We Tried All the Cookies at Trader Joe’s — Here Are the 5 Best Ones

published Oct 17, 2023
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Trader Joe's grocery bag on countertop
Credit: Sarah Crowley

When I was tasked with ranking Trader Joe’s best cookies ever, I bravely ate my way through all of grocer’s cookies (please clap!). Thankfully, I worked at Trader Joe’s long enough to become a cookie-eating scholar, but there are still so many metrics to consider when naming TJ’s best and brightest cookies.

Am I eating these right from the package? How do they hold up when dunked into milk, hot tea, or crumbled into a pie crust? And then there’s that deliciously unplaceable nostalgic aspect of cookie-eating: How warm and fuzzy does a cookie make me feel? As we all know, Trader Joe’s is well-known for a steady stream of seasonal greats, but I’ve not included those in this list to minimize any cookie-related heartache. So here we go — a definitive list of the absolute best cookies at Trader Joe’s. Some just may surprise you.

Credit: Mackenzie Filson

1. Crispy Crunchy Gluten-Free Chocolate Chip Cookies, $3.99 for 7 ounces

When you write about food for work, you realize a lot of shocking preferences. My most shocking realization? That so many people prefer chewy chocolate chip cookies over crunchy. If that’s you, you might want to skip to the next cookie, as I’m solidly Team Crunchy. I like my cookies with that signature lacy edge that shows me I’m about to bite into a supremely buttery cookie. So to me, these Crispy Crunchy Gluten-Free Chocolate Chip Cookies are the platonic ideal of crunchy cookies.

The test of a good crunchy cookie is an incredibly tasty one, too: How does this cookie hold up as an ice cream sandwich? Well, let me say these pass that test with flying colors. The crispy, slightly salty chocolate chip cookies are more than sturdy enough for any ice cream match. (I like salted caramel and mint chip ice cream, as well as pistachio gelato with mine.) I love that they’re gluten-free (thank you, rice flour), which means more people can enjoy what I believe is the ultimate chocolate chip cookies sold at TJ’s.

Credit: Mackenzie Filson

2. Soft-Baked Snickerdoodles, $2.99 for 6 ounces

Okay, chewy cookie squad! It’s your turn. And let me just say, there is no reality in which I don’t always have a box of these on hand. They’re my teatime companion, my late-afternoon bite — a sweet little part of my day.

Lightly spiced and cake-like (almost reminiscent of the chew of Little Debbie Oatmeal Creme Pies), Trader Joe’s Soft-Baked Snickerdoodles really check all of my cookie boxes. They’re great dunked or solo, and are perfect for the chewy cookie crowd, yet infinitely delicious for my crunchy-cookie-loving heart. I even folded them into some homemade roasted peach ice cream I made this summer. Also! They’re vegan, gluten-free, and pretty allergen-friendly, so these are truly a cookie for all.

Credit: Mackenzie Filson

3. Aussie-Style Chocolate Creme Sandwich Cookies, $2.49 for 7.05 ounces

These crispy, crunchy cookies get extra points for pure dunkability (especially in hot, milky tea where that milk chocolate coating explodes upon first bite). Upon that first molten chocolate bite, these cookies felt so familiar, yet I couldn’t immediately place it. Then it dawned on me: These are Trader Joe’s take on Tim Tams!

If you’re not familiar, Tim Tams are a popular Australian cookie — and this cookie is eerily similar to its chocolatey, malty Aussie cousin. And just like Tim Tams, these Aussie-Style Chocolate Creme Sandwich Cookies make an excellent straw. Yes, I said straw. Here’s how to do it. First, grab your favorite warm beverage (coffee is another favorite) and bite off both ends of your sandwich cookie. Then dunk your cookie into your warm drink, and use the cookie as a straw! You’ll be forever changed, I guarantee it.

Credit: Mackenzie Filson

4. Triple Ginger Snaps, $3.99 for 14 ounces

I’d be remiss (remiss!) not to mention these spicy, hard-to-put-down cookies. The little snaps are a best-seller for a reason. Packed with three different kinds of ginger (fresh, dried, and crystallized), Trader Joe’s Triple Ginger Snaps are not just for eating straight-up, although they’re very well-suited to that. While working at Trader Joe’s, a crew favorite way of eating these involved sandwiching two of these cookies with a dollop of sweet-tart lemon curd. The kick of ginger mixed with the tang of lemon will send your tastebuds to the moon.

And the texture of these cookies is hard to beat, too. Crisp on the outside and tender on the inside, these cookies are perfect for crumbling up to make a pie crust or for layering into icebox cakes, where they become soft and cakey and irresistible.

Credit: Mackenzie Filson

5. Fig Cookies, $1.99 for 10 ounces

Is it just me, or do we all have those sweets we’d willingly smuggle across state lines? Well, I gladly cart these figgy cookies to my nephew, who sadly doesn’t live near a Trader Joe’s. And let me tell you, there is fast and then there is fig-cookie-eating fast. It’s truly frightening how quickly I (with the help of my 3-year-old nephew) can put away a container of Trader Joe’s Fig Cookies.

These cookies win all the nostalgia points for me: I admit, often I just want to eat the cookies my grandma might keep well-stocked at her house. And being a sweets lover like me, she absolutely had plenty of Fig Newtons ready for whenever the mood struck. Trader Joe’s truly nails the experience of sharing a fig cookie with my gran, and now I get to share the same experience with my nephew. Because really, is there anything better than a chewy, dense figgy cookie dipped into an ice-cold glass of milk? I’ll wait for your answer. (Spoiler: No, there really isn’t anything better.)

This article originally published on The Kitchn. See it there: The Best Cookies at Trader Joe’s, According to a Former Employee