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Trader Joe's--Best Holiday/Seasonal Items--2013

If and when you find any **seasonal/holiday items** at Trader Joe's to be an excellent YAY.. or a waste: NAY, let us know. (Please use the regular monthly threads to review all other products; only holiday/seasonal items, thanks!)

Last year's thread..
http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/870454

Thanks to Littleflower for reminding me.. it is September, and it is time to hunt down the new products!

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  1. Yay for the pumpkin bagels. I have been enjoying them lightly toasted with butter. I tried them with the pumpkin cream cheese, but the two just didn't jive for whatever reason. Now what to do with the cream cheese . . .

    6 Replies
    1. re: Rilke

      Is the cream cheese a Yay on its own? Or perhaps on plain toasted bread? I am considering buying it...

      1. re: buzzardbreath

        It is a yay, but it does live up to its name of "cream cheese spread" rather than just cream cheese. It's somewhere between cream cheese and yogurt in consistency. But yes, I do like it on plain toast, particularly Ezekiel bread.

        1. re: Rilke

          What about a pumpkin cream cheese danish?

        2. re: buzzardbreath

          i liked their pumpkin cream cheese, but then i had an idea! why not take the canned pumpkin, and the light Trader Joe's cream cheese (not the pumpkin cream cheese), add them together in whatever amounts you want with some additional yummies like pumpkin pie spice, cinnamon or ???

          voila!! Your own concoction of pumpkin cream cheese. I've started doing it with everything (pumpkin yogurt, etc. )....

          so now i need to load up on the canned pumpkin so i'll have it for later in the year when it is not around :-)

        3. re: Rilke

          Maybe use it to spice up some savoury scones? I think pumpkin and rosemary go well together, personally.

          1. re: Rilke

            Those pumpkin bagels must be toasted and eaten still hot! I tried a chunk out of the bag and hated it, but the texture and flavor was waaaaayyy better toasted
            So, yay hot
            Nay, not hot

          2. Lots of new yummy bad for you stuff is heading our way. Can't wait to try the assortment of salted caramels and chocolate baking chunks.

            3 Replies
              1. re: Rilke

                LOL...your comment echoes mine, Rilke - one word...wow. Can't wait to try those!!!

                1. re: littleflower

                  Me too! Also be on the lookout for a dark chocolate pretzel & toffee bark and the Baci chocolates are supposed to be back (at least in our region: NCA) this year.

            1. Yay: Pumpkin Croissants. Light, not too heavy filling. Good mix of pumpkin and spice.
              Nay: Pumpkin Macarons. Mushy weird flavor.

              1. A friend called yesterday to tell me she saw the maple walnut blondies at the SF Soma store. There was one package on the shelf. I'll be making a trip this weekend.

                11 Replies
                1. re: Frosty Melon

                  Is this a mix or prepared item in the bakery?

                  1. re: GraceW

                    Prepared, in the section with brownies & cupcakes. 4 to a package if memory serves. They also sell a mix, but I want them pre-made.

                  2. re: Frosty Melon

                    I spotted them at my Scottsdale AZ store today - a package of 4 was $3.99, kinda pricey IMO.

                    1. re: HeyImBack

                      Yes they are. And worth every penny IMO. I cut each one into 2 pieces, they're on the rich/decadent side.

                      1. re: HeyImBack

                        Oh but they are so good. And I think they are a great deal because my local bakery charges $4.50 per blondie and theirs aren't as good as the TJ's maple walnut.

                        You can certainly cut them in half, and they freeze well too.

                        1. re: ohmyyum

                          $4.50 per blondie? that's just had to imagine! what chutzpah!

                      2. re: Frosty Melon

                        Oh they are soooo good! You're absolutely right (below) when you say they can be cut in 2. They're too rich to eat a whole one.

                        (or maybe above)

                        1. re: Frosty Melon

                          Those maple walnut brownies are the devil! Saw them today along with some peppermint brownies but I passed them up (this time) for two bags of pumpkin bagels that I have not been able to secure for a month. To me the pumpkin bagels taste best with unsalted butter rather than cream cheese. Dang! Now I want a bagel right now.

                          1. re: givemecarbs

                            They're called maple walnut blondies. They do have white chocolate, but no other chocolate. I've put the ingredient list in my cookbook for a future project to replicate them.

                            1. re: greygarious

                              The blondies have white chocolate? I haven't seen or tasted it in the ones I've bought.

                              1. re: Frosty Melon

                                I don't see it either, but I think it's the cocoa butter that gives them that moist, dense interior.

                        2. i just bought the set of three flavored olive oils for $9.99, and am anxious to try them. the customer service guy said they sold out before the holidays last year, as people bought them for hostess gifts and ended up without a set of their own. ;-).

                          2 Replies
                            1. re: Frosty Melon

                              basil, red pepper (? -- something red and hot) and lemon.