On a recent trip to Target with my mother and sister, I was strolling through the processed snack aisle when what to my wandering eyes should appear, but two (seasonal) Oreo flavors I had yet to try — Gingerbread and Peppermint.
(I couldn't think of a way to make all of that rhyme.) I grabbed them, and when my mother (First of Her Name, Doctor of Puppies and Hater of Oreos) began to raise an eyebrow, I cut her off with a quick "This is my job." Later at Trader Joe's, I grabbed the Candy Cane Joe-Joe's, for comparison purposes.
Since my mother pretty much detests the chocolate sandwich cookie as a genre, I decided it would be a good idea to get her in on the taste test. For reference, this is she:
Okay, okay, here is a better picture:
Anyway, let's find out what she thought of the holiday iterations of America's Favorite Snack Cookie (and those Joe-Joe's).
"I love gingerbread, so if I like any of them it will be these," she said.
I opened the package, and was pleasantly surprised by the aroma within. It was gingerbread alright, though more "store-bought" than "homemade."
The cookie was the usual Golden suspect. "Now this I like," she proclaimed, holding up the beige wafer, the ultimate betrayal. (If you are unaware of my feelings on the Golden Oreo, know that I think they are pointless in most cases.) We both found the creme to be exactly what you would think: a nice, vaguely spicy, very sweet filling that was indeed very reminiscent of gingerbread, though on a scale from "traditional, with real ginger" and "Yankee Candle," it was probably like a 7. (Not as "Yankee Candle" as the Pumpkin Spice Oreos, which were like a 9.34.)
Neither of us would buy them again, but our reasons differ. I wouldn't simply because I prefer a regular Oreo, but my mom just doesn't buy cookies, preferring instead to make her own concoctions with coconut butter and coconut sugar. (Puzzling, because she used to hate coconut.)
Peppermint Oreos vs. Candy Cane Joe-Joe's
Both of these were a disappointment, but in different ways. Let's start with the Oreos.
The aroma upon first opening the package is bracing enough, more peppermint than chocolate, and feels very Christmas-y. This had me optimistic, but the joyful feeling did not last long.
Both my mother and I found the pink filling a little off-putting for some reason. It was just a little to close to pink slime for me, visually. The texture was good (think normal Oreo filling) but the flavor was somewhere between "Andes mint" and "toothpaste," and there seemed to be too much of it. If you need a mint-chocolate fix, consider the Mint Oreo Thins, which are a triumph. These are just not worth your time.
Mom's thoughts? "Ergh," was all she really had to say as she tossed it into the trash.
The Joe-Joe's had a different set of problems. The cookie was fine, a bit drier and crumblier than an Oreo wafer, and a bit less sweet. My mother preferred it vastly.
The filling, which seemed to just be a plain creme filling with pieces of crushed peppermint scattered throughout, was not entirely enjoyable. The texture of the creme itself was extremely chalky, and the candy pieces didn't help. "I feel like I'm gonna crack a tooth," was my mom's major complaint.
Between the two, I would probably go with the Oreos, but I wouldn't buy either one again, and I am a person who loves mint and chocolate, so that's pretty disappointing. But it's not all bad.
If you want a truly tasty and minty Oreo treat, just make these truffles and add in a bit of peppermint extract. That would be utter bliss.
Truthfully, I am a little underwhelmed by this year's Holiday Oreos. It's a bit of a bummer to end my year of Oreo journalism on such a "meh" note, but I'm excited to see what they cook up in the new year. Oh, and have any of you tried those Oreo Churros yet? I haven't been able to find them, so get at me if you spot them.
Merry Christmas, Fellow Cookie-Fiends!!!!!