing” for the sixth time. But it’s my first taste of Christmas this year, and quite frankly, Nabisco won me over. Whether these are better than the sweeter and more vanilla-forward Gingerbread Oreo of the past will be totally subjective. But for this spicy boy they’re right in the same tier of junk food greatness.

Purchased Price: $4.99
Size: 10.7 oz
Purchased at: Walgreens
Rating: 9 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (2 cookies) 150 calories, 7 grams of fat, 2 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 75 milligrams of sodium, 20 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of fiber, 12 grams of total sugars, and less than 1 gram of protein.

REVIEW: Keebler Special Batch Fudge Stripes Maple Creme Cookies

Keebler Special Batch Maple Creme Fudge Stripes Package

As the leaves change colors (unless you live somewhere mostly devoid of leaves AND four seasons, like I do), autumn flavors increase their annual grip on our collective consciousness.

I have seen more maple-flavored offerings in the last few years, but it feels underrepresented compared to pumpkin spice anything. But Keebler is doing its part to keep the cookie field diverse with its new Special Batch Fudge Stripes Maple Crème Cookies.

Keebler Special Batch Maple Creme Fudge Stripes Sleeve

Upon opening the package, I am hit with a friendly aroma of maple. It is warm and sweet without being overbearing. Maple flavoring must be difficult to properly implement because I have had some maple-oriented foods that were far too strong. The smell is a good sign.

The cookies are somewhat difficult to pry apart, which I do not remember being the case with traditional Fudge Stripes. This bears no real impact on the product, but it feels worth mentioning. It is likely an effect of the maple crème melting during shipping and then re-solidifying.

Keebler Special Batch Maple Creme Fudge Stripes Stripes

The cookies have the same pleasant shortbread base as the original Fudge Stripes. Biting into them yields a rewarding crunch. The maple-flavored crème immediately hits my taste buds, and I am pleasantly surprised. It is not overly strong at all. If anything, it is a bit too subdued, but being able to taste the shortbread cookie beyond the maple crème is welcome.

Compared to an average maple donut, these are considerably milder. The crème is smooth and sweet, acting as an appropriate vessel for the maple. It has the same consistency as Fudge Stripes’ usual fudge.

My mother makes a “cookie salad,” which is like a form of ambrosia-style fruit salad with crushed up Fudge Stripes. I can see the maple crème version being a nice addition for a dessert dish in a similar manner. The flavor is restrained enough to add a hint of maple goodness without taking over.

Keebler Fudge Stripes Maple Crème Cookies are a solid seasonal offering and did a fine job bringing the familiar fall flavor to my mouth. While the maple could stand to be a little stronger, these cookies are well-rounded and offer some much-needed seasonal comfort.

DISCLOSURE: I received a free product sample from Keebler. (Thanks, Keebler!) Doing so did not influence my review.

Purchased Price: FREE
Size: 11.5 oz.
Purchased at: Received from Keebler
Rating: 8 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (2 cookies) 140 calories, 7 grams of fat, 4.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 85 milligrams of sodium, 19 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of fiber, 10 grams of sugar, and 1 gram of protein.

REVIEW: Oreo Mooncakes (Thailand)

Oreo Mooncakes Thailand 1

What are Oreo Mooncakes?

Oreo cookies are The Borg. An alien life form that roams the galaxy, conquering and assimilating civilizations (for the non-Trekkies). Sure, they’re not doing it by force – more like delicious seduction – but still, there’s no culture or food item that cannot or will not be Ore-ized. Churros, candy canes, matcha, and now – mooncakes. Resistance is futile.

Mooncakes are iconic Asian delicacies – baked pastry wrapped around a paste filling. They’re served during the Mid-Autumn Festival (October 1st this year) to celebrate the autumn full moon. While the cakes and the festival originated in China, they’re both celebrated and eaten across the continent. China, Taiwan, Singapore, Vietnam, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, Cambodia, and the Philippines roll out the beloved mooncakes each year – often with variations of favorite fillings and styles. Japan and Korea celebrate related fall lunar festivals, but mooncakes are not a large part of their menus.

Mondelez (Oreo’s parent company) have become a player in the mooncake game in the past few years through their Vietnamese division, and you know Oreo just had to make an appearance! They’ve been exporting Oreo Mooncakes to China, Singapore, and Thailand since 2017 in flavors like brownie, strawberry jam, cocoa with milk, cappuccino, and pineapple custard.

Oreo Mooncakes Thailand 2

I failed to source these last year, so I was thrilled to see them for sale online in America recently. Apparently importing mooncakes to the U.S. is a tricky business. Google this if you have time to go down a rabbit hole of egg yolks and customs regulations. I bought a 2-cake set with one Oreo brownie-flavored and one strawberry jam-flavored mooncake. While manufactured in Vietnam, it came via Thailand, so these mooncakes have more passport stamps than most people I know!

How are they?

It had been a while since I had regular mooncakes, so I decided to buy some from a Chinatown bakery to compare. They had flaky pastry shells, and heavy but delicious fillings – red bean, lotus and pineapple.

Oreo Mooncakes Thailand 3

After opening the gorgeous Oreo gift box, I cut into the brownie mooncake first. The pastry shell was considerably doughier than a traditional mooncake, although definitely had that Oreo black cocoa flavor. It was the most Oreo-y element. The tan-colored filling might have been lotus paste, but it was hard to tell because the chocolate brownie center totally overwhelmed it. It was delicious, but more brownie than Oreo.

Oreo Mooncakes Thailand 4

Next up, the strawberry jam mooncake. Its pastry was even softer, without much flakiness. The first few bites were bland strawberry, until I got to a small ribbon of the jam center. I wished there was more jam – it upped the flavor quite a bit, and turned it into a pretty decent little cake.

Oreo Mooncakes Thailand 5

The fillings in both cakes were less dense than the traditional – very solid – mooncakes. The Oreo fillings felt more like half-baked cookie dough. They’re still enough to fill your belly quickly, though.

Oreo Mooncakes Thailand 6

Overall, a unique experience, but they somehow lost a lot of the charm of both Oreo cookies and mooncakes in the combination.

Anything else you need to know?

This box was absolutely stunning and high-quality. There’s a magnetic closure on top, and it opens like wings. The side panels are laser cut with floral designs.

Oreo Mooncakes Thailand 7

Oreo Mooncakes Thailand 8

Conclusion:

These are interesting, but without the classic Chinese flavors, there’s some context lost here – like those reproductions of historic sculptures covered in neon paint. They are shiny magenta Venus de Milos.

But, if you love traditional mooncakes, these are worth a try for the sheer audacity of them. If you love Oreo cookies, they’re worth trying for the completely different format. If you’re on the fence, give ‘em a try, but try a regular mooncake first for a frame of reference.

Purchased Price: $35.00 + shipping
Size: 2-cake gift box
Purchased at: Desert Drinks and Exotics
Rating: 6 out of 10 (Oreo Brownie)
Rating: 5 out of 10 (Strawberry Jam)
Nutrition Facts:– (1 cake) Oreo Brownie Mooncake – 320 kcalories, 11 grams of fat, 95 milligrams of sodium, 49 grams of carbohydrates, 21 grams of sugar, and 5 grams of protein. Strawberry Jam Mooncake – 280 kcalories, 7 grams of fat, 65 milligrams of sodium, 51 grams of carbohydrates, 24 grams of sugar, and 4 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Pillsbury Safe To Eat Raw Cookie Dough

Pillsbury Safe to Eat Raw Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Package

When life gives you a case of Pillsbury Safe To Eat Raw Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough, you make cookies. That’s what I found myself doing after getting enough cookie dough to bribe my way off Santa’s naughty list.

Pillsbury Safe to Eat Raw Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Case

I mean, it’s not as if there’s something I’ve done this year that would get me on that list. Oh, wait. Do REALLY naughty things from the previous year roll over into the following year, like some tax breaks?

Hmm, I might need more dough.

Or I could steal Santa’s naughty list, so he won’t know who’s naughty or nice. Then no bribing necessary, and I can eat these all by myself. But getting caught would be a REALLY REALLY naughty thing that would earn me a permanent place on the list. I’ll risk that.

Now, does Santa use a paper list? Or maybe it’s on an iPad. But wait, is it a tangible list? Could it be in his head? We all know he works one day of the year delivering presents, but he could be spending the other 364 remembering who’s on the naughty list. Is he like a Scripps National Spelling Bee contestant? But instead of using flash cards with words that 95 percent of the US population doesn’t know exist, it’s naughty peoples’ names and addresses.

But then there’s getting to the North Pole. Although it’s easier with less ice. Then there are the many elves who are all armed with magic. Would wearing a stolen mall Santa suit get me past them?

Okay, let’s say it does. Now I have to deal with Santa himself because if the list is tangible, he must keep it near him at all times. But if I’m dressed up as Santa, I can’t get near him. Could I use Mrs. Claus as a mark and persuade her to bring me the list? But if it’s all in his head, do I have to give him amnesia or do some quick brain surgery?

Nah, this plan has now gotten too complicated.

I’m just going to bribe Santa with these fresh baked cookies because I’m sure the big guy would not be moved by pre-packaged ones.

Pillsbury Safe to Eat Raw Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Baked

These are tasty enough that I would bake the entire dough case I was given for myself, if I didn’t have to get into Santa’s good graces. After they’ve cooled a bit, they have a chewy middle, crispy edges, and gooey chocolate chips, which I expected since these are made to taste, look, and feel exactly like the previous not-recommended-eating-raw formulation of the cookies. Sadly, baking these don’t make my kitchen smell like chocolate chip cookies.

But this dough can also be eaten raw. How does Pillsbury do that? Well, it involves taking the ingredients that can cause illnesses when not cooked — the flour and eggs — and basically cooking them. So the flour is heat treated and the eggs are pasteurized. You can read more about Pillsbury’s Safe to Eat Raw products by going to the company’s page about it.

Pillsbury Safe to Eat Raw Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Raw

Having baked three-fourths of a package and eating some raw, I prefer them baked because the cookie’s flavors, especially the sugar and chocolate, pop more. Although it’s nice to have options when consuming them. But the raw cookie dough was a bit too much for me. While I could eat four or five baked cookies in a row, I wanted to eat just two dough pieces. I guess that’ll help prevent me from getting Santa bod since I don’t have disguise myself as Saint Nick anymore.

DISCLOSURE: I received free samples of the product. (Thanks, Pillsbury!) Doing so did not influence my review.

Purchased Price: FREE
Size: 16 oz package
Purchased at: Received from Pillsbury
Rating: 7 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (2 cookies) 170 calories, 8 grams of fat, 3 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 5 milligrams of cholesterol, 135 milligrams of sodium, 24 grams of carbohydrates, less than 1 gram of fiber 15 grams of sugar, and 1 gram of protein.

REVIEW: Keebler Limited Edition Birthday Cake Chips Deluxe Cookies

Keebler Limited Edition Birthday Cake Chips Deluxe Cookies Package

What are Keebler Limited Edition Birthday Cake Chips Deluxe Cookies?

They are Keebler’s Chips Deluxe Cookies with not only milk chocolate chips but also white chocolate chips and candy sprinkles.

Sometimes birthday cake-flavored products are released to celebrate the significant anniversaries of a brand or company. Even though Keebler turned 167 years old last month, I don’t think these commemorate that. But now that I think about it, it was about a year ago when Nutella-maker Ferrero purchased the Keebler brand from Kellogg’s.

So Happy First Anniversary Under Ferrero, Keebler!

How are they?

I’ve had a lot of birthday cake-flavored products since the introduction of Birthday Cake Oreo in 2012. Most of them have a similar flavor profile — frosting and/or a little chocolate or golden cake batter flavor. That’s the standard my taste buds expect when it comes to the flavor. But these cookies are, let’s just say, a different take.

Keebler Limited Edition Birthday Cake Chips Deluxe Cookies Candle

They certainly do look the part with the colorful sprinkles providing a festive cake-like appearance. But when I eat them, why do my taste buds think of coconut? I mean, it’s faint and doesn’t happen with every bite, but it’s a bit odd. Maybe it’s the sprinkles, white chocolate, something baked into the cookie dough, or a combination of them causing that.

While these don’t remind me of birthday cake, they also don’t taste like chocolate chip cookies. I occasionally notice the milk chocolate, but with the mingling of other ingredients, they’re more of a nondescript tasting cookie. They’re not bad per se, but I can’t say I love them.

Anything else you need to know?

This review was posted on this site’s 16th birthday. I really should’ve made reviewing a birthday cake-flavored product on this day an annual thing. Maybe this review will start that. Or perhaps this is the last year?

Also, when was Ernie the Elf replaced with android Ernie the Elf?

Conclusion:

Keebler Limited Edition Birthday Cake Chips Deluxe Cookies look festive, but there’s no party in my mouth when I eat them.

DISCLOSURE: I received free samples of the product. (Thanks Keebler!) Doing so did not influence this review.

Purchased Price: FREE
Size: 9.5 oz package
Purchased at: Received from Keebler
Rating: 5 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (2 cookies) 160 calories, 9 grams of fat, 3.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, less than 5 milligrams of cholesterol, 120 milligrams of sodium, 18 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of fiber, 8 grams of sugar, and 1 gram of protein.

REVIEW: Biscoff Sandwich Cookies

Lotus Biscoff Sandwich Cookies

What are Biscoff Sandwich Cookies?

Lotus took its iconic airline Biscoff cookie, made them into smaller circles, and then combined two of them with a filling (Vanilla, Milk Chocolate, or Biscoff Cream).

If you are not familiar with these cookies, then I am guessing you have not been on a commercial flight since the 1980s. They are those delicious, crunchy, dark beige cookies with a thoughtful mix of spices and a caramelized taste that often get provided on flights. Does anybody else shyly ask for an extra package from the flight attendant?

How are they?

These retain the unique Biscoff taste and feel, which makes sense given the cookie to filling ratio. I am glad the distinctive characteristics of the cookie were not lost and these are as delightful as the original.

Lotus Biscoff Sandwich Cookies Wrappers

The aroma that came from opening all three packages was scrumptious and almost calming. Maybe it is just me, but the smell is reminiscent of being on an airplane, knowing that your plane has now reached its desired altitude, and cruising along safely for you to lean back and be kindly served cookies and coffee.

Lotus Biscoff Sandwich Cookies Closeup

First, I tried the vanilla one. Of all three filling varieties, it has the strongest taste and is consequently my least favorite. The filling tastes like vanilla frosting and is almost too sweet. If you love how the original Biscoff cookie is just sweet enough, but does not have the heavy sugary feeling as other desserts, you might not enjoy these. On the other hand, maybe the added sweetness and sugar to a crunchy cookie is your thing.

Next, I tried the chocolate one. This was my favorite. It is less sugary-sweet than the vanilla, but still offers a subtle addition of sweetness and flavor that complements the cookie well.

Lastly, I tried the Biscoff Cream filled one. Obviously, if you take Biscoff cookies, crush and cream them, and then put the cream inside two others, the end product is going to taste like a Biscoff cookie (which is great). Not surprisingly, these have more of the iconic taste than the other varieties in the lineup. However, unlike the original, these offer a soft texture that hits right after that lovely crunch.

It should be noted that Biscoff does not label the cream as cookie butter, and while the filling is still soft relative to the cookie, it does not have the same texture as what comes in a jar.

Update: I contacted Lotus’ customer service and they told me its cookie butter is being used as the filling.

Anything else you need to know?

Lotus Biscoff Sandwich Cookies Tops

These are not Oreo and should not be approached as an Oreo spin-off. I have different preferences and expectations for an Oreo vs. Biscoff. For example, I typically prefer more creme with my Oreo and was initially surprised by the smaller-than-expected amount of filling in this product.

However, the amount of filling is actually perfect and allows for an added mini bonus of texture and taste (with the vanilla and chocolate flavors) without taking away from the Biscoff flavor itself. The cookie is still the captain of the airplane, it is just now joined by a supportive first officer.

Conclusion:

Overall, these are just as delicious as the original Biscoff cookies. If you are looking for a little extra something to the already enjoyable treat, then the vanilla and chocolate flavors might be right for you. If you love the Biscoff taste, you may appreciate the texture difference with the cookie-flavored cream one.

DISCLOSURE: I received a free samples of the product from Walmart. Doing so did not influence my review in any way.

Purchased Price: FREE (retails for $1.98)
Size: 150 grams (1 package)
Purchased at: Received from Walmart
Rating: 7 out of 10 (Vanilla), 10 out of 10 (Milk Chocolate), 9 out of
10 (Biscoff Cream)
Nutrition Facts: (3 cookies) Vanilla – 160 calories, 8 grams of fat, 5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 80 milligrams of sodium, 20 grams of total carbohydrates, 0 grams of dietary fiber, 12 grams of total sugars, 12 grams of added sugars, and 1 gram of protein. Milk Chocolate – 150 calories, 7 grams of fat, 4 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 85 milligrams of sodium, 20 grams of total carbohydrates, 1 gram of dietary fiber, 12 grams of total sugars, 12 grams of added sugars, and 2 grams of protein. Biscoff Cream – 160 calories, 8 grams of fat, 4.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 100 milligrams of sodium, 20 grams of total carbohydrates, 0 grams of dietary fiber, 10 grams of total sugars, 10 grams of added sugars, and 1 gram of protein.