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Thursday, February 7, 2019

Trader Joe's Organic Vanilla Wafer Cookies


I've wondered from time to time why TJ's doesn't sell particular items - I mean, they could have a whole line of baby food, name it Trader Joey's, put a baby kangaroo on it, and call it a day while making a killing - but banana cream pudding isn't one of those things whose absense I ever questioned. It's just not at TJ's. It doesn't need to be. Not that it wouldn't be welcome - I'm sure TJ's could acquire and distribute a pretty darn good banana cream pudding. But it never crossed my mind that it was something that the brand lacked, and as far as I know, not my wife Sandy's either, until the introduction of the new Trader Joe's Organic Vanilla Wafer Cookies.

The blatantly obvious comparison to these cookies is the famous Nilla Wafers. Those are all time classics - a bit plain, yes, but everyone knows what a nilla wafer tastes like. And apparently Sandy's favorite way to enjoy those ubiquitously famous cookies is with banana cream pudding, hence her outburst of sorts.

I'll admit it, these TJ's wafers are pretty decent. One noteworthy facet of the appeal is the undeniable textural feel - they're incredibly soft and crumbly. There were very few full cookies that survived fully intact from factory to my kitchen. That's not a bad thing - the fact the cookies practically melt in your mouth is a major plus. Love 'em for that.

But still, there's something a little off here flavorwise. It's not the vanilla - it comes off strong and sugary upfront and is thoroughly enjoyable. But a few chews reveal a certain....I don't know what. For lack of better theory, I think it tastes a little eggy. Too eggy. And sure enough, the ingredients list "dry egg powder" which seems a little strange to me. I'm willing to be wrong here, but that's what I'll point to as the main culprit for my slight displeasure. Dry egg powder....*shakes fist*.

Regardless, we as a family enjoyed the cookies. Out of the box, they're good enough as is, but even better is paired with a little frosting or Nutella or jam. And, yeah, probably, banana cream pudding. Sandy raved about the wafers, noting their crumbliness. I like them enough to have a few but not enough to want to eat the whole box at once, so that's a plus. Couple bucks for the pouch and a few stars each in our books.

Bottom line: Trader Joe's Organic Vanilla Wafer Cookies: 6.5 out of 10 Golden Spoons 

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Trader Joe's Organic Honey Hedgehog Cookies

What does hedgehog meat taste like? 

We know they're "organic," but were these hedgehogs raised free-range? Were they grass-fed? What part of the hedgehog was used in the making of these morsels? Ribs? Thighs?

You'll not find the answers to these questions in the following review. But I will say that Trader Joe's neglected to list "hedgehog" in the ingredients. Perhaps, like Sonic, they were too fast to catch, and were thus pardoned from becoming ingredients in their namesake cookies. Man, was I was a Sonic the Hedgehog junkie back in the day. And I knew a girl with a hedgehog for a pet in college. Funny little animals. They eat mealworms and take dust baths. If goldfish, bears, and cats can have snacks named after them, why not hedgehogs?

Even lacking hedgehog as an ingredient, as they stand, these vegetarian (not vegan) little crunchy cookies are still quite edible. There's plenty of honey flavor, and the "cultured butter" adds a nice little tangy zip to the sweetness.

They're not unlike Teddy Grahams or regular honey graham crackers, but there's just a slight bit more complexity in the flavors here. I like them. Sonia thinks they're like Barnum's Animals but with even higher quality. 

Texture-wise, they're crispy, crunchy, and buttery. Each pack contains just the right amount of cookies to curb an average case of the afternoon munchies, or they could make a great "dessert" for a lunch box meal in the middle of a work or school day.

$2.99 for six 1 oz. baggies. There are about nine hedgehogs in each bag—the perfect serving size if you ask me.

Also, these hedgehogs are cute, both on the packaging and the cookies themselves. The kids'll love 'em...both the four-year-old kind and the 40-year-old kind.

Once again, Sonia and I will put up matching sets of four stars each on this product.

Bottom line: 8 out of 10.

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