Friday, September 5, 2014

Birthday Cake Cookies - Target: Cherry Hill, NJ

Birthday Cake Cookies - Target: Cherry Hill, NJ
It seems like the birthday cake trend is finally coming to an end, most likely due to the influx of pumpkin spiced items for the fall, but Target might have missed the memo. In all fairness I'm not sure when they were first released, but these cookies showed up on in my area last month, and even though I am still confused as to how something is supposed to taste like "birthday cake" when it has no specified flavor combination, I though it'd be interesting to see what Target's take on the birthday cake Oreo sandwich cookie would be like.

First up, the packaging. The design is very no-frills-y, which suits the Market Pantry Line which is one of Targets more affordable store brands. It may not be terribly fun to photograph, or look at, but it gets the job done. Something I noticed about this package right away is that it isn't resealable. This isn't really an inconvenience, I'll just put the opened bag into a seal-able freezer bag like I used to back in the 90's before resealable cookie bags were a thing, but I thought it was worth mentioning.

On the back panel there is the usual nutritional information and a little "recipe" for party treats, but it's just a cookie at the bottom of a cupcake liner with a scoop of ice cream on top. I might be getting cranky and nit-picky, but that is no recipe.

I wanted to mention one last thing before I got into the actual review, and that is that the "birthday cake" pictures on the package is a vanilla cake with vanilla icing and rainbow sprinkles, if that is what this cookie is meant to taste like...why is the cookie-part chocolate? (Is it obvious that I am bitter and really over the birthday cake trend?) Okay, now that I got that off my chest, let's see how this cookie tastes.

Inside the package the cookies are lined up in neat little rows on a plastic tray, just like the rest of the cookies you can buy in the grocery store. The first thing I noticed was that, For a no-frills brand, these have a pretty good amount of icing. It seems like this is more filling than you would find in a normal Oreo, but not quite as much as the Double Stuff'd variety. The icing is a slightly off-white color (Sometimes it almost looks like a very light blue or gray), and there are little bit of rainbow confection (Sprinkles?) scattered throughout.

The cookie portion looks, and smells, just like a classic Oreo cookie, and the filling has a sugary sweet vanilla aroma that's reminiscent of canned frosting. When combined, the icing scent easily over powers the chocolate. It might not smell like a traditional birthday cake, but the scent combination does remind me of ice cream cake. (Those delicious bad-for-you ones with the chocolate cookie bits pressed into the sides.)

I started out by trying the filling on it's own. The vanilla icing is really sweet and sugary, and it coats your tongue with that artificial-waxy substance that I'm not too fond of. This doesn't taste like normal cake icing to me, I'd say this is more like that icing-like confection that's piped onto ice cream cakes. That stuff is like icing, but it's really waxy feeling because it's made to withstand freezing and thawing. I wish I had some normal Oreo's to compare this too, or the birthday cake variety, but I want to say that this filling leaves a stronger, waxier, coat on my tongue than any Oreo I've ever had and it tastes generically sweet, like you mixed normal Oreo filling with some of that ice cream cake frosting. 
When combined, the flavor combination is very similar to those ice cream cakes I mentioned earlier. The cookie has the same, delicious, semi-sweetened, cocoa flavoring as normal Oreos, and the sugary filling adds a nice amount of sweetness with hints of vanilla. The cookie helps cut through the waxy mouth feel left behind by the filling, making it a lot more tolerable for me, and as far as I can tell, the rainbow flecks are only for show.  The little sprinkles don't add any texture or flavoring to the cookie, but they did make for some nice photos.

For a no-frills store-brand cookie, this wasn't too bad! I think this is leaps and bound better than the Birthday Icing-filled Chips Ahoy, but I still don't see myself buying another package of these. I'm not sure how long these are going to be available, but if you're a fan of the birthday themed Oreos, this seems to be a pretty good dupe. (I think I might toss some of these cookies into the freezer and see if they're any better iced.)
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