Here Little Cookie
Trader Joe's has a new favorite: Speculoos cookie butter falls to No. 2
Uh-oh, we feel a shortage coming on. Gourmet foodie emporium Trader Joe's has released its list of top products for 2013, and it's bad news for Speculoos cookie butter. The gingerbready spread has been toppled by an even more ginger-y interloper: Triple ginger snaps.
Overtaking cookie butter is no small feat. The super-hot spread topped Trader Joe's top products for 2012 and became such a smash that TJ's suffered a national shortage. In its valiant struggle to keep Speculoos on the shelves, the chain was forced to limit sales to one bottle per customer. The national nightmare finally waned in August, when the supply was replenished.
But this spicy, feisty ginger snap seems up to the task. It contains a triplet of gingers: crystallized ginger, fresh ginger and ground ginger. Other ingredients include wheat flour (hey, it's healthy), brown sugar, butter, molasses and egg. The butter and molasses provide a flavorful platform for the bits of crystallized ginger, which sets off explosions of bright flavor and moist gummy-bear chew.
Triple ginger snaps are not a new product; they took the No. 3 spot on last year's list. And as an FYI, Whole Foods Markets sell a nearly identical cookie in its bulk bins. But that shouldn't stop anyone from storming Trader Joe's and creating a run on the cookie so that we have something fun to write about for all of 2014.
Here's the full list (an * indicates that the product was limited-edition and probably can't be had right now, boo):
1. Triple Ginger Snaps. Not one, not two, but three gingers.
2. Speculoos Cookie Butter. Made of cookies. Like spreadable gingerbread. Has no nutritional value whatsoever.
3. Joe Joe’s Cookies (All Varieties). TJ's version of Oreo's, with the limited-edition holiday-season peppermint being an annual highlight.
4. Reduced Guilt Chunky Guacamole. Does anyone really feel guilty about regular guacamole?
5. Charles Shaw Wine (All Varieties). Cheap good wine remains a Trader Joe's trademark.
6. Pumpkin Coffee *. New pumpkin item proving that anything pumpkin sells, even godawful pumpkin-flavored coffee.
7. Mac ‘n Cheese. Returning favorite moves up on the list from last year's position at No. 16.
8. Pumpkin Butter * Last year's No. 12. And if we haven't mentioned this previously, pumpkin = popular.
9. Almond Butter (All Varieties) New to the list, almond butter has become more popular with the rise of (and phobia over) peanut allergies.
10. Pumpkin Pecan Instant Oatmeal * Oatmeal with pumpkin and pecans. TJ's is going to turn into a big pumpkin.
11. Chili Lime Chicken Burgers. Burgers made not of beef are hot.
12. Fennel Bulbs * How refreshing to see fresh produce on this list.
13. Cranberry Goat Cheese Log * Tangy cheese from Wisconsin is hand-rolled in candied cranberries.
14. Harvest Blend Herbal Tea * Limited-edition tea is a no-brainer since it has cinnamon, ginger – you know, the pumpkin pie spices. Pumpkin again, oy.
15. Pound Plus Chocolate Bar (Milk & Dark). Longterm TJ's product is a lot of good chocolate for a low price, and a real boon for bakers.
16. Almond Cocoa Spread An almondy cousin to Nutella, the chocolate-hazelnut spread that's gotten hot in the past couple of years.
17. Pumpkin Bread & Muffin Mix * A returning favorite (it was No. 14 last year) which has one irresistible trait we won't bother mentioning again.
18. Rosemary Marcona Almonds. Nuts are one of TJ's stock-in-trade categories. "Marcona" almonds means they're fried until extra-crunchy. Add rosemary and voila.
19. Corn & Chili Pepper Salsa. This salsa-without-tomatoes was No. 20 on last year's list. Inching up!
20. Dark Chocolate Covered Caramels. Awww, sank from No. 8 last year.
21. Chocolate Orange Sticks. Candied orange peel enrobed in chocolate. Bit of a surprise to see on this list.
22. Pesto Gouda. Introduced as a St. Patrick's Day item because it's green, this got bumped up to year-round availability.
23. Mandarin Orange Chicken. Once found at the top of the list (sniff!), this frozen dinner-in-a-bag is is a longtime bestseller.
24. Spinach & Kale Greek Yogurt Dip. Returning champ is a kale-y twist on spinach artichoke dip, with yogurt standing in for sour cream.
25. This Cranberry Walks Into a Bar… * Cross between a Pop Tart and a Fig Newton, this limited-edition breakfast bar has a thin pastry shell and lots of fruit.