Thursday, July 27, 2017

Christmas in July #TBT - Benton's Egg Nog & Hot Cocoa Cookies

Benton's Egg Nog & Hot Cocoa Cookies - Aldi, #TBT

I said I'm sorry, santa!
I never meant to hurt you,
I never meant to make you cry,
but tonight,
I'm cleaning out my pantry.
As most of you know, I recently moved, and during the packing process I found a TON of old food I never got around to. Being the frugal foodie *cough**cough* HOARDER *cough* you all know I am, I figured I'd enjoy a bit of Christmas in July for today's #throwbackthursday, before I end up shoving these in a cabinet and forget they exist. (Again.)
These are roughly a year old, and since their release Aldi's package designs have come a long way. Just look at these boxes. They're very generic and no-frills store-brand looking. No one would want these as a gift, and no one would leave these boxes out on their dessert table, but the flavors sound intriguing.

Inside each box is a silver foiled plastic bag containing tiny bite-sized cookies. Both flavors have a thick coating of powdered sugar on the outside, but if you look closely you can see one of the cookies is a brownish-tan color (cocoa), and the other a sandy shortbread color (eggnog). The cookies are adorably small. They're maybe the size of a silver dollar. I don't have one in my piggy bank to compare it to, but I think it's pretty close. I love this tiny size, it makes them feel more precious, like something that should be savored rather than gobbled up.
The cocoa cookies smell like Sweet n' Low mixed with cocoa powder (pretty much a sugar free hot cocoa mix), while the eggnog cookies smell like Sweet n' Low and nutmeg.

Both aromas are fairly authentic representations of classic Christmas flavors, but the sweetener is a little on the fake side, which I'm not a huge fan of.

I was really excited for the eggnog cookies, which are something I've never seen before, so I tried those first.  
Even though they're a year old, these still taste awesome! The sugary outside melts in your mouth with a vanilla'd sugar sweetness, and the short bread cookie crumbles away into a really nutmeg-heavy realistic eggnog flavor. Almost like a Christmas-y snickerdoodle. It's all the spiced and sweet flavors of eggnog without the overwhelming richness. I really love them! It makes me want to whip up my own eggnog themed shortbread cookies this winter for my annual cookieswap. I'd love to see these return this year (hopefully in a cuter box).
Next up, the less exciting hot cocoa cookies.

I popped a cookie into my mouth and it was not as interesting or unique as the eggnog, but still pleasant enough. The shortbread cookie has a bitter cocoa powder flavor which balances out the sugary sweet coating, and sure it tastes like chocolate and sugar, but it's not something I would consider hot cocoa-like. For that I would like some creamy milk notes, but they're nowhere to be found. This is just a chocolate shortbread cookie, coated in a thick layer of sugar. It's good, but far less interesting than the eggnog.

Of the two, I prefer the eggnog, but my boyfriend disagrees. As I was typing up this review he was grabbing tiny cocoa cookies off my desk each time he passed. So it's all about personal preference. I'll easily polish off this tiny box of eggnog cookies before the week is out, and he'll finish these cocoa ones before the sun goes down.

I'm not sure if these are one of the many Aldi Unicorn items (which is my term for Aldi items that only show up once and are never seen again, so you begin to doubt if they ever existed), but if these flavors return this winter, I'll be re-buying them both. Sure, the boxes are ugly, but the cookies inside are pretty great (the eggnog more-so than the cocoa) and I'd love to serve them on a fancy platter with tea this winter.
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