By Danielle Centoni
Between stocking up on everyday staples like bread and TP and shopping for the holiday roast, Costco members like me typically spend a lot more time at the warehouse store this time of year. But while we’re cart-jousting our way down the aisles, it’s easy to get distracted by all of the new foods the store has on display for the holiday season: Massive boxes of Belgian chocolates, towering tins of cookies, and oh, the cheese. So much cheese.
My best advice? Give into temptation: A little indulgence can make a tough day (or year) just a bit more bearable. Besides, some of these items will be gone before the end of the year. Enjoy them now, or never.
Aged in a bourbon barrel, this syrup goes from one-note sweetness to something far richer and almost buttery, with fragrant hints of vanilla and oak. It’s incredible on yeasted waffles, but also makes pancakes from a mix seem special. But don’t stop at breakfast. It goes well with yogurt, ice cream, roasted squash. In fact, you’d be wise to pick up two bottles — and keep one all to yourself.
Yes, this is a tiny amount of meat for the price, but Iberico de Bellota ham is hands-down some of the best in the world. If you know someone who loves prosciutto, they’ll really love this. Made from a special breed of Spanish hogs that feast on acorns, the cured meat is naturally sweet, rich, and full-flavored. Bundle it up with some manchego cheese and olives for a virtual trip to Spain.
3. Gaugry Epoisses Cheese, $16
Famously pungent and barnyardy when ripe, the flavor of this beloved Burgundian cheese is actually quite luscious and mild. Really, it’s just pure, creamy luxury. This is one of France’s most famous cheeses and rightly so, the kind of cheese that can make an ordinary day seem special. Pair it with a crisp white Burgundy if you want to make this gift even more special.
If you’re not already familiar with the delights of Spanish Marcona almonds, they’re crispier, crunchier and more oily than regular almonds. They’re also a lot more expensive, making them ideal for a tiny luxury to gift someone else, or to fancy up your afternoon snack. A little pile alongside a peeled clementine and a few slices of nutty cheese and a cheese plate suddenly feels like a cheeseboard.
More mini tart than cookie, these 3-inch-wide, ½-inch-deep treats are rich and buttery, soft and crumbly, a little bit chewy, and filled with thick, tart raspberry jam. Think linzer cookies, but bigger and better. Costco debuted this new bakery item last spring and it immediately gained a massive cult following. According to a Costco bakery worker posting on Reddit, the cookies were supposed to be seasonal, which makes sense: They have that Easter brunch kind of vibe. But the response has been so overwhelming, the bakery is still cranking them out today — if you can find them. They have a tendency to sell out fast.