By Steve Adams
After weeks and weeks of preparing for the holidays, with gift-getting and cookie-baking and guest-hosting – and, unfortunately, COVID-testing – all leading up to the culmination we call Christmas, we could likely all use some late-December relaxation.
And while binge-watching yet another holiday baking show can definitely provide some sedentary de-stressing, it can also serve as inspiration for a more action-oriented activity that’s fun for the whole family: dessert-making and decorating.
A quick Google search will give you an endless list of options of kits, from cookies to cakes to gingerbread houses, to order from the likes of Amazon, Target, and other big box stores. But you might be surprised to learn that there are plenty of dessert kits available from a wide array of Bay country bakers—folks who can not only provide your kits quickly, ensuring both freshness and immediate entertainment, but will also let you participate in the #buylocal and #shopsmall movements.
With that in mind, here are just a few:
Cookie Jar Kits
As its name suggests, this Annapolis-based business, owned and operated by homebaker Katie Flynn, who sells her magical treats online and at area farmers markets (and promotes them through plentiful cookbook-quality Instagram posts at @cookiejarkits), offers a variety of seasonal and custom DIY cookie decorating kits throughout the year. (Pictured above) Current options, each including an assortment of cut out cookies, icings, and sprinkles, include the 12-cookie Classic Christmas Cookie Kit ($35), a giant “Deck the Tree” Kit ($35), and the 36-cookie Christmas Party Kit ($100): cookiejarkits.com
In yet another example of a pandemic pivot, Lisa Schneiderman began offering her delicious cakepops in DIY form last year so that adults and kids alike could have a fun at-home activity. Each seasonal or custom kit ($25, pictured above) comes with six single-dipped vanilla or chocolate cake pops, a very generous portion of regular or white chocolate melting wafers, and a variety of toppings. Current options include Christmas, Unicorn, Monster, Princess, Galaxy, and Mermaid: lisascakepops.com
Sugar Butter Love
This self-described “Creative Oasis of Customized Desserts and Treats” not only offers any and every custom iced cookie that you can think of, but also some very cool kits. Current options, each including cut-out cookies, icing, and decorations, include a DIY Gingerbread Family ($30), DIY Ugly Sweaters ($30), and Paint-Your-Own Ornament Cookies ($21): sugar-butter-love.com
Locals surely know that Iron Rooster is famous for its RoosTarts (if you don’t, they’re essentially massive Pop-Tarts) but might be surprised to discover that they are also available in make- and decorate-at-home form. While out of stock as of press time, each Make Your Own RoosTart Kit ($35 for 4 or $55 for 8) includes cobbler dough, mixed berry or brown sugar filling, icing, and either powdered sugar or sprinkles. There’s even a step-by-step video on Facebook and YouTube showing not only how easy they are to make, but also how delicious they look coming out of your oven: ironroosterallday.square.site/makeyourownroostarts