Cursed by the Oreo Hex

Oreo Creme Filled Brownies

Oreo Creme Filled Brownies

I Paid: $1.29 for a 3-ounce bar (prices may vary by region)

Taste: 3 stars

Marketing: 2 stars

I keep telling myself, "No more Oreo products," and yet, they keep sneaking into the rotation. Why? Because they're marketed everywhere, the brand has a spell-like hold over its fans, and Oreo is so willing—perhaps recklessly willing—to deviate from its original megasuccess to try marketing completely different products to the masses.

Case in point: the Oreo Creme Filled Brownie. It's a bar, not a cookie. It's a brownie, so it's soft rather than crunchy. It's filled with a fluffier creme, rather than the denser, more mortarlike Oreo filling. And it's iced on top, in contrast to the standard Oreo experience.

This may be a case of low expectations sweetening an experience, but overall, the brownie really didn't taste too bad. It has little relationship to an Oreo cookie, tasting much closer to a grown-up Ho Ho. The sweetness is mild, the cocoa flavor of the brownie is played up, and the creme filling is actually in balance with the brownie exterior such that it doesn't give you a sugar headache. Curiously enough, the first ingredient in these things is "Oreo chocolate sandwich cookie pieces," which must be ground down to a fine powder to give bulk to the brownies. That explains the relatively mild and cocoa-forward character of the brownie—Oreos always had that understated cookie thing working in their favor.

As surprisingly decent as this thing is from a flavor perspective, there are two salient facts that may keep you from buying it. First, it goes down FAST: Blink and you'll miss it. And second, it's 370 calories. (The online listing says 190 calories, but the brownie I got at a gas station was individually wrapped, and bigger than the ones that come in the 10-pack.) While it's obviously not diet food, it's disturbing to discover how easy it is to wolf down 20 percent of one's daily calories in a flash of palm oil, fructose, corn syrup, and HFCS. What's that? Oh, sorry. Corn sugar. Pure, natural corn sugar.

James Norton edits the Upper Midwestern food journal Heavy Table. He's also the coauthor of a book on Wisconsin's master cheesemakers. Follow CHOW on Twitter, and become a fan on Facebook.