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Five Tips for an Unforgettable Cookie Decorating Party

Created September 30, 2019
Sugar cookies, frosting, red and green candies, candy canes
Don’t just throw a regular holiday party. Throw a cool holiday party. Invite the whole gang over for a mega cookie bash they’ll never forget.
Everyone loves to get a little creative around the holidays, which is why it’s such a genius idea to decorate cookies at your next holiday party. Friends meet, mingle, drink and chat all while having fun creating sugary masterpieces. Then, at the end of the evening, everyone parts ways with their own box of personalized treats. But before you go calling up your besties, here are five tips for making your cookie decorating party a festive success.

Make Doughs Ahead

Three-in-One Holiday Cookie Dough

Even though making cookie dough is half the battle (and frankly, the most un-fun half), you’ll want to do this part before your army of guests shows up. After all, they’re coming over to have fun, not to be put to work. Prep all your doughs in advance, wrap them up tightly and store them away in the fridge. Added bonus: cookie dough cuts better when cold, so having a few chilled balls of premade dough in the refrigerator will benefit you the day of your party.

Sugar cookie is the classic cookie dough of choice for decorating. You can either go the store-bought route or make your dough from scratch . But don’t be afraid to think outside the cookie box! These easy and buttery shortbread cookies are just waiting to be dressed up in frosting and sprinkles. And, we love this three-in-one dough  that can be transformed from a plain sugar base to either chocolate or gingerbread; each flavor is decorating-friendly!

It’s up to you to decide how hands-on your cookie-decorating party is going to be. You can either cut and bake cookies ahead of guests showing up, or leave the dough unbaked and have guests do the cookie-cutting. Keep in mind that pre-baking will mean less time in the kitchen during the event. However, pre-baking also means more work for you ahead of the party.

Create Workstations

Rather than creating one mega hub of all your cookie-decorating materials, spread them out so your guests can grab what they need without constantly getting up out of their chairs. Divide your frostings into smaller bowls so everyone can their own to frost from. Use cupcake liners to hold sprinkles for easy access. Put cookie trays on opposite sides of the table so everyone can put their finished pieces down easily. Additionally, if you have enough space for two tables, use one for cutting cookie dough and cooling baked cookies, and the other table for decorating cookies.

Serve (Savory) Snacks

Slow-Cooker Spanish Manchego Pork Meatballs

It might seem weird to make food for a party where everyone is making food. However, providing a savory balance of snacks will be easier on everyone’s taste buds. Serve festively cut veggies to combat the sugar-overload. Salty snacks will pair nicely with all that sweet flavor. And don’t forget about drinks! You’ll certainly want to stock up on milk to go with all those cookies, but you should also prepare a punch or two for guests to sip on while they decorate.

Create a Mood

Nothing says, “It’s the holidays!” quite like having It’s a Wonderful Life playing on the TV. Whether you’re streaming Bing Crosby’s croonings or playing a marathon of your favorite holiday flicks, create a festive mood in your home with sound, sight and smell. Plug in the Christmas tree lights. Throw a simmer pot on the stove. Download a Christmas playlist. And keep your fingers crossed for some soft snowfall during your party.

Make it a BYOT Event

Easy Cookie Icing

BYOT, as in, bring your own Tupperware. Everyone is going to want to leave with their cookie creations, and they’ll need something to carry them safely home in. Rather than buying a bunch of plastic containers yourself, encourage your guests to come with their own to-go boxes or bags for transporting treats. That being said, make sure you have a few freezer bags on hand for forgetful guests.