The pros: Trader Joe's Ugly Sweater Cookie Kit make some fantastically ugly cookies. Mine are far uglier than the box (a fact I am proud of). This is fun for both kids and adults. I'm happy to see this return this season.
The cons: This is a returning seasonal find and when they are gone, they are gone for the season. Also, there was no mention of how long these would take to fully dry. There are no notes about how to contain the mess. My suggestion is to put a cookie sheet under anyone working on these to keep the sprinkles contained.
The verdict: I remember my first Ugly Sweater party I ever went to. I think I chose something old and slightly dated as my ugly sweater choice. My husband did something similar. In fact, he was paid many compliments on the sweaters since some of the 1980s seem to be making their way back into fashion. But there is so much creativity in those parties. I remember when one guest walked in. He had taken the time to visit the host's Facebook page and printed out pictures of the host, to which he then used safety pins to attach those pictures to his, now "ugly" sweater. We all got a good chuckle out of that, yes, even the host wasn't offended. However, Trader Joe's has harnessed the fun and whimsy of having fun with something ugly and allows kids and adults to have fun using cookies.
I had a blast making mine. I like decorating cookies or cakes for that matter. But this takes out most of the prep work like mixing, baking, and cooling, and let's you get straight to decorating. Kids will love the three packets of icing because you'll have to smush them in your hands for about a minute to make them pliable and the right consistency. Kids will still need a bit of supervision as the tips of the icing bottles will need to be cut with scissors. If you are concerned about making a mess, then get a cookie sheet out to get those pesky sprinkles from going everywhere.
Adults will get a kick out of all the humorous details on the box. Who wouldn't love the funny references on the front of the box with the descriptions of the unslightly cardigan, ugly Hawaiian Shirt, homely crewneck, hideous vest and atrocious turtleneck. I'm almost positive that many of us have been guilty of at least one of those seasonal fashion calamities.
Regardless, it's three fun colors and a bag of sprinkles that should keep kids (and adults attention). I felt a bit ridiculous sitting there decorating these when I know with the right tools I could have outdone the ones pictured on the box. The problem became that I did not want to. The worse they looked, the more fun this was and the more I wanted to show off just how bad they were. The fun here is making these and making these badly.
Most kids I can imagine would decorate, show and immediately consume these. As an adult, I preferred to wait until these harden. After all, this is supposed to have royal icing which gets pretty hard. There was no time line noted on the package. But the time frame is in hours and not minutes, I let mine sit overnight to ensure they wouldn't be squished when placed in a bag. The icing will set, but won't be hard enough to put in say a plastic bag and send home with someone.
Now, in terms of how they taste, the frosting was pretty good for a royal icing. It had a sweet vanilla flavor to it. All three flavors basically taste alike. The cookies are chocolate and vanilla. They are tender cookies that were met with kid and adult approval. I liked them.
For $5.99 this is a great seasonal find. Best of all, as the warning suggests, it will create joy and laughter. I totally look forward to getting another kit next year.
Here is the visual run down of what you get if you buy this product:
Trader Joe's Ugly Sweater Cookie Kit package:
The nutritional information:
How Trader Joe's describes this product:
How to prepare, what you get, and a warning worth noting:
Out of the package you get:
My skill with Trader Joe's Ugly Sweater Cookie Kit:
Would I buy this again? If you have kids or are having a get together, then Trader Joe's Ugly Sweater Cookie Kit is the perfect seasonal item to pick up. While it won't be a repeat purchase throughout the season, it was a lot of fun to make these sweaters as "ugly" as possible. I hope this product will be around next year.
Want to see more items I've reviewed from Trader Joe's? Click on Thoughts & Reviews of Trader Joe’s for a searchable list.
Did you try it? Let me know what you think in the comments section!