Jul 28, 2014

Pepperidge Farm Remembers

Do you remember the first time you went to the Pepperidge Farm Bakery Outlet? Rachel remembers hers.

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There are few things I would gladly risk life and limb for in a snowstorm. One of those things just happens to be a Milano.

Yes, those delicious, buttery cookies with creamy chocolate sandwiched in between, baked for you by the good people at Pepperidge Farms. You can’t imagine my delight when I discovered that we have a Pepperidge Farm Bakery Outlet – yes outlet! – right here in Rhode Island. It combines two of my greatest loves: cookies and being cheap.

Naturally I had to take a trip there, and of course my thirst for adventure happened to coincide with the most recent snowstorm. Now that I think about, they all have, since we’ve been getting one of these a week.

I wasn’t about to let the snow ruin my trip, because driving in the snow isn’t all that bad. Sure, there were some interesting turns where the back end of the car took a more creative approach than was called for, but nothing terrible. You just have to stay calm and concentrate through it. No need to panic.

You would think that since this happens EVERY YEAR, everyone would be used to it, but I’m inclined to believe that you all got your licenses this past June.

I won’t get too in-depth, as Courtney McNutt has for me, but I will say that if you could do anything to make driving in the snow safer for yourselves and everyone you pass, please turn your headlights on. No, not your parking lights, your headlights.

If you’re asking why you need to see the snow better, please return your license to the DMV. It’s so that I can see you! In fact, I am happy to report that it is a law.

I sincerely hope that that paragraph was redundant and unnecessary for you, but I felt compelled. Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, we can continue on to the baked goods.

Located at 691 Quaker Lane in West Warwick, the Pepperidge Farm Bakery Outlet is squeezed in between a tanning salon and a soccer store. It’s in a shopping center far off the road, so it wasn’t until recently when stopped at a traffic light that I read the small print on the center’s sign and realized it was there. How long have I been going without?

It’s a small store, but it is chock-full of all things delicious. Goldfish, Pirouettes, loaves of bread, bags of bagels and my personal favorite cookie, Tim Tams.

Haven’t heard of that last one? Not surprising, since they’re from Australia. Pepperidge Farm, which is a sister company of Arnott’s, the Australian company that first produced the Tim Tam, has brought them up from down under. Two crisp chocolate cookies layered with light chocolate cream, and then coated in even more chocolate. They’re just heaven. If you’re a fan of chocolate, now is the time to act, because they will only be available from October to March.

I wandered through the aisles, oohing and ahhing each time something caught my eye. It was almost too much to take in at once. I was so focused on the wall of cookies that I barely noticed the healthier selection of breads and bagels. They have a freezer case with puff pastry and cakes and apple dumplings and… oh jeez, I’m drooling on the keyboard.

And best of all, it’s cheap. Much cheaper than if you were to buy it at your regular grocery store. Milanos were 2 for $5, Goldfish 4 for $5! I picked up a selection of Tim Tams ($1 each on clearance!) and a bag of Montauk milk chocolate chunk cookies and headed for the register (alas, they had no mint Milanos).

As the cashier was ringing up my purchases, I just had to ask what made it an outlet. Why were all these cookies here and not at the grocery store?

She was perfectly honest and said that they had all passed their “sell by” date, so grocery stores can no longer legally sell them. But “sell by” is pretty vague and in reality, they’re all safe and edible for three months after.

I don’t know about you, but no bag of cookies in my house would ever make it to the three-month mark. Three-minute mark? Sure, I don’t know if I can chew that fast. Three-day? Quite possibly. Three-week? Absolutely not.

I am sad to say that in addition to this being my most delicious column, it is also the last in the Tripping with Rachel series. Fear not, I will return, just in a slightly different format. And so I bid you adieu, but not before I include instructions for a Tim Tam Slam.

How to do a Tim Tam Slam

Ingredients: a Tim Tam and a hot beverage. I prefer hot chocolate, but coffee or even tea could be used.

  • Step 1: Bite off opposite corners of the Tim Tam.
  • Step 2: Use the Tim Tam as a straw, sucking up the hot beverage of your choice where you just bit off the corner of the cookie. You have to be quick, as the drink will begin to melt the chocolate.
  • Step 3: Just when you decide that the structural integrity of the Tim Tam has been severely compromised, pop it into your mouth.
  • Step 4: Smile.

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