Guilty Pleasures

New Red Velvet Oreos? Yes, Please!

The Guilty Pleasure: Red Velvet Oreos
Where to Get It: Your favorite big box grocery store.
Price: Same as the regular box of Oreos.
What it Really Costs: More money per cookie, considering the smaller box.

When someone tells me that Nabisco is going to unveil a new flavor of Oreo, I get a little nervous. While they've released some fun flavors (the pumpkin spice ones weren't half bad), I have minor PTSD over the dubious watermelon flavor Oreos.

This time around, they played it safe and went with perenially popular red velvet cake, in cute little sandwich cookie form.

Considering that the Oreo's chocolate cookie with crème filling isn't far removed from the mild chocolate flavor and cream cheese frosting of red velvet cake, it's a wonder that Nabisco didn't try making this flavor years ago. As you may expect, the Red Velvet Oreo is a natural addition to the line, practically begging for a spot in the lineup of regular offerings.

The cookie part is a little milder than the regular Oreo cookie. The usual light bitterness of regular Oreos is gone, and the cookie is all the better for it. The flavor is almost between the chocolate and golden varieties of Oreo. The crème is a distinct improvement over the regular Oreo, with a little vanilla to mellow the one-dimensional sugar flavor of the regular crème.

The crème is supposed to be cream cheese flavor, but there isn't much of cream cheese's characteristic tang to support the claim. On a lark, I tried adding a light sprinkle of citric acid to the frosting. It was a distinct improvement. Hey, Nabisco! Are you listening?

Something I couldn't help but notice is that since the crème is oil-based rather than including any perishable dairy ingredients commonly found in cream cheese frosting, these cookies are (as far as I can tell, at least) completely vegan. It just goes to show you, vegan food doesn't have to be healthy.

There is one part of these cookies that irks me quite a bit. Someone at Nabisco must think very highly of these cookies. They're the same price as regular Oreos, but the box is smaller than a regular box of Oreos. You get fully 25 percent less Oreos in a Red Velvet Oreo box than you do in the regular box. What the hell are they doing different to the Red Velvets that they don't do to the regular ones? Is red food coloring that expensive?

While the Red Velvet Oreos are pretty darn good, I don't think they're worth that kind of premium. Hopefully someone at Nabisco will come to their senses and make the Red Velvet Oreos cost the same as the regular Oreos. And maybe add some citric acid to the crème.