Normally I hate all of those processed grocery store snack cakes, but Little Debbie completely impressed me with their pumpkin soft cookies. Even though they looked like something out of the Mario Brothers movie, they were way tastier than they had any right to be, and they might be my favorite pumpkin product of 2015.
I loved the pumpkin version so much, that I knew I had to try the winter gingerbread version. Admittedly, I'm a gingerbread snob. I make my own gingerbread from scratch every winter, and like my bakers, I think mine is the best. Still, I wonder if Little Debbie's soft cookies will live up to my snooty standards.
All Little Debbie cookies and brownies come in these long rectangular boxes, with Debbie's slightly demonic looking face in the corner. (Don't get me wrong, I dig creepy Debbie, and I'm into spooky stuff, but something about that illustrated face...ain't right.) This packaging has a lot more going on than the Halloween/Fall themed pumpkin box. Halloween was totally (pardon my French) half-assed! Look at all this stuff! Here we have Santa, ribbons, faux texturing, holly berries, and green bells? Man, they really pulled out all the Christmas stops on this one.
I like their choice of going with a more realistic art style, to match the Debbie logo, and even though I hate Christmas themed products, this really doesn't look that bad. A bit busy, but not bad. I'd even go as far as to say this is kind of classy. (Plus it's not Frozen or Minion-themed, so it gets, like, a million bonus points for that.) Also, it's kind of nice that they included little gift tags on the back of their box. I don't know how many people actually use them, but it's nice to see the company trying to give you more bang for your holiday buck.
I opened up the box, and just like the pumpkin version, each cookie is wrapped in clear plastic. Which makes these easy to toss into your lunchbox or to share with others. I like that the plastic doesn't have printing on it. This way you get a good look at the actual cookie, and all the icing and sprinkles get a chance to shine. For a processed cookie, this looks pretty good. We have the classic stick-man style gingerbread man with a little bit of icing and some Christmas themed sprinkles. It's cute, and slightly imperfect looking enough to remind you of homemade holiday cookies. (For the record my gingerbread cookies are always bat-shaped, so they're automatically cooler and better looking.)
Once free of his cellophane prison, the cookie smells molasses-y, sweet, and spiced. I can smell ginger, cloves, cinnamon, and vanilla. So far so good, and the cookie is so soft I can easily squish him in my hand. I decided to bite off his head first, so he'd die a quick and painless death...
...and I was immediately underwhelmed by the flavor and texture. Sure, the cookie was soft, but this thing was DRY. All caps-worthy dry. How can something this soft and squishy be so drying? You'll definitely need a glass of milk nearby to help you out with this one. As far as the flavoring was concerned, these aren't as good as mine, but still, they're somewhat impressive for a pre-made grocery store cookie. The spice blend is stronger than the other seasonal gingerbread cookies on the market, but not as strong as a classic box of ginger snaps. The spice blend is really enjoyable, and the icing adds a bit of sweetness, but the dryness really hurts this cookie. I was spoiled by the incredibly moist and flavorful pumpkins. For me, those pumpkins are a must-try for all spiced cookie and cake lovers, but these gingerbread men? They're just okay. I'll stick to my tried and true recipe.