The Brunching Shuttlecocks Ratings

Circus Cookies
Mmmmm! Unidentifiable animal lumps! Vaguely organism-shaped, frosting-swathed, pink-and-white cookie gobs! With sprinkles! Circus Cookies are just another example of the leaps of faith one is expected to make as a child. Vegetables are good for you, running around in the rain in your underwear is bad for you, and circus cookies are shaped like animals, dammit. C+

Lorna Doone Shortbread Cookies
One of the great traumas of my childhood was when my mother decided to pick up shortbread cookies. It was not unlike when she tried to convince us that fresh fruit qualified as dessert; for the life of me, I couldn't figure out what she was thinking. Didn't the package say "bread" right on it? Weren't they completely devoid of frosting, filling, or jolly artificial colors? Were they not hawked by someone named "Lorna"? It was amazing to me that they ever got past the cookie division of the FDA. D+

Not so much the king of cookies as the evil overlord. And I mean that in a good way. Oreos have elevated cookiedom to an act of terrorism; when I don't have them I want them the way a lab monkey wants heroin. When I do have them I want more. They're showing signs of overlord-style hubris, though. With the mini Oreos and the fudge Oreos and the Oreos with odd shapes on them and the strangely colored holiday Oreos and the eerie white-fudge-covered ermine-esque Oreos, maybe the brand name will soon stretch itself so thin that I can escape. In the meantime, they beat hell out of Hydrox.A-

Nilla Wafers
Considering Nilla Wafers, Froot Loops, and Kool-Aid, it's a wonder kids ever learn to spell or sit still. As cookies, these pups rate only slightly higher than Shortbread, q.v. However, they are the philosopher's stone of instant pudding, transforming vanilla pudding into gold. Well, along with bananas. Of all the Arkie cuisine passed down from my grandmother to my mother to me, Vanilla Pudding with Nilla Wafers and Bananas is the proverbial cake-taker. Of course, in the big picture the whole carrots in Jell-O thing kind of offsets that. B-

Fig Newtons
These are weird. Nabisco launched an ad campaign trying to convince us that Newtons are not cookies, but rather are an entity unto themselves, too worthy to be sunk into common snack food genera. So if you heard a hearty "yeah, right" echo through the collective unconscious recently, that's why. I don't know about you, but in my local grocery they're located right between the E.L. Fudge and the Flaky Flix. If that's not the very definition of a cookie, I don't know what is. B

Chocolate Nutter Butters
You know, I'm not actually a big fan of peanutiness, and less so of things that are shaped like peanuts but are not actually peanuts. Having said that, I'm forced to admit to a near-fanatical allegiance to Nutter Butters. I don't get it. Anyhow, I suffered a brief cardiac caesura when I discovered the existence of Chocolate Nutter Butters, which are the same deal only with chocolate cookies. And also, they suck. I don't know how they did it, but they managed to find chocolate cookies that make the ones in the big Mother's assortment bag taste like ambrosia by comparison. Bleagh. D-

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