If you enjoy making small, festive sculptures out of cake icing and cookie pieces, but long for an alternative to the standard gingerbread house, you might be jazzed to hear about the Holiday Gingerbread Chocolate Cookie Tree Kit, now available from Target.
When one hears "gingerbread", one likely thinks things like: "rock hard baked good" and "house-like structure." But the times they are a changin,' for the cookies in these kits are now apparently made to be edible and not break the crowns on your teeth. Not only that, one no longer needs to limit themselves to making a mere house. (Or limit themselves merely to Christmas, for that matter. There are now Gingerbread Turkey Kits, Gingerbread Haunted House Kits, Easter House Kits, and even a Valentine House Kit. Still no word on an Arbor Day Kit, but I imagine the wait won't be long.)
I personally never had any gingerbread architectural experience as a child. Probably because I had a million brothers and my mother knew that such a project would only end in tears and destruction. But now, with my own kid, I love hauling home gingerbread house kits, and then making my husband help my son build it while I eat the candy and Instagram them arguing.
My husband is a legit engineer, while I am a writer who still can't successfully ice a cake without raking off the top layer. So. Daddy is the designated builder of things. Yet, even with my husband's careful construction, the end result is almost always a collapsed heap of icing and broken shards. Like some enterprising elf tried to make a mini-meth lab inside of it, with disastrous, explosive results. Such is the way of gingerbread houses...
But this special kit from Target sets itself apart in that: 1.) it is chocolate and therefore clearly tastier and 2.) you are making a Christmas tree and not a dwelling.
I'll be honest — while the picture on the front of the box makes me smile with festive cheer, the instructional photo on the back of the box makes me frown with fatigue and skepticism. 18 cookies pieces? That must be carefully balanced into a tree-like tower? Who does Target think I am, Michelangelo?
The kit does come with its own plastic red base, and of course, plenty of icing and assorted sugary decor — including some very cute little candies that look like tiny Christmas tree lights.
I can't really get a clear idea of exactly how tall the tree is once completed though, as the box only lists the weight, not the height. So it might be 4 inches high, or you might need to reposition your couch to make room for it. Not sure. Though just guessing, it looks like it's maybe the size of a small squirrel?
It's definitely cute, and if you're the crafty sort, I'm sure it will be quite easy to balance those little peppermint balls at the very tippy top. If you are not the crafty type (and have wads of money lying at your feet) then you might want to investigate this pre-assembled, personalized house from Williams-Sonoma.