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Nov 6, 2009 07:11 AM

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


                        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.