Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Trader Joe's Kona Coffee Creamy Half-Dipped Shortbreads

Europeans, here's something that you're missing out on: Trader Joe's. It's sort of like a cheap & more experimental Marks & Spencer, and it's brought to you by the same people who run Aldi. It's a beloved chain in America because their products are not as expensive as Whole Foods, posited as equally healthy, and they sell lots of things that you don't traditionally see on American grocery shelves.

Things like the following mouthful: Kona Coffee Creamy Half-Dipped Shortbread Cookies.

I really appreciate the sort of retro Hawaiian style box, it's cool - Kona coffee is of course Hawaiian in origin so it makes sense thematically. It's also just eye catching & pleasant.

The cookies themselves are in a tray, wrapped in a bit of plastic, so they stay fresher & are less apt to get stale than say, a sleeve of Digestives or a box of Oreos. I think this also helps make sure that the creamy dip doesn't get too hot or cold - keeps it insulated. Perhaps because of this, the cookies made the journey across the Atlantic with me in tip-top condition.

As you can see they are indeed half dipped in "creamy" (namedrop), which I originally thought would be similar to white chocolate in flavor & texture - you'll see how I was wrong later on. If you look closely you may be able to also spot some fine coffee bean bits, these blended very well into the sandy texture of the shortbread cookie, Some people may be turned off by the texture - they remind me of Pecan Sandies, or a slightly crumblier and less densely 'packed' Walkers shortbread.

The flavor is buttery, not too sweet, and with a subtle twinge of coffee. It's not like brewed coffee, it's more like espresso beans - not too strong, just subtly bitter & earthy.

The creamy side is very sweet with a bit of artificiality coming through in the texture - very slippy & a bit greasy. It's best dipped in some coffee, as it transfers some sweetness into the drink & absorbs some further coffee flavor. We also tried them dipped in milk - it was good too! Not sure I'd recommend them for tea, but that's just because of my natural aversion to mixing coffee & tea. It just sounds...wrong.

If you happen to find yourself in Trader Joe's, and your looking for a new kinda cookie experience, particularly if you want an accompaniment to your coffee, you'd do well to give these a try!

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