Friday, December 11, 2020

Aldi Hot Cocoa Cremes - Do these look familiar?

Hot Cocoa Cremes 
- Aldi
At first glance, these should look pretty familiar. It's a pretty blatant dupe for the Hot Cocoa Oreos first released in 2017-2018. (Phew, that post did NOT age well. Ouch. On a lot of levels.) We have a big ol' red mug, the "O's" are all puffy marshmallows, and the packaging is a dark almost Oreo-blue. While the general design concept and layout, and even the calorie count, are the same as Oreo's, there are a few key differences to note. 

For starters, the Oreo version actually had two layers of creme filling. A white, presumably marshmallow, layer, and a cocoa-brown one. Here we have one flavor, a light brown version that is ideally a combination of the two. Then there is the quirky ingredients and nutritional information. (These Aldi cookies pack an interesting amount of sodium.) Safe to say, these are not a no-frills re-release of a seasonal Oreo flavor. And while I love to see Aldi do that with expensive popular products, it's only good if it tastes good. 

These bags are how Oreo used to be, where there is no way to reseal it, so you end up putting it inside a big Ziploc baggie. Which is a little annoying, but I'm not a huge fan of Oreo's front-flap bags either. I really wish the packaging would switch back to the papery-bags with the big twist-tie tops. Once opened, I got a closer look, and smell, of the cookies inside.  

Oh,...oh, no. As soon as I opened these I knew this would be a regretful purchase. These cookies smell like chocolate cosmetics and candles. As a former novelty lip balm addict, I know this smell all too well. Little lipgloss pots that looked like Reese's PB cups, twist up Chocolate Charleston Chew Chapsticks, and Hershey's themed everything, they all looked so cute, so promising, but they all smelled exactly like THIS. 

I hate fake chocolate smells, and avoid chocolate-themed candles because of it, and now I unwittingly brought this into my home. Where I live! I really, really, hope these taste better than they smell. I mean, if Oreo could do a cocoa flavor, and even Hubba Bubba can make a decent hot cocoa chewing gum, then Aldi can make this work.

I gave it a twist to try the creme filling on it's own first. There seems to be more than usual, perhaps double-stuffed? It's soft, a little fluffy, and thankfully it doesn't taste as bad as it smells, but it definitely finds itself in the fake chocolate realm. (I recently re-watched The Lord of the Rings Trilogy for the first time since their original release. So expect a lot of old world language and Sean Bean memes before the year is out.) For the most part, the filling is sweet, slightly gritty, and mild, but the finish is that distinct should-not-be-food chocolate scent/flavor, and that is not okay. At least, not for me.   

The cookies on the other hand, are light, crisp, with an okay chocolate flavoring. Pretty on-par with other knock-off Oreos (which are themselves a knock-off Hydrox cookies but that is a subject for another day.) Due to being in such close contact with the creme filling, the cookies have a bit of that fake chocolate taste as well. Kind of like when you don't separate the fruity and chocolate candies in your trick-or-treat hauls. Each item gets a ghostly shadowy taste from it's confectionary neighbor, and that is what happened here. It's an okay cookie, possessed by the ghostly flavor of an evil creme.


Combined, cookie and creme, it's edible, but far from great. I tried it with a glass of cold milk and found that it made it slightly worse. In doing so you lose the light crispy cookie texture, and the cookie basically becomes mush letting the filling shine. I recently made some of my own chocolate chip cookies, and received a little gift-box of cookies from the awesome Ramona Susan's in Philly, and comparing these cookies to either of those? Is tragic. 

Someone out there likes chocolate candles, I mean they keep making them, right? If you are a chocolate candle person, no judgement if you are, but this is the cookie of your dreams. This just isn't for me. I might try and salvage this purchase by crushing them and adding them to brownies for this year's holiday cookie trays. Did you buy these? Do you like chocolate scented candles? (No shame!) Let me know in the comments! 

Fans of these would also like:
Hot Cocoa Oreo, Hot Cocoa Hubba Bubba Gum, Hot Cocoa Boom Chicka Pop, Hot Cocoa m&m's, and Hot Cocoa Chips Ahoy!
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