For those of you unfamiliar with the product, they were sticks of mostly flavorless sugary candy with bright red or orange tips and some powdered sugar at the end. If you'd blow hard enough on the other end, a little puff of white would float off the tip, thus simulating the smoke emanating from a genuine Marlboro or what have you. Stupid, I know. But we thought we were very cool with these counterfeit cancer sticks. In lieu of candy cigarettes, we'd use pretzel sticks, French fries, or even baby carrots as make-believe stogies.
I've been old enough to smoke since the summer of '97, and yet I've still never smoked a real cigarette. I'll have a cheap cigar here and there, and I've tried hookah numerous times, but the whole emphysema thing doesn't really appeal to me, so I generally steer clear of tobacco products. And yet, for some silly reason, I can't stop myself from imagining these batons are somehow oversized cigarettes or skinny white cigars. I'm probably walking a thin line between child-like and child-ish when I, at 40, pretend to smoke these baton wafer cookies, but if that's the worst crime I'm guilty of, my 2022 run for Congress is still within reach.
In addition to making great kid-friendly "cigarettes," these batons are pretty snackable, too. There's a nice, crispy, wafery quality about the cylindrical shells, and the flavor is moderately sweet and distinctly vanilla. I really enjoy the "vanilla flavored cream" filling in the middle. It's not too thick, not too sugary, but it tastes like actual cream. Each stick is the perfect size for a between meal snack, and as the cover art would suggest, they'd go great with some vanilla ice cream as a dessert. They're pretty good for dunking in coffee or hot chocolate as well.
I'm not sure if this flavor was available back when the coffee cocoa and petite cocoa varieties were reviewed on this blog, but I'm pretty sure these are my favorite so far. Sonia liked them even more than she liked the coffee ones. She said they reminded her of those popular flat vanilla creme wafer cookies. She grew up on those and thinks the taste of these is very similar but even better quality overall. I think the flavor of these vanilla ones is much more pleasant and appealing than either of the other baton wafer cookie flavors we've tried.
$1.99 for the container. Four and a half stars from Sonia for Trader Joe's Vanilla Flavored Baton Wafer Cookies. I'll give 'em the thumbs up, too, but maybe with a little less enthusiasm. Three and a half stars from me. The fearless flyer website shows them as "archived," but they were definitely available just yesterday, January 26, 2020, in a Minneapolis area Trader Joe's.
Bottom line: 8 out of 10.