Have you ever designed an overly-ambitious gingerbread house, complete with stained glass sugar windows and a peppermint cobblestone walkway? Or maybe you’ve sipped a hot gingerbread latte during a break from a long day of errands? At least once you must have exclaimed “Not the gumdrop buttons!” as you plucked the candy accents from a gingerbread man!
If any of the above statements ring true to you, Kit Kat’s limited edition holiday flavor may reinforce gingerbread’s status as the season’s most beloved and nostalgic flavor. Available in miniature size to suit your candy dish, Gingerbread Cookie Kit Kats feature a gingerbread-flavored crème coating its classic crispy wafer.
To achieve their characteristic taste, gingerbread cookies usually require molasses and a mixture of ginger, cinnamon, allspice, and cloves—among other spices, depending on the recipe. That might sound like pumpkin spice warmed over, but it’s all about the different ratios. I trust my measuring spoons and my memory of elementary school math to distinguish my pie and chai spices from my gingerbread spice, but I was curious if Kit Kat could achieve a successful flavor balance in such a small confection.
Opening the bag, I caught a soft whiff of maple. The Kit Kat itself, covered in a caramel-colored crème coating, smelled like brown sugar. At this point, my spicy sense was not tingling.
The flavor, however, is fully gingerbread. The coating has white crème sweetness at its base, which reminded me of a gingerbread house’s royal icing spackle or the wee details on a gingerbread man. The crème combines a mellow mixture of warm spices with notes of brown sugar in the background. At the very end of the bite, I tasted a slight kick of ginger that lingered for a few moments in the aftertaste.
Checking the ingredients list, I saw no hint of specific spices, just “natural and artificial flavors.” The candy’s realistic flavor — ginger hint especially — can mean only one thing: Kit Kat’s food scientists are becoming too powerful.
Kit Kat nails its limited edition flavors more often than not, but Gingerbread Cookie Kit Kats are especially hard to find fault with. The spice flavor is realistic without being overwhelming. The sweetness is multidimensional, and the crispy wafer completes the simple, delightful bite. It may be my favorite seasonal Kit Kat flavor yet.
In fact, I enjoyed this so much that its flavor actually evoked a Proustian moment, an involuntary memory triggered by a sensory experience. After my second or third, a particular iced gingerbread cookie that was once a staple of my childhood resurfaced in my memory. Even though I haven’t thought of that cookie in years, the memory inspires me to break out the recipe for the holidays this year. In case my measuring spoons or math skills fail, I’ll keep a stash of Gingerbread Cookie Kit Kats nearby.
DISCLAIMER: I received a free sample from Hershey’s, which did not influence my review.
Purchased Price: FREE
Size: 8.4 oz (238 g) bag
Purchase at: Provided by Hershey’s
Rating: 9 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (per 4 pieces) 170 calories, 9 grams of fat, 6 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 30 milligrams of sodium, 21 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of fiber, 16 grams of sugar, and 2 grams of protein.