Since there were a few lingering holiday items at Trader Joe’s, I wanted to grab them before they disappeared. This time, I got Trader Joe’s Extraordinary Bark of the Finest Collection ($3.99)– “dark chocolate bark with layers of mini milk chocolate peanut butter cups, pretzels, caramel popcorn and crushed almonds.” It wasn’t mentioned in their description, but this bark also has Joe Joe cookies on top!
Before opening the package, I wondered if the bark would be hard to manage because it looked so ginormous and intense. But, once I opened the package, I saw that it was the perfect thickness and the bark pieces broke off easily. There’s so much going on with this bark that you get a different flavor and texture in each bite. It was fun, delicious, and surprisingly easy to eat. The caramel popcorn was not as crispy/crunchy as I like, but other than that, this candy bar was delightful. This bark is certainly extraordinary, and it makes the perfect holiday treat.
I’ve heard great things about Trader Joe’s Pear & Persimmon Tarte and I was curious to try it. On a recent Trader Joe’s visit it was discounted from $3.99 to $1.99, so I had to get it.
It is pretty easy to prepare. Just let it defrost for about an hour at room temperature (or maybe a little more), then bake for 10 minutes at 325 degrees.
This tarte is delicious, and such a steal for $1.99 (I have a feeling it won’t last in the stores long!). The crust is wonderful – it is my favorite crust out of the pies/tartes I’ve tried from Trader Joe’s so far. They taste like shortbread cookies – crispy on the outside, and soft and chewy on the inside. The sprinkle of granulated sugar on top is a nice touch.
I also really like the filling. It doesn’t really taste like persimmon…it tastes more like peach-apricot, but it’s still tasty. There are some pear pieces in the filling, but not as big as in the picture on the package. The fruit filling is complimented well by the subtle frangipane (almond paste) underneath it.
Overall, this tarte kind of reminds me of a bigger, fancier version of thumbprint cookies. I loved thumbprint cookies as a kid, but rarely had them. This dessert is also sweet, but not too sweet…it is perfect when warm and would pair nicely with a hot cup of tea 🙂
For the non-alcoholic drinkers out there, Trader Joe’s Sparkling White Chardonnay Grape Juice is a great alternative for a celebratory beverage. It is made with 100% juice from Spanish Chardonnay grapes and it comes in a fancy bottle. It is a little sweeter than actual Chardonnay wine, but it is still tasty and delightfully bubbly. The flavor is somewhat like white grape and apple, and it is perfect when served chilled. They recommend consuming within 4 days of opening, but it didn’t last that long for me 😛 And it’s only $2.99!
I forgot to take a picture of the juice until there was only a little bit left 😛
Happy Holidays!! I am loving all of the holiday foods available at Trader Joe’s during the winter season. I’ve never had fruitcake before, but it wasn’t something I necessarily wanted to try because it didn’t sound very appetizing. But on a recent Trader Joe’s visit, I tried a sample of their Fruitcake BAR ($3.99), and I was hooked! It was absolutely divine!
Don’t let the bland appearance fool you – it is super flavorful, and chock full of almond slices and tender fruit morsels…raisins, dried cranberries, dried cherries, and dried apricots. There’s also a slight note of crystallized ginger which adds a nice zest. I don’t know if this is what a fruitcake is supposed to taste like, but it was AMAZING!
There’s a nice balance between the almonds, dried fruit, and the bar itself. I love the moist, chewy texture and the almondy flavor of the actual bar – it kind of reminds me of pignoli cookies. It would be hard not to finish the entire bar in one sitting 😛