What better way to celebrate the season than to throw a cookie decorating party with friends?
Surrounded by cookies and up to your elbows in frosting and sprinkles—it’s the perfect way to spend a December afternoon. This is a fun party whether or not you include kiddos. With a few small tweaks, you can easily accommodate the little ones while keeping the grown-ups entertained.
You’ll want to have around six to twelve cookies on hand for each guest. Plan to bake them all before the party and store them in an airtight container, so you’ll be ready to decorate when guests arrive. Add some seasonal flair by including both sugar cookies and gingerbread cookies. If you’re rolling dough, use a variety of cookie cutter shapes to suit the holiday and make decorating more exciting.
Here are a few of my favorite cookie recipes:
If the prep work seems a bit overwhelming, consider asking a friend to help with the baking. And don’t be afraid to save a little time in this busy season by starting with a cookie mix. This Cookie Mix Christmas Sugar Cookie recipe
makes your cookie prep a snap using a quick and easy Betty Crocker pouch.
With the cookies taken care of, set up decorating stations by covering surfaces with plastic tablecloths for easy clean-up. (If you’re inviting children, plastic tablecloths are a must! Consider putting additional tablecloths on the ground below the decorating surface as well. You’ll be able to scoop up, toss out, and be done in no time!)
Next, spread out all your supplies:
- Different colored icings, with piping bags and tips. If your guest list includes kids, consider buying a few icing squeeze bottles, which are perfect for little fingers.
- Plastic knives for easy spreading.
- Sprinkles! You can even ask guests to bring a bottle of sprinkles to get a large variety of sizes, colors, and shapes—without breaking the bank.
Now organize your supplies around the different stations. For example, icing can be at one station, while sprinkles are at another, so no one feels overcrowded and items don’t get all mixed up.
If you have a mixture of adults and children participating, you can offer guests both royal icing
. Royal icing
is great for adults to use, featuring a smooth, hard, matte finish that allows for more detailed designs.Buttercream frosting
is better for kids, as well as adults with less decorating experience. If you’re looking to cut time in the kitchen, don’t be afraid to use a few cans of Betty Crocker vanilla buttercream frosting. Just mix with your favorite food coloring for vibrant holiday colors.
Then pump up the Christmas music and let guests decorate!
Decorating around all those sweet treats will make anyone hungry, so plan to have a light lunch available. Decorators can eat whenever they feel hungry—no need to have everyone eat at the same time at this party. Set up a panini bar
, and you’ll have a hit for guests of all ages. Or, for a chilly day, make a large pot of soup and keep it warming on the stove during the party.
Try one of these yummy winter soup ideas:
Purchase gable boxes that guests can use to take their decorated cookies home. There are also some great ideas that you can use from sugarandcharm's DIY Holiday Cookie Gifts post
If kids are finished with their cookies before the adults, have another station set up where they can decorate their boxes with markers and stickers. Finished cookies will double as a party favor—but don’t forget: kids will always want to sample their goods right away. Have plenty of milk on hand!
You’ll be hard pressed to find a sweeter way to spend a December day!