Monday, July 2, 2012

Trader Joe’s Dark Chocolate Honey Mints

Trader Joe's Dark Chocolate Honey MintsTrader Joe’s often has wonderful finds where they package up a candy that’s hard to find. In this case it’s their newly introduced Trader Joe’s Dark Chocolate Honey Mints.

Sure they’re peppermint patties, so you’re wondering what’s so special about that? They have three ingredients in them. Just three: honey, chocolate liquor and oil of peppermint. The center is creamed honey (it just means whipped, there’s no additional dairy) and some peppermint to flavor it. The dark chocolate coating is just cacao, there’s no sugar in it. All the sweetness comes from the whipped honey center.

As far as I can tell, they’re made by Honey Acres of Wisconsin. I first tried them at the Fancy Food Show in 2008 (brief review here) and could only find them online for a while at Natural Candy Store (I’m hesitant to order chocolate candy because of melting problems with deliveries). The first time I tried them, I thought they were good, but not fantastic. But the memory of them stuck with me, so I was glad to see that I could pick them up again. (Update on that, it’s possible they’re made by Heavenly Organics.)

Trader Joe's Dark Chocolate Honey Mints

They’re gluten free, contain no artificial colors or flavors and no preservatives.

The honey is creamed by adding special seed honey and a hint of peppermint oil to create a smooth and refreshing center, which is then covered in a rich, dark chocolate.

The patties are 1.5 inches in diameter and wrapped tightly in an aqua colored aluminum foil.

While the ingredients are good and considered pure, this is by no means a low calorie product. There’s more chocolate on them than a York Peppermint Pattie, so don’t expect them to be extremely low calorie. York Patties are about 102 calories per ounce, so almost pure sugar, very little fat. Dark Chocolate Honey Mints are 127 calories per ounce, so less than a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup or something similarly fatty.

Trader Joe's Dark Chocolate Honey Mints

The dark chocolate is thick and densely dark. It’s all chocolate, so it’s intense. Just eating the chocolate is tough, because it’s unsweetened. But there’s plenty of cocoa butter, so it may be a little bitter but it does have a smooth and silky melt. The element here that surprised me, and remember, I’ve had these before, was the creamy honey center. The mints I had four years ago must have been a little bit older, because these are fresh and exquisitely textured. The honey center is smooth and buttery but not greasy, the dissolve is cool on the tongue. It’s sweet and has that musky honey note to it, but also a refreshing and crisp peppermint note. It’s not too strong, not too sugary.

Taken together, the bitterness of the unsweetened chocolate is offset perfectly.

After writing last week about candy being “unjunked” from artificial ingredients, here’s a candy that takes the confection back to its barest basics ... and then leaves it there. No nutritional fillers ... just pure ingredients, each with a job to do.

Update 3/7/2013: I bought another bag of these recently and noticed that they’ve changed their production style. They’re now a molded candy instead of enrobed, so the shells are very consistent and shiny. The flavor profile is the same, though perhaps a little more chocolate now.

Related Candies

  1. Zachary Thin Mints & Raspberry Thin Mints
  2. RM Palmer Peppermint Patties
  3. Sunspire Peppermint Pattie
  4. Candy Bites: The Sweet, Crunchy & Creamy
  5. Junior Mints Deluxe
  6. 3 Musketeers Mint with Dark Chocolate
  7. York Pinkermint Patties

Name: Dark Chocolate Honey Mints
Brand: Trader Joe’s
Place Purchased: Trader Joe's
Price: $3.99
Size: 7 ounces
Calories per ounce: 127
Categories: All Natural, Candy, Trader Joe's, Chocolate, Kosher, Mints, 7-Worth It, United States

POSTED BY Cybele AT 11:53 am Tracker Pixel for Entry     All NaturalCandyReviewTrader Joe'sChocolateMints7-Worth ItUnited States

  1. I purchased these on Thursday night (July 5), and you can’t imagine how giddy I was.  Honey-sweetened chocolate typically runs about $50-60 per pound.  These are just over $9/lb.  For someone like me, who is gluten-free and eats Paleo (no grains, no refined-anything, whole/clean food), these chocolates are an amazing treat.

    Comment by Karen Joy on 7/07/12 at 10:03 pm #
  2. I use 3 day shipping for my candy orders in the summer, it worked perfectly last year and I have one on it’s way that should be here by Thursday.

    Comment by Noelle on 7/17/12 at 9:20 am #
  3. So with only three ingredients I wonder if there is any hidden soy as the emulsifier! I thought Enjoy Life was the only allergy free chocolate people around!!  -Thanks

    Comment by Stephanie on 8/08/12 at 10:04 pm #
  4. Cybele's avatar

    Stephanie - no, I don’t think there’s any soy lurking. Trader Joe’s is really good about those sorts of labeling concerns and I don’t believe the company that makes these uses any soy in their facility.

    There are plenty of soy-free chocolates out there. You’ll find the European brands are more likely, and some that insist on using an emulsifier are switching to sunflower lecithin because of allergen and GMO concerns.

    Comment by Cybele on 8/08/12 at 10:20 pm #
  5. Quick response. Thank you. I will add one to each of my kid’s lunch tomorrow. They will love the treat! Happy I found your blog. You ROCK!

    Comment by Stephanie on 8/08/12 at 10:29 pm #
  6. I taste tested the Honey Acres Honey Mints & Trader Joe’s side by side, and the Trader Joe’s chocolate is definitely sweeter. The contents on TJ’s just says chocolate liquor, so I suspect the liquor has a small amount of sugar in it.
    Still, it’s far better than not having a honey mint, and definitely cheaper than Honey Acres.

    Comment by Valerie on 9/02/12 at 4:10 pm #
  7. Also, the chocolate on the TJ’s honey mints is quite a bit thicker than the HA.

    Comment by Valerie on 9/02/12 at 4:14 pm #
  8. Just a note:  Last I went to Trader Joe’s, I couldn’t find the Honey Mints.  I asked an associate, and they said that demand was much greater than anticipated, and that they would have them back in stock ASAP.  Good news/bad news!

    Comment by Karen Joy on 9/15/12 at 9:23 am #
  9. I love honey and chocolate. Hope we can find these at the store so I can taste them and share them with my friends.

    Comment by Candy Mom on 10/07/12 at 9:07 am #
  10. These mints are ok, but I doubt that they are made by Honey Acres. They are not as good.

    Comment by Abby on 10/17/12 at 1:41 pm #
  11. I am crazy about these mints. I have only ONE mint left and thus I looked them up. I can’t find them at TJ’s now and have not found them for several weeks. I think Trader Joe’s will have to really up their production of these mints because they sell out so fast. They are only three ingredients, so I hope they are able to really crank them out!

    Comment by Trilby on 10/27/12 at 11:20 pm #
  12. Yeah, really good!
    You may want to try these ones too:

    Way better, more flavors and ORGANIC!

    Comment by Fernando on 10/28/12 at 2:41 pm #
  13. I ate them and they are yummy but had a very bad reaction from milk cross contamination. I get severe inflamation bone pain and rash. Never will I eat them again.

    Comment by Lori on 10/24/13 at 7:42 pm #
  14. I LOVE these mints! They taste like perfection, like my dreamed for mint. I hope they still make them because I am addicted!!!!!

    Comment by Sharon Reeve on 1/03/15 at 7:00 pm #
  15. No they could not be made by Heavenly organics…I compared them both. Heavenly organics is more liquidy inside and the chocolate is very different texture. Plus Heavenly Organics are “organic” and the ones at TJoes would have be be marked “organic” which they’re not.

    Comment by Cammy on 5/25/16 at 7:13 pm #
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