REVIEW (x2): Pepperidge Farm Candy Cane Milano & Milano Slices Peppermint Cookies

Ah, the classic Milano cookie. Simple. Elegant. The perfect balance of exquisite cookies and luxuriously rich chocolate—in irresistible varieties to match any mood.

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Above is the description of the Milano cookie straight from Pepperidge Farm’s website. We call attention to it today because Pepperidge Farm has recently been in the junk food news. Though you would think the release of these Pepperidge Farm Candy Cane Milano & Milano Slices Peppermint cookies would indicate that they’re fully embracing the Christmas spirit, it turns out that Pepperidge Farm is being a total Grinch. Pepperidge Farm has filed a lawsuit against Trader Joe’s for making their own cookies that, apparently, Milano a little too hard: 

“The acts of Trader Joe’s have been malicious and calculated to injure Pepperidge Farm,” citing the hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue the company has earned with the cookie in the last decade.

Trader Joe’s is damaging Pepperidge Farm’s goodwill and confusing shoppers, according to the lawsuit reported by Reuters. Though Trader Joe’s cookie is more rectangular, it has rounded edges, “mimicking an overall oval shape,” the lawsuit says.  – The Consumerist.

This is all, of course, ridiculous. The Milano Cookie has been around since about 1956, but Pepperidge Farm didn’t even file for a trademark until 2010. There’s no denying they’re similar, but we’re talking about two cookies sandwiched with creme filling. I don’t see Nabisco suing every company that has ever borrowed their concept, and almost everyone has. I love how they’ve accused the rectangle of being too similar to the oval. Fans of Trader Joe’s Crispy Cookies filled with Belgian Chocolate have better hope that TJ’s has a good Geometry Lawyer.

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Since Grinchy McGrinch takes such pride in the classic Milano cookie, we’ll begin with its holiday version: Pepperidge Farm Candy Cane Milano cookies. They’re the standard Milano with the addition of Red #40 and some peppermint oil way down on the final line of the ingredient list. Candy Cane Milano cookies carry a refreshing mint scent, but my first bite is a colossal disappointment. I swear I’m not being all negative just because Pepperidge Farm was all Grinchy, but I don’t much care for these. The outer cookies, which are buttery and delicate, combine with the fudge to bring enough sweetness to mask the amount of peppermint oil used. The mint develops at the back end of the Candy Cane Milano, albeit faintly, but then is overpowered again by your next bite. It’s just not crisp enough of a mint to make Santa proud. Milano loyalists won’t be disappointed with Candy Cane Milanos, but peppermint purists will be.

How Much Ovals Have In Common with Rectangles Rating: 5.5 out of 10
I Think the Grinch Stole the Mint Too Rating: 8 out of 10
Overall Rating: 5.5 out of 10

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Pepperidge Farm Peppermint Milano Slices use almost identical ingredients, but in a slightly different configuration. As the name implies, the cookies are basically Milanos without the second layer, and the chocolate “creme” filling is instead a slightly hardened version. These cookies are then topped with little candy cane bites. I like the textures of Peppermint Milano Slices more than Candy Cane Milanos, but I don’t care for the taste as much. The mint is slightly amplified, but the chocolatey sweetness is dialed down. It doesn’t seem to be an equal tradeoff in this case. The candy cane bits are responsible for the increased mint flavor, but without the proper dosage of sweet… it just seems to clash with the buttery cookie base. They also seem like pretty crappy candy canes. Peppermint Milano Slices are slightly bitter, and bitter doesn’t play well with minty. Perhaps if Pepperidge Farm wasn’t so busy suing Trader Joe’s over their cookies, they could put a little more effort into their own.

Bitter Isn’t Always Better Rating: 7.5 out of 10
I Hope Santa Sues Them For Stealing the Candy Cane Rating: 9 out of 10
Overall Rating: 5 out of 10

So what do you think of the Pepperidge Farm lawsuits? Do you think they’re justified? Have you tried the Trader Joe’s version? Let us know in the comments if you care about any of this at all.

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