Trader Joe’s Cookie Butter Sandwich Cookies

Trader Joe's Cookie Butter Sandwich Cookies

Trader Joe’s is just daring you to FREAK OUT!

Hold the presses! Hold the presses once again folks, for Trader Joe’s has unleashed a new form of cookie butter delivery system upon the world. This time they’ve packaged their joyful condiment in the form of Trader Joe’s Cookie Butter Sandwich Cookies – a delicious butter cookie / cookie butter sandwich.

If you’re not familiar with cookie butter, and that would truly be tragedy, you can better educate yourself on the topic here, here, here, here and here. Basically any time Trader Joe’s develops some new application of this most delicious cookie spread I will be there to buy it. If you don’t have the time to work your way through the backlog of posts, the tl;dr version goes like this:

Cookie Butter is like peanut butter – only it’s made from the delicious European cookie speculoos instead of peanuts. It tastes so good that once you eat it you will generate a sort of free-floating anger at the world for not inventing it sooner. HOWEVER – cookie butter is also a curse. It is so truly wonderful in and of itself that combining it with anything only seems to dilute its goodness.

The sorry truth is that the best way to enjoy Cookie Butter is to just spoon it directly into your mouth like a decadent Roman emperor. Trader Joe’s has tried numerous times to improve upon cookie butter, and each time they have failed. Cookie butter and Nutella failed, Oreo cookie butter fell short, and even Cookie Butter Cheesecake fell short of the mark set by a simple spoonful of cookie butter, eaten all by itself.

Nevertheless, Trader Joe’s refuses to give up on the dream of improving cookie butter. Which leads to the periodic release of new developments such as our speciment today – Cookie sandwiches with cookie butter.

Trader Joe's Cookie Butter Sandwich Cookies 1

As pretty as macaroons but way better tasting.

How did they do this time? Well, first off, it’s cookie butter, so it’s pretty damn good. More specifically, however, it’s really damn good. It’s hard to see where they could improve on these sandwich cookies. Two simple, but sweet and flaky butter cookies are sandwiched around a thick swathe of divine cookie butter. The result is a really handy way to get cookie butter into your mouth without getting your fingers sticky.

It’s in the use of plain butter cookies that Trader Joe’s really succeeds on this count. I’m sure that someone suggested using speculoos cookies for the two cookie halves, they may have even tried it, but that would only have muddled the decadent cookie butter taste. On the other hand, these basic butter cookies simply stay out of the way. They provide a nice crunch, and a nice mild sweetness but don’t get in the way of the main attraction. You really taste the cookie butter in these cookies, and not much else. That shows that TJ’s is learning. Come for the cookie butter and get the cookie butter- it’s an easy formula but a winning one.

There’s only one point I found myself disappointed on – and that is dunkability. With any sandwich cookie – oreo or otherwise – the mind immediately turns to a glass of cool, dunkable milk. Now there are certainly a plurality of theories on the perfect way to dunk a cookie, but the general consensus holds that you want a sort of al dente toothsomeness – yielding but not too soft. Unfortunately, the butter cookies involved here don’t lend themselves to that at all. Denser and not as porous as an Oreo, you’ll have to hold one of these cookies under the surface a long time before they even start absorbing milk. The butter cookies give you that “water off a ducks back” phenomenon, keeping the core resolutely dry no matter how much you dunk. Phooey. If they’d stuck the landing it would have been a solid 5 star performance.

Are these cookie sandwiches any better than cookie butter by itself? Not better, but almost as good – and that’s saying something. By keeping it clean and simple, you end up getting that same delightful cookie butter taste, with a bit of added crunchiness. If you want to think of these as a great all around cookie to serve anytime, or as a less barbaric way to get your cookie butter intake, you wouldn’t be poorly served. You can chalk this up as another “W” on the cookie butter scoreboard.


The Breakdown

Would I Recommend It: Yes, this is an awesome new way to eat cookie butter.

Would I Buy It Again: Definitely, if I could trust myself around it.

Final Synopsis: Delicious cookie butter sandwiched between two pleasantly low key butter cookies.

Trader Joe's Cookie Butter Sandwich Cookies - Nutrition Facts

Trader Joe’s Cookie Butter Sandwich Cookies – Nutrition Facts


Trader Joe’s Preserved Tunisian Lemon Slices

Trader Joe's Preserved Tunisian Lemon Slices

It’s lemon… like you’ve never seen him before!

Trader Joe’s preserved lemons are unlike any other sort of lemon you may have tried before. People do lots of weird things to produce that they store in jars. Sometimes they’re pickling it, sometimes they’re making it sweet, sometimes they’re just packing it in tons and tons of oil. Whatever it is, it’s always impossible to tell what you’re going to get until you actually pop the jar open and give it a try. In this case, I was surprised to find that what they were doing was making the lemons less sour. The lemons in TJ’s Preserved Tunisian Lemon Slices contain all the flavor of that famous yellow citrus fruit, but none of the acidity or sourness. The result is a slightly unnerving but intriguing food experience.

I was really, really not expecting this. Frankly I didn’t even know it was possible to unsour lemons. Really, I didn’t know what expect when I picked these up – and Trader Joe’s was not in a helpful mood when they created the packaging. Search the jar and you’ll find no description of what to use these lemons for, or how they might taste. The one clue that TJ’s sort of lets on to is when they casually mention “Be sure to rinse under water – unless you really like salt.” That might lead you to believe these lemons will be salty. And while yes, indeed, the brine they’re packed in is very salty, that salinity doesn’t make its way into the taste of the lemons. The only reason the lemon slices are soaking in a salt bath is because salt draws out and neutralizes the bitterness of the lemon peel and acidity of the lemon juice.

The result is lemon slices that taste and look like lemons, but don’t make you pucker or wince. If you’ve never had them, it may hard to imagine what non-sour lemons taste like. Basically, they taste like lemon-sceneted dish soap smells. While that is a strange little thing to deal with, mentally, it’s not the only slightly off-putting part of these preserved lemons. As a necessary part of the preserving process, these lemons are saturated, soaked and soggy. Washing them off and patting them dry is about all the strain they can take without falling apart on you. You’ll have no trouble slicing through the rind of these lemons with the edge of a plastic spoon.

So what are you to do with a jar of un-lemonafied lemon slices? The answer is, pretty much anything. The best way to think of these preserved lemons is as a solid slices of lemon juice. Adding a slice, either diced or whole, gives a refreshing zest to any dish. The real boon here is that you can’t over load on these. With the face puckering sourness of the lemon nullified all you’re really adding is a burst of citrus flavor. The classic way to use preserved lemon is in a Moroccan tagine soup, but they really dress up any dish that would benefit from a touch of lemon zest. Dice it up and mix it in a salad, add a slice to a sandwich, or serve as a garnish for roasted chicken.  If the somewhat unnatural texture and taste of the lemons doesn’t bother you, they’re an easy and interesting way to dress up almost any dish.


The Breakdown

Would I Recommend Them: Yes – these have all the perks of lemons without any of the downside.

Would I Buy Them Again: One jar should last me a long time, but I’d consider it.

Final Synopsis: All of the flavor of a lemon without the acid.


Trader Joe’s Pesto and Quinoa

Trader Joe's Pesto and Quinoa

Yup, pesto and quinoa – that classic duo. Like ketchup and custard, salt and Dr. Pepper

Look, I know quinoa is enjoying something of a heyday, the likes of which has been unprecedented since the ancient grain was originally introduced as a staple of the human diet in 5,000 BC, but there are certain applications of it which are bound to make even the hippest vegetarian blink. I’ve calmly accepted quinoa in my salads, my “chicken”, and even in my sushi. But quinoa in my pesto? That’s a development that begs further inquiry.

Quinoa was originally cultivated in the Andes region of South America since the rise of civilization there. However, since it’s uptake by the incessant marketing machine in the mid 2000’s, quinoa has been trumpeted as a superfood for it’s many healthsome properties – some certified, some merely alleged – and introduced into practically any food product in need of a sales boost.

What is absolutely true is that quinoa is a gluten-free grain, and is relatively protein rich. Given that both these qualities dovetail nicely into the culinary trends of the day, its recent, widespread popularity should probably not be a surprise. It is notable however. Since 2006, the price of quinoa has tripled on the market even as crop production has nearly doubled world wide – and in 2013 no lesser body than the United Nations itself declared it the “International Year of Quinoa”. They had a logo and everything.

While the sudden rise of quinoa from obscurity to mainstay may sound unusual, it’s not alone. In fact pesto – yes the very pesto in this quinoa and pesto sauce – shares a very similar original story. Pesto may not have a pedigree that stretches back thousands of years, like quinoa, but it’s a lot older than you might think. The first bowl of pesto was found on the table of the ancient Romans who ate a paste of crushed herbs, garlic and cheese. As they conquested into northern Italy/southern France, the basil that grew there was introduced into the dish – resulting in the pesto we know and love today. And then nothing happened for two thousand years. Despite the fact that pesto took it’s fully mature form sometime before the birth of Christ, it was largely unknown out of the rustic Mediterranean regions where it sprang into existence.

Not until 1863 is the first recipe for pesto recorded, and it is not until nearly a hundred years after that, in 1946, that the first pesto recipe shows up in America. Even then, pesto continued to languish in relative obscurity until the 1980’s, when it started to be adopted into Italian cuisine on a wide scale.

So why combine these two long overlooked food items into one condiment? Why did Trader Joe’s bother to make Pesto and Quinoa?

When you try it, the first thing you’ll notice is that they might as well have called it pesto with quinoa, instead of pesto and quinoa. The point being that this is a pesto sauce, first and foremost, with the quinoa making a very meager impact on the overall dish.

Apart from the quinoa, this is a standad pesto recipe – filled with plenty of basil, oil and grated cheese. What it doesn’t have, however, is any pine nuts. In place of that crunchy nuttiness you get the squishy nuttiness of lots and lots of quinoa. This makes the pesto taste more or less like any other pesto you’ve had from a grocery store, even if it looks very very different. There’s so much quinoa in this pesto that it’s far and away the first ingredient. When you unscrew the lid you’ll see a load of quinoa, sprouts and all, staring back at you. If you can get over the somewhat unsettlingly different appreance, you’ll find that this pesto works just like the regular stuff – you can add it easily to pasta, chicken, fish or salads for that big sloppy kiss of savory basil. Just don’t expect it to spread quite like regular pesto. The quinoa makes it much lumpier than a normal pesto, and requires a little extra finesse on the part of the eater.

While that’s all well and good, it does make you wonder why Trader Joe’s bothered to make this stuff at all. There isn’t any real difference in the calorie or fat content between this and ordinary pesto. While I enjoyed it on a variety of meals, I didn’t enjoy it any more than I would have any other pesto. And with the slightly unappealing look and unweildly nature of the quinoa, there really isn’t any need to get it again. I’m glad TJ’s discovered a tasty Peruvian pesto, I’m just not so sure why they wanted to pas it along to all of us.


The Breakdown

Would I Recommend It: No, I don’t think so.

Would I Buy It Again: Nope, no need.

Final Synopsis: Pesto with a bunch of quinoa in it tastes just like pesto without quinoa in it. So why bother?


Trader Joe’s Speculoos Cookie Butter Cheesecake

cookie butter cheesecake box

Such non-descript packaging! Like an oyster shell hiding a pearl

Stop the presses folks. World shaking news is afoot.

Look, we all know and love Cookie Butter,we love it crunchy, we love it as ice cream, we even love it when it’s made from Oreo cookies. Now Trader Joe’s has taken it all two steps further by putting it on cheesecake. Yes, you read that right – cookie butter cheesecake – just in time for the holidays.

For those of you who are still, bafflelingly, in the dark about cookie butter, it’s that miraculous creamy substance that replaces the peanuts in peanut butter with ground up speculoos cookie. Reminiscent of sugar cookies and ginger bread, this creamy, sweet, smooth and delicious treat is so good that it makes peanut butter look like parsley. It’s simply fantastic.

What TJ’s has dared to do here is spread a thick shmear of cookie butter across the top of an ordinary cheesecake, then set the whole thing in a crust made from crushed up speculoos cookies. Brilliant move on both accounts. Resisting the temptation to mix the cookie butter into the cheesecake filling itself is absolutely the right move – choosing to let the cookie butter speak for itself instead of diluting it with lesser sugars. The cookie crust is just a little extra flourish that adds a tasty touch to an already very tasty cake.

As we’ve noted before, Trader Joe’s has struggled to trump their simple, flagship creation, ordinary cookie butter. The issue is that cookie butter is so good on its own that mixing it with anything – even if that anything is nutella, tastes less delicious. It’s like we’re dealing with cocaine – the more stuff you cut that sweet nose candy with, the less pure it becomes.

It’s a daunting task, but combining cookie butter with cheesecake is brilliant enough that it seems it might work. If there’s anything in this world as rich and decadent as cookie butter, it’s cheesecake. Maybe even more so! Isn’t it possible that the whole thing is going to be a mouth-melting act of dietary terrorism so rich that the smallest slice will overwhelm all but the stoutest gourmands?

cookie butter cheesecake

Cookie butter. On a cheesecake.

As it turns out – no. Despite all the potential, cookie butter cheesecake falls short of its promise.

“How could that possibly be,” you may be wondering, “Given such a pedigree?”

Well, I’m certainly not saying it isn’t a good cheesecake. It is. It’s very good – sweet, creamy, smooth and delicious. No one will be turning down a slice of this cheesecake after dinner. It won’t be going back into the freezer for another day. This is a fine and tasty cheesecake that people will eat up despite themselves.

That said, I was disappointed by my first bite. I expect cookie butter to be exceptional, and this cheesecake isn’t particularly exceptional in any way. It’s entirely tasty, but it’s not going to blow your mind or anything. Again, that’s not really an insult. The cake is well thought through. Trader Joe’s obviously considered making a much more decadent cheesecake and pulled back. What you get is not as overwhelmingly sweet as you might imagine. Both the cheesecake filling and the cookie butter topping seems less intense than they usually are. Here, this works to their advantage. The one seems to mellow out the intense, rich taste of the other, making it much easier to enjoy a whole slice of this cheesecake than it is to enjoy a whole spoonful of cookie butter by itself.

While this works for the cake, and works quite deliciously, it doesn’t elevate the dessert to either the cookie butter or cheesecake hall of fame. The fact of the matter is that I’ve had other cheesecakes, non cookie-butter cheesecakes, that are better than this one. Given the immense calorie value and special occasion status of cheesecake, I’m looking for something stunning to put in my mouth – not merely good.

It’s a noble try, and a delicious one, but the quest for a superior form of cookie butter continues.


The Breakdown

Would I Recommend It: Yes, this is a pretty good cheesecake, and worth a try for cookie butter lovers.

Would I Buy It Again: Probably not. There are better cheesecakes (and cookie butter products) out there.

Final Synopsis: Good – but not as good as it sounds.

Trader Joe's Speculoos Cookie Butter Cheesecake - Nutritional Info and Calories

Trader Joe’s Speculoos Cookie Butter Cheesecake – Nutritional Info and Calories


Trader Joe’s Jalapeno Cranberry Sauce

Trader Joe's Jalapeno Cranberry Sauce

Because why not.

It’s the holiday season – Thanksgiving, Christmas, all that jazz. The holidays, more than any other time of the year, are a time of traditional foods – of stuffing, turkey, mashed potatoes, pie and, yes, cranberry sauce. Of course, just because something is a tradition doesn’t mean Trader Joe’s isn’t going to try and find some way to screw with it. Case in point, the brand new Trader Joe’s Jalapeno Cranberry Sauce.

When I first saw this, I initially assumed it was some new sort of festive pepper jelly. You know the stuff – comes in little jars, thick like jam, people spread it over cream cheese, only ever shows up around the holidays? That stuff? While pepper jelly and this cranberry sauce do have the same burgundy color the two condiments are actually very dissimilar. After all, this is a cranberry sauce – same as the gelatinous stuff you get in cans and serve with the stuffing. It’s not even particularly thick, and while it certainly might be a nice compliment to cream cheese, that’s not what it was made for. As a cranberry sauce, its natural home is in between the turkey leg and the mash potatoes.

Now, cranberry sauce has a long tradition of being blended with any variety of different flavors – orange zest being the most common – but jalapeno peppers? That’s something I’ve never seen. That said, this jalapeno blend is a natural addition to the cranberry sauce oeuvre. Cranberry sauce is, after all, not so much a sauce as it is a relish – meant to add a burst of outrageous flavor to your seasonal repast. On that count this cranberry sauce works very well, the heat the jalapenos pack melds well with the tart sweetness of the cranberries, kicking the sauce up to a whole new notch of flavor intensity. When Trader Joe’s gives “jalapeno” top billing on the label, you know they’re not screwing around. There’s no mistaking the jalapeno taste in this sauce, but that’s not to say it’s very spicy. There’s only a mild heat to each bite – much more prominent is the flavor of the jalapeno itself, that uniquely green and peppery taste. It’s this savory flavor that mixes with the sweet cranberry sauce, and gives it its overall unusual but intriguing taste.

This new and intriguing taste is certainly something worth trying, but while there’s no reason you couldn’t put it out this coming Thanksgiving you’ll probably want to have some ordinary cranberry sauce  on hand as well. It’s a bold and striking flavor, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll want it on every piece of turkey.

If your jar of Jalapeno Cranberry Sauce doesn’t get used up on Thanksgiving dinner, you might consider using it as an hors d’ouevre. It could easily be used as a tarter substitute for pepper jelly in the aforementioned cream cheese and pepper jelly spread. Simply lay on a thick layer of the cranberry sauce over a slab of cream cheese and garnish with an interesting cracker – Trader Joe’s Pita Crisps with Cranberries and Pumpkin seeds could be an excellent fit.

Otherwise, unless you’re serving up a uniquely Mexican-flavored Thanksgiving/Christmas dinner, Trader Joe’s Jalapeno Cranberry Sauce is probably best thought of as a back up to your main cranberry sauce.


The Breakdown:

Would I Recommend It: Certainly, and doubly so to flavor-thrill seekers and people looking to shake up the Thanksgiving table.

Would I Buy It Again: Maybe… we’ll see how it goes over this year.

Final Synopsis: A sweet and tasty relish to supplement to your ordinary cranberry sauce.


Trade Joe’s Cranberry Apple Butter

Trader Joe's Cranbery Apple Butter

Trader Joe’s – One up’ing the Amish.

We may have left Trader Joe’s season of pumpkin madness behind, but it is still autumn and that means there’s still a whole cornucopia of harvest foods to review. Case in point, Trader Joe’s tasty Cranberry Apple Butter.

Every season has certain foods associated with it – from the lemonades of summer to the hot choclate of winter, but no season is more intimately tied to food and food traditions than the fall. There are the pumpkins, of course, but that’s not to mention turkeys, pies, stuffing, cranberries, apples or many more besides. Trader Joe’s has decided to take these latter two and combine them into one delicious condiment for us with their new Cranberry Apple Butter.

Apple Butter is one of those niche condiments that the majority of Americans maybe encounters once or twice in a decade. In it’s most basic form, it can be thought of as something like apple sauce MAX. Apple sauce is made by stewing up a load of apples with sugar and water until it forms a pleasant mash. Apple butter simply takes that process to it’s extreme – keeping the apple sauce on heat until the fructose in the apples caramelizes into a rich, deep brown.

This apple spread was first concocted by German and Dutch monks back in the Middle Ages, when monasteries included large orchards. The enormous, annual crop of apples had to be managed somehow, and what couldn’t be eaten was turned into the shelf stable apple preserve we now know as apple butter. Although it never really caught on in Europe outside of the regions of the Rhineland and Limburg, migrants to America brought the recipe with them and it can be found nowadays as a staple in Pennsylvania Dutch country, as well as more widely available in boutique grocery stores here and there nation wide.

That’s all well and good, but if you’re anything like me you’ve often scratched your head over the whole “butter” part of apple butter. After all no butter, or any dairy product, goes into apple butter. The misnomer apparently comes from the soft, easily spreadable nature of the food product, which apparently lead some miserable medieval peasant to remark, “Oy- these apples is like butter, isn’t they?”

Of course, you and I know that’s stupid, as butter is only seldom that easy to spread. If we’re going strictly by consistency Apple Margarine would have obviously been the better term – or maybe Apple Toothpaste. At any rate, it’s in the history books know and I’ll be damned if I know what can be done about it.

Trader Joe’s, on the other hand, had no such shortage of ideas. In a rather clever move, they’ve gone and added a heavy dollop of cranberry puree to the tradition apple butter, giving the condiment a tart zest. How much of a dollop are we talking about? Plenty, actually. Cranberry is actually the primary ingredient in the spread, followed by apples. That’s a choice you can taste – the cranberries are front and center here, in fact they taste so strong that this apple butter could be mistaken for cranberry sauce on first blush. However, once the sharp cranberry taste has subsided, the mellower sweetness of the apple butter remains, taking some of the bite off and making the preserve more palatable than a straight cranberry sauce would be. Although it’s the “apple butter” part of the title that catches the attention, this is probably better thought of as a cranberry sauce first, and an apple butter second.

So what do you do with a hybrid cranberry-apple spread? Put it on your turkey is the obvious answer. And while this would be a perfect addition to Thanksgiving dinner this year, it also makes a tasty spread on toast and English muffins. If you wanted to get crazy with it, you could even add it to a turkey sandwich for a little of that pseudo-thanksgiving taste!


 The Breakdown

Would I Recommend It: Sure, if you like cranberry sauce.

Would I Buy It Again: Probably not, honestly. Regular cranberry sauce usually does it for me.

Final Synopsis: Like cranberry sauce, with a mellower apple butter follow through.

Trader Joe's Cranbery Apple Butter - Nutrition Facts

Trader Joe’s Cranbery Apple Butter – Nutrition Facts


Trader Joe’s Cookies and Creme Cookie Butter

Trader Joe's Cookies and Creme Cookie Butter

Trader Joe’s Cookies and Creme Cookie Butter. Not technically made from Oreos… but only technically.

Hold the goddamn presses, ladies and gentlemen. We may be in the very height of pumpkin season, the most exciting time of the year of the Trader Joe’s product reviewer, but we’ve got to forget about all that for a minute. Novel pumpkin products are all well and good, but Trader Joe’s has just released something of national importance. I’m speaking, of course, of Trader Joe’s new Cookies and Creme Cookie Butter. It is, not to mince words, Cookie Butter made from Oreos.

Yes.

Yes, Oreos. Oreo cookie butter.

Yes.

I understand if you need another minute to grapple with this fact. Take your time. Breathe.

Look guys – look. I’ve occasionally accused Trader Joe’s of screwing around, hinted that maybe they don’t always know what they’re doing. I take all that back, because this is a masterstroke. Needless to say, it is almost terrifyingly delicious.

The orignal Cookie Butter, precious Speculoos Cookie Butter, our lord and savior, has always been great. It’s been there for us in thick and thin, when times are tough as in times of bounty. Its creation objectively improved the state of affairs in the world, and its creator should be enshrined upon her death – but for all that, it always seemed to me like it peaked too early.

There was never any other place to go with the original cookie butter, regardless of how Trader Joe’s tried, and tried to improve upon what was already, it appeared to me, unimproveuponable. That was my folly, for while I was naysaying TJ’s efforts, I never in my wildest dreams realized there could be more types of cookie butter. That there was no reason to limit cookie butter just to the original, delicious speculoos cookie base, but to expand it to other types of cookies! To expand it to Oreos!! OREO COOKIE BUTTER!!!

This development is almost unbearable exciting for two reasons. One, it’s super, super delicious. It’s just so damn good. Eating Trader Joe’s Cookie and Creme Cookie Butter is like mainlining Oreos into your blood stream. Oreos or, as I should say, Trader Joe’s Joe Joe’s. Joe Joe’s are, of course, the Trader Joe’s take on Oreos – identical to their forebearer in all ways except the name.

Trader Joe’s has taken these Joe Joe’s, and broken it down into a brand new type of cookie butter – or more correctly, a cookie butter and cream filling swirl. TJ tried this sort of cookie butter swirling before with Trader Joe’s attempted Cookie Butter and Nutella mixture. While in theory this sounded amazing, a couple issues with the flavors kept it form becoming a classic. Those problems are absent here, and the oreo cookies and oreo crème mixture works beautifully together.

The thick, black veins “cocoa” cookie butter tastes exactly like the dark and crunchy cookie part of oreo cookies – only better. Whatever process they were applying to the cinnamon-spiced speculoos cookies they simply applied to the chocolate cookie shell here, making a mostly smooth, slightly crunchy, delightful cookie spread. Everyone knows that the chocolate exterior of the oreo cookie is what you put up with in order to get to the delicious creamy center. What Trader Joe’s has succeeded in doing is taking the tasty essence of that chocolate cookie and distilling it to it’s simple, beautiful core. The resulting cookie butter gives you the strange but amazing sensation of eating a cookie without the chewing.

This amazing, chocolatey cookie butter is paired, naturally, with unbelievable pure stripes of the Joe Joe’s creamy, frosting filling. This filling does taste a little different from the filling you get in a standard joe-joe/oreo, but it’s hard to say why. The creamy filling here is much softer than what you find in the cookie form, and there is much more of it. If anything, it tastes better than it does in ordinary cookie form.

I’ve often dreamed of getting a whole bag of oreo cookies, scraping out just the filling and eating it all at once, but never dared to try lest the delicious taste drive me insane. Where I only dreamed, Trader Joe’s has acted, not only combining the creamy filling together in one place, but making it even gooier and creamier. This is literally a dream come true.

Trader Joe's Cookies and Creme Cookie Butter - Top View

The beautiful, untouched surface of cookies and creme cookie butter. It’s almost like the Bat Signal, but for deliciousness.

There is no down side to Trader Joe’s Cookies and Creme Cookie Butter – there is only the challenge it presents to your existence. How can you go on living a normal life, knowing this new product is in the world. Are any of the rationales that prop up your life strong enough to stand up against the idea of just sitting down and eating an entire jar of Cookies and Creme Cookie Butter with your bare hands? This is a non-trivial question, folks.

The biggest challenge, really, comes from trying to figure out what to do with this stuff. It’s very, very tasty, that’s true, but there isn’t really a decent way to cook with it. Even Trader Joe’s acknowldeges this on the side of the jar, listing three feeble ideas (dip pretzles in it?) before admitting that you can “eat it right out of the jar”. And really, that does seem to be the most enjoyable thing to do with this cookie butter – aside from possible covering your nude body with it and plunging into an unimaginably hedonistic orgy. This cookie butter is less a condiment than it is a confection in a jar. It’s like  an advanced form of super cookie that, nevertheless, fills the exact same space in your life that regular cookies do –  enjoyable moments of indulgent snacking. Cookie butter just does it more efficiently

This brings us to the big question – is Trader Joe’s Cookies and Creme Cookie Butter better than Trader Joe’s Speculoos Cookie Butter? It’s a serious quandary, and one that I’ve considered carefully over many spoonfuls of both these spreads. In my considered opinion, the original cookie butter is still best. While the cookies and creme cookie butter is amazing, and delicous and wonderful, it’s almost overwhelming sweet. In the long run, when eaten directly, it tends to be a bit one note compared to the somewhat more nuanced speculoos cookie butter. In the absence of any real recipes to incorporate these amazing spreads into – if we’re simply eating them out of the jars with our fingers like elevated apes – the win goes to Speculoos Cookie Butter, where the remarkable sweetness is tempered by the more complex, spiced flavor of that classic Christmas cookie taste.

That said, so long as Trader Joe’s continues producing both there’s no reason to choose. Buy them both, and enjoy them in unguarded moments, gliding upon the clouds of heaven.


 The Breakdown

Would I Recommend It: YES!

Would I Buy It Again: YES! YES!!!

Final Synopsis: COOKIE BUTTER MADE FROM OREOS! BUY NOW!