Green Door Hospitality

Adventures in Everyday Entertaining

Joy To The Cookies: Having an Annual Holiday Cookie Baking Party


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:

And make sure to check out these fantastic other blog posts that are part of Collectively Creative – The Joyful Edition!

The Joyful Edition Logo 2012

Framing Christmas PJs – (Cobwebs, Cupcakes & Crayons)
J-O-Y to the World – (Pillows A-La-Mode)
How To Display Christmas Cards – (Organized Living Essentials)
Adding Joy to Every Room – (Neaten Your Nest)
DIY Gift Bows (Upcycled Toilet Paper Rolls) – (Inspire and Indulge)
How to trim a Christmas tree: ornaments, Lego trains and whipped cream – (The Thing About Joan)
Joy Advent Calendar (And Giveaway!) – (Cul de Sac)
The Spirit Of Christmas – (A Ponytail Kind Of Day)
DIY Themed Mini Christmas Trees (This One’s for My Husband!) – (Mrs. And The Misc.)
Wrapped In Christmas Lights (Happy Little Kiwi)
Sharing Joy – (Gentle Stitches)
The Joy Of Discovery – (Love, Laughter and a Touch Of Insanity)

44 comments on “Joy To The Cookies: Having an Annual Holiday Cookie Baking Party

  1. The Wife
    December 19, 2012

    I LOVE to bake with friends! It’s one of my favorite things to do with my best friend. Sounds like you guys have a lot of fun!

  2. Pillows A-La-Mode
    December 19, 2012

    What fun! And oh . . . those cookies! 🙂 Thank you for the recipes, too! 🙂

    • Green Door Hospitality
      December 19, 2012

      It is fun! And we always try to make a few standard favorites and then “mix it up” with a new recipe or two each year. 🙂

  3. What a fun idea! I can imagine that Bloody Marys and laughing would lead to baking mishaps, but that does seem to be all part of the fun of cooking with friends!! Thanks for sharing your yummy recipes…and for being a part of The Joyful Edition!

    • Green Door Hospitality
      December 20, 2012

      Thanks Kelly!! And thank you so much for having me be part of the Collectively Creative!

  4. Cul de Sac
    December 19, 2012

    That must be some great memories made from year to year! and good stuff to bring home! i like to bake cookies with my kids… but unfortunately there is no bloody marys involved lol!

    • Green Door Hospitality
      December 20, 2012

      Yes, the memories are wonderful! And some years we have bloody marys, and some years when there is a pregnancy — we stick to cider and eggnog 🙂

  5. Trish
    December 19, 2012

    Fun fun fun!! We had our annual family bake day this past Saturday and after we collapsed in an exhausted heap we realized that we didn’t make one single cookie. Yours look absolutely beautiful. Thanks for sharing the links to some of the recipes!

    • Green Door Hospitality
      December 20, 2012

      Thanks Trish! And that’s funny that after all that you didn’t have any cookies… guess more baking will be had 🙂

  6. myhealthyohana
    December 19, 2012

    I love these ideas! We had a wonderful cookie exchange party this year (without kids), but I really like the idea of setting up a sugar cookie station for the older kids if they are present at the party!

    • Green Door Hospitality
      December 20, 2012

      It really is nice for the kids — they really feel like they are part of the experience then!

  7. thethingaboutjoan
    December 19, 2012

    Love the cookie parties! Your idea of setting up a separate sugar cookie station is a perfect way to keep the kids involved — love that! And snicker doodle cookies are my husband’s favorite cookie. He’s always dropping hints for those around this time of year! Great post!

  8. petit4chocolatier
    December 19, 2012

    Great tips Kenley! I love the drinking bloody Mary’s one 🙂
    So true! I think it has happened to all of us!

  9. Fae's Twist & Tango
    December 19, 2012

    I wish I could reach to those cookies! :d Fae.

  10. Neaten Your Nest
    December 19, 2012

    This is a great idea, thanks for the recipes. I’m not exactly known for my baking prowess, but maybe I could host a baking party and just provide the Bloody Mary’s 🙂

    • Green Door Hospitality
      December 20, 2012

      Erin, I actually had a friend that did that. She handled making drinks for everyone while they baked. 🙂

  11. A Ponytail Kind of Day
    December 19, 2012

    I would love to come to this 🙂 A wonderful idea, thanks for sharing

  12. gentlestitches
    December 20, 2012

    What could be more joyful than cookies?

  13. Leah
    December 20, 2012

    I like this idea so much better than a cookie exchange! Great tips to get me prepared. You made a TON of cookies!

    • Green Door Hospitality
      December 20, 2012

      We sure did! But it’s great cause then it lasts us for any other entertaining that we do for the season!

  14. Cloches & Lavender
    December 20, 2012

    It looks and sounds like a great time, I wish I could join the fun.


    • Green Door Hospitality
      December 20, 2012

      We would love to have you! Anytime you want to come to Texas, we’ll spend an afternoon baking 🙂

      • Cloches & Lavender
        December 20, 2012

        A far trip from NJ…LOL! Merry Christmas Kenley and to your family.

      • Green Door Hospitality
        December 21, 2012

        Lol! I suppose… 😉
        Merry Christmas to you and your family as well Cynthia!!!

  15. Pingback: Holiday Cookies: Snickerdoodles « Green Door Hospitality

  16. tableofcolors
    December 20, 2012

    Sounds like a fun party and a wonderful tradition with friends! Merry Christmas!

  17. Organized Living Essentials
    December 20, 2012

    I love it! I love the idea of having everyone bake together. I just did one cookie exchange a long time ago and it was an interesting experience. Some of the bakers brought fabulous cookies and a few of the bakers brought very poorly baked itty bitty cookies. After that experience I never did another one because it was so unfair. But this idea is so the way to go and would be so much fun to do …. with Bloody Marys of course! Thanks Kenley! ~ Thea

    • Green Door Hospitality
      December 21, 2012

      Thanks Thea! The baking together really emphasizes the community and friendship aspect. It’s so fun — and of course the bloody marys are always a plus 😉

  18. gotasté
    December 21, 2012

    This is so fun! Wish I was there.

  19. Pingback: Holiday Cookies: Sugar Cookies « Green Door Hospitality

  20. Laurie
    December 22, 2012

    Looks fun! (I tried “liking” this, but the like-button wasn’t working.)

    • Green Door Hospitality
      December 27, 2012

      Thanks Laurie! And very strange about the ‘like’ button not working — I will have to check it out!

  21. Our Adventure in Croatia
    January 28, 2013

    yaiks!!! those fingers are creepy!!!

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