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, August 10, 2016

Trader Joe's Salted Caramel Coconut Cookies

Although the What's Good at TJ's team has seen one or two coconut macaroon offerings before, we've seen a whole slew of salted caramel or "sea salt and caramel" products. I'd say it's getting up there with cookie butter, mango, and pumpkin spice in terms of what I'll call Trader Joe's brand "identity flavors."

And it's great to have these "safe" stand-by type flavors always around—ones you know TJ's routinely gets right. But I personally feel like it gets harder and harder to impress me with the same flavors over and over again. I'd rather see something bizarre, even if it's a little risky. 

And I know it's a completely different medium and has nothing to do with what I'm talking about here, but it's the same principle that makes Stranger Things a superior production to Fuller House in every way (even though Netflix knew I was going to watch each and every episode of that zany Tanner family like I did circa 1990). So logically, as Netflix and Trader Joe's are both well aware, the best course of action is to offer safeness and weirdness side by side.

Predictably, I gobbled up a couple of these cookies right after unboxing them. They're good. They're moist, coconutty, and sweet. There's a significant glob of caramel right in the center of each cookie, and it adds a nice extra bit of creamy texture to the coconut shavings, but I'd still say the "salted caramel" flavor is wanting. Sonia agrees. She tasted very little caramel, and insists that there was practically no salty flavor at all. Maybe we're being picky...or maybe that salted caramel bar is just too high for us now.

More impressed with the coconut macaroon part of the cookies than I was, Sonia says she would buy these again. I, personally, wouldn't. I don't regret buying this box, however, and I'd recommend coconut macaroon fans check them out. I'm in for three stars on this one. Put Sonia down for four.

Bottom line: 7 out of 10.


  1. Hmmmm.... I wonder if you put them in the microwave for a couple of seconds it would bring out the flavor of the caramel

    1. That's a really good idea. I bet you're right...

  2. I absolutely LOVE these cookies! They are kind of like really awesome macaroons with a little dollop of very lightly salted caramel in the middle and they are super low in fat so I can eat a couple without feeling any guilt at all.