By the time this post goes live, Fourth of July will be long gone. I saw these White House Cookie kits at TJ's in the pre-July 4th frenzy of watermelon and cookout food. There was no way to justify this purchase then. Also, I just don't associate White House with 4th of July for some reason, maybe because construction didn't start until 1792, 16 years after Independence Day. Liberty Bell cookie kit would have made more sense. But whatever, that's a technicality. I'm wondering why this product wasn't hyped more in the Fearless Flyer. It just kind of flew into the stores and hung out. In fact, you can probably still find them, still $7.99 and not on clearance though because TJ's doesn't roll like that. :(
This doesn't really have the same kid appeal as a gingerbread house, unless you're Leslie Knope. It's also not the first thing I'd tag as a summertime activity. Making ice cream or popsicles? A slip n' slide? Fireworks? Cookie decorating? You see how that doesn't fit? But hey, my friend D and I looked at each other and thought the same thing. This is baking minus the turn-on-the-hot-oven-part of real baking. Perfect for homebodies, grandmas, and maybe kids. With their grandmas.
So in honor of the OG (original) Brexit, I watched the Great British Bake-off (the biscuit episode no less!) while decorating a biscuit White House with my Canadian friend D. She's Canadian because she didn't know what the Oval Office was, but she knows now thanks to this activity, so we all good. :D
And even though this product was made in Canada, this is so quintessentially American. I mean, this is what we do best - take things from other places and call it our own. Take cookies from Canada, make it into a White House, and bam it's American.
Look at that royal icing all ready to go! No prepwork required. Basically you assemble the White House per instructions, using the white royal icing as glue. Let dry for 30 minutes before decorating.
You can't even tell that I broke one of the columns. Shhh.
The nearly finished product.
(PC: my instagram)
Can I just say this product is actually a beautiful marriage of the Great British Bake-Off (last season on Netflix, current season on PBS) and Parks and Rec (by that I mean Leslie Knope)? Pro-government-ish fervor meets building a 3D biscuit structure. This was quite fun! And user-friendly! This kit actually has all the things I thought was lacking from the Gingerbread House Kit.
- Ready-made icing was really easy to use. You massage it for about a minute, and then it's ready to use. No extra prep or mess.
- Easy assembly. No weird angles or triangular pieces to deal with. Decorating was fun. It takes some time to pipe out the icing and put down each candy piece, but it's not overly tedious or too difficult for the layperson.
- It's actually edible! The sugar cookie and the icing taste good!
- Limited room for creativity due to fewer supplies. I would have liked a fountain to be included. And maybe a dog. But this worked for me anyway. I happen to like following instructions, so people that like structure would probably like this too. I suppose we could have piped a few swirls here and there, but we got tired. :P
TL;DR: Trader Joe's White House Cookie Kit. Build-your-own edible White House cookie! About 2 Great British Bake-Off episodes worth of baking-without-baking fun! 7 out of 10.