The Keebler Elves and I go way back. In fact, in the realm of animated food characters I kinda consider them my homies. At the very least I feel that way about head elf Ernie. I mean, we follow each other on Twitter, and he only follows 116 people so we must be tight, right? At least I thought we were until it took me what felt like three and a half years (two months) to track down the latest Special Batch cookies from the man himself. For whatever reason our relationship seems to have been splintered, he no longer slides into my DM’s, and I was hoping he was just too busy whippin’ up the best of batches to finally schedule that baking seminar we were supposed to embark on together. Nonetheless, Chocolate Caramel Fudge Stripes finally made their way into my snack-osphere and their chocolate fudge shortbread cookie drizzled with rich caramel stripes is certainly going to brighten my almost-autumn day.
The aroma wafting from these Halloween-colored cookies is magical. A heavy dose of sweet and salty carnival caramel like a fresh ‘sesch of sickly sweet sticky corn was being stirred with a massive wooden spoon right beneath my nose. It’s buttery and beautiful and I want to dive into it forever.
The taste, however, is a bit more…pedestrian? The powerful scent of caramel gets drowned out by the much more dominant flavor of cocoa from the fudge shortbread and I’m left with a taste that much more resembles dark chocolate with a hint of caramel or butterscotch. This may be a welcome balance for those who don’t like the truly bold Werther’s Original-esque blast I was hoping for, but I wanted to be smacked, even if it was going to be a bit artificial. The texture is the usual firm-yet-crumbly one you can expect from all Stripes with just a touch more crunch from the use of cocoa powder.
This may be a case of quality control, as a lot of my cookies seem to have gotten a bit melted and the usually thicker stripes are a bit thin or have gotten stuck and been partially removed all together. These aren’t a bad cookie but they don’t live up to the bar set by Pumpkin Spice, or even Strawberry Cheesecake for bringing a gentle yet satisfying take on whatever flavor they’re aiming for. C’mon Ernie, hit me back, and I’ll give these ‘cooks a proper drizzle in your little tree kitchen.
Found at: Target ($2.99)