Cupcake cookies

New flavors of Oreo cookies are almost always so peculiar that Mr. Tidbit usually grants Oreos an exception to his rule about not discussing new products that are merely new flavors of existing products. And the newest offering, Filled Cupcake Oreos, is no exception … to that exception.

The filled cupcake pictured on the bag lacks the squiggle of frosting that would make it undeniably a Hostess Cupcake (and probably the subject of a copyright infringement lawsuit), but that's clearly the item being invoked. And the Oreo folks gave it a pretty good shot: Between the chocolate Oreo cookies is a wide outer ring of chocolate frosting and a center of sweet white goo that is remindful of the Hostess "crème filling."

If you ate the cookie the normal way, you would be hard-pressed to get a separate sense of that center filling, so the bag carries the suggestion that you twist off one cookie and lick the center.

Is this a great country, or what?

Smoked butterscotch?

As long as he's making exceptions, Mr. Tidbit wants to give you a heads-up about what might well become, like salted caramel and pumpkin spice before it, the latest flavor you can't avoid. It's "smoked butterscotch," and what Mr. Tidbit believes is its first appearance is Starbucks' Smoked Butterscotch latté. To be clear, Mr. Tidbit's prediction of a wave of smoked butterscotch cookies, potato chips and room fresheners isn't based on how delightful smoked butterscotch tastes, but on just how gosh-darn "artisanal" it sounds.

Starbucks doesn't offer a butterscotch latté that isn't smoked, so Mr. Tidbit is unable to zero in on what gustatory nuance is associated with smoking the butterscotch, but in his admittedly unsophisticated opinion, "smoked butterscotch" seems to be butterscotch.

Where's the Peep?

For several years now, Peeps marshmallow chicks have been available in flavors, for surprisingly higher prices (some 1½-ounce packs of three flavored Peeps are the same price as a 4½-ounce package of 15 slightly smaller unflavored Peeps). This year there seem to be lots more flavors — but many are available only at particular stores. According to the Peeps website, Blueberry Delight Peeps are only at Target, Blue Raspberry Peeps only at Wal-Mart, Cotton Candy only at Walgreens, Orange Creme only at Dollar Tree, etc.