Trader Joe’s sets a festive mood with new holiday snack collection


Ananya Mukherjee

Some of the enticing snacks that Trader Joe’s Christmas collection has on offer.

Trader Joe’s collection of Christmas snacks hit the shelves on Nov. 1, encompassing a variety of flavors while truly capturing the essence of the holidays. We enjoyed trying the different holiday snacks in preparation for the festive season and created a list of our favorite, “worth-it” recommendations. The familiar flavors of chocolate and peppermint, as well as new combinations of chocolate, completed the vast array of affordable Christmas treats.

Mini Chocolate Mousse Presents: 9/10

These rich chocolate cakes layered with silky mousse are perfect for all chocolate lovers out there. The soft, fluffy mousse melts in your mouth, making it the ideal dessert to engulf your taste buds. The presentation of this snack was wonderful, as if it was a  cute gift tied together with a white bow made of chocolate. The ratio of cake to mousse was perfect, as both balanced one another. This simple yet heavenly dessert does not fail to provide the sweet, chocolatey satisfaction perfect for the holidays. 

Gingerbread Ice Cream: 6/10

This dessert combines the warm, toasty gingerbread flavor with cold and creamy ice cream. On the first taste, the strong flavor of gingerbread was immediately noticeable. Although the taste included plenty of the “gingerbread” flavor, it was too sugary. Trader Joe’s incorporated their Triple Ginger Snap Cookies with this dessert, making sure that plenty of the gingerbread taste was present. However, the overload of sweetness meant that you could only eat a few spoons at a time. The Gingerbread ice cream is perfect for those with an extreme sweet tooth, as it truly encompasses the mix of pleasant gingerbread with ice cream. 

Candy Cane Joe Joe’s: 10/10

Trader Joe’s has officially perfected the Christmas cookie. Although it was expected that these would be overpowered with peppermint, Trader Joe’s truly perfected the balance between the chocolate, vanilla and candy cane flavors. Similar to an Oreo cookie, two crisp chocolate biscuits sandwich smooth vanilla cream mixed with candy cane bits. These cookies pair perfectly with a steaming cup of TJ’s hot cocoa.

Trader Joe’s has officially perfected the Christmas cookie.

Dark Chocolate Covered Peppermint Joe Joe’s: 8/10

These are essentially Candy Cane Joe Joe’s but enrobed in velvety dark chocolate and studded with candy cane sprinkles. While the Candy Cane Joe Joe’s cookies had perfect balance, these cookies pack a heavier punch of peppermint flavor. Though the peppermint was slightly overpowering, the extra candy cane studs add a delightful crunch to the scrumptious cookie while the layer of dark chocolate spins a subtle bitterness to the sweet treat.

Dark Chocolate Orange: 10/10

The presentation of these treats was excellent. Hitting the chocolate ball against a hard surface caused it to break apart into 20 even segments that not only resembled orange slices, but also tasted strongly of orange flavor. The chocolate was textured and crunchy on the outside, and had an intricate pattern on the inside, which added to the overall display. While many people have expressed that they generally steer away from combinations of fruit and chocolate, this snack was a welcome delight. The unmistakable scent of orange drew us in even more with a sweet, lingering aftertaste. 

Astounding Multi-flavor Joe Joe’s: 7/10

The colorful box with unique lettering immediately jumped at us. It contained four sets of flavored cookies: vanilla ginger, double chocolate, peanut butter and peppermint. The vanilla ginger cookie had an overpowering scent of ginger which could be a little off-putting for some, but the crispy biscuit and sweet vanilla filling more than made up for it. The peanut butter cookie was appeasing as well: the milk chocolate flavor complimented the peanut butter nicely, and eating the delicate three-layered cookie was enjoyable. In contrast, the double chocolate cookies were disappointing, being dry and bitter rather than light and fluffy. The peppermint cookie had a more consistent flavor; however, it failed to meet reach its unique potential. Overall, the cookies were decent, even though the concept was a little overdone.

Panettone: 7/10

Panettone is an Italian sweet bread that is traditionally eaten around Christmas time. Trader Joe’s version of the cake was rather dry and flaky, and resembled hard bread. While the texture was as expected, it was overly dry.  The little pieces of fruit embedded within the dough were enjoyable, but their flavor was overpowered by the taste of the dry bread. Overall, the cake was only mildly sweet, and could not be enjoyed without a glass of water. It is definitely more of an acquired taste.

Decked Out Tree Cookies: 8/10

The festive decoration on the cookie catches your attention right away. Decorated with icing and topped with red and white sprinkles, the presentation of this snack was appealing. These tree-shaped cookies are filled with milk chocolate and are undeniably very sweet. This treat provides an interesting texture, as the cookie is hard and crunchy, while the milk chocolate is creamy and soft. However, the combination of crisp cookies with the smooth filling was not appealing; a shortbread cookie would have been preferable. Overall, this cookie was decent but could have been better with some changes.

Peppermint Pretzel Slims: 9/10

There has never been a more festive blend of sweet and salty. A layer of white chocolate envelops a slim salted pretzel and is studded with candy cane sprinkles. This crunchy snack is so scrumptious that you could finish the bag in one sitting. It is the perfect snack to binge on while watching your favorite holiday movie or can even be used to top off a holiday-themed ice cream sundae.

All in all, most of the snacks lived up to our expectations and some even exceeded them. We would recommend this collection to all avid Trader Joe’s enthusiasts. The snacks truly brought about holiday spirit in the best possible way.