A favorite part of winter for me is the appearance of Candy Cane Joe-Joe's chocolate sandwich cookies at Trader Joe's. I know I'm not the only one who hides a few boxes when cold weather wanes. The Joe-Joe obsession has clearly not gone unnoticed by competitors. Since Trader Joe's introduced the seasonal Joe-Joe's, a few big-name brands have introduced their own Christmas cookies. Do any of them measure up?
See Also: -Mary Coyle's Mary Mint Showboat Sundae
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Nabisco Mint Oreo: Plain: Fie on Nabisco for not making enough Candy Cane Oreos for me to find them within two weeks of Christmas! Thankfully, the almost-identical Cool Mint flavor is now available year-round. After a tasting, I now know why Joe-Joe's go easy on the peppermint flavoring. The filling in the Cool Mint Oreos is a little mintier than the Joe-Joe's; on its own, it's reminiscent of toothpaste. In Milk: Milk mutes the Oreo's peppermint, leaving me feeling like I'm eating a plain Oreo. Oh well.
Nabisco Triple Double Chocolate Mint Oreo Plain: I'm predisposed to this over-the-top Oreo variation. I mean, who hasn't twisted apart an Oreo, then stuck the frosting half to another Oreo? On the limited-edition Chocolate Mint variety, one frosting side is chocolate, and the other is peppermint. I love the texture of them, with an extra crunch from the cookie. Taste-wise, using mint on only one half cuts the mint flavor to almost undetectable levels. There's no point in the chocolate flavor on the other frosting side, as it's clobbered by the chocolate cookies. In Milk: Thanks to the layers of frosting shielding the middle cookie, the Triple Double is the most texturally interesting after its milk bath. But, as with the single-layer version, milk conceals the mint. Pepperidge Farm Candy Cane Milano Minis Plain: To paraphrase an old commercial, where's the mint? The buttery cookies dominate. Any peppermint is but a fleeting suggestion. In Milk: I don't know how, but the Milanos drop to zero flavor in milk. Maybe they're better in coffee.
Trader Joe's Candy Cane Joe-Joe's Plain: I could swear Joe cut back on the peppermint this year. I'm sure they're the same as ever, but I remember the mint having more pop. The filling is pleasantly soft, with candy bits providing a little sparkle. In Milk: Finally, I found the peppermint! A quick soak amplified both the chocolate and peppermint, with both in perfect harmony. Hands down, this is the winner of the showdown. Was there ever any doubt?