Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Finally an Excuse to Have Cookies for Breakfast: Waffle & Syrup Oreos

Pancakes or waffles? That is that the age old question a girl can find herself wondering on any given Sunday morning. For me personally, I always go for pancakes. It’s simple in the sense that people are expected to get a waffle as their meal, but when you order yourself up a short stack - it usually comes with eggs, bacon and if the place is really good, then a heaping pile of hash browns too. We’re all striving for that balanced diet right? Waffle fans, before you hit me with your piping hot griddles, trust me that I understand the appeal of a warm and fresh hot waffle, so I was exceptionally curious when I heard that the folks at Nabisco were coming out with a Waffles & Syrup flavored Oreo. Many of their recent flavors (Pop Rocks anyone) haven’t really called out to my taste buds, but this breakfast oriented edition was something that I had to try.

Not so fun fact about these? These cookies are only sold at certain stores (Safeway, Vons, ACME) so if you want them you’d best look online to see where you can get them. For the right cookie, I would drive across state lines but for this, it was as simple as ask and receive. I sit in a cubicle with a man who spends as much time thinking about dessert as I do, so it was a real highlight to walk to my desk Monday morning and to find the bag waiting for me after having mentioned them as soon as I’d read about them.

You can see that the packaging is nothing special. The waffles in the picture look like Eggos (love them) so I had very high hopes about how “waffley” these were going to taste. Upon opening up the package, I was immediately hit with the maple syrup scent. For people who aren’t about it, it actually may have been too much but I just salivated thinking about how harmonious this would be once I got the waffle taste into my mouth. These cookies looked as vanilla as hell and while normally that wouldn’t be my thing, I just reminded myself that these aren’t vanilla cookies, these discs from Heaven are breakfast.

Upon first bite, I was immediately reminded of the Golden Oreo, which was no shock considering that they looked identical. The maple syrup taste was super pleasant and the cookie was flirting with being too sweet in a way that no real Cookie-o-holic minds. Still, my taste buds were baffled. Where was the waffle? 

And even after pulling apart the Oreo and tasting the “crème” separately I honestly don’t know the answer to that. The center of the “crème” was maple flavored, but the waffle wasn’t present whatsoever. That said, these cookies were exceptionally good as they were, so I tried to keep my dissapointment at bay.

As mentioned, I am not the only person invested in this bag of cookies and since every story has two sides, let's take a moment to hear another opinion here. Upon discussing, there were only so many things one could write about an Oreo so instead please enjoy this short but thoughtful poem:

waffles, how I love your golden fluff
soaked with syrup-y goodness and ready to eat
this is a meal with all the right stuff
now available in an oreo treat

oreo oreo, how I love you
if only my heart knew how to chew
for now your taste my tongue will savor
all of your delicious maple flavor

golden cookie with a hint of graham
in my mouth four or five I will cram
frosting maple center, oh it does deliver
no other cookie to even consider

I won't leave behind even a crumb
to do so would really be dumb
this cookie certainly fills a need
of this truth I do concede

In closing, Nabisco - If you had called them Maple Syrup Limited Edition Oreos, then I would give them a 10 out of 10. Like with anything in life if you manage your expectations, you’ll really enjoy these cookies and you might just be able to justify eating these cookies prior to 11AM like we did. These are worth a try, just be sure to bring the eggs, the bacon and a heaping pile of hash browns when you do. 

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Ben and Jerry's Pint Slices: The Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Parking Lot Edition

Last year, Norwalk, CT rebranded the city as “The Sound of Connecticut”. Being a resident and homeowner there myself, I thought that this was an interesting choice. Personally, I’d always considered the area the bastard step-sibling to Stamford, where you can buy the same property at a discount, pay fewer taxes and where the only sounds you’ll be hearing are trains passing through and police sirens. The more I learn about Stamford now, the more I realize they’re relatively equal in safety, if not in traffic and commuting times, so when I spent my last Friday night sitting in my car at the Main Ave, Norwalk Stop & Shop with my accomplice - like two secret eaters leaving a Weight Watchers meeting, I figured that my type of loitering was more innocent than most in the area.

If you’ve ever read my blog in the past then you would be familiar with the statistic that about 40% of what I review about is Ben & Jerry’s. As pints go, these are my favorites; full butter fat, full of flavor and not to mention an excuse to have candy AND ice cream for dessert. At first, when I heard of Ben & Jerry’s Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Pint Slices I was all about it. Described by the manufacturer as “3 Vanilla Ice Cream Bars with Gobs of Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough and Fudge Flakes, Covered in a Dark Chocolatey Coating”, I was thinking “Sign me up,” but when I held the packaging in my hand, I’d realized that having a pint slice is not the same as having a pint, with or without “Dark Chocolatey Coating”.

Trying to keep my girlish figure, maybe I avoid eating the entire pint in one sitting but I most certainly don’t shy away from getting down at LEAST half of one. Portion control is a beautiful idea for those who are interested, but if that’s the concern here then why have ice cream to start anyway? Each bar has 290 calories, which I consider to be totally reasonable or lacking for anything as premium as Ben and Jerry’s.

It only made sense that for this taste test, that I brought along the man who I have seen order chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream at countless ice cream establishments across the globe. It may seem strange for two grown adults to sit in a dark parked car on a Friday night with a trunk filled with groceries eating limited time ice cream sandwiches, but social norms be damned.

First thing first, the packaging was beautiful. The colors were super vibrant and fresh looking and the ice cream bars came wrapped in both plastic as well as placed in a box to avoid any breakage. The ice cream disk itself was completely round and didn’t quite lend itself to seamlessly being eaten out of the packaging as the widest part on mine got stuck in the wrapper, requiring excess force – which you can imagine is less than ideal for eating inside of a car with tan leather.

To be fair, you can’t eat the packaging, so getting to the real heart of the issue here upon first bite I was pleasantly surprised by the depth of flavor in the chocolate coating. It’s not overly sweet and heavy on the cocoa side. It wasn’t until writing this blog post did I realize that the chocolate was of the dark variety, but I loved it regardless. For anyone with weak teeth or dentures, you may need to let the puck defrost for a bit before starting the whole eating endeavor. As a woman who doesn’t absolutely love vanilla ice cream, this coating abated any issues with being bored with the flavor whatsoever.

The ice cream itself was pretty standard for Ben and Jerry’s Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough, which is to say it was good and probably does not require much further explanation for anyone living in America. Unlike what I am used to in the pints however, it should be noted that the distribution of gobs of cookie dough within the “Slice” was relatively uneven. Some bites were filled of nothing more than cookie dough, which was a great time but others left me heavily relying on the coating to carry me through. One thing worth noting is that unless you have a car with dark interior or somebody at home who does your laundry, it may be more of an item to eat outside at a BBQ rather than inside of your car as it was a particularly messy ordeal, however worth it that each bite was.

Tim, a chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream aficionado said that he didn’t particularly love this dessert because it was too chocolatey for him. His ice cream bar had an even greater issue with uneven distribution of cookie dough and while he did give it a 4.5 or 5 out of 10, he did also say that he would still likely eat this again.

With the price point of three bars being similar to that of one pint, I would definitely buy this again. Rumor has it that there’s even a peanut butter cup edition somewhere out there. Thumbs up for the novelty and for giving even non-degenerates an excuse to lurk in an unlit parking lot from time to time.