The calendar has officially hit August, and we all know what that means! The Pumpkin Apocalypse is upon us for yet another season. I have been the biggest proponent of pumpkin spice everything since as long as I can remember, but trends in recent years have resulted in some truly abominable disasters. The pumpkin spice craze has victimized everything from chapstick to chewing gum. While I will not agree that all of these products should exist, I will be buying all of them.
Our first pumpkin review is a limited edition product that debuted a few years back: Pepperidge Farm Pumpkin Cheesecake cookies. Even though the summer doesn’t officially end until September 22nd, I found these at Target in late July. Target should temporarily rename itself “Pumpkin Target” or perhaps something more creative, because soon the shelves will be littered with pumpkin everything. These cookies beat everyone to the party.
Aside from the obvious fact that that this was a pumpkin product, these Pepperidge Farm Pumpkin Cheesecake cookies intrigued me because of the cheesecake element that differentiates them from most pumpkin spice products. Opening the bag, the scent of these cookies was very aromatic and pleasing. Fall is here! Except it’s not, at all. The aroma reminded me very much of ginger snaps, which is a beautiful thing. I immediately think of nutmeg and allspice. Biting into the cookie, the taste is true to the smell. These cookies are made with real pumpkin, and you can tell. The cookies are moist and chewy, and you get the impression that the pumpkin puree played a big role here. Upon initial delivery, the pumpkin spice flavor trends more towards the savory side than the sweet side which is something I personally prefer in my pumpkin products.
What about the white chips? The packaging describes them as “cheesecake flavored drops.” Most of these drops are rather large, but their density is inconsistent amongst the cookies. Some cookies featured many, while others featured barely any.
Do they taste anything like cheesecake? Not really, at least for me. They add a creamy decadence that should, in theory, invoke a “pumpkin cheesecake” vibe throughout each bite. But these drops miss the mark a bit for me. Eating them alone, they are overly sweet and leave a cloying aftertaste in my throat the same way that many artificial sweeteners do. When you get a well-balanced bite with a good chip-to-cookie ratio, the sweetness is muted somewhat by the natural pumpkin spice flavor. This is welcomed and it does work. But even when eating bites with lots of chips, I don’t really think “cheesecake.” I just land on “pumpkin spice.”
In the end, the very thing that intrigued me most about Pepperidge Farm Pumpkin Cheesecake cookies, the cheesecake element, was its biggest downfall for me. The chips may suffer from the use of too much mysterious “natural flavor” in an attempt to infuse a cheesecake component. I think I would have preferred this same pumpkin spice cookie base with regular white chocolate chips, or even milk chocolate chips. Something a bit more real. I may be nitpicking here. Overall, these Pepperidge Farm Pumpkin Cheesecake cookies were jam-packed full of delicious pumpkin spice flavor, which is what all of us really want right now.
Even Distribution of Chips Amongst Cookies Rating: 3.5 out of 10
Blatant Disregard For When Fall Actually Starts Rating: 9 out of 10
Overall Rating: 7 out of 10
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