Guilty Pleasures

Pumpkin Spice Oreo Taste Test (Caramel Apple Oreos, Too)

The Guilty Pleasure: Two new flavors of Oreos.
Where to Get It: Caramel Apple flavor at Target. Pumpkin Spice flavor everywhere. Much like pumpkin spice flavor in general these days.
Price: About $3 a box.
What it Really Costs: The usual danger of a box of processed cookies suddenly disappearing in one sitting.

It's practically a tradition that this time of year, anything that can possibly be flavored with pumpkin and/or pumpkin pie spice will be flavored with them. The list gets longer with every passing autumn. The trend has become ridiculous to the point that a hoax of pumpkin-spice condoms seemed at least slightly plausible.

Given the proclivities of the people at Nabisco to churn out seemingly endless flavors of Oreos over the last few years, it's almost a wonder that it took them this long to come up with Pumpkin Spice Oreos. But, the unholy union of Pumpkin Spice Everything and Oreo Anything Flavors has finally happened.

And along for the ride is another autumn-tinged flavor, caramel apples.

The Caramel Apple Oreos are a Target exclusive. They have the same cutesy two-color filling as the dubious watermelon Oreos (which I can't believe made an encore appearance this past summer), this time green and tan to echo the original subject matter.

It was rather clever of Nabisco to make the two separate sides their own different flavors. On their own, the fillings border on cloying. The brown caramel side tastes more like straight brown sugar frosting than caramel, and the green apple side can't quite decide whether it wants to taste like a crisp Granny Smith apple or green Jolly Ranchers candies.

When I tasted the cookie whole, it was clear Nabisco wasn't going for the twist-and-lick set. The vanilla flavor of the golden Oreo cookie was a distinct complement to both the caramel and apple sides (filling in notes of the flavor profile that seemed to be missing in the solo filling), and altogether made for a pleasant, harmonious whole.

But let's be honest here, who cares about caramel apple flavored things when there's yet another pumpkin spice product available?

The vivid orange hue of the Pumpkin Spice Oreos' filling is almost unsettling, as if someone took a blob of canned pumpkin and squished it between two cookies. The flavor of the filling tasted alone is not pleasant. There's a little bit of a true cinnamon note in there, but it's almost more like Red Hots candies with the heat toned down a little bit.

As with the Caramel Apple Oreos, these are made to be scarfed down fully intact. Adding the cookie's flavors rounds off the sharp fake notes. The whole thing doesn't quite say "pumpkin spice" to me, though; there's a little something missing from the pumpkin spice profile. I want to say... nutmeg?

I feel like the Pumpkin Spice Oreos are closer to a generic Fall Spice flavor than Pumpkin Spice. It's almost like you were eating a seasonal Yankee Candle. In a good way. Mostly.

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JK Grence
Contact: JK Grence