REVIEW: Limited Edition Peeps Oreo (2018)

If there’s one thing that can be said about the great landscape of Easter candy it’s that regular jelly beans kind of suck. If there’s a secondary important layer of truth in the realm of bunny-approved junk food it’s that there are way too many flavors of Peeps. From traditional marshmallows in different seasonal shapes to the dipped Delights and more recent filled Delights, it seems like there’s damn near a different flavor for every day in spring.

Last year the Peeps-insanity went to new heights with the Peeps Oreo, and very much in line with their doing too much mentality, this year the Peeps Oreo are back, but you’d better believe they aren’t the same. The 2018 rendition sandwiches a purple marshmallow flavored Peeps crème in between two classic chocolate wafers.

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REVIEW: Buff Bake Protein Sandwich Cookies (Snickerdoodle and Double Chocolate)

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At times silly, at times successful, and always divisive, the protein cookie game is an ever growing, and now evolving, market. While the end goal for most companies has been to produce a product that most closely mirrors a soft baked homestyle chewy craveable cookie, Buff Bake are pushing the field into uncharted and beloved territory – the Oreo. Buff Bake are mostly known for their protein-infused spreads, which I had one time and was underwhelmed by, and their Lenny & Larry’s-esque soft baked cookies, which, again, are just alright. However, their new line of Protein Sandwich Cookies promise the creme-filled satisfaction of the grocery GOAT with an added boost of protein. Each package contains four cookies for 220 calories, 13 grams of fat, 16 grams of carbs, 12 grams of protein, and, gasp, 12 grams of sugar.

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REVIEW: Limited Edition Chocolate Hazelnut Oreo

I imagine somewhere at the Nabisco headquarters there’s a plush office for the head of the Oreo flavor think tank. He has arguably one of the best jobs ever, and a filing cabinet full of bold and bright ideas to satisfy our junk food taste buds. Buried deep within one of those cabinets is a folder titled “Why the Hell Haven’t These Been Made Yet?”, brimming with combinations so absurdly obvious they don’t leave the room. Last year this file was dusted off to release the solid Dunkin’ Donuts Mocha Oreo, and while they couldn’t quite land the Nutella brand name for the ultimate team up, 2018 finally see’s the release of Chocolate Hazelnut Oreo.

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REVIEW: Oreo Thins Fudge Dipped (Original, Mint, Coconut)

In 1989 Honey, I Shrunk the Kids became the highest grossing live action Disney film of all time, a title it held for over five years. Although I was just spawning my first memory, being shook by the big Bay Area earthquake, the movie later became a favorite of mine on VHS, and entertained a mini-Sean all throughout the mid-90’s. Later, in 1998, the Disneyland 4D ride/movie Honey, I Shrunk the Audience, became one of the first times I realized a screen could truly scare the shit out of me. Much like in the ‘89 film, small things became giant, only this time they jumped out of the picture and into my face. Fast forward to 2018, and I’m no longer scared, but delighted, as Nabisco proudly announced, Honey, I shrunk the Oreo’s.

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REVIEW: Fudge Covered Ritz Crackers

There are some food combinations that aren’t super obvious, but are super delicious. Peanut butter and bananas, strawberries and black pepper, Coca Cola and red wine, pineapple and pizza (controversial, I know, but I’m a fan), etc. Additionally, it can be stated that if you put chocolate on almost anything it becomes instantly better. Welcome to your life the next flavor combination you didn’t know you needed but you really truly do – Fudge Covered Ritz Crackers.

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As a certified graduate of the school of sweet and salty, I must tell you immediately that these are pure fire. They aren’t new, in fact they’ve been around since 2011, but if you’ve been sleeping on them you need to wake up and toss a box in your cart the next time you’re perusing the grocery store during the holidays (right now). This is less of a review and more of a call to action – I want you to understand.

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The concept is as simple as can be – take a standard Ritz cracker and cover it in chocolate fudge. The secret to the success is that Nabisco nailed the ratios of chocolate to cracker and used a decently high quality chocolate coating to seal the deal. The outer fudge layer isn’t thin but it also isn’t so thick that it dominates the entire profile. There’s a lovely balance of the crumbly buttery texture with pops of saltiness from the Ritz on the inside and creamy sweetness on the outside. The experience is a lot like a chocolate covered graham cracker but much softer, and as a result, undeniable.

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While they may not be peppermint or gingerbread or eggnog or anything you might relate to the holidays, Fudge Covered Ritz truly channel the magical feelings of Christmas. There’s something comforting and nostalgic in the flavor of the cracker that reminds me of staying home from school sick – hookie or otherwise. The cracker’s blanket of nostalgia mixed with a perfect amount of sugary chocolate bliss makes for a product that is so simple yet perfect in every way. Buy them now and snack happy.

Rating: 10/10

Found at: Target ($2.49)

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REVIEW: Limited Edition Hot Cocoa Oreo Cookies

Hot Cocoa is a sweet and creamy treat, usually served to children around the holiday’s to bring warmth and enjoyment to the greatest time of the year. The flavor is characterized by a light bittersweet chocolate base, made with either milk or water, and garnished with sweet melty marshmallows. Oreo cookies are a sweet and crunchy treat, usually served to children around lunch time to bring happiness and enjoyment to the rest of their day. The flavor is characterized by a light bittersweet chocolate cookie base, washed down with either milk or water, and filled with a sweet melty creme. Wait a minute…hot cocoa…Oreo’s…are they…the same thing?! In today’s edition of “Will this Oreo taste like an Oreo?” I present to you – Limited Edition Hot Cocoa Oreo.

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The cookies look and smell different than your standard Oreo. The two-toned nature of the creme gives them an elevated appearance, but they kept the layers relatively small so the overall quantity is much similar to the original than Double Stuf variety. They carry an aroma that’s slightly more creamy and somehow reminds me of fake butter, almost like sticking my face into a tub of margarine. Weird.

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Initially the experience of chompin’ into these cocoa-fueled cookies is essentially the same as any other Oreo – a crispy bittersweet wafer with a sweeter, smoother creme in the middle. The amount of filling is kind of lackadaisical for me, especially coming after last month’s super plump Mystery Oreo, but then something interesting happens on the finish. While the flavor isn’t huge, the flavor on the end is definitely different than a regular Oreo, with a creamy, light, marshmallow-leaning note that does remind me of hot chocolate. You know that weird powdery hot chocolate mix with the very milk chocolate-y flavor and hard mini marshmallows? That’s the flavor I’m getting here, but it really only fights its way through at the very end.

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These are a perfect example of a middle tier Oreo that aren’t bad, but aren’t really that much different or really any better than the classic version. They definitely taste like hot cocoa,but the base profiles are so similar from the start that there isn’t a ton of intriguing variance. Nabisco tends to come through with a couple of these a year, and I don’t mind it because with over ten new limited editions I never buy regular Oreo…ever…and these are a nice replacement for that. Much like other slight twists on the established classic, like Filled Cupcake, or this years Fireworks, Hot Cocoa Oreo’s are a tasty cookie worthy of accompaniment to Santa’s tall glass of milk, but not worth trampling people Black Friday style to get them into your pantry.

Rating: 7.5/10
Found at: Safeway ($2.99)

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REVIEW: Pepperidge Farm Pumpkin Spice Milano

The tale of two opposites attracting. When alternate worlds collide. The quintessential adult grocery store cookie meets teenage-girl-fueled food trend. Crunchy sophisticated fun fuses with basic bitch tendencies. Pepperidge Farm Pumpkin Spice Milano’s. Can this unlikely team up yield greatness? Today on the skillet we find out!

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The cookies have the classic Milano appearance – tan ovals with a thin layer of chocolate in the middle, but this one also has a fun deep orange oozing out of the sides. It’s a lovely color combination that screams spooky autumn vibes – reading books and playing chess with a roomful of dad’s happily crunching and sippin’ on English breakfast.

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The flavor of these iconically crispy cookies is surprisingly balanced and tasty – with neither chocolate or pumpkin being too dominant. The usually thin layer of the cookies’ innards is pivotal in achieving this optimal balance, as the chocolate doesn’t flex too prominently over the fall flavors and both are allowed to breathe without clashing. There are very apparent but not too intense notes of cinnamon and nutmeg flirting with just a hint of dark chocolate, and the crumbly, sweet, buttery body of the cookie smoothes both flavors out as the perfect mediator to these two often bold, potentially clashing flavors.

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Pepperidge Farm continues to impress me with their ability to combine elements that I’m not sure will work together, like dark chocolate and lime, and delivering a delicious product with finesse. The spice is subtle but pleasing and makes for a wonderful coffee companion while cozying up with a spooky novel on a dimly lit autumn morning.

Rating: 8/10
Found at: Target ($2.99)

REVIEW: 7 Select Pumpkin Spice and Maple Sandwich Cookies

If you’re keen to the thrill of the junk hunt you are probably used to floating in and out of all the usual haunts – Target, Safeway, Walgreens, Walmart, etc. – but what the casual hunter may not know is the secret land of 711. Of course, we all know that they stock most of the iconic chips and candies by the big companies, but they also have an in house “7 Select” brand that’s cranking out some impressive products as well. I’ve covered a number of really good ones on my instagram – Pumpkin Spice Madeleine’s, Reese’s Brookie, and Colossal Peanut Butter Cup to name a few, and now am making the plunge to advance their autumn cookie duo to the big boy blog.

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Pumpkin Spice Sandwich Cookies:

These cookies are kind of strange. They don’t really smell like pumpkin spice at all, and have a generic not-that-sweet biscuit kind of aroma. The very pale wafer up against the very neon orange creme is bizarre, and the flavor isn’t too far behind. There is almost zero spiciness to be found, not even cinnamon, but they do taste like pumpkin. The vegetal squashy pumpkin flavor before it gets spiced up is somehow present, and while it is impressive, it isn’t all that enjoyable.

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The texture is less desirable than an Oreo as well, with a stiffer bite and dryer crumble than the cookie it’s trying to emulate generally offers. While I find the Pumpkin Spice Oreo to be a bit too mild for my tastes but overall tasty, these are even milder and don’t have the classic textures and nostalgic flair to back em up. Simply put, these aren’t disgusting but they taste pretty cheap, and are one of the weaker spiced offerings I’ve had this season.

Rating: 6/10

Maple Sandwich Cookies:

These cookies have a lot more promise, as immediately I can say I have never in my life had a half chocolate half vanilla cookie sandwich with maple creme. In fact, the combination of maple and chocolate is very rare to come across itself, and these practically jumped out at me off the shelf. A big sharp hyper-sweet maple aroma also jumps right out of the package as I open them, and I’m very glad I won’t have the scrounge-for-flavor experience that the pumpkin version provided.

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Yum! The maple flavor is big and sugary, sharing a lot of common traits with a good ole bottle of Log Cabin. It’s artificial but in a pleasant junk food kind of way and not overwhelmingly cloying or fake tasting. The textures are still less fresh and desirable than an Oreo or Joe Joe, with slightly stiff, almost too firm creme that freakishly holds its place with authority. The two-toned wafter action looks cooler than it tastes, but there is a mild bitter cocoa flavor that comes up to compliment the fairly bland vanilla one, and the execution overall works. These have a much stronger maple flavor than the Waffles & Syrup Oreo from earlier this year, and while they may not compete with the best leaf cookie, for 99 cents I’ll gladly take six more.

Rating: 8/10

Found at: 711 (99 cents each or 2 for $1.49)

REVIEW: Mystery Oreo Cookies

Nabisco seems to have heard my cries that I spend half of my expendable income on new fun snacks and want to gift me and the millions of other junk food fans across the globe with the opportunity to break off $50,000 in their name. The all new Limited Edition Mystery Oreo is on shelves now, and after giving us the chance to submit our own new flavors earlier in the year, the spotlight is now on the company for us to guess theirs.

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The cookies look extra thick, definitely of the Double Stuf variety, and the creme itself is a bit firmer and denser than what I’m used to with the other limited edition’s, most notably the recent Apple Pie, which were incredibly soft and almost melty. The flavor is sharp and sweet with a very citrus-forward profile lead by more lime than lemon, with a touch of orange, and an overall taste that screams Fruity Pebbles.

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The aroma is also extremely reminiscent of Sunday morning’s finest, and anyone who spent some time with the Flintstone’s in their youthful days will recognize it immediately. It’s hard to say definitively if it’s Fruity Pebbles, Froot Loops, Trix or another fruity mishmash breakfast cereal, but Pebbles are my favorite of the bunch and my mind is immediately brought to fond memories of their light airy crunch and pronounced sweetness. If the flavor isn’t specifically Fruity Pebbles I could toss some other guesses towards orange creamsicle, lemon lime, rainbow sherbet, cereal milk, chocolate orange, chocolate covered gummy bear, or dirt and worms – the classic kiddy dessert of chocolate pudding with gummy worms and crushed Oreo bits.

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I have a couple of junk food related regrets in my life, one of which is not buying a lone bag of Cooler Ranch Munchies I saw at a random gas station and haven’t seen since, and the other is not buying Fruity Crisp Oreo’s the one time I saw them. That’s right, the Oreo many deem to be the best limited one of them all, I only saw once, right before going out to dinner, and I didn’t buy them because I figured I could pick them up at home. Nope. Never saw them again, and my heart has been broken ever since. While those Oreo had the golden wafer, I can only assume, but not confirm, that these are essentially that same creme with a chocolate cookie. While it’s kind of unfortunate and lazy that Nabisco went that route instead of trying something new, I can’t deny that these are a solid cookie, albeit a bit odd, and one worth picking up if you like a sweet citrusy blast to go along with your chocolate.

Rating: 7/10
Found at: Safeway ($2.99)

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