'Tis the season of festivities, and that means the start of big brands using that to their benefit. Companies like Hershey’s, PopTarts, and Oreo, all released holiday exclusives celebrating the holiday season. While there are other companies who also do holiday exclusives, I only tried these three.

Alice Li

Hershey's Sugar Cookie Kisses

For Hershey’s, the holiday season means the return of their signature hot cocoa kisses. But this year, the company also introduced a new flavor of bite-sized treats: sugar cookie kisses. They're available exclusively at Target.

Alice Li

As seen in the photo, these white chocolate morsels are advertised as containing little pieces of sugar cookies. The appearance features red and green flakes (that I think are just more chocolate). While you do get that cookie crunch, it’s only a little bit. In my opinion, it could use a few more cookie pieces in each kiss. 

Flavorwise, it resembles a shortbread cookie more than a sugar cookie. Actually, it reminds me a little of their cookies n’ cream flavor.

Overall, it’s not my favorite, but I could still eat a dozen in a sitting if I wanted to.

Gingerbread Oreos

Alice Li

Next up is Gingerbread Oreos.

Oreo did do something similar back in 2012, releasing a Gingerbread flavored cookie. That version was a golden oreo with gingerbread-flavored cream.

However, the company released a brand new version this year, which is regular cream sandwiched between two gingerbread cookies. 

Alice Li

The cookies feature 5 different festive designs and yes, you’re guaranteed to get each of the designs in every box. 

Alice Li

As you can see, there are red sugar crystals blended into the cream, giving each cookie an added crunch. However, these crystals only add sweetness to the cream and the cookie itself in the perfect way. 

I thoroughly enjoyed these cookies. To me, they tasted almost exactly like gingerbread cookies. The cream and sugar provide a perfect sweetness to the otherwise bland-though-spiced cookie.

Would I buy these again? 100% yes. 

Sugar Cookie PopTarts 

Alice Li

Lastly, I tried these sugar cookie Poptarts.

These seasonal Poptarts have been around for a few years, and when this post popped up on Instagram last year announcing their return, users quickly chimed in that they were “the best poptarts,” or “their fav.”

Anyway, for testing purposes, I tried one untoasted and the other toasted. You know, scientific method and all that.

While, yes, sometimes I eat my Poptarts untoasted, (don’t @ me. I’m lazy), I found it’s a necessity to toast these particular ones.

If you don’t, the pastries are beyond bland. The sugar frosting is almost sickly sweet. However, toasted, these Poptarts become a whole other thing. 

Alice Li

The heat from the toaster dulls the sweetness of the frosting and makes it the perfect balance with the pastry itself. The sugar cookie part is the filling itself and it ties together with everything else.

In fact, I thought this pastry tasted more like sugar cookies than the Hershey’s Kisses.

candy, chocolate, sweet, holiday, Christmas, peppermint
Jocelyn Hsu

With the ringing of bells comes the numerous limited-edition flavors of popular snacks to try. There are so many out there that I could spend a good two months or more trying them all. But to ring in the holiday season, there’s no doubt that these three treats must be on your bucket list.