This year, there are not too many new pastries, as everyone is always searching for the Cranberry Bliss Bars, Gingerbread Loaves and the turkey Holiday Sandwich. I got to try these items recently and I can say for the most part they have greatly improved over the years since I was working at Starbucks.
First off – the Starbucks Holiday Sandwich. This year is similar to last year’s sandwich – made with a Rosemary foccacia, slices of turkey and stuffing served with spreadable cranberry sauce. I like the idea of spreadable cranberry sauce, but I also kind of miss the cranberry being embedded into the bread. There isn’t too much to this sandwich as you can see, but if it’s for lunch, it’s filling enough. I’m not quite sure how this is a Rosemary Foccacia as I don’t see any rosemary, but I have been wrong before.
The Gingerbread Loaf is nice and moist. The icing isn’t as thick and gooey as in past years, which means it’ll stay put rather than melting off.
Cranberry Bliss Bars haven’t changed too much in the past years, although I find it’s less sweet than it used to be (which is a good thing). I enjoy these bars once in a while and I love when there’s a good balance to the cream cheese icing and the tartness of the cranberry.
Finally, the Nanaimo Bar. This is probably my most favourite find at Starbucks at the moment. I love Nanaimo Bars and I’d have to say this is probably the best one I’ve had in a long time. The crust is nice and keeps together with lots of great coconut in it. The custard in the middle is nice and sweet, maybe a little too sweet, but it’s worth the guilty pleasure this time around. Finally the topping is melted chocolate which holds the bar together. Good job Starbucks on this one!
Last but not least, I’m going to talk Starbucks Holiday Drink Tips…just some general observances!
- Try a half sweet Gingerbread Mocha. (Order a mocha and ask for a pump of gingerbread – generally, they won’t charge you for one pump of syrup, but some places do.) This is my go-to drink during the winter and I don’t know why, but it’s addictive!
- Peppermint Mochas, Peppermint White Mochas, Peppermint Hot Chocolates can be a calorie bomb – maybe you’re okay with this, or maybe you’re not but I always find the perfect taste is half sweet. To put it into perspective – Peppermint Hot Chocolates are generally (in a tall) 3 pumps of mocha, 3 pumps of peppermint and a pump of vanilla. Helloooo diabetes. Half sweet (or if you can handle it, quarter sweet) is still a great way to enjoy this treat.
- Did you know they have Eggnog/Peppermint Mocha/Gingerbread frappuccinos? So it’s cold outside, you can still enjoy your cold drinks!
- Starbucks Christmas Blend and Joy Tea are a once a year occurrence and are great. Not only are they great for entertaining, they are actually really great roasts/tea. Joy Tea is probably my most favourite tea, it’s a mix of green, black and oolong tea. Christmas Blend is a nice slightly spicy blend that has a nice medium roast – rather than the super strong dark blends I’m sure everyone thinks of Starbucks for.