REVIEW: Trader Joe’s Pumpkin Joe-Joe’s

It’s finally officially autumn. Which means that the inside of Trader Joe’s looks like a pumpkin goblin vomited all over the entire store. And it’s goddamn beautiful. While many brands started rolling out their spooky seasonal selection in August, Trader Joe’s tends to wait until a more tasteful mid-September, but when they bring it, they BRING it. Pumpkin soup and pumpkin chips and pumpkin spreads and pumpkin pasta and on and on and on. Of course, not excluding pumpkin cookies. Somehow in my autumnal escapades last year I didn’t pen my thoughts on Pumpkin Joe-Joe’s. In fact, I didn’t even eat them last year. But the time has come for me to formally enter TJ’s mock-eo into the pumpkin catalog. Pumpkin Joe-Joe’s are pumpkin sandwich cookies with a pumpkin cream filling.

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REVIEW: Trader Joe’s Neapolitan Joe-Joe’s

I could’ve sworn the Neapolitan resurgence was over. After Peeps, M&M’s, and Cocoa Puffs did their best to revive the tri-flavor palate earlier in the year it felt like a done deal; but never leave out sneaky stylish Trader Joe’s when it comes to cashing in on a new trend. Last year the company released two of the best new sandwich cookies with Matcha Joe Joe’s and Mocha Joe Joe’s both being incredibly strong contenders holding their own against the handful of gems Nabisco dropped amid their flurry of Oreo’s. A quiet cookie drop to mark the last month of summer feels like a fitting way for Trader Joe’s to ease into the holiday insanity they’ve become known for. Neapolitan Joe Joe’s combine one chocolate wafer with one vanilla wafer and a strawberry crème filling.

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REVIEW: Limited Edition Good Humor Strawberry Shortcake Oreo

The music begins at a clear soft distance, your ears perk up and you stop whatever you’re doing. Once settled into your surroundings and putting the Gameboy down you can truly determine whether or not it is in fact the song or not. Yes, yes it is. My ears are hanging low. You tap your pockets. No money. You look around the room. Cushions. Crumpled pairs of pants. Stranded wallets. How can you make this happen. The adrenaline begins to rush as you see an abandoned dollar bill and some quarters laying on the kitchen counter. No need to blow your lungs yelling for mom. Money in hand you bust ass sliding on flip flops and bolting out the door before anyone can stop you. Chasing the ice cream man. A true right of passage for children across the world.

As a kid who spent five years in Nebraska in 109 degree humid as all hell summers I earned that cheap ice cream treat, and now, in 2018 I can get that fix without breaking a sweat or even opening the freezer with Good Humor Strawberry Shortcake Oreo’s.

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REVIEW: Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie Oreo

Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie. Full disclosure – I’ve never had it.

I’ve had a standard cream based Peanut Butter pie, which was delicious. And a Reese’s-inspired cheesecake, which was, of course, amazing; but that’s kind of it for me and pie-shaped creations utilizing one of the world’s finest ingredients. Based on a little bit of internet research it looks like Choc PB Pie is a nice creamy peanut butter custard on a graham cracker crust with a thinner layer of chocolate ganache on top, and now I feel like I’ve been really missing out. Thank goodness the junk food overlords at Nabisco are here to wake me the eff up with a brand new apparently non-limited edition Oreo that combines a graham flavored wafer with a peanut butter and chocolate flavored creme.

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REVIEW: Pina Colada Oreo Thins (#MyOreoCreation)

Sometimes it feels like months with no new Oreo flavors, and at other times it seems like we get smacked over the head so abruptly that all I’m eating for a couple days is cookies. The end of April was definitely one of the latter moments, as all three #MyOreoCreation winners appeared magically over night. As a way of mixing up how I dug into my new stash, I opted to do a little taste test video of the new Pina Colada Thins instead of a straight-to-blog-review, and here’s that video:

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REVIEW: Kettle Corn Oreo (#MyOreoCreation)

When the finalists of #MyOreoCreation were announced I was sad that none of my picks made it, because not only am I (of course) a genius with the best taste buds ever, but I could have really used that bonus check. After I got done nursing my own wounds I immediately perked up at the idea of a Kettle Corn Oreo. Kettle Corn is one of the pinnacle’s of the sweet and salty snacking universe and its smell at any farmers markets or fair is enough to make me start salivating. For their twist on the carnival classic Nabisco paired a kettle corn flavored crème with puffed millet and a golden wafer cookie.

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REVIEW: Cherry Cola Oreo (#MyCookieCreation)

The time is finally here – the winners of the #MyOreoCreation contest have been birthed upon the grocery aisles of stores everywhere and the power to pick one true winner lies in our hands. Starting today (April 30) cookie crushers everywhere can vote for their favorite of the three chosen candidates, and I begin my escapades with the most interesting of the bunch – Cherry Cola. This odd drink-turned-cookie combines a cherry cola flavored crème with popping candy and a chocolate wafer.

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REVIEW: Post Oreo O’s Cereal

Nostalgia is a helluva drug. Nostalgia probably drives 90% of my interest in limited edition snacks and junk food in general, dating back to those care free childhood days of packed lunches and water balloon fights. There are cherished snacks that have hit the graveyard, like my beloved Dunkaroos and Sonic Sour Cream Doritos, but every so often a formerly RIP’d product gets brought back to life. Bless the golden god’s of the cereal aisle because one of the all time greats is back – Post Oreo O’s.

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REVIEW: The Lion’s Pack Edible Cookie Dough (Chocolate Chip, Monster Cookie, Snickerdoodle, Teddy Dough, Brown Sugar Cinnamon Pop Tart, Oreo Cake Batter, Snickers Candy Bar)

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As big of a consumer as I am of protein bars and powders, I’m a bit wary of the massive smattering of novelty protein items hitting the shelves these days. Cookies, cakes, and candies don’t tend to work as well, both in terms of nutrition and taste, and the macro-to-taste enjoyment ratio is usually off. I first got wind of The Lion’s Pack last year and ordered a couple of their protein peanut butter spreads, which I thought were fine tasting but texturally pretty off. At the time they also offered a number of protein cookie dough’s, but they looked odd and didn’t seem very appealing at all. In the last six or so months the company have been aggressively promoting the reformulating of their dough recipe, and from what I’ve seen it looks solid. The dough’s are all vegan, gluten free, and made-to-order, with over 20 flavors to choose from.

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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