Posts Tagged ‘Trader Joe’s desserts


Trader Joe’s fudge-filled chocolate chip cookies

This is one of the rare desserts from the Trader Joe’s freezer case that I haven’t tried. But I’m glad I did. The soft chocolate chip cookies are slightly salty, which helps these from being over-the-top sweet. The “fudge” filling is actually ganache (chocolate + cream). My only beef is that they’re tiny like French macaroons, so you’re not quite sure what constitutes a serving. I’m thinking 3-4 would do the trick but according to the back of the box, 1 serving is 2 cookies. Um, not for this hungry girl.



These cookies be highbrow and s****

These new cookies caught my eye in Trader Joe’s for 2 reasons:

  1. Because they have the most ass-inine name ever.
  2. They strike more than a passing resemblance to Tate’s Bake Shop chocolate chip cookies, the ones that are always sold out at Whole Foods.

These cookies be highbrow and sh**.

So, back to that name, which isn’t so much a dig at Chips Ahoy as it is a reference to the premium ingredients, price ($3.99 for 7 oz./14 cookies, more than a buck less than Tate’s), and maybe even a nod to the fact that Tate’s is based out of the Hamptons.

Given this article about Trader Joe’s, I wouldn’t be surprised if Tate’s were manufacturing these. The cookies taste like exact copycats. While I can’t fault Trader Joe’s for creating cheaper house versions of other people’s products, if I owned Tate’s and weren’t getting a cut of this, I’d be pissed.

March 27, 2011 addendum:

The March-April 2011 Trader Joe’s Culinary Compendium flyer writes: “Our buyers kept hearing about this small bake shop in New York that made ‘the’ Chocolate Chip Cookie.” Naturally, a thorough investigation ensued. The reputation was rapidly validated. Using only fresh, quality ingredients, their recipe is straightforward…So we brought these thin, au courant cookies to you with a little added humor and a lot of added value.” Is this Trader Joe’s admission that they ripped off Tate’s, or that Tate’s is manufacturing these cookies for them? Either way, cookies lovers win.


Another reason I can’t stay away from the Trader Joe’s dessert case

The problem with mini desserts is you never know when to stop. If these were regular-sized eclairs, I’d just have one. Since they’re mini, I can’t figure out what’s reasonable. Two? Three? Maybe even four?

At any rate, these are just as good as what you’d get from the glass case of a patisserie, if a bit soggy from the defrosting process. It sucks when you get an eclair topped with waxy, faux chocolate (a la magic shell ice cream topping). Luckily, this dark chocolate fondant  tastes like the real deal.


Trader Joe’s mango sticky rice

I exercised unusual restraint yesterday by only getting one box of this new Trader Joe’s dessert, figuring that I should at least try it before making a bigger commitment.

Well, I regretted just buying one box, because they were sold out when I went back this morning. Apparently Mr. X-sXe and I weren’t the only ones who loved the Trader Joe’s version of this Thai dessert. We were both impressed with the balance of sweet coconut milk, fresh mango, salty-sweet sticky rice, and fried mung beans (packaged separately to stay crispy). At $3.29 for two servings, you’re paying less than what you’d pay at a restaurant for one serving. It’s made in Thailand, and actually better than what I’ve had at some Thai restaurants in DC (with the exception of Kanlaya’s version, which is unrivalled–they always get their sweet/tart mangoes perfectly buttery-ripe. It makes our Best of DC list:

I was also amused by the packaging, which reads:

“A bed of rice + half a perfectly ripe, sweet mango = intrigue. Intrigue + coconut milk = desire. Desire + crunchy mung bean = pure delight.”

Also, it’s pretty cool when the actual product looks just as good in real life as the photo on the package! BTW, this is vegan-friendly. The ingredients are mango, sticky rice, water, coconut milk, mung beans, and palm oil.


Trader Joe’s macaroons, my latest food obsession

One of the reasons I love this time of year is Trader Joe’s holiday products. There’s always an impressive selection of cookies, cakes and chocolates. I’m not sure whether these macaroons will be a holiday-only dessert, but I sincerely hope not. They’re definitely in the running as a freezer staple.

When I read about these in the holiday flyer, I was initially disappointed there were only two flavors (vanilla + vanilla cream filling and chocolate + chocolate ganache filling). Now that I’ve tasted them, I’m even more sad about the limited flavors. They’re good enough to deserve a product extension.

First, this box of a dozen is a pretty decent value, at $4.99/dozen (macaroons are usually at least $1 each at patisseries). Second, they’re just as tasty as what you’d buy at the patisserie, if not better. Even though I was initially worried that they’d lose their crisipiness in the defrosting process, you’d never know they came from the freezer. The cookie portion of the sandwich is crunchy on the outside, chewy on the inside (it’s a combination of egg whites and ground almonds, so it eats like a meringue).

The real clincher was the filling. The vanilla cream is lightly sweet and fragrant; the chocolate ganache, the perfect balance of bitter and sweet. (Try the chocolate macaroon before it’s completely defrosted if you prefer a chewy center.) I was so impressed that even I texted a girlfriend, a fellow macaroon fiend, to stock up on these before other Trader Joe’s cutomers get their hands on them.


Trader Joe’s Sutter’s Formula Cookies (PB chocolate chip)

Y’know, I might like these even more than the oatmeal-raisin Druid Circles (see post below). They’re moist, soft, the peanut butter isn’t overwhelming, and the chocolate chips are big and chunky.

Having said that, I’ve got mixed feelings about peanut butter. What else is so uniquely American, and so often found in places it doesn’t belong (cakes, pies and the open fields of Afghanistan via misguided relief efforts)?


Personally, a PB&J sandwich has never felt like a true meal to me. For one thing, it’s super sweet. For another, there’s nothing solid in the middle, just goop. I just don’t get the national obsession, and find myself automatically dismissing anything on a dessert menu made with peanut butter.

But, I’ve had both English and French friends ask me to bring them Reeses’s peanut butter cups from America, so maybe we as a country are really onto something.

These cookies have me seriously reconsidering my stand on the peanut butter.


Trader Joe’s Druid Circles (chewy oatmeal-raisin-walnut cookies)

Walnuts tend to ruin desserts for me. I don’t even like them in baklava (I won’t say no to pistachio baklava, though). Plus of all desserts, I don’t usually crave cookies. So I’m not sure how these ended up in my cart. Wait, I do know. They were on the shelves near the cash registers, prime real estate for impulse buys.


But, no regrets here. These “druids” are soft, buttery, plump with raisins, and somehow the walnuts don’t bother me. BTW the ingredients list coconut flakes, which helps keep them moist and flavorful.