Taste Test has never turned down an opportunity to try unusual Oreos, be they limited-edition flavors like banana split, strawberry milkshake, and birthday cake, or exotic foreign permutations like the wafer-based Chinese Oreo. It’s hard to imagine a form of Oreo that wouldn’t inspire us to reach for a glass of milk to wash down the whole damn bag, but the new limited-edition Candy Corn Oreos admittedly caused some trepidation to ripple through the usually fearless Taste Test cookie-tasting corps. To be fair, that’s a reaction that’s been shared often since word of the yellow-and-orange abomination started making its way around the Internet late last week, stemming from the utterly confusing decision to combine America’s most beloved sandwich cookie with a candy that rivals black licorice and toothbrushes for the title of Most Unwelcome Contribution To A Trick-Or-Treat Bag. Still, candy corn has somehow become the unofficial candy mascot of Halloween, probably due to its seasonally appropriate color scheme; hence, Candy Corn Oreos’ arrival on Target store shelves the week after Labor Day, i.e. the earliest acceptable date to start rolling out Halloween products.
Besides the garish bifurcated yellow-and-orange crème disc inside, the most surprising thing about Candy Corn Oreos is that the cookie element is not the delicious, inky-black stamped biscuit of classic Oreos, but rather the yellow (or, if we’re accepting this as part of the candy-corn color scheme, “white”), vanilla-flavored biscuits used in the much less popular Golden Oreos, née “Uh Oh! Oreos.” While normally the removal of chocolate from the Oreo equation would be grounds for dismissal from the Taste Test laboratories, one of the few things that could actually make candy corn worse is combining it with chocolate, so that was probably a wise move on Nabisco’s part.
Or was it? As we discovered when trying these, the color scheme of the crème belies its flavor, which we all agreed did not taste like candy corn. To be fair, none of us could really come to a consensus on what flavor candy corn is (maybe honey? Let’s go with honey), but it decidedly isn’t what’s inside these cookies. The crème is incredibly sweet, but it’s not quite the same kind of waxy sweetness associated with candy corn, and the not-too-sweet golden biscuits, which taste almost like shortbread, help mitigate some of the gritty, sticky sweetness. Frankly, they aren’t bad—certainly not nearly as bad as the horrified reactions pervading the hyperbole-drenched Internet would have you believe. They don’t live up (or down, depending on your viewpoint) to their shock value, but at the end of the day, they’re still Oreos—and as it turns out, not even that most evil and waxy of tri-color confections can fuck up an Oreo.
- “I liked them, but I would have preferred something like pumpkin or something more savory. The prevalence of only sweet limited-edition Oreos makes me wonder if there’s something up with the filling that means it can only handle super-sugary flavors.”
- “They are very polarizing. When I went to buy them, the Target cashier was like, ‘These look disgusting,’ and then we had to debate whether they would be worth trying or not.”
- “I really don’t like candy corn, so I only tried one of these because Genevieve abandoned it on my desk, and because she promised it didn’t taste like candy corn. And she was right. It kind of tasted like sugar and the vaguely plastic-scented air inside a candy-corn bag.”
- “I’m not sure ‘Awesome, this didn’t taste at all like it was supposed to!’ counts as a recommendation, but if it does, I guess I’d recommend these. They’re better than candy corn, anyway.”
- “The horrible thing is, I could see eating my way through half a bag of these scientifically, not enjoying a single one of them, but just trying over and over to pin down exactly what I was tasting besides chemicals and dye. So kindly keep these far away from me, okay? Science doesn’t need my input, and I don’t need these.”
- “Usually when something tries to imitate the flavor of another thing, it falls short and makes you wish for the original. Since nobody wishes for candy corn, ever, maybe these actually had an easy road. It’s like if you said ‘shit-flavored cookies’ and then you were happy they didn’t actually taste like shit.”
- “I was more skeptical about the vanilla cookies than the weird filling, but they worked great together. Next project: scrape the candy-corn filling out of the vanilla ones and try them on chocolate Oreo cookies.”
Where to get them: They’re being sold exclusively at Target for a limited time.