After reading in early September about Nabisco releasing limited edition Oreos with candy corn-flavored centers exclusively in Target stores starting September 10, an unhelpful trip to Nabisco’s Oreos website for more information, a failed attempt to flag the attention of the social media team running the @Oreo account to find out where I could buy these things, and a failed weeks-long search of Northern Virginia’s Target locations (or, the ones within reasonable driving distance), including an in-person discussion with a store manager, my old friend and first boss at the last restaurant job I ever had sent me four (!) bags of these delicate treats, all the way from Arkansas, after seeing me complain on Facebook about the weak supply of them in the Washington metropolitan area.
(It really cannot be overstated how awful and completely unnavigable Nabisco’s website is. Get on that, guys, seriously — we’re living in the 21st century. I can put you in touch with people who can help.)
Some onlookers asked for a review when I posted the picture above on Facebook with a note thanking “Blair Bear.” Food reviews aren’t really a working part of my writing repertoire, so you’ll have to make do with a list of bullet points (Jon Henke would be proud):
- The cookie portion itself is nothing special, if just as tasty as you’d expect. It seems to be the vanilla-flavored cookie that Nabisco uses in its Golden Oreo brand.
- The filling, of course, is where the candy corn flavor comes in. Replacing the standard toothache-inducing-but-totally-addictive lard + sugar (not really, not anymore) filling is a mixture of yellow and orange pastes, signifying the colors of a typical candy corn. For a product that contains no honey, this filling recipe produces a remarkably rich and sweet taste, like one might expect from a candy pumpkin (which are made with honey), or from a candy corn (which, it turns out, are not made with honey, although I thought they were). Bottom line: Nabisco knows I want a flavor in this cookie I’m not going to get anywhere else, and they nailed it on the sweetness and richness of this filling.
- An interesting (well, to me) characteristic of these cookies is the proportion of orange filling to yellow filling. I snapped this photo to explain what I mean:
I had to open more than one cookie to find out if the first one was just an anomaly, and it appears that the factory machines (I’m assuming they’re machines and not Oompa Loompas) are dispensing a little too much orange filling. If, on the other hand, this was deliberate, and Nabisco is trying to somehow recreate what a candy corn looks like, they failed at this almost as badly as they failed at their website. Every good candy corn connoisseur knows the yellow part of the candy corn is the fattest part.
- Speaking of opening a few cookies to check out the centers, one of the most important characteristics of an Oreo, one that separates it from knock-off brands, is the ability to twist off one half without disturbing the filling. Teddy KGB knows what I’m talking about. As you can see above, these Oreos are perfect for all my fellow twisters out there.
- Getting back to the sweetness factor, not only am I a twister, I’m a DIY Double Stuffer (I twist off half of two Oreos, eat the naked half cookies, and mash the filling-covered halves together and dunk in milk as if it were a naturally-occurring Double Stuf). If you’re like me, proceed with caution with this variety of Oreo. As I mentioned earlier, the filling is very rich and very sweet. The ingredients list boasts both sugar and high-fructose corn syrup, so get ready for your teeth to tickle (and your ass to jiggle, possibly) after you eat a couple of DIY Double Stufs.
- I don’t have nutritional information for good ol’ fashioned “America’s favorite cookie” Oreos in front of me, but these candy corn bad boys clock in at 150 calories per serving (two cookies; 60 calories from fat), 2g saturated fat, 21g of carbs, and — you guessed it — no secret cache of Vitamins A or C anywhere in the recipe. I all of a sudden feel no better about weighing in at 216.9 lbs. last night, which is a fine weight for a guy my height if he is also a professional ice hockey player (“would that I could,” as my friends in Westeros say). Between my roommate Bryan and me (but mostly, almost entirely me), we (I) have already polished off 3/4 of one of the four bags of candy corn Oreos that Blair sent me.
- The expiration date on the first (and so far only, mind you) bag we opened is March 12, 2013. I’m guessing this means these cookies have a shelf life of roughly 7 months, assuming they were made sometime in early to mid-August in anticipation for the September 10 roll-out. I’m frankly surprised that a product containing ingredients I didn’t know existed (ex. “thiamine mononitrate”) doesn’t last longer, like plastic six-pack rings in a landfill.
On balance, these are awesome cookies, and a great way (from a marketing perspective) for Oreos to get back on people’s maps as a consumption choice in the “Let’s Move!” era, while at the same time getting Oreo die-hards like me in the door at Target, where I might do some other shopping, through its exclusive distribution deal with the discount retailer. If you have ever been either an Oreo or candy corn enthusiast (or both), I recommend trying some. I doubt very much that you’ll be disappointed, unless you eat 3/4 of a bag in one sitting like I just did. Now I’m kind of sick to my stomach … but it hurts so good….
Thanks again, Blair!