The most underrated Aldi holiday desserts

It's that special time of year again. The temperature goes down, the lights go up, and cookies become a perfectly acceptable breakfast food. Whether you're anticipating Santa's arrival or just trapped with family and eating your feelings, no holiday is complete without a steady supply of sweets. You could spend the entire season in the kitchen trying to bake the perfect cookie, or roll out semi-homemade treats with a baking kit. But who wants to miss a minute of Uncle Carl's boozy rendition of the "12 Days of Christmas"? This year, give yourself the gift of a fuss-free holiday dessert spread without lifting a finger.

To foodies hungry for a good bargain, Aldi is a mecca among markets all year long. At the holidays, however, the international discount grocery chain is an extra bright shining star. With seasonal offerings like toys, home decor, and small appliances, it's easy one-stop shopping for busy elves. Of course, the main attraction is the grub, and this year's lineup of hotly anticipated festive foods does not disappoint. When it comes to satisfying a sweet tooth, the options are seemingly endless. Check out these mouthwatering desserts that are easy on the wallet and difficult to resist, guaranteed to get you in the holiday spirit.

Specially Selected Wine Pairing Chocolates

Among the most buzz-worthy additions to Aldi's holiday fare are two chocolate assortments curated by the store's premium house brand, Specially Selected. According to the Aldi aficionados at AisleofShame.com, these cocoa confections are "the perfect gift for wine lovers." Featuring luscious dark chocolate with accents of rich fruit flavor, the Red Wine Pairing Chocolates are an intense, not-too-sweet combo with medium-bodied, dry red wines, such as Pinot Noir. On the lighter end of the spectrum, the White Wine Pairing set includes delicate milk chocolate with white chocolate accents, delicious with oaky whites, like Chardonnay.

In addition to a decadent dessert and scrumptious stocking stuffer, Aldi's Specially Selected Wine Pairing Chocolates are an evening's worth of entertainment. Pick up both varieties (at just $4.99 per box, it's an investment even Ebenezer Scrooge can handle) along with some bottles from Aldi's extensive wine selection. Set the table and conduct your own tasting at home for a party and a present all in one. Just follow the advice of the wine wonks at FirstPourWine.com and line up your wines in the following order: whites before reds, dry before sweet, and young before old.

Belmont Winter Cheesecake Sampler

Desperate to break out of the same old-same old dessert rut this holiday season? Consider asking Santa for the Belmont Winter Cheesecake Sampler. This mouthwatering selection is so good, one enthusiastic taster at Delish.com says you might "forget all about the pie."

Based on variety alone, this sampler is hard to beat. The irresistible assortment includes four different flavors so that everyone can have a slab of their favorite or, even better, a few bites of each. It includes the standard bearer, classic New York-style, with its mild, creamy filling and crispy graham cracker crust. There's also nutty amaretto, accented with the flavors of the popular almond-flavored liqueur. And chocolate lovers can rejoice with two different, tempting options: decadent chocolate marble or light and fruity white chocolate raspberry.

Another reason this cheesecake sampler is so full of holiday cheer? It freezes beautifully. Stock up for the holidays (or your next Golden Girls-style snack session), and keep on hand for easy indulgence anytime.

Specially Selected Scottish Shortbread

How do you know you've hit gold when seeking out the perfect Scottish shortbread cookie? When it hails directly from Scotland, for starters. Enter: Specially Selected Scottish Shortbread. These decadent cookies are based on the 40-year-old recipe perfected by Scotland-based Dean's of Huntly and, according to the UK's Daily Record, shoppers can't get enough of them. The signature rich, buttery flavor and delicate crumb is the result of handcrafting, which producer Bill Dean says is "not mass produced" like some of its competitors. Unlike other commercially baked shortbread that's ready in about 40 minutes, Aldi's indulgent import takes five hours to craft from start to finish.

The mom and son duo behind Dean's of Huntly have mastered many variations of its popular all-butter shortbread, including a chocolate chunk flavor studded with luscious Belgian chocolate. There's also Sicilian Lemon, which won the coveted Own Label Product of the Year title at the Scotland Food and Drink Excellence Awards.

There's no question these premium cookies are of the highest quality, so you might be surprised to learn they aren't priced like a delicacy. At just $7.99 per tin, it's the perfect European indulgence for all the cookie lovers on your "nice" list.

Specially Selected Holiday Brioche

One of the most eagerly anticipated holiday treats on Aldi shelves this season is the return of mega-popular Specially Selected Brioche. The eagle eyed shopper behind @aldiforpresident, an Instagram account dedicated to the grocery chain, reported finding the Brioche Star for the first time in mid-November. Another Aldi-inspired Instagram fan page, @aldi.mademedoit, confirmed the arrival of Vanilla Cream Brioche in a festive Christmas tree shape around the same time.

Aldi's brioche, imported from France, is a perennial favorite in all of its various forms. The round hamburger buns have a particularly devout following that led them to the top of the 2020 Aldi Fan Favorites List in the category of best bread or baked good (via PRNewswire).

The indulgent, eggy bread (ideal for making the best ever French toast) is often associated with luxury because of its comparatively high price point, but not so at Aldi. The festive star and tree loaves, each weighing in at more than a pound-and-a-half of Christmas carbs, retail for just $5.99 apiece.

For breakfast through dessert and everything in between, don't miss these Aldi treats sure to keep your holidays chock-full and cheerful.