[Photographs: Erin Jackson]

If you've been strolling through the cookie aisle in search of a special pick-me-up, you may have stumbled upon two new treats from Pepperidge Farm: Carrot Cake and Dark Chocolate Cheesecake cookies. They're part of Pepperidge Farm's "Dessert Shop" line, dubbed "dessert...reimagined".


Both bags feature eight big, soft cookies. At the regular price ($3.49), that breaks down to 44 cents per cookie—a low enough investment to give both flavors a go, but only one will get my repeat business.


It was the carrot cake flavor that immediately hooked me, and while it did make a good first impression visually, including having the expected golden-orange tone, the cookie fell short on the advertised flavor. Specifically, I couldn't taste the carrot at all.

The main flavor is a spice blend similar to pumpkin pie, but it has that dreaded artificial taste that is the curse of most store-bought cookies. If I hadn't seen the bag, I'd have guessed it was a pumpkin cookie. Pumpkin is even listed in the ingredients (along with dehydrated carrots). The pecan pieces and cream cheese flavored chunks were both tasty, but not enough to override the engineered taste (and potent aroma) of the cookie itself.


Cream cheese plays a significant role in the dark chocolate cheesecake flavor. It's in the cookie dough itself (the third ingredient listed, after flour and sugar) and also present in the form of "real cream cheese drops", which are softer and creamier than the dark chocolate chunks that are mixed in alongside them. The cream cheese flavor really comes though, especially in the cookies that are heavy on the chips (not all are created equal). In short: I'd buy these again and again.


About the author: Erin Jackson is a food writer and photographer who is obsessed with discovering the best eats in San Diego. You can find all of her discoveries on her San Diego food blog EJeats.com. On Twitter, she's @ErinJax


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