There are lots of cookie dough mixes out there for anyone who doesn’t want to bake from scratch. These are good in a pinch or if you’re baking in someone else’s kitchen, where you either don’t know what they’ll have on hand or you’re sure they don’t generally stock cookie making ingredients. Most of these mixes call for real butter and eggs to make them work, they just take the mise-en-place out of the equation. Trader Joe’s Sugar Cookie Workshop goes a step further as a holiday cookie making kit because it includes everything you need to make and decorate holiday cookies – except perhaps the baking sheet and the oven.
The kit includes a sugar cookie dough mix, made with all natural ingredients, royal icing and several packets of colored sugar for decorating. It also includes three very nice TJ’s branded holiday cookie cutters – which you can get good use out of long after you play with this little kit. Like the cookie mix, the icing and sugars are also made with all natural ingredients; the sugars are even dyed with ingredients like beet juice and saffron!
The cookie mix needs butter and an egg to be added to it, and it comes together easily. Just chill the dough and you’re ready to roll it out and bake cookies off as needed. The cookies have a pleasant, buttery flavor to them and a light, slightly crumbly texture. They were very tender and were better when baked to be slightly crisp, rather than slightly soft (where they tended to break when you picked them up!). On their own, they were not bad for a cookie mix cookie. The royal icing was easy to work with and you could pipe it on straight from the packets it came in. There was plenty of icing for all the cookies, even if you flooded just about every one. The sprinkles were bright and colorful, but two of my sprinkle packets seems overly moist inside, so the sprinkles clumped together and were hard to shake onto the cookies. Again, I simply snipped a corner off of the packets to give me some precision in applying the sprinkles.
The finished cookies were bright, colorful and pretty tasty. They’re not going to replace my homemade cookies any time soon, but I really like the fact that this is an all-in-one kit and great for kids (or people who like to bake but have limited experience with cut out cookies). I had fun making and decorating the cookies, but I would buy this again just for the star, tree and snowman cookie cutters, which I will use again and again even with my homemade cookie doughs ( I used the snowman for my gingerbread cookies!).