The holidays are full of tradition. Some are based on family. Some are based on spirituality. And some are based on friendship and cookies!
For December, the theme of the Collectively Creative (put together by Cobwebs, Cupcakes, and Crayons) is The Joyful Edition. I have a lot of things that bring me joy this time of year but one of my favorite joyful traditions is an annual cookie baking day with my dear friend Heather. We’ve been doing it for five years now and it’s such a great time spent… plus we end up with double the types of cookies than if we would have done it solo!
Now I know that there are some people that do cookie exchange parties with friends and those can be a lot of fun — and are a good alternative if you are short on time. But to me there is nothing better than spending the day baking with person(s) you care about. Add in some bloody marys, laughter, and some guaranteed baking mishaps and you have an even that doesn’t just get you a variety of cookies, but memories that you carry with you for a lifetime.
The following are some tips for having a holiday cookie baking party or gathering:
- Before the event, discuss who is making what cookies. Last you thing want is have everyone show up prepared to make the exact same cookie.
- Based on the number of cookies needing to be baked, develop an oven schedule to help things go smoother.
- Be flexible on an end time. This is not the kind of party that you want to try to squeeze in between things. Regardless of how much you plan, it always takes a bit longer. Just remember that it’s about spending time with people you care about.
- If you’re not hosting but rather attending, make sure that you pack all the equipment you might need to bring with you. Your host may have measuring cups, rolling pin, mixers, etc. but they will be needing to use them at the same time you are!
- Have a plan for any children that may be present. One suggestion, if the kids are old enough, is to have some sugar cookie dough already prepared. Set up a station for the kids to use cookie cutters, sprinkles, etc. to decorate. They feel like they are helping and part of the event, and you have them somewhere other than under foot!
- Plan on beverages and snacks. As great as cookie dough and cookies are to munch on, you and your guests will end up having a sugar crash half way through if you don’t have anything else to eat.
- Be up front on how cookies will be split up at the end. The simplest way is to just divide each cookie batch by the number of people. If you have a different set up though, make sure everyone is clear on the “rules” just so there is no confusion later on.
- If there are allergies or dietary needs, make sure they are discussed up front. Develop an alternative solution so cookie making and distribution is fair.
- Plan that mistakes may happen. You’re all laughing and talking, possibly having a Bloody Mary… mix-ups can happen. Like forgetting the flour mixture in gingersnaps one year and then almost having the runny batter get all over the oven before realizing. (Not that happened to yours truly 5 years ago or anything). The important thing is to roll with the punches! You can always make another batch.
Here are the recipes for this year’s cookies:
- Gingersnaps Cookies
- Oatmeal Raisin Cookies
- White Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Snickerdoodles Cookies
- Sugar Cookies
And make sure to check out these fantastic other blog posts that are part of Collectively Creative – The Joyful Edition!