5 New Store-Bought Treats That Are Better than Anything You Can Bake

(Image Credit: The Kitchn)

There’s nothing better than putting a lot of love and labor into homemade baked goods and having them come out amazing — except for maybe putting way less effort into buying something that dinner party guests end up raving about. When I’m pressed for time, I’m more than happy to leave the baking to the professionals — and even the mass-produced treats you can find at the grocery store can be really delicious. Some don’t come close to homemade, but some really do! Here are five new-to-market sweet treats that are better than anything I could ever bake myself.

(Image Credit: Target)

1. Bear Naked Granola Dark Chocolate Hazelnut Butter, $6.50

It seems like all the got-it-together people I follow on Instagram love making homemade granola, and I’m sure their versions are great — but I doubt they’re better than this new fancy-ish variety from Bear Naked. If you thought the taste of Nutella couldn’t get any better, try adding a whole lot of crunchy texture to it. Seriously, I couldn’t stop eating this stuff. It’s made with whole grains, Fair-Trade chocolate, organic hazelnuts, and sustainably sourced honey — all of which would be pretty expensive to buy yourself and DIY — so you can feel pretty good about polishing off the whole bag quickly and buying another. And yes, this granola counts more like a dessert than a breakfast staple.

(Image Credit: Lauren Masur)

2. Trader Joe’s Peanut Butter Blondies, $5

These itty-bitty treats are brand new from Trader Joe’s and they’re so good. It’s probably not the kind of thing I would have normally thought to pick up (does anyone ever really crave a blondie?), but I’m so glad I did. Each square has a layer of sweet strawberry jam and a crispy-crumbly peanut butter topping, so they’re like an elevated PB&J. You keep them in the freezer and let them defrost for an hour on the counter before you dig in (a true exercise in restraint!), so they’re the perfect treat to set out for a party.

(Image Credit: Ben & Jerry's)

3. Ben & Jerry’s Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Chunks, $5

Okay, maybe you can make homemade cookie dough that tastes better than this. But can you say for sure that it won’t make you sick? That’s the beauty of these new just-the-cookie-dough frozen balls from Ben & Jerry’s, made with pasteurized eggs and heat-treated flour. It’s all the fun of the classic ice cream flavor without any of the ice cream — which, in many cases, is totally ideal! It comes in a half-pound bag, which is also ideal.

(Image Credit: Nature's Bakery)

4. Nature’s Bakery Gluten-Free Raspberry Fig Bar, $5

Store-bought gluten-free treats that are actually delicious? There are plenty out there if you know where to look, but the grocery aisle is also littered with duds. Coming from a gluten-eater, I think these newly reformulated Gluten-Free Fig Bars from Nature’s Bakery are straight-up delicious. Heftier than a Fig Newton or a Nutrigrain, these soft and tasty bars are made with gluten-free flour, ancient grains, and raspberry-date jam. They’d make a great sweet breakfast or afternoon snack, and they come in convenient packs of two, so you can share or save some for later.

(Image Credit: Target)

5. Pepperidge Farm Farmhouse Thin & Crispy Toffee Milk Chocolate, $4

Toffee’s usually the kind of thing that gives me a toothache just thinking about it, so I wouldn’t go out of my way to make it myself (even though it’s really easy). But I love it in small bits in this new cookie from Pepperidge Farm, where it highlights the sweetness of the classic thin and crispy cookie without being totally overpowering.