July 15, 2013
Last March a group of gluten-free eaters and I sat down to compare gluten-free sandwich cookies. Hard work, right? The winning cookie (Glutinto) finds its way into my kitchen cabinet from time-to-time. So when I saw that Trader Joe's introduced a new gluten-free sandwich cookie, I wondered if it would unseat Glutinto as my favorite.
As I picked up the box, I noticed that the gluten-free Joe Joe's are more expensive than the traditional Joe Joe's. A box of gluten-free Joe Joe's cost $3.99 for 12.5 ounces, compared to $2.99 for 20 ounces for the regular cookies.
That breaks down to about $0.32 per ounce. Not bad for gluten-free sandwich cookies. The size of the package beats out other competitors by at least two ounces. Until now, Glutino offered the largest package of gluten-free sandwich cookies you could buy at 10.5 ounces.
As soon as I got home, I broke into the package. (Self restraint when it comes to sandwich cookies? What's that??)
Here's what I thought:
Nicely “sandy” but not crumbly. Similar to the classic Nabisco “Oreo” texture. The cookie isn't too sweet. In fact, at first it surprised me by how NOT sweet it was. Really strong chocolate flavor from black cocoa.
Here's where the cookie kinda lost me. The filling wasn't soft and creamy. Nope. It was dry. Really dry and kind of gritty. It bordered on the waxy filling found in Mi-Del sandwich cookies. On its own, the filling was sweet but when eaten eaten with the cookie it contained just the right amount of sweetness.
I twisted the cookie apart and licked the filling. It was...hard to lick. The disk of filling remained perfectly round after a few licks. At that point, I gave up and just bit into it. The filling broke apart and fell off the cookie when I bit into.
And finally, the box says, “Chocolate Vanilla Creme Cookies with Real Vanilla Bean Speckles.” I peered at the filling to find them and, sure enough, the filling contained little black dots. I don't think the vanilla beans added much flavor because the waxy-shortening “flavor” really overpowered everything else.