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

GraceW Oct 1, 2013 03:51 PM

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..

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

  1. b
    Bax Dec 31, 2013 11:40 PM

    The Triple Ginger Brew is seasonal?!?! Evidently, according to someone at my local TJ's. Ridiculous. BAH.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Bax
      ohmyyum Jan 1, 2014 07:40 AM

      Yup. I share in your extreme disappointment. Had I known, I would have bought a case or two. Exceptional stuff. Hope they will make it a regular offering.

    2. h
      HeyImBack Dec 22, 2013 06:25 PM

      Big Yay to the chocolate Kona coffee truffles. Excellent quality and the creamy coffee filing is delicious.

      1. janethepain Dec 22, 2013 09:03 AM

        MEH to the mini chocolate-peppermint topped mini waffle cookies. The waffle cookie part is more like a wafer with no flavor. Pass.

        1. greygarious Dec 18, 2013 09:26 PM

          Last year a friend in Charlotte mentioned liking the Chocolate Peppermint Loaf Cake mix, but I never saw it here in the Boston area. I did see it this year, but have not made the loaf cake. Instead, I added an egg, a stick of butter (melted), and a little water, to make cookies which I topped before baking with the TJ peppermint bark baking chips I bought a year ago but never used. The cookie version is very good.

          1 Reply
          1. re: greygarious
            foodiefan6 Jan 12, 2014 06:56 PM

            Finally tried the Chocolate Peppermint Loaf Cake mix I picked up weeks ago. It's a meh for me. Nothing special, loaf texture was a bit dry (even with butter) and boring until you hit a spot with a chunk of chocolate (not often enoough). Better to get your chocolate-peppermint fix via the chocolate covered peppermint joe-joe cookies.

          2. The Oracle Dec 18, 2013 09:32 AM

            NAY - Cranberry Prosecco - I think the label is "Secco". Great concept - but WAY too sweet. If it had more alcohol and less sweet, it would be a hit!

            1. Antilope Dec 16, 2013 09:55 PM

              YAY..We recently bought some Trader Joe's "Candy Cane Joe-Joe's". They look like Oreo's but have crushed peppermint candy canes in the cream filling. We found them at our local Trader Joe's in Roseville, CA. We really liked the cookies.

              Here's a link showing the box at Amazon.

              Trader Joe's Candy Cane Joe-Joe's cookies (looks like Oreos)


              1 Reply
              1. re: Antilope
                HeyImBack Dec 17, 2013 10:20 AM

                Those aren't new; they have them every year and they are awesome. I like to add them when I make brownies - people go nuts over them.

              2. fldhkybnva Dec 16, 2013 01:33 PM

                Yay - chocolate covered ginger. Dangeorus Yay!

                1 Reply
                1. re: fldhkybnva
                  Caitlin McGrath Dec 16, 2013 02:58 PM

                  That's not holiday/seasonal, it's available year-round, which makes it more dangerous!

                2. fldhkybnva Dec 13, 2013 11:01 AM

                  FYI if you like the fried onions, load up! I inhaled the last of the stock last week and wanted to buy more to hide for use throughout the year. I didn't see the large pile at the front of the store so asked an employee who told me they were out of stock for the season. Fortunately, I found a few cans on the shelf but I imagine they might be the last.

                  Also, my store is out of the mini chocolate star cookies. I'm bummed, never got to try them.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: fldhkybnva
                    coney with everything Dec 16, 2013 05:06 AM

                    Yeah, I was looking for the peppermint stars everyone raved about, and they are gone

                    I did try the eggnog ice cream (god help me, I do like eggnog!) and while I liked it, it is intense and worked out better in an eggnog milkshake. The milk helped to tone down the sweetness.

                    1. re: coney with everything
                      fldhkybnva Dec 16, 2013 07:54 AM

                      Oh super sweet? Eeek, I can only o most ice cream in small bites because I have a very small sweet tooth. I guess I'll try it but sounds like it might be much for me.

                  2. The Oracle Dec 13, 2013 10:21 AM

                    FIG BUTTER - has anyone tried this? The only fig spread I've tried is the Dalmatia brand... and I'm curious if they are similar!

                    16 Replies
                    1. re: The Oracle
                      chez cherie Dec 13, 2013 10:48 AM

                      i think the fig butter is great. haven't had the dalmatia in a while, but i think that is a big denser and seedier. the tj fig butter is not very seedy. i mixed it with chopped walnuts the other day and used it to fill savory thumbprint cookies with blue cheese in the dough. yum!

                      1. re: chez cherie
                        Harts52 Dec 13, 2013 10:54 AM

                        I have had a jar in my fridge for a year. I love it but don't find a use for it very often. I love the bleu cheese thumbprint idea! Do you have a link to a recipe for that dough Cherie ?

                        1. re: Harts52
                          chez cherie Dec 13, 2013 12:15 PM

                          in the spirit of holiday giving--from my holiday dinner party class at chez cherie. enjoy!
                          Fig Butter Buttons

                          1 cup flour
                          4 ounces butter, room temperature
                          4 ounces crumbled blue cheese
                          freshly ground black pepper
                          ½ cup fig butter
                          ¼ cup coarsely chopped walnuts

                          Preheat oven to 350°. In a food processor, combine the flour, butter, blue cheese and a few grinds of pepper. Pulse just until the dough begins to come together. Transfer to a floured surface and roll out ¼ inch thick. Cut
                          1 ½ inch rounds with a cookie cutter, and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet. (Dough can be re-rolled once to cut more rounds.) Using a teaspoon (or your finger) make a depression in the center of each dough round. Stir fig butter and walnuts together and spoon a small dollop of fig butter into each one. Bake 10-12 minutes, until dough is light brown. Cool on baking sheet 10 minutes before serving.

                          1. re: chez cherie
                            Harts52 Dec 13, 2013 12:24 PM

                            YAY!!!!!!! Thank you so much!!

                            1. re: Harts52
                              chez cherie Dec 13, 2013 12:33 PM

                              my pleasure. and to all a good night.

                        2. re: chez cherie
                          The Oracle Dec 18, 2013 09:31 AM

                          It's definitely a YAY. Price can't be beat, eater!

                          I finally opened it up - and your description, chez cherie, is spot on. Definitely less seedy. I thought TJ's version was a bit sweeter than Dalmatia.

                          I used it on a pizza - fig as the base, caramelized onions, prosciutto strips, and goat cheese.... YUM!

                          1. re: The Oracle
                            Harts52 Dec 18, 2013 11:56 AM

                            Omigosh, that sounds so good!

                            1. re: The Oracle
                              alkapal Dec 22, 2013 02:11 AM

                              those flavors make me think of a pizza done by the matchbox restaurant here in dc metro area -- using honey. really it is like a sweet-savory pizza. good for dessert, in my opinion. (like make a mini pizza "cup" and add some ice cream to the super hot pizza cup.)

                              their pizza: "prosciutto & black mission fig"
                              roasted garlic / mozzarella / gorgonzola / black pepper honey

                          2. re: The Oracle
                            AmyH Dec 13, 2013 11:06 AM

                            I love the fig butter and mix it in with plain yogurt for lunch.

                            1. re: AmyH
                              Harts52 Dec 13, 2013 11:20 AM

                              I'm always mixing jelly and jam with my yogurt....I don't know why I never thought to do it with this! Btw, their mango butter is as good as the fig.

                              1. re: Harts52
                                AmyH Dec 13, 2013 11:44 AM

                                I've never seen mango butter at TJ's. Is it seasonal? I did see an apple cranberry butter but wasn't sure how good it would be in yogurt. The pumpkin butter is amazing swirled into yogurt, though.

                                1. re: AmyH
                                  chez cherie Dec 13, 2013 12:16 PM

                                  mango butter is seasonal.

                                  1. re: AmyH
                                    Harts52 Dec 13, 2013 12:20 PM

                                    I don't know whether it's seasonal or not. I bought it at the same time as the fig butter but I don't have a clue as to when that was. Pumpkin butter yogurt sounds really good too!!

                                    1. re: Harts52
                                      AmyH Dec 13, 2013 12:23 PM

                                      I'll have to keep looking for it. Thanks!

                              2. re: The Oracle
                                Chris VR Dec 13, 2013 11:51 AM

                                I go through phases where breakfast every day is a piece of bread, spread with fig butter, topped with brie and broiled in the toaster oven. Hm. I may just feel one of those phases coming on...!

                                1. re: The Oracle
                                  RussTheRaccoon Dec 16, 2013 01:40 PM

                                  It's good and it's not seasonal, they have it year 'round.

                                2. m
                                  melentine Dec 11, 2013 01:08 AM

                                  I am extremely curious to try the Trio of Roasted Nut Oils. The price is fantastic, but I'm wondering about the quality and flavor. If anyone has tried these, please let me know!


                                  2 Replies
                                  1. re: melentine
                                    linguafood Dec 11, 2013 07:19 AM

                                    They taste great. I'm still planning on a blind test to see if I can really taste the difference between them.

                                    So far, I've used the walnut oil and the hazelnut oil in a vinaigrette, but can't say that I tasted a difference. They are nutty and have that toasted nut flavor, so I'm pretty happy.

                                    1. re: melentine
                                      RussTheRaccoon Dec 16, 2013 01:40 PM

                                      The quality is good. I have only used the walnut so far but will probably buy another trio. It seems to be La Tourangelle brand camouflaged.

                                    2. l
                                      lehickey Dec 10, 2013 03:33 PM

                                      I'm not sure if it's seasonal, but in Tacoma they have Brandy Beans-YUM. Unfortunately, I live in Ohio, and the TJs here can't sell them because of Ohio liquor laws.

                                      3 Replies
                                      1. re: lehickey
                                        Sloth Dec 16, 2013 01:23 PM

                                        Funny because in NY TJs can't sell alcohol other than beer yet they carry the brandy beans. Thank goodness because I like them a lot. And they are seasonal so grab 'em when you see them.

                                        1. re: Sloth
                                          fldhkybnva Dec 16, 2013 01:32 PM

                                          I think they are in the store here in Maryland too and no liquor at all can be sold :)

                                          1. re: fldhkybnva
                                            givemecarbs Dec 17, 2013 02:16 AM

                                            I wonder if there is hope for Penna as well. I'll check. A hound can dream.

                                      2. linguafood Dec 9, 2013 11:27 PM

                                        YAY for the Belgian dark chocolate.

                                        1. greygarious Dec 9, 2013 09:27 PM

                                          The NAY side of MEH as regards the Dark Chocolate Collection of assorted filled candies. The packaging is classy but from there, it's downhill. There are just 16 pieces (8 flavors) in the $6.99 box. I ate the citrus-filled ones first to get them out of the way, since I have never liked the combination of citrus and chocolate. I have my suspicions that the fillings were made from furniture polish and degreasing cleaner. The coconut one and the white-dark combo came next, then I chipped the salt off the caramel-filled one (don't get me started on the heinous trend of topping sweets with coarse salt). They, too, tasted artificial and cheap. Flashbacks of the dreaded Russell Stover assortments that were the default mail carrier gift of a lot of my postal route customers.

                                          This is the first time that I have been disappointed in a holiday chocolate assortment from TJ's. Maybe it's just my (incorrect) perception, but it seemed to be that there are fewer small holiday items in the $2-4 range than there used to be. I like to have some of these available as lagniappes for helpful retail workers who go above and beyond as I go about my errands.

                                          2 Replies
                                          1. re: greygarious
                                            Rilke Dec 10, 2013 01:50 AM

                                            Yikes. This is the assortment in the dark blue box + bag?

                                            1. re: Rilke
                                              greygarious Dec 10, 2013 03:20 PM

                                              yes...today had the chocolate crunch one. Again, meh.

                                          2. d
                                            Dave B Dec 7, 2013 07:22 AM

                                            Yay for the spiral sliced ham. Nice subtle smoked flavor and I love that it's not very salty. Very fresh tasting too. I bought a 1/4 ham to try it and now will go back for a half ham. Once I get it home, I portion it out into small foil-wrapped packets to freeze for snacking whenever I'm in the mood. Good stuff.

                                            Meh on the 2013 Vintage Ale. It has more of a toasted taste than I prefer.... it's OK, but not as appealing to me as most of the Unibroue line. My biggest complaint is that it pours very foamy, no matter how slowly I pour it into the glass. It takes a long time for the foam to settle. I'm hoping some bottle age will help it, as I bought a case and can sit on it for a long time.

                                            Not a 'seasonal' item, but the 1000 Day Gouda cheese is spectacular (if you like aged goudas, which I do). I'm so glad I got some to try and I hope TJ's always has this.

                                            1 Reply
                                            1. re: Dave B
                                              littleflower Dec 7, 2013 07:35 AM

                                              We love TJ's spiral sliced hams...we bought one for Easter last year and loved the taste of it and that it wasn't loaded with preservatives and nitrites, etc. Makes excellent leftovers esp. in omelets!!!

                                              We just had a quarter ham for Thanksgiving b/c we also were having turkey but do second Dave's recommendation of going for the half ham for more leftovers to freeze in individual portions!

                                            2. greygarious Dec 6, 2013 06:58 PM

                                              YEA OH YAY!!!! for The fresh-baked kringle bag says it's from Racine, WI, but I say it's something out of this world! It's like a wormhole formed to connect me from Burlington MA to the Buttercooky Bakery in Floral Park (or is is Queens Village?) NY. Though the kringle is a large 12-serving Danish ring, it tastes just like the terrific almond danish from BB that I enjoyed 40yrs ago. And the package says that the bakery sells online, even explaining their wrapping and shipping standards. www.ohdanishbakery.com. I am in mega-trouble here. At the very least, I'll be getting a second kringle to freeze in slices. THIS IS MY NEW FAVORITE TJ ITEM. Demoted, in its shadow, are the likes of the Tarte d'Alsace, English Cheddar with Caramelized Onion, Red Fox Leicester, and the fabulous frozen croissants.

                                              3 Replies
                                              1. re: greygarious
                                                littleflower Dec 7, 2013 03:13 AM

                                                Okay grey, for you especially to mention the fresh baked kringle in the same breath as the frozen croissants and Tarte d'Alsace is really saying something. SOLD - I am going to try it out now! I do know that our TJ's is carrying it but was waiting for some more info. on it here.

                                                1. re: greygarious
                                                  chez cherie Dec 7, 2013 10:18 AM

                                                  i happen to know that the kringle is fairly incredible eaten directly from the freezer. no pesky waiting for thawing required. good thing i froze two. hope one makes it to christmas morning!

                                                  1. re: chez cherie
                                                    greygarious Dec 7, 2013 01:01 PM

                                                    I noticed that the directions mention the option of warming it up but don't think I'd like that, since the icing would run. The pastry is so rich that I would expect it to fall apart - or at the very least be oily - if warmed. Room temp is bliss.

                                                2. t
                                                  toopie28 Dec 6, 2013 03:17 PM

                                                  Since they didn't have my new fav - mini pecan pies (bitched about this on the other thread) I bought the 10 Petits Fours - anyone tried them?

                                                  Also, clocked Beef Tenderloin Bites - never seen this so assuming Seasonal - anyone tried?

                                                  1. linguafood Dec 6, 2013 01:50 PM

                                                    The FF holiday guide arrived today, and the items below caught my attention -- has anyone tried any of these yet?

                                                    Butterscotch Cupcakes
                                                    Egg Nog Ice cream

                                                    Fondue (Cheese)
                                                    Italian Truffle Cheese

                                                    Frozen hors d'oeuvres:
                                                    Scallops wrapped in bacon

                                                    I'm definitely getting the 3 of nut oils as I've been waiting for them to arrive at our local store, and plan on finally trying the Unexpected Cheddar - don't think I've had it yet.

                                                    4 Replies
                                                    1. re: linguafood
                                                      ohmyyum Dec 6, 2013 01:58 PM

                                                      I thought the fondue was heavy on the kirsch and a bit grainy, but perhaps I didn't do a good job heating it. As far as the Italian truffle cheese, I thought the truffle Brie had better flavor. I positively love the unexpected cheddar. The December spotlight 5yr cheddar is fantastic as well. I bought the nut oils but haven't tried them yet! Haven't tried anything else.

                                                      1. re: ohmyyum
                                                        linguafood Dec 6, 2013 02:18 PM

                                                        Cool, thanks for the feedback. I don't really see myself buying the fondue -- had to cut down on my cheese consumption, generally, so a snacking cheese like the 5 yr. old cheddar you mentioned (or raclette >cough, cough<) is likely better for me, anyway.

                                                      2. re: linguafood
                                                        janethepain Dec 7, 2013 06:09 AM

                                                        I love the egg nog ice cream - had to force myself to put it away yesterday. I reviewed them in the Dec items thread I think, but in short, very eggnog-y. It's labeled ''super premium", which shows in the calories, fat and cholesterol numbers haha. The only thing that keeps me from hoarding them is the fact that each container (8 servings, supposedly) is 2,000 calories!

                                                        1. re: janethepain
                                                          linguafood Dec 7, 2013 08:27 AM

                                                          Holy frijole! Maybe I won't get it until I know we're having a dinner party :-)

                                                      3. NonnieMuss Dec 5, 2013 07:42 AM

                                                        Are the peppermint bark pretzel slims in yet? They weren't last time I went and I whined to the cashier about it. "But I neeeeeed them!" She said soon.

                                                        14 Replies
                                                        1. re: NonnieMuss
                                                          Frosty Melon Dec 5, 2013 08:55 AM

                                                          Yes, they were at the Soma store in SF this past Saturday. If you can't find them, I've noticed a very similar-looking item at Whole Foods and (gasp) Walgreens.

                                                          1. re: Frosty Melon
                                                            NonnieMuss Dec 5, 2013 01:08 PM

                                                            Actually went to TJ's at lunch and they had them! I avoid Whole Foods as much as humanly possible, so it's a relieft to not have to go there.

                                                            1. re: Frosty Melon
                                                              Ruth Lafler Feb 3, 2014 04:39 PM

                                                              I've noticed that several items in the Walgreens "Delish line" bear a close resemblance to some Trader Joe's items -- like the Meyer lemon thins cookies. Maybe they're using the same supplier.

                                                              1. re: Ruth Lafler
                                                                littleflower Feb 3, 2014 05:32 PM

                                                                Interesting wonder how the ingredients list matches up.

                                                                1. re: Ruth Lafler
                                                                  ohmyyum Feb 3, 2014 06:23 PM

                                                                  I'm from Winston-Salem, home of a certain Moravian baking company. They've not-so-subtly hinted that they produce the Meyer lemon, ginger, and coconut cookie thins for TJ's. They also make them for several other companies, including TFM. They are about half price at TJ's!

                                                                  1. re: ohmyyum
                                                                    alkapal Feb 4, 2014 01:29 AM


                                                                    1. re: alkapal
                                                                      meatn3 Feb 4, 2014 01:43 AM

                                                                      The Fresh Market perhaps?

                                                                      1. re: meatn3
                                                                        alkapal Feb 4, 2014 01:54 AM

                                                                        must be. i have never been to one. none is really close-by, so it is not on my radar. looks like they have some good deals.

                                                                        1. re: alkapal
                                                                          littleflower Feb 4, 2014 06:14 AM

                                                                          Yes TFM is the Fresh Market, headquartered in NC. They are similar to Whole Foods, not as pricey but the store does carry some products with HFCS so watch the labels.They have a fresh meat department but most of the meat except some beef and chicken does not make antibiotic free claim. They are a bit pricier than Trader Joes but have excellent weekly and monthly sales.

                                                                          1. re: littleflower
                                                                            ohmyyum Feb 4, 2014 01:06 PM

                                                                            Yes, the Fresh Market. I love the fact that they have an actual butcher. Their Tuesday $2.99 deals are fantastic, and they carry some items that TJ's does not carry.

                                                                            Fwiw, I've been told by a manager at TJ's that the meat is conventionally raised unless otherwise indicated on the label-- and that this applies to the frozen products and prepared items such as salads as well.

                                                                            1. re: ohmyyum
                                                                              littleflower Feb 4, 2014 01:37 PM

                                                                              You are right about the TJ's meat...wish both TFM and TJ's would adopt Whole Foods policy for their meats.

                                                                    2. re: ohmyyum
                                                                      Leepa Feb 4, 2014 04:40 PM

                                                                      I recognized them as Moravian cookies right away. They've always been some of my favorites.

                                                                2. re: NonnieMuss
                                                                  Ruth Lafler Dec 15, 2013 04:36 PM

                                                                  I might not have noticed these except for your post.

                                                                  Big YAY -- I love the crispness and the fact that the pretzel, with its salt, keeps it from being cloying, the way peppermint bark can be.

                                                                  1. re: Ruth Lafler
                                                                    geminigirl Dec 16, 2013 06:21 PM

                                                                    These were my favorite holiday item from last year. Hoping to score some tomorrow if they are still around.....

                                                                3. GraceW Dec 4, 2013 07:16 PM

                                                                  YAY--to the red-tin of cookies.. Belgium chocolate covered assorted cookies in the red tin. They were enjoyed by guests with coffee. Although they may not be the most-distinguished, best-ever cookie.. they work for entertaining around the holidays, and they seem to be a lot of cookies for $9.99. Therefore, if you need a quick gift to take to a holiday party.. definitely take that tin!

                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                  1. re: GraceW
                                                                    beachgallisa Dec 19, 2013 04:39 AM

                                                                    Glad i just read this about those cookies. That is EXACTLY what i brought to my office party which is today, so i'm glad they are good. They are actually going to be used in a gift exchange, so whoever ends up with it, i hope will open it so i can try some! LOL

                                                                  2. GraceW Nov 24, 2013 07:10 PM

                                                                    YAY--The ginger joe-joe's that come within that big box of holiday Joe-Joe's or o's whatever those are called. I am glad those were really the only ones that I liked.

                                                                    MEH/NAY--The italian butter cookie assortment. Meh, so boring. They hardly taste like butter. They just taste like cookies.

                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                    1. re: GraceW
                                                                      littleflower Dec 4, 2013 07:03 PM

                                                                      I agree Grace on the italian butter cookie assortment...the only ones that had any flavor were the two with the fruit jelly in the center of the butter cookie. The rest were pretty flavorless and ended up being tossed.

                                                                    2. greygarious Nov 14, 2013 11:38 AM

                                                                      A qualified YEA for the frozen acorn squash stuffed with turkey pot pie filling and topped with puff pastry. It would be a nice Thanksgiving option for those dining solo on turkey day, or people who don't want the full-blown feast. As common in frozen meal packaging, it claims to be two portions but is a modest, not oversized, single portion. Be sure to dig into the squash with each bite, because it is unseasoned and needs the salt from the filling and top crust to balance the flavors. The bulk of it (pun intended) is squash, followed by the puff pastry topping, with perhaps a half-cup of tasty turkey pot pie filling.

                                                                      A total YEA for the refrigerated corn pudding, a rich side dish that tastes homemade.

                                                                      1. greygarious Nov 14, 2013 11:11 AM

                                                                        I recall that in 2012 there were complaints about reformulation of the Sipping Chocolate, which then, and now, remains in the same can as when it was first introduced. Last year the one I bought had the original ingredients but I notice that the one I got this week has a different formulation. I will probably return it unopened, unless anyone who has tried it recommends it. Both contain 90 calories per serving. I am listing the ingredients and key differences in nutrition and percentage of recommended daily allowances:

                                                                        2012: cocoa powder, cane sugar, chocolate liquor, cocoa butter. fat calories 10 sat fat 4% sodium 1% dietary fiber 23%

                                                                        2013: sugar, cocoa processed with alkali, natural flavor (soy),
                                                                        salt. fat calories 15 sat fat 5% sodium 4% dietary fiber 16%

                                                                        5 Replies
                                                                        1. re: greygarious
                                                                          chez cherie Nov 14, 2013 11:19 AM

                                                                          why not open it and try it? you can still return it once it's been opened, if you don't like it.

                                                                          1. re: greygarious
                                                                            BigWoodenSpoon Nov 20, 2013 08:30 PM

                                                                            Maybe it depends on when you bought it. My 2012 batch is the same as your 2013. Still delicious, but if you'd like it a little more bittersweet, add some of the TJ's cocoa powder.

                                                                            1. re: BigWoodenSpoon
                                                                              BigWoodenSpoon Nov 20, 2013 08:38 PM

                                                                              Oh, I forgot, the Taste Test box of Caramels are in. Intriguing flavors, some better than others, could be a nice stocking stuffer for $5.99(CA)
                                                                              For my money though, the Dark Chocolate Salted Caramels are still the best and I can't wait for them to finally get here.

                                                                              1. re: BigWoodenSpoon
                                                                                chez cherie Nov 20, 2013 09:32 PM

                                                                                i saw the dark choc salted caramels today in so CA.

                                                                                1. re: BigWoodenSpoon
                                                                                  Ruth Lafler Nov 24, 2013 01:01 PM

                                                                                  Yes I saw them in my Bay Area store today. They also had smaller boxes of the same caramels that would be nice little gifts.

                                                                                  On the new items shelf I saw Pound plus Extravaganza bar, dark chocolate "loaded with almonds, cranberries and ginger." I liked rather than loved it, as I thought the chocolate was a bit too dark. YMMV. I also bought the dark chocolate candy cane truffles, which were like mint melt aways with tiny crunchy bits and the dark chocolate peppermint cremes: patties with crushed peppermint on top, that I liked a lot.

                                                                            2. geminigirl Nov 11, 2013 08:13 AM

                                                                              Just bought a box of the shortbread chocolate covered stars, had them last year and they are very good.

                                                                              6 Replies
                                                                              1. re: geminigirl
                                                                                Ruth Lafler Nov 13, 2013 11:38 AM

                                                                                I was wondering if they were in yet. In the past they've sold out fast, so buy them when you see them!

                                                                                1. re: Ruth Lafler
                                                                                  greygarious Nov 13, 2013 06:51 PM

                                                                                  If you mean the dark-chocolate covered ones with the white nonpareils, I did not notice them in Nashua the other day, but DID get the Chocolate Drizzle Star Cookies. Are these new this year? They are larger, 150 calories each, over 1/4" thick. Bottoms are coated in milk chocolate; the tops have coarse white sugar and a milk chocolate drizzle. Hard to keep to the specified portion of ONE cookie.

                                                                                  1. re: greygarious
                                                                                    Ruth Lafler Nov 14, 2013 11:56 AM

                                                                                    Yes, I mean the dark chocolate ones in the blue box. The other ones sound good, too.

                                                                                2. re: geminigirl
                                                                                  Frosty Melon Nov 14, 2013 02:23 PM

                                                                                  The dark chocolate stars are in stock (or were on Sunday, 11/10) in SF at the 9th Street store. Next to the tub cookies. I OD'd on them last year and am not sure I'll buy this year, but they're back.

                                                                                  1. re: Frosty Melon
                                                                                    greygarious Nov 14, 2013 03:08 PM

                                                                                    Feeling virtuous for still having some of last year's in the fridge but in truth, it's only because I mislaid the metal tin in which I repacked them, finding it only in late summer. They are just the ticket to accompany Blue Bunny Bordeaux Cherry ice cream (which has flakes of dark choc), but woe is me, it looks like the BB flavor is discontinued! Not currently in my supermarket's BB inventory. Those cookies are seriously good for rounding out a small scoop of an ice cream flavor that skews towards adults.

                                                                                  2. re: geminigirl
                                                                                    The Oracle Dec 10, 2013 01:12 PM

                                                                                    Thanks to this thread, I picked up a box for the first time this year. WOW - they are addicting!!!!

                                                                                  3. l
                                                                                    littleflower Oct 5, 2013 10:05 PM

                                                                                    The Spiced Cider and the Organic Hot Cocoa (10 packets/servings per box) are both now in stock at our Trader Joe's. Personally, I can't wait for more of the Thanksgiving/Christmas holiday items to be rolled out ...I am already getting a bit tired of all of the pumpkin items (this is coming from someone who has always been kind of lukewarm about pumpkin foods in general).

                                                                                    1. l
                                                                                      littleflower Oct 5, 2013 04:56 PM

                                                                                      Another new holiday gift item (very nicely packaged!) is a set of three hand lotions. I think they are new...I do not recall seeing them last year, and they were located on the "new product" shelf at my Trader Joe's.

                                                                                      3 Replies
                                                                                      1. re: littleflower
                                                                                        pine time Nov 13, 2013 02:01 PM

                                                                                        I've already given a set as a hostess gift, and she raved about these.

                                                                                        1. re: littleflower
                                                                                          fldhkybnva Nov 13, 2013 02:18 PM

                                                                                          I'm grabbing these immediately on my trip this week, my hands are a splitting skin mess.

                                                                                          1. re: fldhkybnva
                                                                                            GraceW Nov 13, 2013 03:39 PM

                                                                                            Yes, these work well. And the tube looks nicer than pulling out my Gold Bond tube at work-meetings.

                                                                                        2. alkapal Oct 4, 2013 12:39 PM

                                                                                          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: alkapal
                                                                                            Frosty Melon Oct 4, 2013 01:14 PM

                                                                                            What are the flavors?

                                                                                            1. re: Frosty Melon
                                                                                              alkapal Oct 5, 2013 11:18 AM

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

                                                                                          2. Frosty Melon Oct 4, 2013 08:56 AM

                                                                                            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
                                                                                              GraceW Oct 4, 2013 10:51 AM

                                                                                              Is this a mix or prepared item in the bakery?

                                                                                              1. re: GraceW
                                                                                                Frosty Melon Oct 4, 2013 10:56 AM

                                                                                                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
                                                                                                HeyImBack Oct 4, 2013 10:57 AM

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

                                                                                                1. re: HeyImBack
                                                                                                  Frosty Melon Oct 4, 2013 10:59 AM

                                                                                                  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
                                                                                                    ohmyyum Oct 4, 2013 03:33 PM

                                                                                                    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
                                                                                                      alkapal Oct 5, 2013 11:19 AM

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

                                                                                                  2. re: Frosty Melon
                                                                                                    AmyH Oct 4, 2013 11:05 AM

                                                                                                    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
                                                                                                      givemecarbs Nov 13, 2013 01:37 AM

                                                                                                      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
                                                                                                        greygarious Nov 13, 2013 06:46 PM

                                                                                                        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
                                                                                                          Frosty Melon Nov 13, 2013 09:08 PM

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

                                                                                                          1. re: Frosty Melon
                                                                                                            greygarious Nov 14, 2013 10:43 AM

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

                                                                                                    2. viperlush Oct 3, 2013 05:20 AM

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

                                                                                                      1. b
                                                                                                        BigWoodenSpoon Oct 2, 2013 07:25 PM

                                                                                                        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: BigWoodenSpoon
                                                                                                          Rilke Oct 3, 2013 01:25 PM

                                                                                                          *Assortment* of salted caramels?!

                                                                                                          1. re: Rilke
                                                                                                            littleflower Oct 5, 2013 04:54 PM

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

                                                                                                            1. re: littleflower
                                                                                                              BigWoodenSpoon Oct 10, 2013 04:24 PM

                                                                                                              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.

                                                                                                        2. Rilke Oct 1, 2013 04:01 PM

                                                                                                          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
                                                                                                            buzzardbreath Oct 1, 2013 04:05 PM

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

                                                                                                            1. re: buzzardbreath
                                                                                                              Rilke Oct 1, 2013 06:55 PM

                                                                                                              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
                                                                                                                Leepa Oct 1, 2013 06:58 PM

                                                                                                                What about a pumpkin cream cheese danish?

                                                                                                              2. re: buzzardbreath
                                                                                                                beachgallisa Nov 11, 2013 06:54 AM

                                                                                                                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
                                                                                                                JulesNoctambule Oct 4, 2013 03:19 PM

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

                                                                                                                1. re: Rilke
                                                                                                                  Ttrockwood Nov 13, 2013 09:13 PM

                                                                                                                  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

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