People, we are in the middle of an epidemic.
A s’mores epidemic.
Every single place you turn…s’mores. In the last year alone, we’ve had s’mores-flavored Oreos, pudding, mini pies, pretzel pieces, and even chewing gum. It’s everywhere! Seriously, there have been so many s’mores products and subsequent reviews that I was going to open this review with a “three types of s’mores” joke until I realized that it was already made two years ago. They’re becoming such a prominent part of our diet, I’m convinced that at some point we’re just going to turn into an entire mutant race of s’mores, like a weird yet delicious movie written and directed by J.J. Abrams.
Having already released their S’mores Goldfish, Pepperidge Farm is back to inject a new strain of marshmalaria into America’s pantry. The new S’mores soft baked cookies are part of Pepperidge Farm’s Dessert Shop line. I’m a big fan of their Cinnamon Bun Dessert Shop variety, so when I saw this new release, I knew I had to give it a try.
There was a pleasant chocolate aroma when I opened the bag, with some hints of sugary sweetness. When I reached in and grabbed a cookie, I immediately noticed its heft. This is a heavy cookie for its size. At first bite, it was wonderfully soft and dense, exactly what you hope a soft baked cookie would be.
The chocolate chunks definitely stand out, both in taste and visibility. Pepperidge Farm wisely used a richer, more decadent chocolate, reminiscent of Hershey’s milk chocolate squares. The “marshmallow” flavor, for its part, comes in soft white chips distributed randomly throughout each cookie. The flavor in these chips was subtle—sweet without being too artificial. Part of the difficulty identifying the marshmallow flavors is that this cookie is just so sweet all around–almost excessively so.
The graham flavor is where this cookie really struggles. There are some “graham”-flavored bits in each cookie, distributed similarly to the marshmallow chips. These bits provide a distinct granular texture; however, the graham flavor isn’t easily distinguishable, and there’s little depth to it. This cookie doesn’t have much of a honey or toasted flavor at all, although honey is actually listed as an ingredient. Worst of all, the little “graham” taste that does come through is only in those tiny bits, rather than in the cookie itself. If the cookie dough were graham-flavored, this product would have been a home run. Instead, it just tastes like a much sweeter chocolate chunk cookie.
I should point out, these things are much better after about 6-8 seconds in the microwave. If you’ve enjoyed a Dessert Shop cookie before, I’m likely not telling you anything you don’t already know. Despite the lack of true graham flavor, warming up this cookie a bit improves the overall taste, and it undoubtedly benefits from a softer texture.
There’s no denying that “s’mores” is on fire as a flavor right now, and Pepperidge Farm made a decent effort with this cookie. Here’s the problem: this cookie doesn’t really scream “s’more.” A s’more is a simple snack to be sure, but there are actually three distinct flavors that everyone thinks of when they think of the campfire classic: chocolate, marshmallow, and graham cracker. Pepperidge Farm didn’t quite nail them all here. The rich chocolate and sweet marshmallow work fine together in this cookie, but the lack of graham flavor and overwhelming sweetness just left me longing for the real thing.
|Item:||Pepperidge Farm Dessert Shop S’mores Cookies|
|Price and Place of Purchase:||$2.89 at Target|
|Size:||8.6 oz package|
|Nutrition Facts (serving size-1 cookie):||140 calories, 60 calories from fat, 6 grams of fat, 3 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 10 milligrams of cholesterol, 70 milligrams of sodium, 19 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of fiber, 10 grams of sugar, 2 grams of protein, and some vitamins and minerals.|
|In a Nutshell:||The milk chocolate is rich, like Hershey’s squares. The marshmallow flavor is sweet without being chalky or artificial. However, the cookie as a whole is overwhelmingly sweet, and really just tastes like a super-sweet chocolate chunk cookie. J.J. Abrams makes fantastic movies, but there is currently no cure for marshmalaria.|
|Overall Score:||5 out of 10|
Our friends at Junk Banter also reviewed these cookies. Check it out!
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