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Taste test: new cookies

One sure way to lure us into summer snacking is to roll out new cookies. We found four offerings on the grocery store shelves this week and wanted to see how they fared against some of our favorites. One was a new cookie mix that we baked according to package directions. In most cases, judges said they likely will stick to their favorites, but they enjoyed tasting these other options.

Kathy Saunders, Times correspondent

Product Pepperidge Farm Key Lime Chocolate Milano Oreo Thins Lemon Flavored Keebler E.L. Fudge Elfwich Vanilla Krusteaz Bakery Style Brown Sugar Oatmeal Cookie Mix

Generally, our judges are fans of Milano cookies, no matter what new filling the manufacturers roll out. But this key lime flavor didn't really do it for them. One judge said she couldn't taste the key lime at all. Another said it overpowered the cookie. Panelists appreciated the nice look of the always delicate and attractive Milano, but the flavors fell short. "The key lime flavor is very aggressive and fake," said one judge. Another said, "Find the tree that grew these key limes and cut it down. This ruins a perfectly good cookie."Thinner Oreos might make some snackers eat fewer calories, or at least feel less guilt. Our judges acknowledged the benefits of the size but complained that the lemon filling didn't stand up to the other Oreo fillings of vanilla or chocolate cream. One said the cookies looked "cheap," but she liked the crispy texture of the cookie as well as the sweet-tart balance of the cream. "This has a classic Oreo taste with a lemon overtone," said another. "It would be good for a snack, but I would rather have a full-size cookie." One judge said the filling tasted too fake. "It tastes like lemon furniture polish."Disclaimer: Some members of my family have an unhealthy obsession with Keebler Elfwich Fudge cookies. They may not have that problem with the vanilla option, because the Taster's judges were definitely turned off by the new offering. While the vanilla sandwich cookies looked identical to the popular chocolate cookies, they did not stack up in terms of flavor. "The cookie is bland and the vanilla filling is incredibly sweet," said one judge. Another couldn't grasp the concept of the cookie. "I don't understand. Is this a fudge cookie without fudge?" he asked.Panelists liked the simplicity of being able to bake an oatmeal cookie without much fuss. They liked the look and color of the finished product. "Dunked in milk these would be really delicious," said one judge, who liked the balance of oatmeal and sweetness in the "homemade" cookie. Another said the overpowering amount of cinnamon in the flavor gave it away as a cookie from a box mix. A couple said they would have added more to the mixture, perhaps applesauce, to improve the slightly dry texture of the cookies.

they buy?
Two of the four judges said yes.Two of the four judges said yes.Two of the four judges said yes.Two of the four judges said yes.
Shopping information$3.69 for a 7-ounce package from Publix.$4.19 for a 10.1-ounce package from Winn-Dixie.$3.69 for a 13.6-ounce package from Winn-Dixie.$1.69 for a 14-ounce box mix from Walmart.

Panelists: Jeff Jensen, public information officer for the city of Treasure Island; Wayne Conery, retired restaurant manager; Jill Dunn, Realtor, Yes-Homes; and Laura Reiley, Times food critic.

Send suggestions for product testing to: Taste section, Tampa Bay Times, P.O. Box 1121, St. Petersburg, FL 33731 or email them to Please put TEST SUGGESTION in the subject line. To read past Taster's Choice columns, go to

Serving sizeTwo cookiesFour cookiesTwo cookiesOne cookie
Fat/Fiber7g / 0g6g / 0g7g / 0g1g / 0g
Sugars/Sodium9g / 35mg11g / 90mg13g / 95mg6g /55mg
Carbs/Protein16g / 1g21g / 1g26g / 2g14g / 1g

Taste test: new cookies 07/05/16 [Last modified: Tuesday, July 5, 2016 10:18am]
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