A Definitive Ranking of Trader Joes’ Winter Snacks


Trader Joes’ chocolate pecan pie bar, one of the best things on the list and one of the best things I have ever eaten.

10. Eggnog:

Like most Normal And Sane people, I was wary of a drink that mixed milk and eggs, and throwing in some christmas spices doesn’t magically erase the fear of salmonella. However, I kept an open mind while tasting it, which left me extremely unprepared for the barrage of disgusting-ness that assaulted my senses. The drink’s soapy aftertaste, along with the overpowering scent of cinnamon and turmeric, did little to mask the trademark eggyness. Overall, it was without a doubt, the worst of the holiday treats I tested for this list.

9. Minty Mallows:

I like chocolate. I like mint. I like marshmallows. Together, the flavors and textures combine to make something that is definitively the weirdest thing I’ve ever eaten; the mallows, though described as “pillowy”, are too glutinous and get stuck in one’s teeth. The chocolate shell tastes as if a child mixed toothpaste and cocoa powder. Additionally, the box gave no indication that it was even a holiday snack. It was a neon aqua color that may have been considered aesthetically pleasing in the mid 2010s. The two snowmen in the corner do little to increase the holiday cheer. 

8. Chocolate Orange:

I am no chef; I can’t make bread in a breadmaker (believe me, I’ve tried). However, even I know that chocolate and orange should not be put in one dish. The artificial citrus scent is reminiscent of orange tums; the chocolate is too dark to adequately complement it. While the presentation was elegant, with a gold and orange foil wrapping, the actual dish itself was wholly unappealing. 

7. Chocolate Box:

Like all chocolate boxes, this one was nice to look at, but ultimately disappointing. Maybe this would be a good gift for your ninety year old grandmother or five year old cousin; those of us who still have our taste buds, however, should probably get our empty calories somewhere else. The only reason this isn’t higher up on the list is because it was decently Christmassy, with gingerbread and snowman shaped chocolates. Cute. 

6. Christmas Bread:

If you hadn’t read the label, you would never know that this bread had anything to do with christmas. It’s devoid of cinnamon, nutmeg, pumpkin spice, or any of the other fall spices that Christian mothers go insane for in the fall time. The bread is quite dense, and the almond filling sits like a brick in the center. Eating it is like chewing tasty cement, pleasant for only a few bites.

5. Jingle Jangle:

With such a wide array of snacks in one box, everyone is bound to find something they like. The tin box is cute and can be used even after the holidays are over, like those shortbread cookie boxes your grandma keeps everything but shortbread in. Inside, you can find a variety of chocolate-related snacks – M&M knockoffs, Reese’s pieces knockoffs, and malt knockoffs. Maybe Mr. Joe needs to get out of the trading business for a while and learn a thing or two about plagiarism, since they ruin high school students’ entire lives. Maybe an honesty statement would help?

4. Stroopwafels:

The tin had nothing to do with Christmas, which was disappointing. While it was relatively good, it met almost none of my expectations- it wasn’t crispy, the caramel inside wasn’t particularly outstanding, and the biscuit was about average. And since I am, in fact, Asian, average is basically the same thing as failing. I’m actually being generous with this rating. 

3. Peppermint Bark:

Like the candy cane almonds, this bar mixes peppermint and chocolate without either flavor becoming too overwhelming. However, unlike its nutty cousin, it is a much darker chocolate. @ my people who dislike sweet things, you can snack on this. You can also go to hell. What’s wrong with you?

2. Candy Cane Almonds:

Originally, the almonds look wholly disgusting- like someone dipped almonds in glue and threw some red glitter on. The reason they’re so high on the list is because of how they completely subverted the expectations I had for them. The minty flavor is noticeable, but not overpowering. There is a thin layer of chocolate between the peppermint and the almonds, which only enhances the flavors of both because, you know, chocolate. The almonds on the inside provide a satisfying crunch, making these a perfect holiday snack. 

1. Chocolate Pecan Pie:

This was so good. Like, literally, so good, I don’t think I have the vocabulary to express how much this pie means to me, but I will spend a lifetime searching for the words. The crust was perfectly flaky, while complementing the taste of the filling, which achieved the ultimate compliment from my Asian mother: “Not too sweet.” I finished the entire thing in two days.