At a glance this might not look like a #tbt post, but...look at the best by date. (No wait, don't look! Let's pretend we never saw that.) There's no use denying it, these are from last fall! I somewhat feel ashamed and embarrassed that it took me this long to get around to these cookies, but I'm also kind of impressed that I dug them out of my stash just in time for them to return to the shelves. I mean, they're just cookies. They can't be bad yet, right? I guess we'll find out!
They may be a year old, but you can barely tell! The packaging for this year's re-release is exactly the same and despite being tossed around quite a bit, these look fresh off the shelf. I bet I could carry this into Target right now and swap it for a fresher bag and no one would be the wiser. (I could, but I won't.) The design is a bit more whimsical than your typical Pepperidge Farms bag, but I feel like their seasonal offerings are in need of a makeover. Their designs are always safe, pleasant, and appealing, but they also feel stagnant. This same fall cookie bag has been used for the last 3 years (at least), I want to see something new and eye catching. The change wouldn't have to be drastic, but I for one am tired of the generic Photoshop leaf-brush looking accents. Why not switch things up with some pops of color?
I may feel like the design is a little boring, but they deserve credit for how study this bag really is. This has been tossed around in a grocery bag with other heavier food items for over a year and when I opened the bag, not a single cookie was broken! So it may look a little "blah" but kudos for unexpected durability.
Once opened, I could immediately smell chocolate and a mild touch of pumpkin spiced aroma. I don't have a great track record with pumpkin spiced chocolate sweets, they're usually pretty candle-like and kind of gross, but the scent here is more chocolate and biscuit-heavy, and far better than I expected. (Especially for a year old cookie.)
I took a bite, and it was impressively crisp and fresh tasting! The biscuit was sweet and crumbly, typical for Milano cookies, and the filling was chocolatey with a hint of pumpkin spiced candle. Thankfully the pumpkin aspect was very very mild and I found these really enjoyable. Especially when my photo lights made the chocolate melt a bit. I didn't have a very thick layer of the orange pumpkin-spiced confection in these cookies, but I'm not complaining. If there were more of it I'm sure these would have crossed the line into Bath & Body Works territory. As is, these tasted like you left a bag of normal Milano cookies too close to a pumpkin wax melt or something, which isn't ideal, but it didn't prevent me from snacking away on them either.
When it comes to pumpkin spice being mixed with chocolate, I just don't think we're there yet. Every fall spiced chocolate sweet I try makes me think of seasonal soaps and body products. I can't speak for you guys, but I find that to be pretty unappealing. Thankfully these cookies aren't bad at all. I wouldn't buy them again, but unlike a lot of the seasonal stuff I buy just to review, I can finish them off without it feeling like a pumpkin themed calorie-loaded chore. Which is great!
So in the end, these held up incredibly well, tasted okay (mostly chocolate and vanilla cookie with just a hint of candle) and even though I wouldn't buy another bag for snacking, I might get another one just to make those little tombstone-dirt pudding cups this Halloween.
© Maria Smith http://poison-and-antidote.net
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