Tag: Cookies

Taste Test: Duff Goldman Jeepers Creepers Premium Cookie Mix

It’s time for another product review and taste test. In the spirit of Halloween and second chances, I chose Duff Goldman’s Jeepers Creepers: Where’d You Get Those Peppers Premium Cookie Mix. Yes, it really does say that on the box.

The mix costs $3.99 plus tax at my local Target and calls for the additions of 1/2 cup of butter, two egg whites, and an optional teaspoon of vanilla extract. I wasn’t terribly impressed with his Purple Rain cake mix and Not Your Bagel Cream Cheese frosting (review here). This cookie mix looked fun and since it called for real butter, I felt optimistic.

Duff Box wm

Back of box wm

The box contains the cake mix, candy eyes, and three colors of gel food coloring.

kit contents wm

Here are the ingredients you are asked to provide:

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To Charm City’s credit, the mix includes a lot of peepers. I tried an eyeball and found it tasted like powdered sugar. The texture wasn’t too hard, which I had been afraid of, but I didn’t enjoy them enough to eat more. Therefore, I only added two eyes per cookie, which left a lot of leftovers.

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The instructions are simple: Combine the cake mix, egg whites, butter, and vanilla in a bowl. Divide the dough into three equal portions, and mix one food coloring packet (orange, purple or green) into each bowl. Portion tablespoon-sized balls onto a cookie sheet two inches a part, and bake at 350ºF for 14-17 minutes or until the edges turn golden brown.

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The final step instructs bakers to press the googly eyes into the cookies while they are still warm. This step is especially important because the eyes absolutely will not stick otherwise. I found that I had to tuck the edges of the eyes into a still-warm and slightly gooey cookie crevice to secure them.

finished wm

Taste Test: The cookies looked adorable. They tasted very sweet and like “birthday cake” flavor. I realize cookies are supposed to taste sweet, but, like the Purple Rain cake mix, they struck me as overkill. However, we all have different sweetness thresholds. The texture of the cookie was pleasantly crisp and chewy.

People who like “birthday cake” or Funfetti flavor will probably enjoy these cookies. “Birthday cake” happen to be one of my least favorite flavors in the world. Jake thought the cookies tasted fine, but wouldn’t go out of the way for them. If you don’t mind spending $3.99 for a boxed mix that makes 20 cookies that taste like “birthday cake,” these cookies might be for you.

*When I edited my video, I realized my phone didn’t record my official taste-test of the cookies. The only clip I could find was a candid shot of me returning for a second bite of the cookie. 

The Ecstasies & Horrors Of Trying Eight Flavors Of Oreos: North Iowa Bloggers Taste Test

I don’t want to eat another Oreo for 10 years.

Seriously. I saw some at a picnic yesterday and passed.

It’s been two months since the North Iowa Bloggers got together to taste weird things, which is way too long. We reconvened this week to test taste weird Oreos and celebrate fall birthdays.

Beth set up this impressive Oreo tasting station complete with a smiley face voting system. She really is the hostess with the mostest. You’ll notice the table is not only decorated with flowers, but photos of Donna & Laura. We make “flat” versions of bloggers who can’t attend our taste testing events because we’re like that.

flat people

Here’s a glimpse of our potluck buffet. I brought bacon-wrapped figs stuffed with basil-lemon goat cheese pictured below on the left.

meal Collage

Potlucks are the best because they feed my dip obsession. We enjoyed Pulled Pork, baked potato dip, bagel dip, caramel apple dip, strawberry-basil balsamic foccacia, savory cheese dip & that Midwestern Snickers salad, something I’ve only seen in Iowa. It was imperative that we create a substantial base in our stomachs in preparation for the Oreos.

We sacrificed one of each cookie to create this artwork. So yes, exactly eight Oreos were harmed in the process.

oreo raibow Frame

Top Row: Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough, Berry, Root Beer Float, Peanut Butter
Bottom Row: Pumpkin Spice, Caramel Apple, Chocolate Birthday Cake, Vanilla Birthday Cake

My three favorite flavors are Pumpkin Spice, Peanut Butter, and Cookie Dough.

Good Oreo Collage

Pumpkin Spice: I was surprised this cookie tasted more like cookie butter than a pumpkin spice latte. “Hey guys, it tastes like Speculoos!” I shouted.

Everyone’s mouth dropped and then there was silence.

My mouth was full of cookie. And since I had no idea how to pronounce “Speculoos,” having only read the word but never hearing it pronounced, everyone thought I said the cookie tasted like a speculum. I promise you it didn’t, unless speculums taste like Speculoos or you really hate pumpkin spice. Not that I would know or anything.

Peanut Butter: Unless you hate peanut butter, this chocolate-peanut butter combo will not offend.

Cookie Dough: This was the last Oreo I tasted. Frankly, there’s nothing that exciting about stuffing a cookie with cookie-dough flavored frosting, but it tasted innocuous enough and didn’t make me cringe, so, up it went up into my top three.

The Oreos that made my face go like this were banished to the bottom five.

Bad Cookie Collage with poopy

My least favorite flavors were Root Beer, Berry, Birthday Cake and Berry.

Root Beer: I took this shocked and appalled selfie (Oreoelfie?) with root beer Oreo residue still clinging to the sides of my mouth. The root beer flavor in the frosting was strong. Like Vicks Vapor Rub strong. I could feel root beer vapors wafting from my tongue into the deep recesses of my brain with each inhele. I wouldn’t say that I wanted to die, but I can’t say I didn’t want the Oreo to die. Root beer cookies just no.

Berry: I hated this icky, fake-fruit flavor. Many of us thought it smacked of pink medicine.

Caramel Apple: Again, I disliked the fake fruit flavor, this time in green apple. It wasn’t medicinal like the berry, but still gross. Are these fruity flavors the precursor to Jolly Rancher Oreos? We couldn’t find the fruit punch flavor in our local stores and none of us cried about it.

Birthday Cake (Vanilla & Chocolate): I spit out my first bite of Vanilla Birthday Cake Oreo before forgoing the chocolate. Until this day, I’d avoided Birthday Cake flavored everything, which makes me biased. I don’t even like real birthday cake.

North Dakota blogger Molly Yeh writes about Funfetti and Birthday Cake flavors in a post about Funfetti Biscotti. She hits the nail on the head when she identifies clear, artificial vanilla extract as tasting like nostalgia. For many, this tastes like the grade school birthday parties and vanilla lip glosses Yeh mentions.

For me, the flavor tastes like the smell of the tweeny body splashes my friends used to douse themselves in after gym class that always made me nauseous. Birthday Cake and Funfetti enthusiasts will like these Oreos.

Visit my fellow North Iowa bloggers to find out which Oreos brought them ecstasy or horror. Our opinions differ widely. Who knows what we will try next!

Group Photo

Don’t ask me why I’m holding a Berry Oreo.

My Fellow Taste Testers
Amy, Modern Rural Living
Beth, It’s Just Life
Katy, Learning As I Go
Sara, All In An Iowan Mom’s Day & Travel With Sara
Val, Corn, Beans, Pigs & Kids

(In Absentia)
Donna, Donnahup.com
Laura, All Things Travel 

A Tale Of Two Cookie Doughs: One Made From Beans & One Made From Butter

Within the past week, I made cookie dough made with beans and cookie dough made with butter.

Beans
This story began in Chicago while we were staying with my cousin and his family. Sara mentioned that she makes a “healthy cookie dough” made from beans that her kids just love. Jake was especially intrigued and, when we returned home to Iowa, asked many times if I could make it. I usually prefer savory over sweet and avoid recipes with healthy substitutions (like swapping applesauce or pumpkin for butter) so I was very wary of making this.

Sara prepares Healthy Cookie Dough Dip from the blog Chocolate Covered Katie and recommends using half the amount of sugar.

My healthy cookie dough smelled slightly beany but did actually taste like a peanut buttery cookie dough. I can see how this could make a nice snack or dessert for kids, especially when using less sugar. I probably wouldn’t make this again just for the two of us, but would if we have a kids someday. Cookie dough is not a treat that I enjoy eating more than a bite of and it makes too much for Jake. 

The original recipe recommends using a food processor. We don’t have one so here’s my take using a blender. I added salt and sugar to taste, with just enough milk to facilitate blending. 

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Ingredients
1 can chickpeas/garbanzo beans
Salt, a couple pinches or to taste
Baking soda, a pinch (not sure what this does)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/4 cup nut butter (we used natural, sugar-free peanut butter)
3 teaspoons oats
Brown sugar or honey to taste
Milk, enough to allow the mixture to blend (we used almond milk)
Chocolate chips

Instructions
Add the beans, salt, baking soda, vanilla, peanut butter and oats to a blender. Add about a 1/4 cup of sugar and a couple splashes of milk. The mixture will be thick and difficult to blend. Alternate between pulsing and adding splashes of milk. Stop the blender often and scrape the mixture around with a spoon. The dough won’t be as smooth as if you had made it in a food processor, but it will be good enough as long as you don’t add too much milk.

Taste it and decide if you want to add more sugar and salt. Stir in chocolate chips.

Butter
When I worked at Josie’s Coffee Corner Cafe, before moving to Iowa, I especially liked their Chocolate Chipper cookies. They differed from ordinary chocolate chip cookie because they contained puffed rice cereal and coconut and had a shortbread texture. I can’t just pop over to Fargo any more, so I tried this recipe for Oh My D-Lux Chocolate Chip Cookies on Food.com hoping they’d turn out similarly.

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I followed this recipe as written, except I added a 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Even though I used salted butter, they were a little bland. If you choose to make them, I’d recommend adding a whole teaspoon of salt. Also, once you drop the dough onto the cookie sheets, smash it down. The cookies don’t spread much during baking and flattening the dough balls ensures the bottom doesn’t burn before the top gets cooked through and golden brown.

Don’t get me wrong, we are enjoying these cookies and I love the crunch from the cereal, coconut, and pecans. However, they did not taste like those Chocolate Chippers I remember.

Oh well, I’ll just have to bake another batch of cookies, later. In the name of research, of course.

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