Supermarket Sweets

Taste-test, Aisle 1.

We Try the New Pepperidge Farm Boston Cream Pie Milano Melts

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[Photographs: Carrie Vasios]

OK, so these have been on the shelves for a little while now but it's taken me some time to approach them. I had such good luck with the last round of Milano Melts that I didn't feel the need to replace them in my rotation.

Then there was the obvious problem, and it was staring at me right in the name: Boston Cream Pie Milano Melts. I've found that desserts masquerading as other desserts rarely come out well, especially when the dessert that is being imitated or riffed on is one as classic as Boston Cream Pie.

So let's start there. Boston Cream Pie is a cake that is filled with custard or cream and frosted with chocolate. Now a supermarket cookie can't be filled with custard, I thought, because it's not shelf-stable and even if they pull a non-refrigerated Jell-O move (which creeps me out) how would they fit it in the cookie? And as for including cream, we all know that cookie cream (Oreos can be our prime example) is not anything like the kind of fluffy, airy stuff that goes on the original cake. I was also surprised to see that the cookies weren't enrobed in chocolate, as it seems like that would be the obvious way to simulate Boston Cream Pie. Instead, both the cream and the chocolate are tucked inside the cookie.

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But I eventually pushed those questions aside and actually tried the darn thing. The outside cookie is the standard vanilla Milano. (Though, to be honest, these seemed smoother and noticeably more crunchy than traditional Milanos, but I feel like that must have been my mind playing tricks on me?) The problem with these cookies lies in the cream. It tastes exactly like plastic tub vanilla frosting, and I should know as my mom put it on all my bring-to-school birthday cupcakes and let me eat the leftovers with a spoon. Here, that flavor comes across as way too sweet. Imagine frosting a Milano with some Betty Crocker Rich and Creamy Vanilla Frosting. It's like that, which, for comparison, is even more intense than Dunkaroos.

It also overpowers the chocolate, which I actually liked the taste of, and you will too if you're a fan of any chocolate fudge Keebler product. To salvage this cookie, you'd need way more chocolate and just a smidge of the vanilla "cream." It still would be a shame to call it Boston Cream Pie, but as least I would eat it.

Bottom line? Way too sweet. Pass.

About the author: Carrie Vasios is the editor of Serious Eats: Sweets. She likes to peruse her large collection of cookbooks while eating jam from the jar. You can follow her on Twitter @carrievasios

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