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The Only Trader Joe’s Holiday Finds Worth Buying This Year, According to Employees

Of the hundreds of products, these ten are at the top of the shopping list.

<p>Dotdash Meredith/Janet Maples</p>

Dotdash Meredith/Janet Maples

It's the most wonderful time of year, and every store is absolutely brimming with new and returning holiday products to surprise and delight us. Of those stores, few probably have more hype surrounding its seasonal offerings than Trader Joe's. That's because they're often totally unique and stocked for a super limited time, building lots of buzz and subsequently causing them to fly off shelves.

This year, Trader Joe's has 469 seasonal products—meaning products that will only be stocked until New Year's, if they last that long. Of those hundreds, 86 of them are brand new to TJ's stores. Now, that's an overwhelming statistic, but luckily our favorite podcast "Inside Trader Joe's" was back with its annual holiday shopping list to help guide your next trip. These are the 10 best holiday groceries at Trader Joe's this year, according to the people who work there.

The 10 Best Trader Joe’s Holiday Products This Year, According to the People Who Work There

Non-Dairy Cinnamon Bun Oat Creamer

<p>Dotdash Meredith/Janet Maples</p>

Dotdash Meredith/Janet Maples

Starting off strong with a guaranteed winner (in my book). Trader Joe's Non-Dairy Brown Sugar Oat Creamer is my absolute favorite coffee creamer; it's thick, creamy, and sweet without being too artificial-tasting. This new cinnamon bun flavor has the same dairy-free and gluten-free base as the brown sugar one, but with an extra swirl of warming cinnamon spice.

I look forward to adding this to my morning cup of joe, but TJ's employees have even more creative uses for the creamer. One colleague of hosts Miller and Sloane recommends using it as a soak for the most decadent French toast ever.

Cinnamon Bun Inspired Pancake and Waffle Mix

Speaking of cinnamon bun-inspired products, this mix was a top pick for the hosts and one that's hotly anticipated by my own colleagues. At Allrecipes, we absolutely love Trader Joe's seasonal pancake and waffle mixes for their convenience, quality, and most of all, creative flavors.

The newest addition to the lineup is inspired by another breakfast treat: cinnamon rolls. In addition to a superbly fluffy and high-rising batter base, each stack will also feature all the warming spices of a cinnamon bun as well as "little crispy bits of cinnamon candies that melt as you cook," according to Trader Joe's product developer, Trang (a guest on the podcast). Top the pancakes or waffles with TJ's Cinnamon Bun Spread for the most wonderful holiday breakfast maybe ever.

Chocolate Croissant Candle

<p>Dotdash Meredith/Janet Maples</p>

Dotdash Meredith/Janet Maples

Now for something that smells amazing, but is sadly not edible—Trader Joe's new Chocolate Croissant Candle. According to Miller and Sloane, it smells like buttery pastry and "chocolate that has been baking." If this candle smells anywhere as good as Trader Joe's frozen chocolate croissants taste, then we're in for a real treat.

Petit Four Mousse Cakes

Back in the realm of edible sweets is the first dessert on the shopping list: Petit Four Mousse Cakes. Petit fours are a type of small, bite-sized French dish that can be sweet or savory. While Costco has us covered on the savory petit fours this holiday season, Trader Joe's is taking the sweet side.

Each package of mini mousse desserts comes with nine pieces: three of each of three different flavors. The first is chocolate cake with chocolate filling and a dark chocolate coating; the second is vanilla cake with vanilla buttercream and a white chocolate coating; the third and final flavor is a coffee-coated chocolate cake with a coffee filling inside. You can pick these up in the freezer section soon.

Pretzel Bread Pudding

<p>Dotdash Meredith/Janet Maples</p>

Dotdash Meredith/Janet Maples

You'll also find this holiday party-ready dessert in the freezer section. Just like a traditional bread pudding but with salty pretzel bread pieces and a salted caramel sauce, this is the ultimate swalty (sweet and salty) dessert. Plus, it's almost effortless. According to Miller, after 45 to 60 seconds in the microwave, you get "this absolutely extraordinary gooey, delicious, salty, sweet, soft bread pudding made with pretzel bread."

It's already cropping up in stores across America alongside another festive dessert, and being met with rave reviews. Early fans call it a "10/10" and "beyond delicious."

Chocolate Dipped Danish Cookies

<p>Dotdash Meredith/Janet Maples</p>

Dotdash Meredith/Janet Maples

Another new dessert on the holiday lineup this year is showing up in the Trader Joe's bakery section. A selection of cookies from Denmark in a beautiful bakery box, this selection of chocolate-dipped cookies is sure to have at least one that each of your holiday guests will love.

There are three varieties: Marzipan Napoleon Hats, which feature tender cookies filled with sweet, almond marzipan; Almond Triangles made with a short crust base, almond filling, and sliced almond topping; and classic Coconut Macaroons. Each cookie is dipped in rich chocolate, because why not gild the lily?

Shrimp Pouches of Many Colors

Personally, I'm a huge fan of the dumplings and other dim sum options from the freezer section of Trader Joe's. And this new product has me more excited than perhaps any of the others on this list. The holidays are all about the appetizers, and these shrimp pouches look and taste the part. The filling features juicy shrimp, daikon radish, ginger, and spring onion, all packed into four different (naturally derived) colors of dumpling wrappers—red, green, yellow, and white.

You can cook these multiple ways, including microwaving them, but steaming or pan-frying would be my recommendations. Or, take a tip from Miller and pop them in the air fryer to get them nice and crispy.

Figgy Cheddar

<p>Dotdash Meredith/Janet Maples</p>

Dotdash Meredith/Janet Maples

Everyone knows the cheese section of Trader Joe's is probably the store's best when it comes to quality, variety, and value. The latest addition is the new Figgy Cheddar—because who needs pudding, anyway?! In the podcast, Sloane recounts how this Cheddar is made in Leicestershire, U.K. from a cheesemaking co-op with more than 100 years of experience. Spanish Figs are marinated in white wine, rum, and warming spice then mixed into the Cheddar, making it uniquely festive for the holiday season and perfectly poised for any holiday cheese board or charcuterie platter. I can't wait to pair this cheese with the new Stollen Crisps, as Sloane and Miller suggest.

Astounding Multi-Flavored Mini Pretzels

<p>Dotdash Meredith/Janet Maples</p>

Dotdash Meredith/Janet Maples

Playing off the success of its best-selling seasonal Jingle Jangle—a mix of chocolate, peanut butter-coated pretzels, and candies—the product developers at Trader Joe's came up with this highly gift-able mix of four different types of sweet coated pretzels.

Inside each festive box you'll find four unique varieties: a Jingle Jangle-inspired pretzel with a peanut butter coating and candy; a coffee-coated pretzel; a peppermint-dark chocolate pretzel; and a milk chocolate-coated pretzel with rainbow nonpareils. And the best part is each pretzel is individually packaged in its own beautifully designed bag, so you can gift them individually if you like...or just squirrel away your favorite so you don't have to share (that's what I'll be doing).

Hark and Holly Glühwein Mulled Wine

<p>Dotdash Meredith/Janet Maples</p>

Dotdash Meredith/Janet Maples

What better way to wrap up this list than with a warm, boozy beverage to accompany all your holiday toasts? Mulled wine is one of our favorite flavors this year, and this bottle of German-style Glühwein is not only one of the best-tasting, but most affordable bottles you'll find. Hark and Holly's take features 100% Sangiovese red wine spiced with cinnamon, vanilla, cloves, nutmeg, and orange and lemon zests.

Of course you can take a shot straight-up like Sloane and Miller did on the podcast, but you're better off putting a pot of it on the stove to warm. Or keep it in a slow cooker alongside fruity garnishes for a self-serve mulled wine station at your next holiday party. This seasonal delight is worthy of a "cheers!"

Read the original article on All Recipes.