Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Trader Joe’s Holiday Roundup 2012

Every year I look forward to the post-Halloween emergence of holiday sweets at Trader Joe’s. There’s always a bit of a European flair to their selections, with an eye toward traditional confections with the occasional new age/artisanal candy. This year I perused three different stores in two counties to see what the offerings are this year. Here’s my roundup of what you might be able to find at Trader Joe’s to satisfy your (or a gift recipient’s) sweet tooth. (I may have missed something, so please chime in with your observations or reviews.)

New for 2012:

Trader Joe's Chocolate Covered Sea Salt Butterscotch CaramelsTrader Joe’s Sea Salt Butterscotch Caramels $3.49 - little nuggets of caramel covered in rich chocolate and more than a hint of sea salt. Gourmet Milk Duds. I picked these up (I’m not sure if they’re seasonal or not) and plan to review them, so you’ll probably be seeing that photo again.

Fruit and Nut Log $3.99 - a nougat center, covered in pistachios and pecans along with dried cranberries and apricots.

Trader Joe’s Dark Chocolate Caramallows $2.99 - a layer of marshmallow on top of caramel, covered in dark chocolate. It’s no See’s Scotchmallow, but I suppose it will do in a pinch.

Trader Joe’s Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Salted Caramel Truffles $3.99 - I reviewed these already, and though they’re fun, they’re not quite as good as some other seasonal items. (See review - 7 out of 10)

Trader Joe’s Organic Peppermint Starlights $1.99 - yup, organic hard candies. Great if you’re looking for something corn syrup-free.

Trader Joe’s Dark Chocolate Candy Cane Truffles $3.99 - kind of like individually wrapped Frangoes, as far as I can tell.

Trader Joe's Brandy Beans

Returning Favorites for 2012

Trader Joe's Fleur de Sel CaramelsTrader Joe’s Fleur de Sel Caramels (wood box) $6.99 (2006 review, still the same packaging. Classic, nicely done but a little pricey for boiled sugar. 7 out of 10)

Trader Joe’s Cranberry Caramel Delights $7.99 - these were called Trader Joe’s Merry Mingle last year - caramel with pecans and cranberries dipped in dark chocolate (read review - 8 out of 10)

Trader Joe’s Brandy Beans $2.99 - these have been coming back on and off for years, they tend to sell out really early.

Trader Joe’s Milk Chocolate & Dark Chocolate Oranges $2.99 - the price went up 50 cents (Reviewed in 2009 as Florida Tropic Oranges. Good quality & price plus always charming package and dark is vegan 7 out of 10 & 8 out of 10)

Trader Joe’s Belgian Chocolate Shoppe $9.99 - I don’t have great luck with these, but they’re a nice hostess gift if you can’t get to See’s.

Trader Joe's French TrufflesTrader Joe’s Cocoa Truffles $2.99 - inexcusable fat bombs imported from France. (see my review - I gave them a 3 out of 10, though I think the ingredients have changed a little bit, they’re still quite thin tasting yet stupidly fatty)

Trader Joe’s Chocolate Liqueur Cherries $5.99 - the price is up on this one, I recall they were $4.99 last year. But dried cherries are insanely expensive, so perhaps their ingredient cost went up.

Trader Joe’s Peppermint Bark $9.99 a tin - a great bargain for a very well made product.

Trader Joe’s English Toffee with Nuts (Tall Can) $7.99 (previously in a box like this? It’d call it a step above Almond Roca)

Trader Joe's Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter CupsTrader Joe’s Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups $.99 - I have a serious problem with these (review from last year). When they’re not sold individually wrapped, they’re in tubs.

Trader Joe’s Chocolate Rings with Sprinkle - they’re just little disks of dark chocolate with sprinkles, like giant SnoCaps - $1.99

Trader Joe’s Dark Chocolate Cashew Brittle with Sea Salt $2.99

Trader Joe’s Candy Cane Coal - dark chocolate covered candy cane bits - $1.99

Trader Joe's Dark Chocolate Sea Salt CaramelsTrader Joe’s Dark Chocolate Sea Salt Caramels $4.99 (2007 review - more of a flowing caramel than the chewy style of the Fleur de Sel - 6 out of 10)

Trader Joe’s Dark Chocolate Minty Mallows $2.99 (2010 review - they’re quite moist and dense 7 out of 10)

Trader Joe’s Dark Chocolate After Dinner Mint Thins $2.99 (made in England) - they’re better than After Eight mints.

Also returning are the chocolate covered Peppermint JoJos and a variety box of other chocolate covered flavored Jo Jos. Though I reviewed the JoJo’s before, I can’t really call them candy.

Not Returning (unless you’ve sighted them):

Trader Joe's Classic Holiday Candy MixTrader Joe’s Classic Holiday Candy Mix - classic hard candy straws & pillows made with all natural ingredients. $1.99 (read review - 7 out of 10)

Trader Joe’s Eggnog Almonds - $3.99 (read review - 9 out of 10) These are made by Marich and I did see them at Sprouts in the bulk aisle labeled as Nutmeg White Chocolate Almonds.

Trader Joe’s Minty Melts - it’s peppermint bark for people who don’t like the crushed candy canes in it - $4.99 (read review - 7 out of 10)

What have you picked up that you liked this year? What do you miss from years gone by? I miss the Trader Giotto’s Soft Almond Nougat and the Dark Chocolate Covered Gingersnaps.

POSTED BY Cybele AT 3:44 pm Tracker Pixel for Entry     CandyTrader Joe'sHighlightShopping

Comments
  1. I miss TJ’s spin on Turkish Delight! (Their version came in an assortment of fruit flavors—blueberry, apricot and cherry, I think—with a different type of nut paired with each flavor.)

    Comment by Jen on 12/12/12 at 4:07 pm #
  2. I bought some of the dark chocolate ginger cookies at my local TJs.  Go try again!

    Comment by Julie on 12/13/12 at 8:48 pm #
  3. Cybele's avatar

    Julie - I did try those. They’re chocolate covered triple ginger cookies. They’re good, but not the same.

    The ones I tried before were little nuggets, very peppery ginger cookies and sold in a tin.

    Comment by Cybele on 12/13/12 at 9:03 pm #
  4. Have you tried the TJ’s Caramel and Dark Chocolate Popcorn Crunch? It’s really good, like a sophisticated Screaming Yellow Zonkers + chocolate & nuts

    Comment by Marly on 12/14/12 at 1:25 pm #
  5. The dipped holiday Joe-Joes multi-pack is back this year and they’re very tasty (and incredibly rich/decadent/deadly)

    Comment by Ruffy- on 12/14/12 at 1:28 pm #
  6. I wish they had brought back the dark chocolate mint covered espresso beans. They were heavenly little caffeine bombs

    Comment by Sharon on 12/14/12 at 2:02 pm #
  7. If you really want them and can’t find them locally, I did see them on Amazon for $39 for 120 pieces (in a bucket).

    Comment by Maddie on 12/28/12 at 2:58 pm #

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