16 Best Holiday Foods And Drinks At Costco

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Everybody has that friend who won't stop talking about how much they love Costco. If you're not that friend, you may have found yourself wondering what in the world is so special about the bulk goods giant. Who needs a 1.5-gallon bucket of laundry detergent? Who on earth has the space to store 30 rolls of toilet paper? Is it humanly possible to eat your way through a 48-ounce bag of almonds before they go rancid?

Search "Costco" on Facebook, and you'll find a plethora of social groups dedicated to Costco: Favorite products, seasonal finds, rants and raves, and more. Clearly, your Costco-loving pals are onto something. Besides offering quality products at a (sometimes quite steep) discount, Costco changes out its products seasonally — but unlike many other big box retailers, it really leans into it. Costco has seasonal items ranging from warm, fuzzy blankets to gingerbread houses to hardy evergreens ready for decorating, and it's tough to walk through one of these stores in late November through the end of December without feeling inspired with holiday cheer. Feeling overwhelmed with the whimsy? Don't despair: We've put together a list of the absolute best seasonal food and drinks at Costco for you to review before you hit the trenches. Prices may vary.

David's Cookies Butter Pecan Meltaways

These melt-in-your-mouth sweet treats from David's Cookies are a holiday favorite. Consisting of creamy butter, nutty chunks of pecans, and a heap of sweet powdered sugar, butter pecan meltaways are also Kosher certified and, impressively, made without preservatives (per Costco). CostCuisine describes them as "a hybrid between a butter cookie and shortbread cookie; they melt in your mouth as shortbread does, but they're also crispy/crumbly like a butter biscuit."

The combination of crunchy pecans with the soft, melty butter truly sets these meltaways apart from rival Christmas cookies. At $39.99 for two 32-ounce tins (online price), they're a splurge, but these sweets make a great contribution to an office potluck or a thoughtful gift for your favorite sweet-toothed buddy. The tins that they come in can be reused for a cookie box, craft supplies, or small keepsake storage, which is a nice plus when you're shelling out $40 for dessert. Bear in mind that these do, of course, contain pecans, so if you're bringing them to a holiday gathering, be sure to ward off anyone with a nut allergy (more for you to enjoy, right?).

Kirkland Champagne

Costco fans love to rave about the low prices on beer, wine, and liquor at their favorite store — and you'll be hard-pressed to find a better price on booze if you're buying in bulk. With lots to celebrate between late November and the new year, it's not a bad idea to stock up and store some Champagne for special occasions. Enter Costco's Kirkland Signature Brut. Like many of Costco's signature liquors, Kirkland Champagne is not actually manufactured by Kirkland. Rather, it's produced by Manuel Janisson, a highly-regarded vineyard in Verzenay in the Champagne region of France (as explained by The New York Times).

Veuve Clicquot and Dom Perignon drinkers may turn up their noses when you pop open your bottle of Kirkland Champagne, but with a price tag of $19.99, this is nothing to sneeze at (it can Kirkland). Kirkland Champagne boasts a crisp, citrusy scent, classic Champagne-tasting notes like green apple and toasty baked bread, and a delightfully dry finish. Be sure to stock up on Kirkland Champagne for Christmas morning mimosas or New Year's Eve bubbly on your next trip.

Pumpkin Pie

Most people think of Thanksgiving when they hear pumpkin pie, but the gourd-derived dessert isn't just for Turkey Day. It's a sweet and pleasantly spicy tradition at holiday feasts all throughout fall and into early winter. Sure, you can go homemade if you're tasked with bringing a dessert to the ugly sweater party — battling other weary-eyed customers for the last dented can of pumpkin puree on the shelf and sweltering in a hot kitchen for hours — but why not make it easy on yourself? Costco offers a positively ginormous pumpkin pie for a meager $5.99; likely less than you'd spend on ingredients for a smaller homemade version.

Costco's pumpkin pie has been made using the same tried-and-true recipe since 1987, which speaks volumes about its quality. The exact recipe steps are a closely-guarded secret, but its main ingredients are listed as pumpkin, sugar, water, enriched wheat flour, and eggs, and it can be presumed that typical baking spices (cinnamon, nutmeg, et cetera) are added for that signature pumpkin spice flavor. Another bonus is that Costco's pumpkin pies can be frozen, so those with a little extra freezer space can pick up three or four and be set for each and every cookie-decorating party, caroling pre-game, and Christmas movie marathon of the season.

Barton's Holiday Mingle Mix

Bitter dark chocolate drizzled over salty pretzels. Velvety white chocolate cups filled with nutty peanut butter. Oreo-like cookies dipped in sweet chocolate and covered in colored sprinkles. Rich, buttery caramel corn and crunchy almonds covered in sprinkles... what's not to love? Barton's Holiday Mingle mix (a dupe for Trader Joe's Jingle Jangle mix) contains all of these items tossed together in a 24-ounce bag for just under $10, and it's developed a devoted group of followers over the last few years.

Holiday Mingle mix is sweet and savory, and its contents' textures take the taster on a journey from sticky to crunchy to silky and everything in between. Holiday Mingle is sure to be a welcome after-dinner treat at a December graduation reception or a Hanukkah celebration, but fair warning: Once you've tasted this razzmatazz of a snack mix, you may find yourself rushing back to Costco for another package.

Kirkland Signature Peppermint Bark

Nothing quite screams "holiday spirit" like the fresh, minty taste of a cherry-red and snow-white banded candy cane. Legend has it that Christmas candy canes have been around since the mid-17th century; and when the holidays hit nowadays, these staff-shaped sweets are incorporated into just about everything. Candy cane cake, ice cream, martinis, lattes, and more are common fixtures of the seasonal food scene. One popular creative application for candy canes is to use them in peppermint bark, and Costco happens to play host to a fan favorite: Kirkland Signature peppermint bark.

Kirkland's peppermint bark, which can be found in the bakery section, consists of a festive combination of white chocolate, dark chocolate, and crushed candy canes. Costco's version of peppermint bark has a fairly mild mint flavor in spite of the generous helpings of crushed candy sprinkled on top. It also manages to strike a delicate balance in its white and dark chocolate: As CostCuisine notes, "It isn't overly sweet as white chocolate can be or overly bitter as dark chocolate can be." Kirkland Signature peppermint bark is delectable on its own, but it can also be broken into smaller pieces and baked into cookies, plopped into a piping hot cup of cocoa, or used to adorn a gingerbread house.

La Terra Fina Cranberry Jalapeño Dip and Spread

New at Costco as of this year, a creamy cranberry jalapeño dip from La Terra Fina is making waves with members who've managed to snag a batch. The creamy cranberry jalapeño dip is made with buttery cream cheese, juicy cranberries, and piquant jalapeños. It's ultra-versatile and can be served hot or cold, so while it's great on its own or on a meat and cheese board, there are infinite possibilities for taking it to the next level.

This bold take on combining savory, spicy, and sweet flavors may not be a smash hit with everyone on your Christmas Eve cocktail party guest list, but the beauty of combining these wildly different tastes is that the creamy dip can be used in almost any scenario: Dinner, breakfast, dessert, appetizer, brunch, you get the drift. Try smearing the cranberry jalapeño dip on a bagel, mixing it with leftover chicken or turkey for a salad, or stuffing it into seeded fresh jalapeño peppers and wrapping them in bacon to elevate traditional cream cheese-stuffed peppers.

Gingerbread Mansion

Want to look like you put an enormous effort into creating a fancy dessert display without actually putting an enormous effort into crafting a dessert display? Look no further than Costco's gingerbread mansion. Packing over 3 pounds of gingerbread, candy, and icing, these ornate, pre-built, and ready-to-decorate gingerbread houses are chock-full of fun waiting to happen. The mansions really do come fully assembled (so be sure not to shake them in the store), but the exterior design is all up to the creator.

Aside from the basic structure of the house (which has grooved outlines for roof tiles, windows, and doors), the gingerbread mansion kits come with just about anything one would need to decorate: gingerbread people, frosted trees, gummy stars, candy of all shapes and sizes, and importantly, a huge bag of icing with star and circle tips for decorating. These kits make great gifts for family and friends, and they're the perfect base if you want to host a gingerbread house decorating contest.

Collins Street Bakery Fruitcake

Simply mentioning the topic of fruitcakes can incite some strong emotions and opinions. These spongy amalgams are made up of a pretty bizarre combination of spiced fruit, herbaceous spirits, nuts, and cake, and chances are you have an aunt or grandma who still has a piece of last year's fruitcake hiding in the back of their freezer. Love it or hate it, fruitcake is a holiday tradition, and there's a distinct possibility that at least one friend or family member will be enraged if fruitcake fails to make an appearance on the Christmas dinner menu.

There are plenty of homemade fruitcake recipes available, but between soaking fruit, whipping up the cake, and actually cooking the dessert, it can be a bit time-consuming (not to mention expensive) to make your own. Luckily, store-bought fruitcakes make perfectly acceptable dessert contributions, and you can pick up a fruitcake at your local Costco. Costco's fruitcake is considerably pricey (the online price starts at $69.99 without coupons or discounts), but at a whopping 4 pounds and 14 ounces, it's sure to feed those in your crew who are Team Fruitcake.

Panettone

Panettone is a classic, cake-like Italian Christmas bread. Although it's said to have originated in Milan centuries ago, panettone is now enjoyed by people all over the world and is widely available in bakeries, online, and in regular old supermarkets during the holidays. Panettone is similar to fruitcake in that it's technically a cake and contains fruits, nuts, and sometimes candied fruit peels. Like fruitcake, it also has a chewy and spongy texture, but its flavor is not as sweet as a fruitcake (and most other cakes) tends to be.

The recipe for an extremely traditional panettone requires 36 hours to make, so it's no small feat to bake one of these Christmas cakes at home. Thankfully, Costco has three panettone options ranging in price from about $25 to $37: a tin of specialty panettone cake from Chiostro di Saronno, a three-pack tower of mini panettone from Pasticceria Fiorentina, and a special lemon cream variety created by De Milan. Panettone makes a lovely dessert addition to a Hanukkah party, church potluck, or Christmas afternoon tea. It's unique enough that you can be relatively confident that no one else will have thought to bring it, and any of the varieties sold at Costco are sure to impress your fellow guests.

Cranberry Cinnamon Goat Cheese Log

The best cheese boards incorporate three to five different cheeses for maximum flavor pairings: Ideally, a soft, creamy cheese (Brie, goat cheese), something sharp (cheddar, Asiago), a cheese with a funky flavor and aroma (blue cheese, gorgonzola), and one or two other options for variety. If you're serving a cheese tray at a holiday get-together (or just looking for a festive cheese to set out for casual munching), Costco's cranberry cinnamon goat cheese log is sure to be a crowd-pleaser. The cranberries provide pockets of tart flavor within the sweet, creamy goat cheese, and the spicy cinnamon brings it all together for an absolute banger of a snack.

Much like the creamy cranberry jalapeño dip mentioned above, while the cranberry cinnamon goat cheese is very tasty eaten on its own (or on crostini with some jam and walnuts), it's easy to get crafty with these versatile cheese logs. Try wrapping it in puff pastry and baking it for an upgraded take on baked Brie, cooking it down with cream and herbs for a pan sauce, or stuffing it inside a split chicken breast for a bright and elegant protein-packed meal.

Kirkland Signature Traditional Holiday Egg Nog Liqueur

If your favorite part of "National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation" is watching Clark Griswold gulp eggnog out of his iconic reindeer head-shaped eggnog glasses, you just might be an eggnog enthusiast. Nothing quite brings out the holiday spirit like this milky, creamy, and subtly spicy libation. It's one of those drinks that party guests tend to flock to, so if you're looking to stock up on eggnog, it's not a bad idea to purchase a few bottles of Kirkland Signature traditional holiday eggnog.

Made with real dairy cream, French vanilla, spiced rum, whiskey, and brandy, Costco's boozy eggnog carries 14.5% alcohol by volume and maintains the traditional taste of sweet cream, rich dark liquor, and a hint of spice — a bit like horchata. It's pre-spiked, so there's no need to buy your liquor separately (though you'll want to pick up a non-alcoholic version if you have kids or friends who don't drink coming to your holiday gathering). No one will complain if you're slinging reindeer-shaped glasses full of eggnog a la Clark Griswold, but Kirkland's eggnog is also delicious when mixed with coffee, poured into hot chocolate, or incorporated into a dessert (think tres leches). At only $9.99 per bottle, Kirkland's spiked eggnog is the way to go if you've got a 'nog crowd on your hands come December.

Advent Calendar for Dogs

The holidays wouldn't be the same without our furry friends, and luckily, Costco has Fido covered with the Advent calendar for dogs. The calendar features 16 dog treats ranging from pumpkin spice pretzels to gingerbread people to apple pie-flavored "little stars," all of which are, of course, made with canine-friendly ingredients. Toy-wise, we're talking plushies, ropes, balls, and a whole host of playthings that should theoretically help keep Buddy distracted from crinkly wrapping paper and loud shrieks while your two-year-old rips into their gifts. The treats and toys are pretty high-quality for a big box store Advent calendar. Says one Redditor, "The toys are very high quality. I have a power chewer and she hasn't destroyed anything yet! The treats are plentiful as well! Several pieces in each package! It's a great buy!"

That said, the Advent calendar for dogs will run you close to $40, while competitors like Trader Joe's offer both cat and dog Advent calendars for under $10 (though critical Amazon reviews of the Trader Joe's product note that Trader Joe's dog Advent calendars don't amount to much bang for your buck, citing fewer and inferior products for the considerably lower price). Regardless, Costco's Advent calendar for dogs — whether you're purchasing for your own pup or gifting the calendar to a friend — presents a fun variety of products for a relatively low cost.

Cranberry Walnut Bread

Bread, in general, is a great side or filler item for any meal, especially when it comes to holiday dinners. Need to flesh out a holiday spread? Lay out some rolls. Looking for a serving vessel for your charcuterie board? Crostini to the rescue. Need bread to serve with baked brie or butternut squash soup? Costco's cranberry walnut bread is the perfect sweet and savory combo. Tart cranberries are swirled with walnuts, sugar, and a blend of flours.

Although this bread is a splurge ($7.99 per loaf), it's become a major cult favorite with Costco shoppers, with Redditors leaving comments like, "Dangerously good, we've gone through most of the loaf and we got it yesterday," and, "I got so hooked on this that I had to start baking it myself to save $$," (you'll find quite a few copycat recipes on the Internet). This loaf also happens to be vegan and soy-free, making it an excellent holiday gift or party contribution.

Iberico Ham Leg

The most expensive item on this list by far, Costco's Jamón Ibérico Bellota ham leg (which comes with its own knife and stand) retails for a whopping $549.99. The price tag comes from the insanely complicated process behind jamón ibérico. The pigs used to produce the Spanish ham are fed primarily on acorns for most of their lives. Once the pigs have been slaughtered, the aging process for jamón ibérico can take anywhere from two to four years — Costco's version is aged for over three years, and the pigs used are guaranteed to have at least 2.5 acres to wander freely in the Valle De Los Pedroches in Southern Spain.

The product description page for this Costco item says that "The vegetarian diet of the Iberico Breed pigs based on acorn and grass from the pasturelands and their free range conditions are the factors that underpin the unmistakable personality and quality of our product." A whole ham leg (and Iberico ham at that) may not be the most traditional American holiday dinner, but it's a guaranteed crowd-pleaser if you're hosting a large event.

Martinelli's Sparkling Apple Cider

Kids love to feel like grown-ups at special events, and it's easy to liven up the kids' table by serving up sparkling cider in a champagne glass. Hot tip: purchase some plastic Champagne glasses for the little ones. Honestly, is there anything cuter than clinking glasses with a four-year-old? Costco sells a four-pack of 25.4-ounce Martinelli's sparkling ciders for around $14, so you can stock up to help the kids keep the party going. Sparkling cider is also a great option for any guests who aren't drinking alcohol.

Martinelli's sparkling cider is made without sweeteners or preservatives — U.S.-grown pasteurized apples and vitamin C (which is added for color) are the only ingredients, (per Martinelli's). It does, however, contain quite a high amount of naturally occurring sugar with 31 grams in an 8-ounce serving, so it's not going to be the best option for people who are trying to limit their sugar consumption (or right before you're trying to put the kids to bed). Use Martinelli's sparkling apple cider to indulge the kiddos at your gathering or in a delicious nonalcoholic mocktail for anyone who's not indulging in booze.

Kirkland Signature Praline Pecans

If you've never had a praline, you're missing out. Pralines are a confection made from brown sugar, nuts (usually pecans), and vanilla. Typically, pralines are made by boiling down pecans with butter, sugar, and cream and then forming the mixture into patties to harden, almost like a bark. Costco somewhat inverts the idea of a praline with their Kirkland Signature praline pecans, which are whole pecans covered in a buttery, sugary coating.

Kirkland Signature praline pecans are not strictly a seasonal item, but there's something special about sugary, candy-coated nuts around the holidays. These nuts don't have a strong pecan-like taste. As CostCuisine notes, "The flavor of the pecans was masked just slightly by the sweetness of the coating, but that didn't mean I enjoyed the pecans any less." These buttery pecans make a sweet addition to a meat and cheese plate, taste lovely when chopped and added to homemade cookies, and add another layer of flavor to a platter of bacon-wrapped dates.