HOME > Chowhound > Chains >

Discussion

Best Seasonal/Holiday Trader Joe Items.. to hunt for in 2012

  • 162
  • Share

I don't want to miss any of the seasonal/holiday items that are good at TJoe's... so what have you enjoyed A LOT in the past that I should for-sure try-out this year?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
Delete
Posting Guidelines | FAQs | Feedback
Cancel
  1. the seasonal Jojos cookies! mmmmmm...

    4 Replies
    1. re: jujuthomas

      yep, love these.

      I bought a canister of the pumpkin chai. It's pretty good. I'ms ure I will drink it all--not sure if it's really huntworthy though.

      1. re: jujuthomas

        last year i picked up the Multi-flavored chocolate covered ones in the pink box for Mom & Sis...instant addiction for both of them :) unfortunately, i made the discovery at the end of the season, and only found them one more time before they vanished for the year. i promised not to let that happen again, so i'm on high alert waiting to tell Sis to go stock up as soon as they appear!

        1. re: goodhealthgourmet

          These freeze / thaw really well right in the box :-)

          1. re: Rilke

            that's good to know :) thanks!

      2. The pumpkin ice cream

        2 Replies
        1. re: roro1831

          pumpkin ice cream is already in stock at my so CA store!

          1. re: roro1831

            A spoonful of TJ's pumpkin ice cream between 2 of their thin triple ginger cookies is DIVINE!

          2. Hoping that the peppermint bark candy bars come back, but I don't think they were around last year. But the bark in the tin is tasty enough and a good price.

            2 Replies
            1. re: coney with everything

              I hope the peppermint bark candy bars come back, too...and believe you are right that they were not stocked last year.

              1. re: coney with everything

                agree on the peppermint bark BARS -- awesome depth of flavor and not too sweet. they were not around last year. i will be on the lookout!

              2. oh, last year they had dark chocolate covered caramels with sea salt on top. they were fantastic.

                13 Replies
                1. re: jujuthomas

                  I don't like candy, but I loved those caramels. I anxiously wait for them every year now.

                  1. re: jujuthomas

                    We already have people coming in asking for those. The pumpkin offerings have only just arrived!

                    1. re: Rilke

                      Do TJ's get restocks during the season of Pumpkin Chai or Pumpkin Rooibos? :( I'm new to shopping with TJ's and after seeing the ad had to run over to my local Royal Oak, Mi store where I meticulously search the coffee/tea shelves. As I got up to the checkout I asked my cashier who at first had no idea what I was talking about and then said they must have gotten it so long ago she doesn't remember it and they were done selling it already.

                      So sad as chai is my absolute favorite type of tea! And pumpkin chai just sounds amazing!!

                    2. re: jujuthomas

                      We always stock up on those. Sometimes the salted caramels disappear very quickly. They are great to bring to parties.

                      1. re: knowspicker

                        are they in stores yet?

                        1. re: jujuthomas

                          Nope, they will (if they're being offered again this year) show up in November with the rest of the Christmas stuff.

                          1. re: Rilke

                            thanks. now that I am thinking about them, I really want some! ;)

                      2. re: jujuthomas

                        Are these the ones in the blue flat box? I didn't care for those.

                        1. re: Leepa

                          I'm not remembering the box exactly, it may have been blue. they had sea salt sprinkled on top of them.

                          1. re: jujuthomas

                            It was a flat blue box that was about 5" x 7" or so. They did have the salt sprinkled on top.

                        2. re: jujuthomas

                          Just a note: in the past, the dark chocolate covered caramels with sea salt have had a faint but noticeable coconut flavor from the coconut oil. Some people find this objectionable and others don't, or don't notice it, so check the ingredients.

                          1. re: Ruth Lafler

                            I think that was my problem with them. I was seriously not impressed.

                            1. re: Ruth Lafler

                              interesting, i don't remember noticing a coconut flavor - if I had tasted coconut I would not have liked them. :)

                          2. I have a thing for the Lebkuchen. Panettone is always a good bet. And the fried onions they release for green bean casserole are AWESOME.

                            5 Replies
                            1. re: Savour

                              +1 on the fried onions...MUCH better than the other famous fried onion pieces on the market.

                              1. re: littleflower

                                Oh goodness, don't say that. I can eat a whole jar of the regular brand--if I ever had one--so I can only imagine TJ's if they are better.

                              2. re: Savour

                                ditto on the lebkuchen. i actually prefer the non-chocolate covered version.

                                1. re: alkapal

                                  Me too. I can't resist picking up a package every time I go to Trader Joe's (which is probably 1 x a week)

                                  1. re: Savour

                                    Me too.

                              3. Pumpkin Spice coffee. Bought one can when it was being sampled last year (before Thanksgiving, maybe before Halloween), decided to go back and get more and they said it had sold out in less than seven days. It tastes like Christmas and has no calories. Bought other coffees named pumpkin spice and none were as good as the TJ brand.

                                5 Replies
                                1. re: Cathy

                                  FAR better than their pumpkin spice coffee (or anybody's) is to brew up a cup of your favorite coffee (Aeropress brewed for me!) and add a dash of TJ's pumpkin spices. It has the fresh pumpkin spice taste with no chemical hints, and the coffee is as good as you want to make it!

                                  1. re: drmoze

                                    Just adding pumpkin spice to coffee is different than the TJ coffee flavor (which is not chemical); I've tried making my own coffee to match, tinkered with the level of pumpkin spice, adding what I thought was missing (an orange peel component) and have purchased other brands of 'pumpkin spice' coffee. Nothing is the same as the TJ version (which sold out in seven days, again.). At least I got two cans this time...

                                  2. re: Cathy

                                    Loved the pumpkin coffee last year. Bought Aldi's pumpkin coffee a few weeks ago and I love it

                                    1. re: cheesecake17

                                      The pumpkin coffee was sold out before October 10; I got the last two cans at 'my' TJs.

                                      I have tried other brands, which were not the same (there is an orange peel sort of flavor in the TJ version)...but have not tried Aldi. Asking Mom to pick up one on her next trip. Thanks!

                                      1. re: Cathy

                                        The French vanilla coffee at Aldi's is outrageous too

                                  3. not necessarily an item to be 'hunted' for but i'm always fond of the baking items that are seasonal. i saw that they got the Organic Powdered Sugar back and looking forward to seeing what else they'll carry this year. I love the Advent calendar as well.
                                    Year before last, i truly enjoyed the Winter Spice Coffee. This last year not so much. I felt the coffee they used was too weak. hope it improves this year.

                                    1. Hands down, my favorite purchase last year were the Peppermint Pretzel Slims. They were cleared of their stock in just a week and did not return the rest of the season.

                                      Always a favorite are the Peppermint Joe-Joe's, and loved this dark chocolate cake with peppermint flavored icing that they had in their stores. Honestly, I get sick of seeing pumpkin products by mid-November and am happy to see the peppermint items coming in!

                                      1. The Sipping Chocolate - alongside the other cocoas - is high-quality and intense. I hope random-weight chunks of white chocolate return; ditto the white chocolate chips.

                                        14 Replies
                                        1. re: greygarious

                                          I was so excited to see TJ’s sipping chocolate today, but then I compared the ingredients to last year’s. Uh Oh!! Looks like they have downgraded their ingredients terribly!!

                                          Last year’s: cocoa powder, cane sugar, chocolate liquor, cocoa butter.
                                          This year’s: sugar, cocoa processed with alkali, natural flavor (soy), salt.

                                          Now I’m going to return mine and complain. Why did they have to mess with a good thing?

                                          1. re: JPChow

                                            probably different supplier.

                                            1. re: JPChow

                                              I just bought some at the Nashua NH store and it's last year's ingredients.

                                              1. re: rizzo0904

                                                Was it listed under the name of "Sipping Chocolate and /or what brand name? Wonder if the Nashua NH store does mail order? Thanks!

                                                1. re: Mizc4u

                                                  I'll have to check when I get home but I'm pretty sure it said sipping chocolate

                                              2. re: JPChow

                                                I held onto my can of sipping chocolate from last year and was excited to see it back when my son noticed the chocolate liquore was missing. When we asked about the different missing liquore and mgr. said she didn't think it had it in it. Took my can back and showed her and she was very surprised.

                                                1. re: Mizc4u

                                                  I haven't tried this years sipping although the mgr. asked me to let her know how it was.

                                                2. re: JPChow

                                                  Have you tasted this years version? I just bought some and now reading your post....

                                                  1. re: JPChow

                                                    I picked some up today at the Knoxville, TN store (tiny place that it is.) The sipping chocolate here is "cocoa powder, cane sugar, chocolate liquor, cocoa butter". Wonder why yours was different? (I was tempted by the peppermint hot chocolate next to it, but since it had a higher price tag and less volume, I decided to stick with the sipping chocolate and add my own peppermint flavor.)

                                                    1. re: JPChow

                                                      Oakland, CA - Sipping Chocolate contains last year's ingredients. Weird.

                                                      1. re: chompy

                                                        Which TJ's in Oakland did you find it?

                                                        1. re: Mizc4u

                                                          Lakeshore. I bought it a few weeks ago, when I first noticed it on the shelf.

                                                          1. re: chompy

                                                            Thanks, I'll see if the Pinole one has it.

                                                      2. re: JPChow

                                                        My store (in Falls Church VA) initially had the new ingredient sipping chocolate but I went today and noticed that they have returned to last year's ingredients. I am wondering if it's due to complaints. I have an unopened canister of the "new" ingredient chocolate which I may return/exchange.

                                                    2. I love the Candy Cane Green Tea. I try to stock up for the rest of the year, but it's so delicious it only lasts week a couple of months.

                                                      11 Replies
                                                      1. re: gator28

                                                        Is that already out? I tried the cinnamon tea but didn't care for it.

                                                        1. re: GraceW

                                                          I don't think it's out yet. I'm hoping early November!

                                                        2. re: gator28

                                                          That Candy Cane Green Tea.is da bomb. Cute packaging too

                                                          1. re: gator28

                                                            Candy Cane Green Tea is my favorite! Last year, I gave it out as a christmas gift (accompanied by homemade cookies). I have been anxiously awaiting the tea's return, because I only have two bags left, but it probably won't be around until Thanksgiving.

                                                            1. re: Megbeck

                                                              I saw it today in Indianapolis with the regular peppermint Jo-Jo's...its beginning to look a lot like Christmas and I love that!

                                                            2. re: gator28

                                                              yes Candy Cane Green tea... the best taste as well as armoma

                                                              1. re: gator28

                                                                what does candy cane green tea taste like?

                                                                1. re: alkapal

                                                                  Amazing. It's not too sweet, not artifical tasting. Try it!

                                                                2. re: gator28

                                                                  if you run out of your TJ's stash, Celestial Seasonings makes it and you can usually find it year-round

                                                                  1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                    No way! I will definitely look for it.

                                                                  2. re: gator28

                                                                    I just bought some to try, thanks for the suggestion.

                                                                  3. Every year I look forward to the chocolate covered shortbread stars. Last year they sold out really fast, so this year I'm going to be ready!

                                                                    10 Replies
                                                                    1. re: Ruth Lafler

                                                                      Oh they are good. Going to the store every week or so, would see the end display of them shrink dramatically!

                                                                      1. re: Ruth Lafler

                                                                        are those in stores now, ruth?

                                                                        1. re: alkapal

                                                                          Haven't seen them -- I think they won't be out until close to Christmas (although with the blue package and the stars, I always think of them as being for Hannukah). I'll report back when I do.

                                                                          1. re: Ruth Lafler

                                                                            Our favorite Hanukkah cookies. Addicting.

                                                                            1. re: Ruth Lafler

                                                                              i've seen them in my store (saw them in there today). I'm in Mount Pleasant, SC. I actually still have some that i vacuum sealed from last year and they still taste good!!

                                                                            2. re: alkapal

                                                                              the chocolate-covered shortbread stars are npw in my tj's in northern virginia.

                                                                              1. re: alkapal

                                                                                Thanks! I'm heading for TJ's tonight, will have to stock up!

                                                                                1. re: Ruth Lafler

                                                                                  Three boxes! Yay!

                                                                                  1. re: Ruth Lafler

                                                                                    do you freeze some? do they sell out early so one needs to stock up? or do you just plow through three boxes in a jiffy? LOL

                                                                                    1. re: alkapal

                                                                                      Last year the sold out early, so this year I stocked up. Beachgallisa says she vacuum sealed them. Because they are chocolate coated the keep pretty well. I might try freezing a few to see if its feasible.

                                                                          2. I'm waiting fir the Peeled & Cooked Chestnuts from the French Ardeche region. Harvested in early Autumn. IIRC they're available any week now... saves a lot of time when making turkey dressing/stuffing and other must have holiday savory dishes. Tasty, too.

                                                                            4 Replies
                                                                            1. re: Gio

                                                                              I've been hoarding a package of these in my freezer since last Thanksgiving. However, I recently found roasted and peeled chestnuts at a much lower price from Costco, so I'll be doing a comparison - I'm interested to see if the TJ's ones are worth the extra $$$.

                                                                              1. re: biondanonima

                                                                                Please do let us know the result of your research!

                                                                                1. re: biondanonima

                                                                                  I've not had the TJs chestnuts but I snagged a bag at Costco and I thought they were great! They are, however, are a product of China if that concerns you.. certified organic "in compliance with the terms of the US-Canada Organic Equivalency Agreement."

                                                                                2. re: Gio

                                                                                  Got our first box of the chestnuts this past Saturday at our local TJ's. (Saugus MA)

                                                                                3. I hope to see a return of the fresh Brussels sprouts on the stalk. If memory serves, they were around for most of last Nov/Dec, and were only $3.99 for what amounted to a couple of quarts of them. Not to mention that with a little extra work, the spikes and stalk itself can be steamed and, peeled for more delicious eating.

                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                  1. re: greygarious

                                                                                    The Trader Joe's in Westbury, NY had them this weekend - they didn't look great, though (stalks were wilty and lots of brown leaves), and didn't seem like a bargain in comparison to the 2 lb bags from Costco.

                                                                                  2. This Serious Eats post (Taste Test: (Almost) Every Pumpkin-Flavored Item at Trader Joe's)seemed relevant to post here:

                                                                                    http://www.seriouseats.com/2012/10/tr...

                                                                                    1. Peppermint extract is in! Wish they would stock that vanilla paste they had one year. The Nielsen-Massey brand is so pricey!

                                                                                      3 Replies
                                                                                      1. re: ohmyyum

                                                                                        I found Lorann Gourmet Madagscar Vanilla Paste at a HomeGoods near me. 118mls for 5.99.
                                                                                        I haven't tried it yet, but I'm sure it's good. Great price in case you check out the gourmet isle.

                                                                                        www.saffron215.blogspot.com

                                                                                        1. re: mcel215

                                                                                          Ditto - I get my vanilla bean paste (sometimes Nielsen-Massey, sometimes Lorann) at TJ Maxx or Ross stores! Can't beat $5.99!

                                                                                          1. re: littlemrslarge

                                                                                            :)

                                                                                            www.saffron215.blogspot.com

                                                                                      2. Peppermint Hot Chocolate and all natural Turkey Broth were spotted in the new items section! Have yet to try either of these...has anyone tried them in years past that can yay/nay them?

                                                                                        1. has anyone seen the turkey gravy in the shelf-stable cartons (tetra paks) yet? it's not a mix- just heat and serve. I shop in Washington State and Oregon.

                                                                                          to OP GraceW - we recommend this product - even if you add some of the juices from your roast bird - it makes the gravy go further.

                                                                                          i also like the corn bread mix - it has kernels of corn in it - it is sort of seasonal if you make your own bird dressing (stuffing)

                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                          1. re: Georgia Strait

                                                                                            The turkey gravy you are speaking of is in our store in the Mid-Atlantic as well as the turkey broth.

                                                                                          2. SPICED CIDER! It is one of the best selling seasonal items. I thought it was very very sweet.. What kind of liquor would pair best with this for a cocktail? Rum?

                                                                                            2 Replies
                                                                                            1. re: ohmyyum

                                                                                              Try Tuaca with the warm cider.

                                                                                              1. re: ohmyyum

                                                                                                They were sampling the cider tonight -- pretty good. They were also sampling the turkey gravy with turkey and spinach gratin -- pretty yummy.

                                                                                              2. I love the Pepper Jelly - great for sandwiches! It's in store now; I just bought a few jars.

                                                                                                1. Cany Cane Coal... little nuggets of peppermint candy (about the size of Nerds) covered with dark chocolate. Mmmm! Everyone on my list got these in their stockings last year.

                                                                                                  2 Replies
                                                                                                  1. re: iluvcookies

                                                                                                    The Candy Cane Coal was tasty and a great buy, too...if memory serves me correctly it was only .99 or 1.99 I believe. Perfect stocking stuffer!

                                                                                                    1. re: littleflower

                                                                                                      I just bought some of these as well for stockings, $1.99.

                                                                                                  2. Last year, they came out with a line of pre-made, refrigerated side dishes. Mostly traditional stuff that you would serve at Thanksgiving or Xmas. The stuffing was divine and sold out super fast. I really hope they bring it back this year. I will buy as much as I think I can possibly eat.

                                                                                                    The scalloped potatoes were flavorless, though. So I won't be trying those again.

                                                                                                    6 Replies
                                                                                                    1. re: Jelly71

                                                                                                      The brussels sprouts were good. Though they contained so much cheese they were barely recognizable as vegetables.

                                                                                                      1. re: Jelly71

                                                                                                        What kind of stuffing was it - cornbread or a traditional bread stuffing? Sounds good whatever it is, will have to keep my eyes peeled for it.

                                                                                                        1. re: littleflower

                                                                                                          I think it might have been cornbread, but I could be wrong. All I remember is that it was really, really good.

                                                                                                          1. re: Jelly71

                                                                                                            I do not think I have even had cornbread stuffing (is that good?). I hope it is cornbread stuffing. :)

                                                                                                            1. re: GraceW

                                                                                                              surely, grace, you have been deprived of one of the glories of the southern holiday table -- cornbread stuffing (or as many of us call it, cornbread dressing -- because we don't stuff the bird).

                                                                                                              i will keep an eye out for the trader joe's easy version (*), because sometimes i like a turkey and dressing dinner (with cranberry sauce) way before turkey day. usually, though, i like those fixin's in a sandwich!

                                                                                                              * really, though, there isn't much easier to make than cornbread dressing.

                                                                                                        2. re: Jelly71

                                                                                                          The side dishes are available now!! The stuffing was almost gone when I went this weekend, but I managed to snag 2 packages. It is just as good as last year.

                                                                                                        3. oh! i almost forgot until i saw it on the shelf today. White baking chips aka white chocolate chips. I know most people don't enjoy white chocolate but i love mixing them with regular chips in cookies. mmmm....i'm looking forward to using them with the peppermint extract somehow in a cookie.

                                                                                                          3 Replies
                                                                                                          1. re: trolley

                                                                                                            i love those white chips in the cookies with macadamia nuts.

                                                                                                            1. re: trolley

                                                                                                              The TJ chips ARE real white chocolate chips. Baking chips is the euphemism for the stuff without cocoa butter that is sold in regular supermarkets.

                                                                                                              1. re: greygarious

                                                                                                                yes they are! however, on the package it says "white baking chips"

                                                                                                            2. At the TJ's in Santa Rosa, CA last night they had the turkey gravy in tetrapacks, and the turkey broth. And lots of pumpkin goodies including the famous pumpkin butter. But, in the freezer section were pumpkin macaroons. They are outrageously good!

                                                                                                              12 Replies
                                                                                                              1. re: Kathleen M

                                                                                                                TJ's by me on Saturday: friendly TJ employee asks what I'm looking for. Pumpkin yogurt? Out for the year. Pumpkin macarons? Out for the year

                                                                                                                Damn. Didn't even get a chance to try either...

                                                                                                                1. re: coney with everything

                                                                                                                  The pumpkin yogurt is done?! They've never had it, only an empty shelf

                                                                                                                  1. re: cheesecake17

                                                                                                                    Yeah, I don't know why they bother to stick it in the FF if the quantities are that limited.

                                                                                                                    1. re: coney with everything

                                                                                                                      That is weird. Trader Joes just had its grand opening on Friday here in NC and they were out of both by Friday afternoon. They got more in on the truck today and they're both back on the shelf!

                                                                                                                      1. re: coney with everything

                                                                                                                        There was still a lot Friday at my store (which is in Pasadena -- TJ's ground zero if you will)

                                                                                                                      2. re: cheesecake17

                                                                                                                        i honestly don't think you missed much. the yogurt was tart and had that chalky after taste/mouthfeel you get with some greek nonfat yogurts. the pumpkin flavor wasn't too pronounced and it wasn't sweet enough. i'm not a huge fan of overly sweetened yogurts but this one needed either more fat or sugar, heck maybe both.

                                                                                                                        1. re: trolley

                                                                                                                          Thanks for making me feel a bit better. I'll stick with my Kirkland plain Greek yogurt

                                                                                                                          1. re: cheesecake17

                                                                                                                            Kirland plain greek yogurts is good? Do tell. I'm looking for a good alternative.

                                                                                                                            Thx!

                                                                                                                            1. re: Leepa

                                                                                                                              It's packed in 2 large tubs for $6.99. We love it. Thick and cramy but not chalky. I eat it plain, with fruit and honey, or mixed with cucumbers and mint. My daughter likes it mixed with oatmeal.

                                                                                                                          2. re: trolley

                                                                                                                            trolley, I know exactly what you mean about the chalkiness of some yogurts. I know the pumpkin yogurt had gotten mixed reviews but figured what the heck, I'd give it a go.

                                                                                                                            Truly sad about the macarons, though.

                                                                                                                            Ohmyyum, how's your life now that you have a TJs?

                                                                                                                            1. re: coney with everything

                                                                                                                              yeah, what the heck, give it a try. i did too and i'm a greek yogurt hater. i know, know, not a very popular group to be in but i find most of them, especially the nonfat kind to have that chalky taste i don't care for. then you go to full fat greek yogurt and with the fat and the sugar i'd rather be eating something else. i'm a huge fan of Noosa yogurt which isn't carried by TJ's.

                                                                                                                              However, i do enjoy the lowfat organic yogurts at TJ's that come in a narrower plastic tub.

                                                                                                                        2. re: coney with everything

                                                                                                                          Update: the TJ dude was wrong. I got the pumpkin macarons this weekend. Pretty good!

                                                                                                                      3. Has anyone tried the boxed peppermint chocolate loaf mix? Sounds good but I'd like to hear opinions before purchasing.

                                                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                                                        1. re: yummfood

                                                                                                                          but if you hate it, they'll give you your money back...

                                                                                                                        2. checkerboard cake with chocolate and vanilla mousse in the refridgerated section with the cakes

                                                                                                                          1. has anyone seen the peppermint salt water taffy at Trader Joe's this holiday season?

                                                                                                                            1. finally got up to TJs last night! we had such fun picking up seasonal treats for gifts and for ourselves. Seasonal Jojos were of course at the top of my list. We got several boxes and bars of chocolates, and the peppermint sipping chocolate. The friends we were with got pumpkin ice cream and the pumpkin greek yogurt. we were like kids in a candy store, LOL.

                                                                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                                                                              1. re: jujuthomas

                                                                                                                                TJs: candy store for grown-ups!

                                                                                                                              2. Puff pastry in the frozen section. I've made my own, but it's really nice to have a quicker version from the store that uses real butter and nothing artificial. I'm stocking up on and freezing several packages this year to have it on hand as long as possible.

                                                                                                                                1. I found the perfect gift for chocolate-lovers: the Chocolate Passport, a collection of 63-70% single-origin dark chocolate bars packaged beautifully and colorfully in its own box set. I haven't eaten any bars as I've wrapped the whole Passport already to gift to my good friend. I found it above the frozen cases where all the other holiday candy and gift sets were! So festive.

                                                                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                                                                  1. re: acetaminophen

                                                                                                                                    I saw these as well and they have a beautiful presentation. Ended up not getting any, but I think they would make a really nice gift to a chocolate lover.

                                                                                                                                  2. i spotted the Astounding Multi-Flavored chocolate covered Jo Jos here in Los Angeles yesterday. i can't eat them myself, but Mom & Sis were completely addicted last year. i called them immediately to let them know :)

                                                                                                                                    2 Replies
                                                                                                                                    1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                                                                                      we broke open the box of Astounding Multi-Flavored chocolate covered Jo Jos at my mother's this weekend. I'm going to have to pick up a couple more boxes for later in the season, before they sell out. YUM

                                                                                                                                      1. re: jujuthomas

                                                                                                                                        i bought a box last year on a whim toward the end of the season, and the two of them were hooked at first bite...unfortunately i was only able to find one more box before they disappeared from the shelves. definitely stock up - i've been told they freeze well, so Mom & Sis have both vowed to buy many, many boxes & stash them away :)

                                                                                                                                    2. Man, this thread is dangerous, just came home with a few bags of suggested items to try and to gift!

                                                                                                                                      1. Candy cane green tea- love this, much better than the supermarket mint tea.
                                                                                                                                      2. Peppermint pretzel slims
                                                                                                                                      3. Dark chocolate covered peppermint joe joes
                                                                                                                                      4. Dark chocolate sea salt caramels
                                                                                                                                      5. Candy cane joe joes
                                                                                                                                      6. Dark chocolate covered shortbread stars.

                                                                                                                                      All siting on my kitchen table...can't decide which to try first.....while I was at the store passed a woman with a cart full of the caramels and stars!

                                                                                                                                      3 Replies
                                                                                                                                      1. re: geminigirl

                                                                                                                                        Just got the Peppermint Pretzel Slims yesterday - unbelievable. It's a little spendy for a small bag, but holy cow they were good.

                                                                                                                                        1. re: geminigirl

                                                                                                                                          The stars are SO good. My husband and I were remarking that they must put some sort of addictive substance in here. I normally have restraint with cookies, but I have very difficult time with the stars.

                                                                                                                                          1. re: tazia

                                                                                                                                            I look forward to the stars every year. I think what makes them appealing is that they use a decent-quality dark chocolate that's barely sweet, so you mostly get the chocolate flavor and the crunchy cookie texture (plus the little bursts of crunchy sweetness from the nonpariels).

                                                                                                                                        2. Picked up two of my annual holiday favorites today: Gingerbread Coffee and the Popcorn Tin, which contains olive oil, white cheddar, caramel, and kettle corn varieties.

                                                                                                                                          1. Rye Mini Toasts - These are my all-time favorite salad croutons, and they're cost effective, to boot.
                                                                                                                                            The supply dwindled around early March 2012, so I'm sandbagging my support system now.
                                                                                                                                            (in soup? meh.)
                                                                                                                                            ...Lorenzo

                                                                                                                                            1. The red pepper jelly. Wish they had it year round.

                                                                                                                                              2 Replies
                                                                                                                                              1. re: shaebones

                                                                                                                                                hoard it, shaebones! it is so good, i agree. over a log of goat cheese, on a sandwich, stirred with some of the (also-hoardable) hot and sweet mustard and used as a glaze for pork tenderloin or chops, or chicken. yum! i pick up six jars of each to use all year.

                                                                                                                                                1. re: chez cherie

                                                                                                                                                  Is it different from the other red pepper jellies out there?

                                                                                                                                              2. wait and see - Gingerbread House Kit. Made in Germany, the land of Hansel and Gretel. Assembly required.

                                                                                                                                                I'm posting now to warn that the kit doesn't include everything you need; no ready-made icing, you provide one egg white and some lemon juice or vinegar to add to the powdered sugar making the "cement," and a pastry bag is recommended - no problem there, it's easily made with a Baggie, just cut off a corner. And the instructions on the back of the box are minimal, with no diagrams - you just follow the pictures on the box cover, which only show the front and one side of the completed house.

                                                                                                                                                So I'm going to put it together at home, or try to. If I can do it, then I'll buy another and take it to the family Christmas where my 6- and 3-year-old nieces can see the process and maybe do the decorating themselves. If not, then I'll just eat the thing. :-)

                                                                                                                                                2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                1. re: John Francis

                                                                                                                                                  I am not sure if they have had these before but it was the first time seeing them at my location-lots of goodies to put in gift baskets (or just get for yourself like I did!):

                                                                                                                                                  pack of 4 different flavored sea salts (edible flower, lemon and bay leaf, jerk, smoke)
                                                                                                                                                  black truffle infused olive oil
                                                                                                                                                  pack of 4 French mustards (all very good!)

                                                                                                                                                  all very reasonable prices too

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: John Francis

                                                                                                                                                    The gingerbread house kit defeated me. Sticking the parts together is easy enough, once you've made the icing. But the decoration is what it's all about, and I messed that up for sure - no talent at all in that line. So I took it apart to eat it, and found the gingerbread was so hard I needed a serrated knife or a cleaver to cut it up - and then it didn't taste that great. So it's a nay from me.

                                                                                                                                                  2. I've read the raves here for peppermint Joe Joe's and today, I caved. I hate you people.

                                                                                                                                                    5 Replies
                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Terrie H.

                                                                                                                                                      They really are terrific, aren't they???

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: IndyGirl

                                                                                                                                                        Thank god they aren't available for the rest of the year.

                                                                                                                                                      2. re: Terrie H.

                                                                                                                                                        Wow, what a coincidence, I just opened my first box, so good, the first thing I thought of was that these would make really good Oreo truffles!

                                                                                                                                                        Edit, oops, I opened the candy cane joe joes, haven't opened my chocolate covered peppermint ones yet....

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: geminigirl

                                                                                                                                                          Danger -- Step away from the cookies.

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Terrie H.

                                                                                                                                                            I get e-mails from Sprout's and they now have a candy cane creme cookie that sounds suspiciously like the candy cane joe joe's. Somewhere I saw if you are on facebook you can go to Sprout's facebook page and get a coupon for a discount on a box of the cookies. I'm not on facebook and finding Sprout's facebook's wall page isn't that easy to find.

                                                                                                                                                      3. I had to NOT buy these when I was in a few days ago, but I will later when I can have a few and then hand the box off to a friend: dark chocolate-covered triple ginger snaps, box of ~15 for $2.99.

                                                                                                                                                        I also like that around the holidays they have a small bag of dark chocolate peanut butter cups for 99 cents, because I can't have the tubs around.

                                                                                                                                                        2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                                                                                                                          Caitlin I would buy them now and then lock them in your trunk or something because my store sold out of them yesterday (along with the dk choc peppermint joe joe's a week ago) and they are now listed as "done for season/not orderable"

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: ohmyyum

                                                                                                                                                            Good idea! I'll try to pick them up soon.

                                                                                                                                                        2. Almond Snowman Cookies (way better than almond windmill cookies)

                                                                                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                          1. re: amyatlast

                                                                                                                                                            i wish you hadn't said that.

                                                                                                                                                            ;-).

                                                                                                                                                          2. did anyone get the flavored olive oils? the guy told me that they got very few in, and then those were gone in a flash.

                                                                                                                                                            get the flavored mustards. really, really good. good for gifting, too.

                                                                                                                                                            1. The stollen is back, made in Germany. Very welcome.

                                                                                                                                                              1. Hello, all. Thanks again for all of the holiday suggestions! With respect to 'holidays 2012,' my top-pick ended-up being the dark chocolate covered shortbread stars.

                                                                                                                                                                (And the holiday selection made me think that Trader Joe's could make a ton of money if they did a Christmas-in-July offering of the products..)

                                                                                                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                1. re: GraceW

                                                                                                                                                                  Those were very good, and make a nice gift when you put them in a pretty gift bag....I was flattered that some even thought I made them:)...

                                                                                                                                                                  My favorite was the pepermint pretzel thins....very addicting for a salt lover! Also the candy cane green tea, I have way too much as I couldn't gift it away as I had planned....keeping it for myself, I think it will make good cold sweet tea in the summer!

                                                                                                                                                                  Oh, and almost forgot to mention I am making "Oreo balls" with the candy cane joe joes, the batter is in the fridge but haven't yet dipped them in the white chocolate, I think they are going to be amazing!