Monthly Archives: July, 2013

Product Challenge: Trader Joe’s Joe-Joe’s vs. Glutino Chocolate Sandwich Cookies

I am not going to tell you that I had a love affair with Oreo’s. I ate them, but I very rarely hunted them down and had a massive craving. That being said, who doesn’t love a good sandwich cookie?

My first experience with the Trader Joe’s Joe-Joe’s came in June when I started to read multiple blogs and Twitter posts about how good they are. My first experience with the Glutino came after my nose job when Sapps bought them at the hospital to help me feel better, took a bite, and spat it into her hand because she thought it was “real.”

The one thing I had yet to find? A reviewer that took these two cookies and put them in a head-to-head competition. A Battle Royale cookie style, so to speak.

Until now.


The gauntlet was down. The challenge was issued (by myself, but it was issued) and the comparison was on.

SIZE: Both cookies are roughly 2.25″ wide and 3/4 of an inch thick. Pretty identical so no winner.

SEPARATION: I never ate my name brand sandwich cookies as they came out of the package. Nope! This girl loved to do the twist maneuver on them and see if I could get them to separate with one clear cookie and one with the filling.  Then I would eat the cookie, scrape the filling off the other, then eat the bottom bit.  When I did the twist on these, they both had one clean side and one filling side.

FILLING:  The Glutino cookie filling is a bit sloppy in its application as some of the cookies have filling cupping the edges of the cookie bit.  The Joe-Joe is machine-made perfection with every cookie identical and the filling perfectly centered.  But which filling tasted better??  The Glutino cookie has a creamier filling and, to my “haven’t tasted a real one in over 5 years” mouth, tasted like I remember the brand name cookie tasting.  The Joe-Joe had a vanilla flavor but also tasted a bit granier and was not as satisfying to my tongue.  WINNER:  Glutino

COOKIE:  The Glutino cookie is crunchy, with a strong chocolate flavor, but has a minor aftertaste that is not unpleasant.  The Joe-Joe cookie is not as crunchy (but I opened these a day earlier than put in fridge, so that may be affecting), the chocolate has a bit of an aftertaste, and it feels grittier in my mouth which was not enjoyable.  WINNER:  Glutino

OVERALL COOKIE EXPERIENCE:  Since this is an overall impression of this cookie, and since I have deconstructed the parts, the cookie was eaten in a way I am not accustomed to:  In 1 piece!  The Joe-Joe had a nice crunch but overall, I just don’t care for the texture or the bit of an aftertaste that it leaves in my mouth.  I’m not food savvy enough to truly describe the flavor, but the cookie leaves a very gritty feeling in my mouth that does not feel right.  The Glutino had what tasted like a higher cookie-to-filling ratio.  My bites definitely had more cookie than filling, but they did not leave that gritty feeling in my mouth.  There is a bit of an aftertaste to this, but it was not an “ew” sort of taste, but a familiar taste that made my mouth happy.Image

CALORIES, NUTRITION, & OTHER VARIABLES:  Both cookies have a serving size of 2 cookies.  All of the nutritional information is about the same and what you would expect for a cookie.  You get more servings out of the Joe-Joes (14 to 10) and there is a difference in price of $1.00 – $1.50 (sale/region/store varies).  The Glutino are made in a dedicated GF facility, but may contain milk, eggs, peanuts and tree nuts.  The Joe-Joe’s are made on shared equipment and may containTraces of milk and tree nuts.  And, here are the ingredients:

Glutino Chocolate Sandwich Cookies:  Tapioca Flour, Rice Flour, Vegetable Shortening, Confectioner’s Sugar, Water, Tapioca Syrup, Corn Starch, Cassava Flour, Dextrose, Cocoa, Potato Flour, Soy Lecithin, Salt, Natural Vanilla Flavor, Sodium Bicarbonate, Xanthan Gum

Trader Joe’s Joe-Joe’s:  Cane Sugar, Grain Blend (Corn Flour, Soy Flour, Rice Flour, Cornstarch, Potato Flour, Tapioca Starch, Potato Starch, Xanthan Gum, Arabic Gum, Carrageenan), Palm Oil, Cocoa Powder, Expeller Pressed Canola Oil, Invert Syrup, Cocoa Powder, Egg White Powder, Sea Salt, Baking Soda, Vanilla Bean Seeds, Soy Lecithin, Natural Flavors, Ammonium Bicarbonate

Winner:  I like simple ingredient lists, plus the fact that there is no risk of cross-contamination, so Glutino is the winner here

NON-GF PEEPS OPINION:  My opinion is one thing, but it is also important to see how these cookies fare in the mouths of people who eat the brand name all the time.  Since there was no way I was keeping 2 packages of cookies in my apartment, I took them into work.  Both packages were gone pretty fast, many people commented that they both tasted great, but I noticed more people reached for the Glutino when they wanted a 2nd, or 3rd, or 4th cookie.  When I asked what people thought, they all said that the Glutino had a “Chocolatier” taste and that there was a weird grittiness to the Trader Joe’s.  WINNER:  Glutino

Both cookies are good, but based on all the variables listed here the winner of the Faux-Reo Challenge is the Glutino Chocolate Sandwich Cookie!