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Kosher holiday finds at Trader Joe's

Some fun sweet treats that I spied (OK, I did more than spy them . . . I bought them!) at Trader Joe's last week: OU-D Chocolate Break-a-Part Oranges, both the dark and milk varieties, Chewy Egg Nog Cookies (Kaf-KD), a nice OU-D 1 pound box of assorted chocolates (pre-wrapped in a vintage wintery wrapping, which looks a bit Christmasy, but really isn't), and a 21 oz. box called "Trader Joe's and the Astounding Multi-Flavor Joe-Joe's," which is a box of "A collection of past & present Joe'Joe's sandwich cookies decadently enrobed in various chocolates with drizzles and sprinkles." The box contains six each of Double Chocolate (in dark chocolate with a milk chocolate drizzle), Peppermint (in dark chocolate with peppermint sprinkles), Peanut butter (in milk chocolate with a dark chocolate drizzle), and Ginger (in white chocolate with ginger snap sprinkles). The hechsher is the Star-D.

I haven't tried them all yet, but the box of chocolates seems to have a nice variety of stuff, including two pieces of salted & chocolate-covered caramels, which I had been hoping to find a kosher version of for as long as I've heard of them. It also come with a printed key to which chocolate is which, which is always better than guessing and being disappointed!

The couple of Joe-Joe's I had were nice, but at 130 calories each, this box had better last me the entire season!

I'm a major eggnog lover, and these cookies smell amazing, but don't taste as good as they smell. They're OK, though.

Haven't opened the chocolate orange yet, but remember from last year that it's fun and tasty!

I imagine there's lots more available, but this is what interested me the most. And with all the calories in what I have already bought, I don't plan to be trying much more!

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  1. Thanks for the tip about the oranges! YUMMY!

    8 Replies
    1. re: Prettypoodle

      The best treat I bought at Trader Joes were the pretzel slim in Peppermint Flavor. OMG soooo good. Pretzel thins wrapped in a creamy white chocolate and covered in peppermint bark. Delicious. Queenscook- I saw those Joe Joes too, and was so tempted to buy them, but the knowledge that a new WeightWatchers plan was starting today made me re-assess the situation and back away. I am particularly interested in hearing the report on the Ginger joe-joes though....

      1. re: marissaj

        I bought the pretzel slims also- they're delicious. Perfect balance of sweet and salty.

        The Cafe Twists are also a favorite- not special for the holidays- but they had tons of them when I was in the store. They taste exactly like the twists that I've seen in the kosher supermarkets, but much less expensive.

        Three other frozen finds-
        - pumpkin ice cream... it's labelled premium and it has a lot of calories but it's delicious
        - tart frozen yogurt... tastes like the frogurt stuff. Only has 100 calories/serving.
        - mini soy chocolate ice cream sandwiches... exactly like the toffuti ones but with less calories and fat

        1. re: cheesecake17

          My friend introduced me to the frosted mini gingerbread men (OU-D) that i bought today "for my toddler". They are just soooooooooo good. 120 cals for 3. I love the TJ holiday snacks especially- such unique fun things! I also picked up salt and pepper crisps (made from rice) and those are good too (OU-D).

          1. re: marissaj

            I didn't see the gingerbread cookies! Were they in the tubs on top of the frozen stuff?

            I've had the salt and pepper crisps- they're really good.

            1. re: cheesecake17

              They are in a box. I also didnt see them at first. A woman pointed them out to me. They are in a box with a gingerbread man cut out the front and are in a box of very holiday style colors. In my local Trader Joes they have the holiday cookies and chocolates on one side above the freezers and the other side is regular stuff.....

              1. re: marissaj

                Thanks.. I'll next next time I go there.

          2. re: cheesecake17

            I'm convinced those twists are by Barry's Bakery, are those the ones you mean cheesecake? Love that they are parve!

            1. re: PotatoPuff

              yep those are what I was talking about. I love them, but I can eat the whole bag!!

      2. fyi: lake champlain makes chocolate enrobed salted caramels.

        1. I wish they had the peppermint gourmet marshmellows (e.g. homemade and handcut, not the commercial kind) that they had three years ago. Oh how I miss good marshmellows!

          1 Reply
          1. re: rachelb99

            I was very unimpressed by them, actually. I have now--once--made my own marshmallows, with the relatively newly available kosher gelatin (Kolatin brand). It was pretty easy to do; maybe I'll give peppermint ones a shot.

          2. Their potato pancakes are also really yummy!

            1 Reply
            1. re: lenchik

              FYI - We got a nice discount on their latkes and some other items last year for a shul Chanukah party. It worked out great. Our local TJs gives a limited number of discounts to not-for profits each year.

            2. D'ya suppose the stuff all goes on sale Dec. 26???

              5 Replies
              1. re: SoCal Mother

                Trader Joe's never runs sales. Their prices are their prices.

                1. re: queenscook

                  Yeah, I know. (sigh) But all the candy at Target goes on sale the day after! Yum!

                  1. re: SoCal Mother

                    Not last year, but in previous years I have bought some reduced price "Christmas" goodies in Trader Joes--perhaps in January, Maybe it depends on how much stock is left over.

                    1. re: susiejane

                      Do not bet on sale. Manhattan upper west side Trader Joe had about 15 fresh Glatt kosher turkeys the day after Thanksgiving. They were still being sold at $2.29/lb. A day later they disappeared. It seems that Joe would rather take a loss than run a sale. Still their prices are fair, and in a time of anti-Israeli propaganda they seem to continue to stock Israeli products.

                2. re: SoCal Mother

                  Those holiday items that are left have been marked down in my Trader Joe's. Last week I bought the 1 pound box of chocolates for $4.99 and a chocolate orange for 99 cents. There are not too many items left on the shelf.

                3. I bought a box of the Dark chocolate covered peppermint Joe-Joe's- they are unbelievably good! I guess it's a good thing that they're not available year round

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: EmpireState

                    i havent had the chocolate covered ones, but just the ones that has peppermint in the filling are ridiculously good

                    1. re: shoelace

                      I actually like the (always available) mint Oreos better than the peppermint Joe-Joes.

                  2. Was at TJ's yesterday, and their holiday goodies are out already. In addition to all the things I wrote about last year (all of which they still have), I bought Eggnog Flavored Almonds, which are almonds "covered with creamy white chocolate." The white chocolate is the part that is eggnog-flavored, and they are AMAZING. I am going to have to stock up on these! I also got light eggnog, but it isn't that great. I'll hold off on the one full-fat quart I buy each year, though, 'til later in the season.

                    1. I bought an Empire turkey at TJ's yesterday. OK, pushing the envelope of holiday treat...

                      1. I really liked the Pfferneuse! They weren't the best ones I've ever had, but it is really hard to find kosher pfferneuse with a reliable hectcher, and these are OU-D!

                        1. Sorry, a little off topic - does anyone know if the Trader Joe's Salsa Verde is Kosher? Dairy? I would like to ask a (non-Jewish) co-worker of mine to pick up a jar, but I wouldn't begin to be able to explain all the possible hasgachas to look for.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: helou

                            I'm fairly certain that the salsa verde has no hechscher.

                          2. And much of what is leftover is marked way down. I guess this will vary from store to store.

                            1. Well, it's a new year, and I've been to TJ's recently, so let me report on the new holiday stuff which is kosher. In fact, I'm hoping a few of these might not be specific to the holidays, and are perhaps just new and will be around permanently . . . or at least as permanent as anything is at Trader Joe's.

                              First off, Sea Salt Butterscotch Caramels. Amazing! They come in a 7 oz. pouch, and they are small, round chocolate-covered caramels with a distinct saltiness. Big thumbs up. Kof-K Dairy.

                              Next up . . . Dark Chocolate Caramallows. They are about 1.5 inch X 3/4 inch, a chocolate-covered piece of soft caramel with a very soft bit of marshmallowy fluffiness on top. Really excellent. Comes in a green & brown long, narrow box. OU-D.

                              I'm really not sure if this is holiday-related or not, because it wasn't with the holiday candies, but for anyone who is missing (or never had the pleasure of) Good & Plenty's, because of, perhaps, kashrut issues, TJ's now has its own "Trader Joe's Candy-Coated Licorice." I haven't had Good & Plenty's in over 30 years, and these are really good. They come in a 6 oz. box for only 99 cents, which seems to be a great deal. They are white, yellow, orange, and purple, and made with "colors and flavors from natural sources." They are shorter than I recall G & P's being, but the taste brings me back to my childhood. Hechsher is Kof-K Parve.

                              Finally, the least favorite of my four new purchases. Dark Chocolate Candy Cane Truffles. They are individually-wrapped, chocolate-coated with a softer chocolate inside. Inside the softer chocolate are very small, crunchy bits of peppermint candy. I would not really called them a standard truffle. I certainly wouldn't throw them out, but they were definitely the least impressive of the new items. Kof-K Dairy.

                              3 Replies
                              1. re: queenscook

                                Latkes! My son didnt like them as much as I did (so he only ate one box!) but well priced and came out fine in the oven.

                                1. re: SoCal Mother

                                  By the way, the latkes are a year-round product . . . at least here in NY.

                                  1. re: queenscook

                                    IMO, they are by far the best frozen latkes on the market.

                              2. I agree with Queenscook about the Dark Chocolate Caramallows. They are amazing. I keep them in the freezer.
                                I'm not sure if this is a seasonal item, but I bought their hazelnut cookies and they are delicious. (supervision is Chof K- dairy)

                                1. I bought the dark chocolate dark marshmellow, carmel things, with the OU D designation, the ingredients list "beef gelatin" I thought that extremely odd. Any one else notice that or can afford an explanation???

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: seikoloco

                                    According to the OU, gelatin made from the hides of kosher cows are parve.


                                    What is surprising is to see kosher beef gelatin in a mainstream product since it tends to be more expensive than non-kosher pig based gelatin. Hopefully they've found a way to optimize the process and we can expect more products to include kosher gelatin.

                                  2. Trader Joe had a new item this year- not sure if it's seasonal or not- called "Cowboy Bark". (An employee in one store told me it was seasonal; at another TJ, I was told it's not). I love it. It's described as" dark chocolate covered toffee, pretzels, joe joe cookies, peanuts, almonds, and a touch of salt."
                                    Hechsher is StarK- Dairy.
                                    They also have tins of mints with a KSA hechsher (by the front register). "Organic Peppermints".

                                    6 Replies
                                    1. re: EmpireState

                                      I bought the cowboy bark. It's a permanent item, meant to replace a seasonal version. It was ok-too sweet and sharply salty. It also went stale way too fast

                                      1. re: cheesecake17

                                        I had some. actually just bought a second package. It is sweet but I did not find it too salty, and I am sensitive to salt as I usually follow a low salt regimen. and it did not seem to go stale to me. It was around the house opened for a few weeks. I did not have the seasonal version.

                                        1. re: susiejane

                                          It seemed like the was too harshly salted. We sealed the bag and put it in th pantry. Maybe it's me...

                                          1. re: cheesecake17

                                            I just went and tasted it again and it seemed neither too sweet nor too salty, but it really may be just me and not just you. I recently had cochlear implant surgery and that often affects taste for some time .

                                            1. re: cheesecake17

                                              You can send it to me. I love salty stuff.

                                              1. re: CloggieGirl

                                                We returned it. Husband and daughter both wouldn't eat it. But...we've been buying brownie crisps from Costco. SO GOOD