Trader Joe's has brought a lot of new products to the shelves. Some new, some returning from last year. Most of the items at your local stores seem to be pumpkin themed, or squash. However, in all the orange hued madness, there are a few new non-pumpkin Fall flavors out there. If you love the sweet flavor of pecans and maple, you are in for a treat. And yes, this year has yielded quite a few maple items as well ranging from Vanilla Maple Syrup to Ghost Pepper Maple Syrup to now Maple Butter.
I do have to warn you. If you pick this up, this isn't a throw it in a pan and you are done. This is a multi-step product.
The first step involves making the shortbread, baking it, and then allowing it to cool. The next step is mixing the maple pecan filling, baking, allowing to cool and then enjoying.
The short bread step alone will take you nearly an hour. The maple pecan filling once assembled will take about 30 minutes to bake, plus a good amount of time to be cool enough to cut into because it will be bubbling like lava hot when it comes out of the oven.
If you are in a rush, don't reach for this. If you can spare the two hours, then you will be rewarded with something which might remind you of another seasonal gem: Trader Joe's Pecan Pie Filling (which sadly, I haven't seen in a while).
Now, obviously it will be closer to the finished product, and switch out the bourbon for maple and you are darn close. When you bake a pecan pie, it develops a life all its own. It sits in the oven a looks like a breathing dessert. The same phenomena was observed here.
It bubbled in the oven, almost causing me to remove it sooner from the oven. But when it cooled, it was sliced into little bites of sweet heaven. This is concentrated sugar sweetness with the shortbread mellowing the sweetness (I know that sounds odd, but suddenly that did not seem as sweet). However, when sugar is allowed to bubble it becomes more intense in flavor, and changes texture.
This was caramelized maple flavored nutty goodness. So good you'll be saying, "Mmmm...Diabeetus." How bad can four types of sugar, mixed with a stick of butter (with a few additional ingredients) really taste? I like sweets, and this hit the spot (it was hard to stop at just 1/16 especially after waiting for 2 hours).
The star here is the maple pecan filling without a doubt. The pecans are chopped so you'll get a nice mouthful of sweetened pecan that is bursting with flavor from the maple and various sugars. The cookie is just there for structural integrity. The flavors here are sweet, but as a combination they are on point. This is pecan pie sweet, so don't say you weren't warned.
Now, if you are repelled by sweetness, then give this a pass. If pecan pie (with maple flavor) sounds good to you then this is worth reaching for. For $3.99, I felt my time was rewarded with this treat. I do have a sweet tooth, but this hit the spot (and then some). I'll be picking up a few more of these before they disappear for the season. Not diet friendly in anyway. But it was pretty darn good.
Would I buy this again? My soul and stomach say yes to Trader Joe's Maple Pecan Shortbread Bar Mix, however, my pancreas and thighs know that this shouldn't end up in my cart too often. But this is an item to stock up on before it disappears off of shelves again. It's a really great treat if you like your sweets. I loved the flavor, the texture, and pretty much everything about this. It tasted so good, but is so so not good for you. I picked up a few more boxes knowing that this won't be on shelves for very long.
Here is the visual run down of what you get if you buy this product:
The box of Trader Joe's Maple Pecan Shortbread Bar Mix:
The nutritional information:
How to prepare:
After being cooked you get:
A closer look at the layers:
Want to see more items I've reviewed from Trader Joe's? Click on Thoughts & Reviews of Trader Joe’s for a searchable list.
The Bottom Line
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Trader Joe's Maple Pecan Shortbread Bar Mix
Product Name: Trader Joe's Maple Pecan Shortbread Bar Mix
Product Description: A buttery shortbread crust with maple pecan filling
A delicious anti-pumpkin Fall option that is seasonally available. This is a shortbread crust with maple pecan filling.
- Trader Joe’s Maple Pecan Shortbread Bar Mix is the anti-pumpkin yet fall filled dessert that will gladly handle those of us with a profound sweet tooth.
- You’ll need to leave yourself a bit more time to prepare this. There are two distinct steps in preparing this.
- Realistically, this takes about 2 hours to prepare from opening the box to slicing into it.
- Health nuts need not apply (pun intended); the first ingredient here is sugar. In fact, some form of sugar is four of the eight ingredients here.