I kinda employ the same rule for Christmas-themed treats. We've reviewed plenty of tasty pumpkin-related Turkey Day treats on the blog. Well, now that Thanksgiving is done with, and "Elf" has been satisfactorily watched, it's on with the carols and Christmas cookies. Bring it, I say.
Long time readers (umm, let's see...my mom? Maybe?) may recall last December I reviewed the Trader Joe's Candy Cane Joe-Joe's. Rereading that, I probably sound like more of a grinch than I should have, except I remember not being overly wowed by them. It's probably not surprising that these, the Dark Chocolate Covered Peppermint Joe-Joe's, are pretty much the same thing, except, obviously, being coated in yummy super delicious dark chocolate. And man, what a difference that makes. It's like Inspector Gadget got the assist from Penny or Cher found her auto-tuner. These, the choco-covered ones, are that much better. The candy shell just adds this cacao-richness that helps accentuate all the crumbly cookie wafer yumminess and the minty creaminess of the filling. It also helps that the white mint chunks on the outside aren't hard crunchy candy cane shards like they appear to be but instead soft and full of flavor, too. Altogether, each cookie, even by itself, is a rich and filling treat that satisfies my sweet tooth.
It's a good thing, too, if you gander over at the nutritional info. Like other extremely tasty TJ sandwich cookies, these are something to be taken in moderation. But unlike the Maple Leaf Cookies, I can't knock them too much for that for two reasons: First, it's Christmas. And second, whereas I want to eat as many of the maple cookies as I can, just one of the chocolate-coated minty Joe-Joe's is enough for me. Granted, I may want to eat one of them and maybe then a small something else (50/50 on that), but two of these? That's a bit much, and that means something coming from a big-boned cookie-lovin' kid like myself. They're just too rich for any more.
Sandy liked the regular candy cane cookies last year but she's in love with these. I've seen her munch one pretty much every night since we got them, and usually a big smile accompanies it. "Whatever I gave the other ones, give these a full spoon more," she said. Well, that would make them a perfect five from her. I like them almost as much, except when it comes to holiday cookies, pretty much nothing can beat my mom's or mother-in-law's. I'm lucky and spoiled. That and $3.99 for a sleeve of ten seems perhaps a slight bit high, but not overly so. Just tonight I repurchased some for a workplace potluck (along with some other holiday goodies), and they do seem to be a perfect easy option for a get-together like that if you're not one of those "hoarde-them-all-for-me"-type folks. Something around a four seems about right to me.
Trader Joe's Dark Chocolate Covered Peppermint Joe-Joe's: 9 out of 10 Golden Spoons