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Trader Joe's Holiday Items. What are you looking forward to? [old]

I'd like to know what holiday foods TJ's has that you can't wait to see this year. I'm always happy to see the pumpkin ice cream, peppermint bark, and Vintage Ale.

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  1. ooooh ooooh ooooh <thrusts hand into the air>:
    white chocolate peppermint bark bar (by the checkout counter). and lebkuchen (sans chocolate).

    (i tossed out that pumpkin ice cream --- it was so intense and sooooo heavily spiced. bleh).

    5 Replies
      1. re: jujuthomas

        I think the Mint Oreos are far better than the Peppermint Joe-Joes. And they're available year round.

        1. re: queenscook

          Hm, what I tried recently was the mint Newman-Os. Those were good but a lot more expensive than the Joe-Joes.

          1. re: queenscook

            Tried the peppermint Joe-Joes for the first time. The mint cream is good but IMO their flavor totally overwhelms the chocolate flavor in the cookie. The supermarket version of Mystic Mints solves that problem with the chocolate coating.

            1. re: greygarious

              But have you tried the chocolate-covered peppermint Jo-Jos?

      2. i REALLY REALLY REALLY hope they bring back the sea salt caramels. those were the perfect candy. i ate 3 boxes last year and i don't even like candy.

        4 Replies
          1. re: madgreek

            Based on reviews here, I bought a box of those last year and found they were highly overrated. I didn't detect much of a salty flavor and, frankly, I didn't think they were much of a step up from Kraft.

            On the other hand, I LOVE the dark chocolate-covered caramels TJ's usually has this time of year, the ones with large grains of Dead Sea salt sprinkled on top. Very sweet + very salty = da bomb!

            Also, I hope TJ's brings back their Scottish shortbread cookies, if for no other reason than they've always been outrageously inexpensive, at least compared to the identical Walkers brand.

            1. re: Arthur

              yes, the shortbread, for sure. i'm finishing a box i saved from last year. not bad for the time in the box! not bad at all -- esp. when i dip it in milk! '-).

              1. re: Arthur

                the ones with Dead Sea Salt and dark chocolate were the ones is was referring to. i didn't know there were others.

                i went to TJ on Fri nite and picked up a few boxes. a friend in OR found them at her TJ's so it looks like they are available now.

          2. I liked the pretzel snowflake things, pretzels covered in a yogurt frosting. I'm going to pounce on some french truffles too as soon as they appear.

            1 Reply
            1. re: givemecarbs

              I discovered the French truffles in 2009 because of Chowhound, and bought 4 boxes in January to last the whole year. Word to the wise: The box I opened this fall had lost much of its chocolate punch. I tasted the oil more than the chocolate, and the cocoa powder coating had melded with the ganache during the heat of the summer. Perhaps they'd have fared better if I'd kept them refrigerated or frozen. They only had 3 boxes when I was there yesterday, so I got all of them and will chill whatever remains by Memorial Day. My favorite way to eat them is squashed between two dried apricots.

            2. They always have gift boxes of chocolate, perfect for office gifts, but a couple of years ago they came in a 3 foot long skinny box that was very impressive. For under $5. Last year though just regular square boxes. I'm going to check back in early December to see if they bring those back, the girls at work were very impressed.

              11 Replies
              1. re: coll

                ooh that would be nice for holiday gifts! what was the packaging like?

                1. re: cheesecake17

                  It was like a big fat yardstick, so easy to hand out (especially with all the swine flu around ;-) Maybe 2 chocolates wide, but delicious Belgian like they always have. I think they even came with nice gold ribbons on them, so just buy and hand out. I was so disappointed not to find them last year. The square boxes look so ordinary and nobody oohed and aahed.

                  1. re: coll

                    very cool.. if you see them again, let me know

                    1. re: cheesecake17

                      I'll be going there about a week after Thanksgiving, I'll post what they have this year.

                      1. re: coll

                        thanks!

                        Speaking of holiday food gifts... I bought a really nice gift set of truffle cookies last year from Costco. If TJ's doesn't have anything, I'll see what Costco has

                        1. re: cheesecake17

                          Costco has been selling Christmas items since the end of September. Most is one time only/not renewed on the shelf. I buy now and people who only go at the last minute don't know where I got their gifts.

                          1. re: Cathy

                            It's too early to buy gifts now... last year I went the week before xmas and found lots. The only thing Costco didn't have was the smaller ($10) Starbucks gift pack..

                            1. re: cheesecake17

                              They had that last week or maybe 2 weeks ago.

                      2. re: coll

                        They were one candy wide. They haven't had them in several years, sadly. I used to buy them every Christmas. One year I left some of my TJ's haul in the car (Boston area, late November) and there was a thaw. After a day in the sunny lot at work, I had a box of melted but still delicious globs. Good thing I thought to open one to check before wrapping them as gifts!

                        I also miss the fruit jellies in the rectangular metal box (Ganong? was the brand). They were authentically fruity, not a blend of artificial, too-sweet flavorings. The kiwi, raspberry, and peach were the best of the variety.

                        1. re: greygarious

                          I'm glad I'm not the only one that remembers those chocolates, they still didn't have this year, sadly.

                  2. What are everyone's thoughts on the panettone?

                    I bought some last year and thought it was good, though admittedly I haven't had the bread from more than 1 other supplier.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: madgreek

                      I've always bought the cranberry panettone and I like it. However, I've never had any panettone from any other company so I can't compare.

                      I even used it last year to make french toast.

                    2. Loved the dark chocolate covered shortbread sprinkled with nonpareils. Hope they're back again!

                      22 Replies
                      1. re: FlyerFan

                        wow that sounds fantastic! do you remember what the packaging looks like? i was at tj's briefly on saturday and was overwhelmed with the variety of holiday items.

                        I tried peppermint joe-joe's for the first time, excellent. Now I'm curious to try the chocolate dipped ones.

                        1. re: FlyerFan

                          I just bought some dark-chocolate star-shaped shortbread cookies sprinkled with white nonpareils. Very tasty and fairly small. If that's what you're looking for, betterbeheaven, keep an eye out for a pale blue box with a big star cut-out. The chocolate dipped peppermint joe-joes were way too big and too sweet for me.

                          1. re: Glencora

                            """"The chocolate dipped peppermint joe-joes were way too big and too sweet for me.""""

                            one was enough for "dessert."

                            1. re: alkapal

                              They are extremely rich and really, really good.

                              1. re: alkapal

                                I like the regular peppermint jojos waaaaay better. The dipped ones...well, gilding the lily doesn't always work. I thought it was a waste.

                                1. re: pitu

                                  yes. it was *too much* for me. in fact, i've skipped the pepp joe joe's altogether this year. i'd rather spend my calorie budget on the white chocolate peppermint bark bars! .... and the oatmeal-cranberry dunkers with white chocolate.

                                  1. re: alkapal

                                    Love the peppermint bark bars, but I'm a fan of the chocolate covered Jo Jos. Only one a day, though.

                              2. re: Glencora

                                I was just thinking that no one ever mentions these and I like them a lot -- both the chocolate and the cookie are pretty good quality. The star shape and the blue box make me think they're supposed to double as a Hannukah-related item.

                                Anyone seen any kosher turkeys yet?

                                1. re: Ruth Lafler

                                  the brined and kosher turkeysa are due into the stores (at least in so CA) friday.

                                  1. re: chez cherie

                                    Due to distance, I'd never considered purchasing our Thanksgiving turkey at Trader Joe's. Well, happy day, the largest TJ's in the U.S. opened a scant 20 miles away in Minnetonka, MN last Friday. There was quite the crowd around the Glatt kosher turkeys. I'd appreciate any feedback anyone could give me about these particular birds. (I just couldn't bring myself to wade through the crowd to read the packaging.)

                                    1. re: chez cherie

                                      I'd like to try a brined or kosher turkey from TJs but I need at least an 18 pounder. That is the lowest weight that will do as there are going to be three of us for Thanksgiving dinner. Do you think they will have any birds that have some real heft to them?

                                      1. re: givemecarbs

                                        I just got a TJs email and it says 12-16 lb Kosher turkeys.

                                        1. re: givemecarbs

                                          >>>""""18 pounder. That is the lowest weight that will do as there are going to be three of us""""<<<<

                                          am i reading correctly that three people eat an 18-pounder?

                                          1. re: alkapal

                                            We have 3 or 4 and I consider 20 to be minimum weight. We do love our leftovers though.

                                            1. re: coll

                                              how many pounds of meat do you get from a 20# bird?

                                              1. re: alkapal

                                                Usually it's supposed to be 25% bone to 75% meat when figuring portion size. But since we don't eat the dark meat (goes into stock pot and then into enchiladas etc) it's not all that much. Enough for 4 or 5 days of sandwiches and asst leftovers. I don't go to all that trouble to only eat for one day!

                                            2. re: alkapal

                                              If we must, alkapal. I think about four years back I managed to wrangle a 28 pounder, now that rocked.

                                                1. re: shoelace

                                                  No, not kosher. Thinking of trying a kosher bird from TJ's this year if I can find one big enough. Last year's selection was kinda puny but they may have been picked over. I was being kind of a smart aleck. Alkapal asked me if I really meant an 18 pound turkey for three people, and I said yes, if that is what I have to settle for. I really do like to get a heftier bird than eighteen pounds, that is my minimum requirement. Bigger turkeys are a dream to cook. lots of filling and great gravy, and it is much easier to get the dark meat cooked while keeping the white meat moist. What can I say, I can be kinda lazy. And all those leftovers. I love dinner the day after Thanksgiving. So easy after all the effort getting everything hot to the table. I'm smiling right now thinking of my plate piled with all those wonderful leftovers. This year I'm thinking about a turkey pie a few days after thanksgiving. I made one years ago with just a bit of rutabaga in it. I love Thanksgiving!

                                            3. re: givemecarbs

                                              Wow, 18 lbs for 3 people! I had a 14 lb. bird for 7 last year and had a lot of leftovers.

                                              You should change your name to givemeprotein!

                                              1. re: givemecarbs

                                                went to TJs tonight, and they had 18 pounders.

                                          2. re: Glencora

                                            Several years ago they had rectangular cookies (now I can't remember if they were shortbread or graham or something in between) covered with a thicker-than-typical dark chocolate. The box was cardboard, oval, with stripes in several shades of blue, with a blue cloth bow. Can anyone who has had those, and the current star-shaped cookies, compare and contrast?

                                        2. It would be the frozen pumpkin pie - but no - I've been told no frozen pumpkin pies this season.

                                          1 Reply
                                          1. re: trhirsh

                                            I never even noticed if TJ's has one. I did find a frozen pumpkin pie locally for $1.25. At that price, I couldn't say no. Not to mention it was all natural (all the same ingredients I use in my recipe) and tasted freakin' awesome!

                                          2. Escargot? I have heard that they have a decent escargot app on the West Coast but have never seen it in the Chicago area. Nothings says "Holiday" like snails...

                                            Any info on this????

                                            1. The last couple holiday seasons, they've had these stacks of single origin dark chocolate bars from around the world. The chocolates are delicious and it's really fun to pick out the nuances in flavor between each one. I think there were 9 or 10 bars to a stack, around 3" square, very reasonably priced.

                                              4 Replies
                                              1. re: operagirl

                                                that sounds fun. i haven't seen those, operagirl. but, now i'll be on the lookout.

                                                1. re: operagirl

                                                  not to derail this on costco stuff, but now is the time when you should be able to buy their chocolate-covered dried fruits -- in the plastic tray-like container (sometimes oblong, sometimes circular). dried cherries, blueberries, apricots, etc. dee-licious.

                                                  1. re: operagirl

                                                    Those were great. They were really high quality but cheap enough that I could buy them in large quantities for holiday baking (though it is a pain to open so many small packages).

                                                    1. re: operagirl

                                                      Single origin chocolates are definitely back this year! I bought a pack for $9.99 last week. Yum.

                                                    2. a few years ago, they had round straw trays of mixed nuts. i liked them (and still use those trays as plate holders when watching tv).

                                                      has anyone seen mixed nuts this year?

                                                      10 Replies
                                                      1. re: alkapal

                                                        I went to TJ's today. OMG I felt like a kid in a candy shop. I couldn't stop tasting and trying things and deciding what to buy. It was rediculous. I literally just walked down the candy aisle and sampled 3 or 4, maybe 5 different things. It was like lunch almost lol.

                                                        The Those Dead Sea Salt Caramels covered in Chocolate, i tried those they were very good and like fattening too I think 11g of fat for 1..wow. And their were some other kind of caramel I picked up a box of those, not chocolate covered though, but its in my pantry now though lol..has like a sea salt too, very good and soft and creamy in a white box. i think what another poster said "sea salt caramels"

                                                        Saw the usual P Joe Joes..now they have some new Joe Joes? like Extra Thick kind? I didn't try those, by the time I got to those I was full of the caramels! Are they good eh? Maybe next time I will sample.

                                                        Oh I tried some Dark Chocolate Covered Caramel in plastic container..Awful. I spit it out. It was hard as rock and tasteless.

                                                        So next time I think I will look for the choc. pretzels and some shortbread ...they are pretty good eh?

                                                        And the turkey..it's good? I've always been weary bout meat from TJ's. I mean they did just have an ECOLI recall :/

                                                        1. re: Woof Woof Woof

                                                          i may be alone in this, but the chocolate covered pretzels were just "meh" to me.

                                                          1. re: alkapal

                                                            They actually have three different types of chocolate covered pretzels (actually, now that I think of it, maybe there are four). If you only tried the milk chocolate ones, try the dark chocolate ones, which come in both the "knot" shape and in the thin, crisp style (the fourth would be a vague memory that they also have chocolate covered "baton" shaped pretzels). The chocolate covered thins fall into the "I can't buy them because I'll eat the whole package in one sitting" category for me.

                                                          2. re: Woof Woof Woof

                                                            woofwoofwoof said: "I literally just walked down the candy aisle and sampled 3 or 4, maybe 5 different things. It was like lunch almost lol."

                                                            You're trolling again about sampling without permission, aren't you?

                                                            1. re: Steve Green

                                                              I caught that too Steve. I admit it does sound like fun.

                                                            2. re: Woof Woof Woof

                                                              I tried the dead sea salt caramels and didn't like them at all. I LOVE salted caramels and try them at most chocolatiers I visit. I was hoping these would be a lower cost option, but they had such a strong palm/coconut oil taste I spit it out. Sorry chowhounds have to disagree on this product.

                                                              1. re: jsaimd

                                                                I've got a box in front of me, jsaimd. There is no palm oil listed in the ingredients. The caramels do contain what appears to be a small amount of coconut oil, listed about 2/3 of the way down. To each his/her own, but I highly doubt many people will be as offended by the trace flavor of coconut oil as you seem to be.

                                                                And Woof: There are 11 grams of fat in a serving of THREE pieces, not in each piece. Huge difference.

                                                                1. re: jsaimd

                                                                  I noted the coconut oil taste when I first reported on them last year (or maybe the year before). To me, I can taste it but it's not unpleasant.

                                                                  1. re: jsaimd

                                                                    Thx for being specific about the coconut oil taste. I generally notice and don't care for that either.

                                                                  2. re: Woof Woof Woof

                                                                    The main blame for tainted food recalls belongs with the processing companies, not the retailers. I have read posts knocking TJ's for milk and meat that isn't fresh but my experience has been just the opposite. Both keep longer in the fridge than that at my local supermarket (Market Basket), and the first time I bought TJ's ground beef I was pleasantly shocked at how much better the flavor was than what I was used to buying.

                                                                2. Just back from TJ's in Alameda (Northern California). Turkeys are in, both kosher and "natural." Fresh Italian chestnuts, $4.99/lb.
                                                                  Brussels sprouts on the stalk
                                                                  Organic canned pumpkin, pumpkin butter
                                                                  Chocolate Palatte: a stack of 9 different single-origin dark chocolates is back

                                                                  They were tasting the turkey gravy and I wasn't impressed.

                                                                  2 Replies
                                                                  1. re: Ruth Lafler

                                                                    pumpkin butter is a real winner! i'm *thinking* that they may have it year round, now.

                                                                    1. re: Ruth Lafler

                                                                      Ruth, they have had the organic canned pumpkin year-round.

                                                                      Pumpkin butter, though, has definitely been a seasonal item, and I see no reason to believe TJ's will change that. After all, this is the store that recently gave ordinary pie crust a seasonal designation.

                                                                    2. The wafer thin crackers w the cranberries in them.

                                                                      10 Replies
                                                                      1. re: shaebones

                                                                        Guindilla peppers are very good as are the pumpernickel pretzels.

                                                                        1. re: stevuchan

                                                                          Hey (And not talking horses here), TJs allows for open and free sampling. I for one did not want to buy the whole aisle of Holiday Selections. I tried a few things new to me, and bought those Sea Salt Caramels, after sampling a couple of course cause they were excellent. I left the box for others to try too :) (Could of bought the Dark Choc. Sea Salt ones too...delicious as well)
                                                                          Can't wait to be back to try the Pretzels, Shortbread, Peanut Brittle, & Choc. Covered JoJos :)

                                                                          1. re: Woof Woof Woof

                                                                            I know this has come up before, but I cannot believe TJ's encourages this behavior. I would NEVER take a sample from a box left open on a shelf. How do you know if it's been tampered with?

                                                                            There's a reason things are sealed to a fare-thee-well these days--can you say Tylenol in Chicago??

                                                                            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chicago_...

                                                                            1. re: coney with everything

                                                                              i've never seen it done "on one's own", but if you do want to try something, you can take it back to the gal at the sampling station and she'll open the box and give you some. that's how i first tried the white chocolate peppermint bark bar (actually, no, i was asking about peppermint bark, and the gal recommended the bar instead, and then went and got one, cracked it open, and gave me a chunk.).

                                                                              1. re: coney with everything

                                                                                Yeah, it came up before, and it was the same poster. Woof must be trolling. T.J.'s would never let this person in the store again if he/she were continually opening up packages and sampling without permission as claimed. I fell for it last time like everyone else, but I just don't believe this any more.

                                                                                1. re: Steve Green

                                                                                  I'm with you Steve. But alkapal that was pretty awesome that the sample monger did that. I'll have to ask about prime rib next time I go. :)

                                                                                  1. re: givemecarbs

                                                                                    I did have a similar experience to alkapal's once. I was at checkout and told the checker that I'd changed my mind and didn't want a particular item -- that I didn't want to take a chance on it (it was some cookie IIRC). She said in so many words, "Hey, wonder what it's like -- let's try it", and proceeded to open it up and hand samples to me and other nearby customers. I ended up not liking it, but that was a nice gesture on her part.

                                                                                    1. re: Steve Green

                                                                                      That was nice, but I'm not surprised, they have some of the nicest employees there. But everything is so cheap that I'm willing to take a chance occasionally, and I'm rarely disappointed.

                                                                                2. re: Woof Woof Woof

                                                                                  Um, I think this might be called illegal, as in stealing. Yes, TJ's allows sampling but via the sampling station. It would be a health code if you opened up a package yourself, put your dirty hands in the package and left the rest for others to do the same.

                                                                                  I just don't get the entitlement and thought processes of some people.

                                                                            2. I LOVE the Wintry Blend coffee, but they seem to only have pre-ground this year.

                                                                              I have already written them a strongly worded (aka begging) email for the whole bean. And we may try to make our own at home.

                                                                              Also, another huge vote for the dark chocolate covered caramels with sea salt. YUM.

                                                                              7 Replies
                                                                              1. re: schmecky

                                                                                I was going to buy that coffee but wanted whole bean also. I wonder if TJs powers that be ever reads our comments here?

                                                                                1. re: givemecarbs

                                                                                  T.J.'s would never let this person in the store again if he/she were continually opening up packages and sampling without permission as claimed.

                                                                                  What are you talking about? Everybody does this. It is even written on the TJ's page that they guarantee their products. Why should a person buy a product, waste gas driving home, trying it, having it taste awful, then waste gas driving gas back to the store?

                                                                                  Peppermint Bark sounds good too :)

                                                                                  1. re: Woof Woof Woof

                                                                                    I thought guarantee meant buy it, and if you don't like it, bring it back no questions. Not free lunch anytime you're in the area. Poor TJs, I feel for them.

                                                                                    1. re: Woof Woof Woof

                                                                                      The TJ's policy doesn't, however, say you can go around the store opening packages you have no intention of buying and then leaving the open packages sitting there, or opening a package, sampling, and then buying an unopened package (all situations you've described when this topic came up before). As other people have pointed out, once the package has been opened and left on a shelf it would have to be discarded, since there is no way of guaranteeing it hasn't been tampered with. If you were really serious about wanting to sample the product with the intention of buying it and not just grazing for free, you could have it opened by one of the crew members. And no, "everybody" doesn't do this -- I've shopped at TJs for probably 20 years now and I've never seen anyone do it, nor have I seen evidence in the form of opened packages lying around indicating someone has done what you described.

                                                                                      1. re: Ruth Lafler

                                                                                        Seriously. The only packages I open in TJs (and other stores) are those meant to distract my toddler so I can actually get some shopping done...and I buy them whether she likes them or not.

                                                                                        WWW just likes to get people's feathers ruffled with talk of renegade sampling.

                                                                                          1. re: newfoodie

                                                                                            Wow, haters. I still stand my ground that it is not a crime or much less wrong to sample the products at TJs before buying. Now, would I open a package I did not intend to buy at regular ol' Giant of course not.
                                                                                            But TJs ENCOURAGES one to sample their variety of constantly changing products :) I went again today and gave the sample lady the choc. covered JoJos to try. Thought they were a new thing for 2009. She handed me a whole cookie. I was impressed, and bought a box. Very good.

                                                                                2. Still waiting on the Scottish shortbread (I ran out last July) -- they say December, if at all. Has anyone seen it yet?

                                                                                  Yesterday they were handing out samples of the cornbread/sausage stuffing (prepared fridge item). It was excellent.

                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                  1. re: Steve Green

                                                                                    I'm not a fan of TJ's cornbread products.

                                                                                  2. Any sign of stroopwafels (usu in the blue and white tins)? I saw a few things in local TJ's on Friday, but not those. I didn't bother to ask. They did have a few boxes of Candy Cane JoJos, also the chocolate covered ones, and a few other bits of this and that for holiday stuff, but it clearly was not out in force yet.

                                                                                    7 Replies
                                                                                    1. re: CrazyOne

                                                                                      Last year when I was looking for my gift boxes of chocolate, they told me they don't put out most of their Christmas stuff until after Thanksgiving. What a unique idea!

                                                                                      1. re: coll

                                                                                        good, there's still hope for the peppermint bark candy bars. They had the tin in stock last week, but no sign of the bars or the chocolate covered jo jos.

                                                                                        1. re: coney with everything

                                                                                          coney, i just bought a case (12 count) of these yesterday, when they told me they were only getting one shipment (which was in) but that would be it for the season -- and there weren't that many on the shelf (maybe 5 more cases). this is falls church in virginia store.

                                                                                          they were on an end cap display with most of the other holiday items.

                                                                                          go to the customer service people if you don't still find them -- maybe they put them in a different place (like my store, which used to keep them at the checkout counter display).

                                                                                          1. re: alkapal

                                                                                            Man, I hope I didn't miss them, alkapal. But I see that Target has the Dove peppermint bark on sale this week--I might have to make do :)

                                                                                            1. re: coney with everything

                                                                                              call your store and ask them. you think they might have sold out?

                                                                                        2. re: coll

                                                                                          Ha ha ha coll! Glad I wasn't drinking when I read your post.

                                                                                        3. re: CrazyOne

                                                                                          I have been looking for the stroopswafels too, though I forgot to ask. I stockpiled a dozen cans when they were discounted after Chistmas.

                                                                                        4. is it just me, or are this year's lebkuchen a bit wimpy in the flavor department, and too soft in texture? ;-(.

                                                                                          3 Replies
                                                                                          1. re: alkapal

                                                                                            That's because the lebkuchen is fresh. Let it sit for a few weeks. The texture and flavor will get better. If I can't wait to eat them, I open the package and let them air out for a few days. You can also store them in a tin container for a few weeks.

                                                                                            1. re: shoo bee doo

                                                                                              you are correct! they're too fresh. ha ha!

                                                                                              1. re: alkapal

                                                                                                For real.:-) I lived in Germany for a while and this is what the Germans told me. They always said that about their good breads also. Maybe it had to do with digestibility or something.

                                                                                          2. the new-to-me cranberry covered chevre log!!!!! on the savory crackers....TASTE-EEEEE!

                                                                                            the cheese is a super bargain at $3.99 --- and the crackers for $1.69, a nice cocktail hour munchie.

                                                                                            PS -- the french truffles are "in."

                                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                                            1. re: alkapal

                                                                                              This "junk" is OK to freeze too I heard if wrapped well. And if you don't have cheap Freezer, but one that keeps products VERY, VERY COLD/FROZEN (Like a Sub-Zero).
                                                                                              I heard if you get the Extra Heavy Duty Reynolds Wrap and do a few wraps, followed by a Ziploc Freezer Bag, and put it in a nice glass container that seals VERY well, you can have some Dark Choc. Sea Salt Caramels, P. Bark, Choc. Covered JoJos, and a few other things for a few months throughout next year...Just some kind advice :)

                                                                                            2. Does anyone know if they are going to have the mint hot chocolate again this year? I couldn't find it last week, but I'm holding out hope that maybe it just hasn't come in yet. :)

                                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                                              1. re: frrozenblueberry

                                                                                                I didn't see it this week when I was buying the tall brown tin of Sipping Chocolate, which I have bought before but did not see last year.

                                                                                              2. I got the nifty new post-thanksgiving holiday flier and I darn near fell over when I read they are going to have macarons in the frozen case... has ANYONE tried these yet? OMG.. I am a Macaron fiend and will just have my heart broken if they are terrible...

                                                                                                --Dommy!

                                                                                                2 Replies
                                                                                                1. re: Dommy

                                                                                                  Update! I just could not resist and bought a pack... They pretty darn awesome, especially for the price... the chocolate ones were okay in texture but they had a rich chocolate taste... the vanilla ones were the best... great texture, strong clean vanilla taste... They were so good I bought another box to put them on my cookie plate next to my homemade cookies at a cookie exchange... I only had two left after the night was done. :)

                                                                                                  --Dommy!

                                                                                                  1. re: Dommy

                                                                                                    I tried these. The texture is a bit dry and certainly not as good as fresh bakery ones, but definitely edible. I agree that the vanilla had a better texture, but I thought the chocolate flavor was better. Both fillings were sweeter than I like. Won't beat Paulette's or my favorites in France, don't really come close, but not bad.

                                                                                                2. I've not lived near a TJ in a few years but will be visiting close to one right after the Christmas holidays. What are the chances that these 'favorites' will be there one or two days after Christmas day?

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                                                                                                  1. re: BeachBacchus

                                                                                                    Last year the truffles and the yogurt covered pretzels stars stayed around for a bit. Oh, and the almond cookie snowmen. Not sure if the pretzels and snowmen are back this year though. Hope some goodies are left for you BeachBacchus.

                                                                                                    1. re: BeachBacchus

                                                                                                      You can ask them to hold some non-perishables for you in the back.

                                                                                                    2. Just got back and my basket consisted almost entirely of new things (to me) recommended here. I searched high and low for the popovers, when I mentioned at the cash register I couldn't find them, the bagger left his post and said he knew where they were, but they were all gone, boo hoo. Samples were a ratatouille in pastry appetizer, they have the best ideas. I did find something no one has mentioned yet (I think) a small Baklava Ensemble tray with 3 or 4 types, one even has chocolate on it. I'll let you know tomorrow how it is, I'm afraid it's going to be out of this world.

                                                                                                      To alkapal: I bought 2 logs of the cranberry chevre, they say they are good til the middle of March so I won't be freezing them!

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                                                                                                      1. re: coll

                                                                                                        coll, i'm working my way through those savory thin crackers (addictive) with the cran chevre. the problem is, it is too easy to eat, so i think my extra one on the freezer will soon be thawed. hope you enjoy it as much as i do.

                                                                                                        1. re: alkapal

                                                                                                          Lots of times, I put stuff in the freezer just so I won't eat it all at once!

                                                                                                        2. re: coll

                                                                                                          Just ate a popover (bought this afternoon at the TJ's in Millbrae, CA; in the middle of the frozen aisle with the pizzas and such). Good, but not as good as a well-made from scratch popover. It misses out on crispiness and was not as brown as I like. But better than the rare occasion that I've had a leftover made-from-scratch popover from the previous day....always a soggy, chilly mess. I find popovers quite easy to make, so I don't expect to buy them again. But last year, when I was renting a place with no oven, I would have been overjoyed. Also a good thing to have if you're single (as I am) and/or on a diet (as I ought to be but am not) and don't want to eat six popovers at a time. 4 to a box, wrapped individually, 15-45 seconds in the microwave.

                                                                                                          1. re: Nina

                                                                                                            I was looking for it because I've never gotten popovers to cook right from scratch. Well I guess I've only tried once or twice. I'm making a rib roast for New Years and thought it would be an easy side dish. But the baklava I mentioned above were not that great, very dry, so if the popovers don't get a big thumbs up, I'll try making from scratch again, and not overthink the method so much.

                                                                                                        3. Has anyone seen cookies called "Orange Cardamom Star Cookies" this year? Last year they had them, and they were great. They came in a star-shaped tin, and the cookies themselves were small, star-shaped cookies. I haven't been to TJ's since a few days before Thanksgiving, so I haven't seen all the holiday stuff yet.

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                                                                                                          1. re: queenscook

                                                                                                            I've been on the lookout for these star cookies too! The cardamom flavor was so good with tea. Haven't seen them the last time I went, which was about a week ago ):

                                                                                                          2. In yesterday, still no stroopwafels. :-( Anyone seen them? I'm guessing they're not coming this year. I got a box of the dark chocolate stars, though, dark chocolate covered shortbread cookies shaped like stars. Like those, although they're nothing truly fantastic. No sign of pumpkin ice cream either, and I think someone has already said they're not doing this.

                                                                                                            I bought the sea salt caramels too, then realized what I really wanted was the dark chocolate covered caramels which I'm sure I would have found if they were there even though I didn't remember that's what I was looking for. Didn't see them. Or did I? Now I'm thinking maybe I did and didn't get them. Or maybe it was the previous visit. Argh. I dunno. ;-)

                                                                                                            1. For me, it's the Marzipan Stollen. Not the one packaged in the box, but the fresh one that is just wrapped in plastic near the bread and cookies.

                                                                                                              I've probably had about 4 or 5 of those since they first arrived. Very fresh tasting, but they have to be eaten relatively quickly after you first cut into it, as they dry out fast. Great marzipan filling, and a nice balance of sweet and tart fruit, with plenty of crunchy nuts.

                                                                                                              I also tried the Sea Salt Caramels, and I have to say I'm not really a fan. On the other hand, the new Dark Chocolate Crisps are great, and fairly light for a simple fix of chocolate.

                                                                                                              I also liked the Chocolate Covered Gingerbread Cookies from Germany. The first one was a bit 'eh,' but they grew on me fast.

                                                                                                              I'll probably pick up the Pfeffernusse next. The Panettone is nice too, and I'll probably pick up one before the holiday season is over.

                                                                                                              1. I buy the small TJ's pumpkin spice bundt cake (cinnamon only, so not really a spice cake, IMO) and combine it with Hood's Pumpkin Eggnog and eggs for an exceptionally good bread pudding, with more nog drizzled over the warm pudding as a sauce.

                                                                                                                1. dark chocolate after dinner mints are very nice -- good chocolate flavor, creamy mint filling that's not overwhelming in the mint department, elegant in appearance (smooth, with little ripples in the chocolate on top) -- just right for offering on a pretty little silver tray with a doily on the buffet, or passed after dinner.

                                                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                                                  1. re: alkapal

                                                                                                                    was just going to recommend them myself. similiar to after 8 mints but a crisper chocolate. will hsve to stock up as these are surely seasonal

                                                                                                                  2. I found the best TJ's cookies. I think they're called Holiday Chocolate Drizzled Stars (I don't know - I ate em all and threw away the pkg). They look like typical chocolate stripe cookies except they're an 8 point star shape with a hole and sprinkled with big sugar crystals. They have such a distinctive rich taste and satisfying snap/crunch. Very addictive. Product of Netherlands I think.

                                                                                                                    Taste very much like Chocolate Crunch Cookies that Jewel (Albertson's?) used to sell at holiday time, but no more.

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                                                                                                                    1. re: Yokel1081

                                                                                                                      Hmm. Was looking at those and the flyer said something about hanging them on your tree. Thanks Yokel, now that I know for sure they have holes for hanging I'll buy some. Thinking of doing mostly edibles on my tree this year.

                                                                                                                    2. I wasn't at TJ's since summer, so yesterday was a big haul. I was hugely disappointed that the canned fried onions are gone - the manager said they are only ordered for Thanksgiving and had sold out. I'll have to get the Asian market equivalent, which is smaller bits and not quite as good, though cheap.

                                                                                                                      1. Peppermint Joe Joes and European Drinking chocolate for sure!

                                                                                                                          1. I was in my local TJs tonight and I was really surprised that a full week before Christmas, they were sold out of many of the holiday items. I asked about a specific one, and was told that it won't be restocked.

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                                                                                                                            1. re: queenscook

                                                                                                                              Yeah, was in yesterday, many things gone. And yet, pretty sure it was no more than 2 weeks before, seemed like lots of stuff. The Peppermint Joe-Joes appeared to be gone even though there was a huge display before. But what I really wanted was more Dark Chocolate Sea Salt Caramels, holy crap, after finally trying them. Amazing! All gone, of course. Next year I'll buy 10 boxes when I see them. ;-) The did still have pumpkin ice cream though, and that is good as ever.

                                                                                                                            2. The other day I bought one of the stollen (Edel-Marzipanstollen) to see if I could avoid having to make one myself from scratch. It was OK if that's all you have or have never tasted one that's home made. But, in my opinion, it was pretty flavorless and there was waaaay too much powdered sugar on it. I won't be buying it again. Home made is the way to go for me.

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                                                                                                                              1. re: skippy66

                                                                                                                                Yeah, home made is probably the best way to have some of those Stollen Moments.

                                                                                                                              2. They've dropped the price on the Sugar Cookie Kit (new this year, AFAIK) from $3.99 to 99cents!
                                                                                                                                Even if you aren't keen on the prepackaged icing or the ordinary cookies, it's worth it for the colored sugars and the cookie cutters that are included.

                                                                                                                                1. Has anyone tried TJ's frozen Buche de Noel? I saw it in the store today, but the picture on the box looked so unappetizing (well, a lot like meatloaf) that it scared me away from buying it. I'd love to know if it tastes better than it looks.

                                                                                                                                  1. My mother likes their pannetone. I can't remember if I've had it!

                                                                                                                                    1. I think the 2x2x6" vertical rectangular tin of Sweet Sticks is a new holiday item in 2010. They are 4 each of 6 flavors of individually wrapped candy "canes", without the bend. The nice flavors are cranberry, orange, caramel, pomegranate, cinnamon, and peppermint. They make a nice stocking stuffer and the unique shape of the can adds appeal. Hope they bring it back this year.

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                                                                                                                                      1. re: greygarious

                                                                                                                                        I'm looking forward to seeing frozen shrimp again. Every year they get cleaned out at Christmas time and they still didn't have more in as of last weekend. :(