Throw a cookie party just for kids!
I've seldom met a kid who didn't love cookies. Even those who don't like eating cookies still seem to enjoy baking and decorating them, especially during the holidays. My kids especially love making Christmas cutout cookies in the shapes of snowmen, reindeer, angels, Christmas trees and of course, Santa. One of our favorite holiday memories includes a batch of our homemade Christmas cookies and a very mischievous Santa Claus who bit only the heads off each cookie and left the rest for us to discover on Christmas morning!
As much as we love baking holiday cookies, it's even more fun with friends. If you are considering planning a cookie party for your children and their friends, here are some tips that will make the event extra special.
Baking together or apart?
Decide ahead of time whether you want to bake together, decorate pre-made cookies or simply have guests bring cookies for an exchange. All these ideas make for great parties, but you need to be specific about which sort of party you are throwing when you make your invitations.
Help the kids dress for success
If young children are attending your cookie party, look for inexpensive aprons they can wear while working in the kitchen, or make your own with tea towels and a couple of lengths of ribbon. Every great baker needs to dress the part!
Assign tasks by age
Give younger children easier jobs, like making the crisscrosses on top of peanut butter cookies or adding sprinkles to iced cookies. Let older children try their hand at using the mixer, arranging cookies on baking sheets and maybe even manning the oven.
Make use of cutters
Cookie cutters come in so many great holiday shapes, it would be a shame not to bake at least a couple of batches of cut out sugar cookies. Kids love cutting the dough on their own in shapes that they pick out. If you don't have holiday cutters, don't worry. Most are inexpensive and can be purchased at just about any store.
Do some tasks ahead of time
Make your sugar cookie dough in advance and store in the refrigerator, wrapped in plastic, until the party is under way. Cold dough is easier to roll and cut, and preparing early can save a lot of time and mess during the party. Icing can also be made ahead of time in a variety of colors.
Don't skimp on the toppings
Sprinkles, glittery sugar, dots and other toppings make it easy for kids to personalize their cookies. Make sure you have plenty of cool adornments to go around.
Diversify your cookies
A cookie party is more fun with a few different kinds of cookies. Try supplying a basic dough and letting the kids add ingredients to make their own special recipes. Who knows, maybe chocolate walnut caramel cookies were first invented by a curious youngster experimenting at a cookie party. Supply ingredients like chocolate chips, butterscotch chips, white chocolate chunks, walnuts, pecans, raisins, cranberries, oatmeal, coconut, or whatever and let imaginations run wild.
Be allergy aware
People should know potential allergens such as nuts, eggs, milk, wheat and chocolate may be present at a cookie party. But for safety's sake, make sure and alert your guests that such ingredients will be in use. That way, parents can make the choice to stay home or bring alternative ingredients as their kids' allergies may allow.
If you're throwing a cookie party, the most important thing is to have fun. Ignore little messes and just be creative. Enjoy time spent together with friends creating something delicious.Content by Tavia Fuller Armstrong.