Hello. My name's Nathan, and I love Trader Joe's. My wife Sonia does too. She's a great shopper, has excellent taste and knows good value when she comes across it. As many of you know, Trader Joe's is unsurpassed in the world of good-value grocery stores, so we spend a lot of our time and money there. Although the store fairly consistently delivers great taste with its own unique line of food products, there are definitely some big-hits, and unfortunately, there are some misses...

After doing a couple of internet searches for reviews of TJ's food items, Sonia discerned an apparent dearth of good, quality reviews for the store's offerings. So, at her suggestion, we decided to embark on a journey of systematically reviewing every Trader Joe's product, resulting in the blog you are about to read...

A couple of months into our Trader Joe's rating adventure, an old college friend, Russ, who unbeknownst to me had been following our TJ's blog, decided that I had been slacking in my blogging duties (which, of course, I was) so he decided to contribute his own original TJ's reviews to the blog, thus enhancing it, making it more complete and adding to it a flavor of his own. He and his wife Sandy are also avid TJ's fans and, as you will soon discover, he is an excellent writer and is nearly as clever, witty and humble as I am.

Seriously though, Russ: You go, boy!

So here it is: "What's Good at Trader Joe's?"

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Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Trader Joe's Sutter's Formula Cookies

I've searched the interwebs high and low and everywhere in between and have come to this conclusion: I have no idea where the Trader Joe's Sutter's Formula Cookies get their name from. Absolutely none. There's not quite a lack of famous-ish folks with the last name Sutter. For instance, there's John Sutter, a prominent Californian at the time of the gold rush, and his son, creatively named John Jr, who was the founder of the city of Sacramento. Enough social studies there. There's the famous Sutter family tree in hockey, of course, and Bruce Sutter, who's not only a Hall of Fame relief pitcher fom the '70s and '80s but also is my personal facial hair role model. Other than that, I haven't stumbled across any scientists or mathematicians named Sutter, and certainly not anything relating to any formula. Uncharacteristically, the packaging offers no hints either, so I'll just presume that these cookies were partially inspired by all the aforementioned Sutters, thus giving me an excuse to stealthily sneak as many bad puns into the next paragraph or so as I can. See how many you can sift out.

All you really need to know about these cookies is, if you like that constantly irresistible combo of chocolate and peanut butter, you'll want to make a bee-line for these. These are treats worthy of a king. Unlike a lot of "fresh-baked" sugar pucks masquerading as cookies from other grocery stores with the onsite bakeries, these Sutter cookies maintain their freshness and composure for days after opening. They're soft and crumbly yet chewy and satisfying - what a great prospect. Even when your teeth hit one of the big ol' mlk chocolate nuggets, it won't throw you for a curve. Flavorwise, these cookies are a big ol' slapshot to the tastebuds. The peanut butter flavor is impeccably rich and hardhitting, and while dark chocolate has surpassed milk chocolate in my mind, in this instance it's not a strike. I believe there was a sign at TJ's stating these were fresh-baked and delivered every day, which might be part of the sales pitch, but I'd say it pans out.  Watch out or you'll get hooked.

Oh goodness, let's get some relief from that. Sandy and I loved every single one of these cookies we ate. I cannot think of a single argument against them. Yes, they're full of sugar and fat and calories and all sorts of general unhealthiness, but it's a cookie, and one more than worth the indulgence at that. If you feel guilty about eating one of these, go eat some kale or something afterwards and tell yourself it evens out.  Sandy and I aren't going to buy them every time we go, but I promise you, the thought will cross our minds. "I really really really like them," Sandy said. "They're soft, they're chewy, they're peanut-buttery....what more can a girl want?" Well, only one of those adjectives readily describes me....I digress. These confections are near perfection. Our score says it all.

Bottom line: Trader Joe's Sutter Formula Cookies: 9.5 out of 10 Golden Spoons



  1. Your post made me curious, and a quick google turned up the explanation of Trader Joe's website! http://www.traderjoes.com/fearless-flyer/article.asp?article_id=1048

    1. You win the Internet! :) I shoulda figured the Fearless Flyer would have all the answers!

  2. Just found your site last night and starting to go through it. Their bagged cookies are not baked fresh daily. I used to work there, I know. However, just dig into the back of the stack for the freshest bags unless the person who stocked was slacking that day.

    1. Yeah, that claim seemed kinda dubious as no TJ's I've ever been in has a bakery. Maybe they're "baked daily" at whatever facility and it's a silly little technicality? Still, TJ's...