REVIEW: Nutter Butter Cereal

Post have been an absolute rampage when it comes to killin’ the cereal game. Although I think I’m in the minority on this, I loved early 2017’s Cinnamon Pebbles, and to close out the year they brought back the beloved Oreo O’s to the States. To top it all off they dropped Honey Maid S’mores, which is without a doubt one of the strongest sweet-leaning cereal’s I’ve had in years. So where do they go from there? How about highlighting one of the most underrated and underappreciated cookies in the grocery store? That’s right, Post took the classic peanut butter onslaught of Nutter Butter and turned it into a cereal. How could this be anything less than amazing?

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REVIEW: Limited Edition PB & J Oreo

It’s back to school week for all the kiddos out there, and let’s just say it how it is – that sucks. The long, care free, sleepless nights of whimsy and wonder are over and get exchanged for homework, bed times, and social anxiety. But hey – at least we get another new Oreo out of it! Despite the sadness of summer ending, I always secretly kind of liked going back to school, since it meant the days would get short and before I knew it a blanket of spookiness would wash over every store and every child’s imagination. I also not-so-secretly love every opportunity I can get to try a new limited time flavor of cookie, and if this long overdue Peanut Butter and Jelly Oreo comes at the sacrifice of teenagers everywhere having to spend $30 on a new backpack – I’ll take it.

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The package smells sweet like artificial berries with a bit of swirling artificial peanut butter to back it up. The creme’s are split evenly down the middle, and by the looks of it the peanut butter half is really trying to flex its protein power over the berry, as the tan creme is oozing out of the side in a show of apparent snack time dominance. On the outside is the classic Golden wafer, and I can’t help but be a little sad it isn’t graham. Even though I’ve never had graham cracker bread, the mashup sounds delectably drool-worthy.

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While I really liked and was surprised by the execution of the jelly creme in the Jelly Donut Oreo, I’m not liking it nearly as much here. There’s an odd, slightly off-putting floral note that comes across and registers much closer to perfume than jelly. It isn’t the usual punch-in-the-face sweetness that comes with most artificial berry flavors, but I find it distracting, and ultimately overpowering to the usually very hard to overthrow peanut butter. I really wish Nabisco had gone with grape jelly for this Oreo, but the strangest thing is not only does it not taste like grape, it doesn’t really taste like strawberry or raspberry either. It floats in this weird fake tasting space that really reminds me of flowers and has no notable tartness to balance it out.

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The peanut butter creme, when I taste it on its own, is very good. It has a slightly thick and gritty texture with a true roasted peanut flavor that strikes a perfect sweet balance in tandem with the golden wafer. Some of the great nuttiness comes through in the complete bite, but a lot of its more subtle notes get drowned out by the sweeter and surprisingly prominent jelly. From what I recall, this creme is a bit saltier and less sweet than the one most of us are familiar with in a Nutter Butter, and I would love to see a Golden Oreo that features just this creme.

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While this Oreo is good, and certainly more interesting than a couple of releases earlier this year, I don’t love it, and I really really wanted to. It was a missed opportunity to not layer two thinner creme’s on top of each other, as no one eats peanut butter and jelly in two divided halves. The cookies are far from disgusting, and I will 100% eat the rest of them, but they unfortunately fall into the category of of PB&J products that don’t quite live up to the great flavor combo of the iconic sandwich, and will need an extra spoonful of PB to really pass my persona; tastebud test.

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

REVIEW: Limited Edition Jelly Donut Oreo

In the 2017 food scene emulation is the name of the game. Whether it be dessert hybrids like snickerdoodle cupcakes, bars of whey protein that taste like key lime pie, or plant-based burgers that bleed like real meat, people who love food are in love with making things transform in our mouths into something they aren’t. As hot as this is now, perhaps no one has been chasing after this trend in the junk food universe more aggressively and consistently than Nabisco – who in recent years have been hell-bent on making their iconic Oreo cookie sandwiches taste like other things, from syrupy waffles to chocolate dipped strawberries. Their latest Walmart-exclusive attempt at sugary transformation aims to take down an early morning indulgence disguised as an after school treat with Jelly Donut Oreo.

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Taking in the general aroma from these Oreo’s is no different than your average golden package with the sweet, slightly vanilla golden Oreo wafer taking over the dominant sniff. If I dig my nose in closer and get real close there is a hint of tart berry smell that cuts through the sugary notes. there’s also a bit of that greasy donut aura that could be from the creme or could be from pure fantasy, but it’s present none the less. Much like an actual jelly donut, from the outside they don’t look much different than your average ‘nut, and it’s what lurks on the inside that will truly tell the taste tale.

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Biting into these cookies is definitely different than a regular Golden Oreo and definitely delicious. The composition of the creme is setup with an outer ring of classic “white stuff” with a jelly-flavored center. The center is big enough that it comes through with an average-sized bite of the cookie and the flavor is surprisingly really good. The “jelly” is somewhere in between raspberry and blueberry, which I guess would make it boysenberry? I’m going to assume Nabisco was going for raspberry since that’s a more typical donut-filling, but no matter what you want to call it it’s damn good.

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The jelly flavor, contrary to what I think about actual jelly, helps to temper the sweetness of the golden wafer and white creme for an experience that is very well balanced. The berry doesn’t come off as insanely artificial and has a very pleasant flavor that is much more desirable than what strawberry tends to bring to the table. Without any specific yeast or powdered sugar notes it’s hard for me to really lock in on “donut” when eating, but they remind me of the little thumbprint cookies with jelly filling, and for an Oreo to take me there is pretty impressive. When I pair the cookie up with some coffee, I do actually get the donut sensation, and somehow the bitter notes of the coffee washing down the vanilla-meets-berry flavor brings me to Saturday morning and delivers on the cookies’ name.

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Did Nabisco knock it out of the park with this emulation? No. Had they made the center ring more gelatinous or jelly-like it could have really driven the contrast that actual filled donuts have, but with a little bit of imagination the point comes across pretty well. What they did do is deliver one of the most interesting and tasty Oreo’s I’ve had in quite some time with a perfect sweetness and great berry flavor that I would happily buy again.

Rating: 8.5/10
Found at: Walmart ($2.99)

Quick Nutrition: 2 cookies – 150 cal – 7g fat – 80mg sodium – 21g carbs – 12g sugar

REVIEW: Limited Edition Firework Oreo

I’m no stranger to the junk food industry and our consumer-based society in general launching my tastebuds and wallet well into the future when it comes to holidays.  I’ve grown accustomed to seeing Valentine’s candy and cards pop up the day after Christmas, pumpkin-on-my-everything starting in August, and Christmas beginning on November 1st, but the latest Oreo release had me asking myself, “is it summer already?”.  The packaging, adorned with explosions and patriotic colors, stirred up memories of poorly lit bottle rockets, cheap beer, and the sweet scent of charcoal, aka, the Fourth of July.  Since we’ve only had six weeks of spring, the middle of summer seemed like a stretch, but then I realized, I’m a dummy, and for once, the cookie-peddlers have gotten their timing right – Memorial Day is May 29!  Just in time to pay our respects to the men and women serving our country, Nabisco have released Limited Edition Firework Oreo, which add explosive popping candy to the iconic chocolate creme sandwich.

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Opening the package reveals the slightly bittersweet and creamy smell you know and love from Oreo, with cookies that fit the smell-bill and look identical to the original except for little red and blue dots in the creme.  Biting in is exactly what you would expect – crunch, squish, and chocolate, but then right as the creme hits my tongue the party begins – POP.  The popping candy starts to sizzle via saliva activation, and I’ve gotta be honest it’s pretty damn fun.  The more you chew the more they dance, with continual bacon-in-a-skillet sound effects even after I swallow.

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The popping candy doesn’t change the flavor at all.  There is no strawberry or blueberry flavor added to the rocks, and the effect here is purely an experience rather than a taste.  It’s kind of impressive that they were able to present a product that looks and feels different but has the exact same flavor profile as the cookie that has been leading the pack for over 100 years.  While an additional candy flavor would have been fun, I suspect it might have come off as cloying, although I wouldn’t mind if they added a crazy flavor like grape to really funk the experience up.

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I’m kind of stumped how to rate this cookie.  The firework-spin doesn’t take away from the original Oreo at all, and in some ways even enhances it – just not with taste.  It also doesn’t really add anything particularly ground breaking that makes me feel like people HAVE to try this, but it’s got a serious fun factor that I can’t deny.  Since Oreo are my favorite grocery cookie of all time and they nailed the execution, I’ve gotta give them the benefit of a doubt with a solid thumbs up. While I think I would still take the Double Stuf over these for general munching, I wouldn’t mind seeing them pop up every Memorial Day for a fun-filled snack attack.

Rating: 8.5/10
Found at: Safeway ($2.99)

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REVIEW: Milka Oreo Choco-Mix

In the mighty realm of junky snacks sometimes there are releases that are just so seemingly ridiculous they actually work.  We’ve had Cotton Candy Oreo’s, Cinnamon Sugar Cheetos (Sweetos), Orange Crush Pop Tarts, and now, Milka Oreo Choco-Mix.  Yes, a trail mix made of cookies and chocolate, or, a semi-healthy snack made entirely unhealthy by removing any protein and fiber that may have once existed to provide a true hike-able energy boost.  After the successful launch of the Milka and Oreo collaborative candy bar, the company is bringing all of our big boy dreams to fruition with a poppable mix of both golden and chocolate mini Oreo cookies, chocolate candy buttons, and candy coated chocolate pieces.

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The mini Oreo’s are exactly what you would expect – miniature bite sized versions of the GOAT grocery cookie combining two wafter cookies and a thin layer of creme filling.  As always, the golden cookie has a soft vanilla flavor and the chocolate is slightly bitter.  The chocolate candy buttons are flat circular disks of Milka’s wonderful smooth and creamy milk chocolate that melt right when they hit my tongue and finish with a wonderful cocoa butter flavor that tastes high quality and compliments the crunchiness of the cookies.

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My least favorite part of the mix is the candy coated chocolate pieces, which taste and feel just like M&M’s but somehow just aren’t quite as good.  While these are milk chocolate just like the Mars staple, they don’t have as much pop and tasty flavor as the version I’m more familiar with.  They do add some additional crunch to the package, but are ultimately pretty forgettable and I wouldn’t miss them if they were gone.
What is most surprising about this mix, and why it is ultimately a success, is how good it is when you you get all components in one bite.  As any good trail mix should be, all the elements need to come together in a way that compliment each other and when I get a sturdy handful the flavor is greater than the sum of its parts.  Somehow, even amongst the wash of all the chocolate, the golden Oreo cuts through and adds some round vanilla shine to the bite and alleviates some of the cocoa-onslaught that makes up a big portion of the bag.

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Whether you like your trail mix devoid of any valuable nutrients or just dig a mix of different Oreo flavors, this is a solid product on its own that could also easily be mixed with some popcorn or pretzels to make a great sweet and salty table piece for your next big boy movie night.

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

REVIEW: Limited Edition Cookies & Creme Oreo Cookies

Would you like some cheese and tomato flavored pizza? How about a beef and bread flavored hamburger? No? Well…what about an Oreo flavored Oreo? Yes, these “new” Walmart exclusive Cookies & Creme Oreo’s are indeed cookies flavored like themselves.  I’m going to keep this one brief because if you’re on this site chances are you know what an Oreo is, what it tastes like, and that it has been the grocery cookie champion for over 100 years.

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The good news is these taste pretty much exactly like an original Oreo, and Oreo’s taste fantastic, so you won’t be losing much if you spend $3 on a package of these. The bad news is, the only small difference here is not really an improvement, but potentially a downgrade, depending on your flavor preference.

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What makes this version of Nabisco’s classic afternoon treat different from the one released in 1912 is the presence of cookie bits within the creme.  The pieces of wafer cookie crushed up into the creme takes away a bit of the bright sugary pop that usually comes from the white stuff, and as a result the ultimate balance achieved by the OG is disturbed. It makes the overall experience more bitter chocolate-forward, and kind of eats like a cross between a regular (vanilla-y) and chocolate Oreo without either flavor being too dominant.

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While this limited edition is about as silly as a snowball in May, I don’t hate it, and if I was craving an Oreo and this was put in front of me it would satisfy that urge.  It isn’t a big enough of a departure to be a letdown for someone seeking some classic cookie crunch, but it is most certainly a sorry excuse for a promotional release.  Luckily we’ve got Jelly Donut, Mocha, Fireworks (pop rocks creme), Apple Pie, and Waffles with Syrup Oreo all to look forward to later this year.

Rating: 8/10
Found at: Walmart

REVIEW: Trader Joe’s and the Astounding Multi-Flavor Joe Joe’s

Yes, it’s January, and technically the holiday season has come and gone, but there are such an insane amount of delicious seasonal products released every year that sometimes it takes a little longer than December 25 to get to them all.  This could end up being my last Christmas-y write up of the year, and fortunately, it’s a good one.  Trader Joe’s have done something I have always wished Nabisco would do with Oreo’s – released a variety pack.  This, however, is no ordinary variety pack, this is the “Trader Joe’s and the Astounding Multi-Flavor Joe Joe’s” variety pack featuring four different sandwich cookies, covered in different chocolate, and garnished with additional texture/flavor boosts.

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Let me start off by saying there isn’t a bad cookie in the box, and I am going to attempt to talk about each one and rate them somewhat based off of each other because honestly they all kick ass.

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First up is the only one you can get in a separate package outside of this box – the Peppermint Joe Joe in Dark Chocolate with Peppermint Sprinkles.  It should come as no surprise that this one is awesome, since Candy Cane Joe Joe’s are one of the best seasonal cookies TJ’s offers, it’s a no brainer to amplify those flavors even more and they simply slap even harder.  The dark chocolate is rich and indulgent, with the peppermint “sprinkles” on top actually being crushed up pieces of candy cane that give crunch and an extra mint boost.  Completely crave-able and delicious, the only thing I can fault this one on is the dark chocolate coating mutes a bit of the mint bite from the creme and the “sprinkles” don’t add enough to really take the minty-ness over the top.  Still, an absolute winter wonderland in your mouth.
Rating: 9/10.

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Next we have one of my favorite flavor combinations ever with PB&C – Peanut Butter Joe Joe in Milk Chocolate with Dark Chocolate Drizzle.  Chocolate and PB is an automatic win and this cookie basically transforms the Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup into cookie – beautiful round shape and all.  As much as I was looking forward to this one it didn’t give me the depth of peanut butter flavor I had hoped for, once again being a bit muted by the chocolate cookie and double chocolate coating.  One of the best aspects of a solid peanut butter cup is the ratio of PB to chocolate and I’ve never been a fan of a cup that gets too chocolate dominant, which happens here.  Again, still completely delicious but some of the fatty nutty nuances of the peanut get lost in the drizzle party.
Rating: 8/10

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The third cookie in the lineup is the most unique and by far the one I was most excited to try – it was actually the push that came to shove that convinced me to spend $6.99 on this box of brilliance – Ginger Joe Joe in White Chocolate with Ginger Sprinkles.  I absolutely love white chocolate when it’s executed well and ginger is one of my favorite flavors of the festive season (or anytime, really).  I have never tried a naked Ginger Joe Joe so I’m not sure how this one stacks up but the first flavor I got was lemon.  I’m don’t know if this is a weird mind trick from the flavor play of the ginger and white chocolate together but the initial bite reminded me of that lemony cookie flavor you get from a box of Barnum’s Animals crackers.  The white chocolate is smooth and sweet, and on the finish you get a pleasant little dance of ginger that gets extra heightened when a bite with the gingersnap crumbles comes into the picture.  The flavor on this one really seemed to vary depending on the amount of sprinkles, with either just enough, or not enough ginger spiciness to mellow out the white chocolate.
Rating: 8.5/10

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Finally, last but definitely not least, the one I was least looking forward to and took me by surprise – Double Chocolate Joe Joe in Dark Chocolate with a Milk Chocolate Drizzle.  This cookie is a perfect example of don’t dog it till you’ve tried it, because while I expected this to be a relatively one-note boring experience it ended up being my favorite in the whole box and absolutely perfect.  The layers of chocolate on chocolate give a rich, almost brownie-like flavor and texture to the cookie, with the variations between the creme, wafer, and coating being more distinct than in the other three Joe Joe’s.  This cookie channels all of the greatest chocolate indulgences, reminding me of not only brownies but layer cakes, truffles, and candy bars.  It’s got the kind of cocoa richness and depth you would expect from a high end chocolate shop like See’s or Godiva, not a cardboard box of cookies from a grocery store.
Rating: 10/10

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The whole happy family

It took me awhile to review this product, not only because each cookie has 130 calories and 11 grams of sugar, but because I wanted to give each one its proper due in how they not only stood on their own but how they fit in in relation to the others in the box as well.  During the holiday’s Trader Joe’s becomes awash with an insane amount of high quality limited time products and these astounding Joe Joe’s are no exception.  Highly recommended, highly delicious, highly dangerous.

Overall rating: 9/10