I Tried 5 of Aldi’s Newest Holiday Treats and Sweets
It’s the most wonderful time of the year: The time when grocery stores add all sorts of fun, festive items to their shelves. I stopped by Aldi this weekend and couldn’t get over the number of holiday-worthy appetizers, snacks, and sweets. I decided to try the five that I thought could be the most useful to a stressed-out host. Here’s what I tried — and my totally candid thoughts on them.
1. Specially Selected Baked Cheese Bites, $3.29 for five ounces
I bought these hoping they’d be like these Gouda Cheese Bites that I love so much. They were obviously a different shape and the texture was different (these were more crunchy than flakey). While the cheese flavor was definitely there, I thought they were a little too crunchy for my liking. That said, I put some on a cheese board this weekend when we had company and folks gobbled them right up. If you’re looking for a cracker alternative, these are a good bet. There’s also a green olive, cheese, and rosemary option that I’d be curious to try.
2. Benton’s Chocolate Covered Peppermint Cremes, $2.99 for 8.25 ounces
These seasonal cookies are back! When I was standing in line to checkout, the woman behind me was patiently waiting with just ONE box of these. That was all she had. She told me, “I can’t believe these are back! I’ve been waiting all year for them.” I pointed out her impressive restraint, buying just one box, and she gave me a knowing nod, as if to say she’d be back for more.
I had actually never tried these before and was excited to see what all the hype was about. Let me just say: whoa. I wasn’t sure chocolate creme cookies could really get much better, but they can! Imagine an Oreo cookie that’s got minty creme in the middle and is also covered in chocolate and pieces of peppermint candy. Yeah. It’s so minty and rich — in a good way that’s only acceptable this time of year.
3. Clancy’s Muddy Mix, $2.39 for 10.5 ounces
You may call this stuff puppy chow, monkey munch, muddy buddies, or reindeer chow, but Aldi calls it muddy mix. It’s got all the stuff your homemade version has — Chex-like cereal, peanut butter, chocolate, and powdered sugar — only it’s already made, so you don’t have to make that mess in your own kitchen. And guess what? It tastes just like the homemade version. It’s crunchy, sweet, slightly salty — and every single piece is evenly covered.
4. Specially Selected Gourmet Stollen Bites, $4.99 for eight ounces
It’s not really a holiday roundup without some stollen, even though it seems like most people will tell you they don’t like the stuff. I fall into that camp, but I actually did like this version. Whereas many stollens out there are pretty dry, this one was moist (sorry) and the mix-ins were well-distributed (so I didn’t get a mouthful of raisins in a single bite). Plus, there’s the fact that these were pre-cut into little bites, which makes them better for a holiday cocktail party where people are up and walking around.
5. Specially Selected Honey & Pecan Normandy Baking Brie, $6.99 for 10.93 ounces
I guess I wasn’t paying close enough attention to the box when I bought this because I was totally expecting this Vrie to be wrapped in puff pastry. It is not! Open the box and you get a medium-sized wheel of Brie, a ceramic baking dish (which you can obviously keep and reuse for serving years down the line), a packet of honey, and a pouch of walnuts. You bake the Brie in the dish for 20 minutes (longer if the cheese doesn’t melt evenly enough) and then add the honey and pecans before putting it back for a few minutes in the oven.
It was obviously yummy (what’s not to love about baked Brie?) but I didn’t need to buy a kit for this, as I always have pecans and honey in the pantry. If your pantry is more bare bones, though, this is a good quickie appetizer to grab on your way home from work.
Are there any Aldi groceries that you swear by for holiday entertaining? Tell us in the comments below!