In the past, we've reviewed Trader Joe's White Cheddar Popcorn and Trader Joe's Popcorn with Herbs and Spices, both of which garnered average-ish scores. But when they played it safe and simply offered plain organic kernels, they pretty much nailed it. So TJ's track record with gimmicky popcorn-things is not particularly noteworthy for good or ill, and yet if TJ's offers us something unique with popcorn, then we, intrepid TJ's taste-testers that we are, will go right ahead and buy it. We're always up for something new. And purchasing these colorfully-packaged snacks is rather like attending a cheap circus in a parallel universe where children snack on popcorn-filled cookies rather than on cotton candy or peanuts.
I'm not sure what I meant by that last statement, either. But rest assured, it has deep significance and needs to remain in this blog post. I think what I meant to say was that these cookies are new and novel, and yet there's something quite classic about them, too—there's a familiarity about them that makes them seem as if they could be an integral part of America's snacking culture, as common as hot dogs or bubblegum. Maybe they will become a new classic. I don't know.
They combine the buttery goodness of sugar cookies with traditional kettle popcorn. And the popcorn not only adds to the look and texture of the cookies, but it also adds a surprising yet welcome twist in the flavor department. You can actually taste corn. And it blends in very well. Someone should try making sugar cookies with corn flour. Trader Joe, I'm looking at you, buddy. I think they might turn out to be quite tasty.
On the down side, they're very crumbly. I hate getting crumbs everywhere. And you can forget about eating these in the car or on the couch. Unless you have mad crumb-catching skills. Which I definitely don't.
Sonia is on a diet of sorts, so I had to force her to eat a few of these cookies. I reminded her that she helped pick them out, so she was obligated to eat some. She couldn't argue with my profound logic, so she quickly ingested one. "They're pretty good I guess, for what it is," she said. "I prefer, like, regular cookies."
She gives them 3 stars. I give 'em 3.5.
Bottom line: 6.5 out of 10.