Whether they make the official list of love languages, clearly cookies and parties should be right up there near the top! When sugar cookies, festive sprinkles, ice cold milk or piping hot coffee and hours of together are involved then what’s not to love? With so many of y’all curious about this cookie party plan, and with last week’s promise of details, today I give you this – Cookie Party Hacks | Tips, Tricks & a few Pics. And if by chance you missed last week’s post about hosting your own Cookie Party, then you can catch up and find free printables here, and come right back for tips for making it a low-stress day enjoyable day for all involved.
It’s not a party without the guests! Last week I share the PDF for this invite You can download the PDF here for printing or resizing multiple invites per page on your home printer.
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If you’re needing to save expenses on the invitation detail then consider these ideas …
Use the PDF invite at the top of an e-mail with all the important details for your guests.
For guest lists who are all on Facebook, consider creating an events page. It makes it easy to include maps and other updates with ALL of your guests before the big party. You can even add a little “looking forward to seeing you tomorrow” reminder the day before your event.
And of course, hand delivering printed invitations on card stock is always a nice option.
To make hand-delivered invitations even more unique, punch a hole in one of the top corners of your invitation and use a length of baker’s twine to add a small cookie cutter or cellophane bag of sprinkles.
Believe it or not, with a little planning, gathering and prepping a week or two ahead, the actual party day can be quite low stress.
Tips for your Younger Guests
If your guest list includes children then one of the first things you’ll want to start gathering is empty egg cartons. Cut the top of each carton and divide the base into 2 or 3 sections. This allows smaller guests to pour a different type of sprinkle into each well and you’ve eliminated a number of potential mishaps.
If their egg carton section spills, it’s not an entire jar of sprinkles and you just refill it, before any tears are shed. Suddenly double dipping with recently licked pudgy little toddler fingers is really no big deal. You’re also less likely to lose an entire jar of sprinkles on top of one cookie when you happened to glance away for a moment, as me how I know this.
Mixing, Freezing & Baking Cookies
One of the beautiful things about the sugar cookie dough is that it freezes well. For like a month or two! It will roll out best if you allow it to thaw in the fridge the day before you decide to bake them. The recipe below will make 3 to 4 dozen cookies depending on the thickness of your dough and the size of your cookie cutters.
A good rule of thumb in deciding how many cookies to bake is 6 to 12 per guest, based on their age and attention span. To save time, while one batch is baking roll and cut out the next batch, moving it to parchment paper to slip on the cookie sheet as soon as it’s available.
We found that it worked best to bake the cookies a day or two before your party. If you’re baking dozens and dozens of cookies, I would suggest doing them 2 days before. That gives you a day to rest between the cookie baking and your actual party, making the entire experience more enjoyable.
Once your cookies are baked they can be stacked in an air airtight container until you’re ready to set them out. If you have a ton of them, underbed storage boxes with snap on lids work wonderful for keeping cookies fresh and in one piece.
Icing Supplies and Details
Doubling the icing recipe should yield enough icing for one batch of the cookies using Anabel’s Sugar Cookie recipe.
A few items you’ll want to gather for the actual party day include …
1 bowl of each color of icing for every 4 guests or so
decorating plates for each guest to use in the icing process, 1 to 3 per guest
spoons for scooping icing onto decorating plates
knives for spreading the icing on the cookies, several for each color of icing
Remember the excitement of party favors as a kid? Well, they’re pretty much built into the cookie party idea, and the beautiful thing is, you’re guests are the ones making their own favors. It only takes a few things to make those party favors a little more special.
For the simplest of approaches, use paper plates, Press’n Seal, and the label above. Click here for the PDF label. Each guest can fill a plate or two with their cookie creations, set a label on top with their name and cover it all in Press’n seal wrap.
If your party budget has a little wiggle room, replace the plates and saran wrap with some disposable food containers.
Extra Party Favors
How fun would it be welcome guests with a large basket or tin of cookies? Choose a large cookie cutter to go ahead and bake and decorate one for each guest the day before your party. Slip each one into a cellophane bag tied with bakers twine and load up your basket or tin for a nice warm greeting when guests arrive.
And if you’re feeling really gracious, mix the dry ingredients for a favorite cookie recipe to send home with each guest or family. You can add the label above to a simple wax bag or lunch bag with a ziplock bag of mix and directions inside. Or you could whip up a few cloth gift bags to hold the cookie mixes.
One thing we don’t always consider when planning a party is that others may ask how they can help. This is a tough one for most of us to accept, but one we need to learn. For many, asking how they can help is a way of showing appreciation, and we would do well to give their request true consideration. With the Christmas cookie party we hosted year after year, we came to the point where we worked on cleaning our home, remember there were 4 elementary aged kids, and baking dozens upon dozens of cookies. Each family brought a tub of icing and a jar of sprinkles, and they were more than happy to contribute. It made it easier to prep each year knowing that it wasn’t all up to me. That was a huge blessing to myself and our kids. Just a little something to consider!
Your big party day is around the corner and now comes the fun of decorating and styling for your party!
The blank PDF here can be printed out in a variety of sizes.
Welcome Signs and Banners
You can print a large one for a welcome sign on the front door.
You can also print out several pages and whip up a bunting in a variety of shapes from pennant to swallow tail to hearts. By adding a letter to each flag, you can spell out whatever words you like to welcome your guests.
Adding a little style
When the majority of your guests are little, then think colorful melamine bowls, and disposable plates and knives for decorating. A brown craft paper tablecloth with crayons provides a grace period while Mamas are gathering the necessary supplies for the festivities to begin.
Whether the guest list is filled with young ones or more “seasoned” friends, conversation hearts sprinkled down the center of the table are always fun. Brown kraft paper and markers can be fun at any age too, so don’t feel the need to limit that option to just the younger crowd.
For a gathering of more mature guests, then you can bring out the china, crystal, goblets and breakables.
Thrifted cake plates and clear ramekins stacked one on top of another and filled with sprinkles becomes a gracious blend of setting up and styling your table.
If a more casual look is your goal then consider filling some fun typography mugs to the brim with colorful icing and sprinkles. Thank you, Rae Dunn! For that matter, if it fits your budget, how fun would it be for each guest to take their own Rae Dunn mug home once they’ve been emptied of their icing and sprinkles?
There truly are so many possibilities when you begin with plates of blank cookies, a few friends and loads of sugar to add on top. We’ve even turned family nights into cookie parties a time or two. What other ideas might you have for a cookie party that you could share with us?
Here are a few links to helpful supplies that you might find inspiring