There they were. On the shelves. The FIRST day of November. Fleur de sel Sea Salt Carmels. Hoorah!

For the last 2 years I’ve passed these treats by every week from November through December on my weekly grocery runs saying, “I don’t really NEED those.” Then, last year, the day after Christmas, I realized I DO need them. Especially since I can’t eat chocolate any more. Carmels are of paramount importance. I ran to my nearest Trader Joe’s despite the crispy Seattle weather, hoping to find some carmels still there–maybe that were “accidentally” not put out in time for the holidays.

Sadly, when I asked one of the friedly team members, I was told, “Oh those sell out WAY before Christmas every year.” And so I’ve waited an ENTIRE YEAR for these carmels to come back.

The first day of November I bought 2 boxes. One for me and one for my best friend who also loves carmels. Because I’m realistic. And selfish. And there is no way I’m sharing MY box of carmels.

My other favorite holiday item at Trader Joe’s is (Are? What is correct?! It’s one item, but the package contains multiple cookies!) the special frosted German ginger bread cookies.

They have these thin, weird rice cake type things on the bottom of the cookies. Maybe to help keep the non-glazed side fresh? They also have a dark chocolate dipped version (which are AMAZING btw!) but since I don’t eat chocolate any more (because it makes my skin and tummy angry) I can’t allow myself to buy the chocolate dipped ones–because I will eat them ALL. But the glazed version is still quite nice. I like them because they aren’t TOO sweet. Just sweet enough. They are one of the only kinds of pre-made cookies that I will actually buy since I bake cookies from scratch the way my momma and grandma taught me and am, therefore, a cookie SNOB.