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FUDGE COOKIES

Back in the day when I still had a decent metabolism, I could share a bag of Keebler Fudge Supremes with equally thin friends, and chase them down with Hawaiian Punch. Keebler apparently stopped producing those delicious fudge sandwich cookies, but several bakeries are putting out some similarly delicious look-alikes. Taster's Choice judges didn't have the nostalgia for the chocolate, fudge-filled treats, but they recently enjoyed four brands that lived up to the comparison. Even Oreo is getting into the game.

Kathy Saunders, Times correspondent


Product/Score (out of 100) Oreo /80 Archway /68 Dare /55
HowÕd it look? Oblong like a Vienna finger cookie. Like a chocolate cookie nametag. Super dark with pleasant ridges and a thick layer of fudge. Like waves of chocolate sand. Pretty, like a flower with an icing center.
JudgesÕ comments "A very snappy, almost peppery cookie with a great crunch," said one judge. The fudge is sweet and lively and the cookie is so good it would be great by itself, he added. "I can see myself dunking this in milk," said another panelist. One judge detected some raspberry in the chocolate flavor. Nice and moist. "I like the pleasant texture," said one judge. "ItÕs not too dry or crumbly," he said, describing the thick chocolate as "handsome." "ItÕs a delicate cookie with a nice, creamy filling," said a panelist who liked the cookieÕs scalloped edges. "ThereÕs a good butter taste in the cookie," said another. He described the cookie as "a heavenly planet Ñ something you would definitely look up to."
Would they buy? All five judges said yes. Four of the five judges said yes. Three of the five judges said yes.
Shopping information Widely available. $2.50 for a 15-ounce bag from Publix. Widely available. $3.49 for a 16-ounce bag from Publix. Widely available. $3.29 for a 12.3-ounce bag from Publix.

Also sampled: Great Value ($1.88 for a 17-ounce bag from Wal-Mart, 53 points)

Panelists: Nan Jensen, registered dietitian with Pinellas County Cooperative Extension; Bob Devin Jones, artistic director of Studio@620; Jim Yockey, aesthetician at Anu You Institute; Times food critic Laura Reiley; and consumer/foodie John Hehn, owner of All Brite Lighting & Power Design Inc. All foods were tasted blind.

Send suggestions for product testing to: Taste section, St. Petersburg Times, P.O. Box 1121, St. Petersburg, FL 33731 or e-mail them to jkeeler@sptimes.com. Please put TEST SUGGESTION in the subject line. To read past Taster's Choice columns, go to food.tampabay.com.

Up next:OBITUARIES

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