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REVIEW: Oreo Limited Edition “Jelly Donut” Cookies

It’s a donut-flavored cookie. Sort of.

Jelly Donut Oreo

As happens from time to time on this site, our overall impression of the newest zany flavor offering from the people at Oreo takes a hit not because the product itself is necessarily bad, but because we’d built it up in our heads prior to tasting to be so, so much more.

If it’s been a while since you’ve cruised a Wal-Mart or an Albertson’s store, you may not know that Nabisco has gone downright buckwild with new flavor variations of its venerable Oreo cookie, offering a dizzying variety of new, creative options in limited-time, store exclusive runs nationwide.

Jelly Donut Oreo

The most recent flavor, “Jelly Donut,” launched coast to coast in Wal-Mart stores last week, setting the world of mass-produced cookie blogging on fire. Nabisco identifies the two-tone creme filling as a combination of “custard and raspberry,” but we just couldn’t tell from the picture: Was the world’s first donut-flavored cookie going to contain an actual jelly center? From the illustration of the filling, it was hard to make out…but an Oreo that combined its regular filling with an interior disk of semi-solid jelly candy, like a Chuckle or a Sour Patch Kid, would certainly be newsworthy.

Alas, it was not to be. The “Jelly Donut” flavored Oreos are just more of the same. There are two golden Oreo wafers, with a two-tone layer of standard-issue Oreo creme filling in the middle. It DOES taste vaguely raspberry jelly-like, but the overwhelming sensation is that of sweetness; it’s dialed up to insane levels, without recreating much of the flavor of a jelly donut.

Jelly Donut Oreo

The cookies themselves seem like they’ve had their sweetness turned way, way down; eaten by themselves, they don’t taste like much of anything. Presumably, having a less sweet cookie with an extremely sweet filling somehow tricks your brain into recreating the experience of eating a jelly donut, with its cake outside and turbo sweet jelly inside, but it’s a trick that only sort of works.

Jelly Donut Oreo

It’s too bad. The idea of translating a jelly donut into Oreo form isn’t necessarily a bad one; there are all of these cool things you could do with textures and flavors that would really make this cookie stand out. Unfortunately, Oreo ultimately opted to deliver more of the same, shooting new artificial flavorings and dyes into an underwhelming, overly sweet cookie that we couldn’t imagine eating more than a couple of in one sitting.

 

Written by Malcolm Bedell

Malcolm is the author of "Eating in Maine: At Home, On the Town, and On the Road," as well as a frequent contributor to Serious Eats, Down East Magazine, The L.A. Weekly, The Guardian, The Huffington Post, and more. When not poisoning his body with garbage and then posting sardonic commentary about it on the Internet, he also owns and operates the 'Wich, Please food truck, named Eater.com's "Hottest Restaurant in Maine" for 2015.

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