Several years ago, my husband and I decided to host a holiday gathering and also wanted a way to bring some extra holiday cheer into our community. We decided on a cookie party, where we got a chance to celebrate with friends, and also provide cheer to a local organization through sweet treats.
I’d like to share how to pull together a cookie party yourself – there’s still time this holiday season!
For materials, I keep it simple. I buy 12 squeeze bottles of cookie icing, 10 jars of sprinkles, 36 dozen make and break cookies, napkins, plates, cups and plastic ware. In addition, we get kraft paper to cover the table, paper plates on which to decorate the cookies, and a variety of spoons with which the kids can spread icing. Lastly, we buy cookie bags to package them up for delivery. I shop the after-holiday sales for the cutest paper goods I can find and store them in a labeled box for next year. (Pro tip: put a note in the box that reminds you how many cookies you made and how many bottles of icing and sprinkles you went through).
We treat the party as an open house for several hours, and encourage everyone to drop by for however long they’re able to. In a season as full of events as this one is, it’s hard to commit an entire evening to attending, but nearly everyone can attend for some portion.
Our guest list is varied, on purpose. We invite couple friends, work friends and as we always have, acquaintances we’ve just gotten to know. The cookie party has kicked off several friendships for us, as well as for others that have met at the event. Starting this year, we’ve let the kids pick a small number of school friends to invite as well.
In the past, we’ve had guests bring appetizers, hosted it around dinnertime and held it with no additional food at all. We’ve decided that a small number of snacks that we provide is the best option for us. This year in addition to all the cookies you can eat, we’ll have some basics available – fruit, vegetables and dip, chips and salsa, and the requisite hot chocolate and cider. (Pro tip: bust out your largest crockpots to keep the beverages warm).
Space for this is probably the hardest part – 36 dozen cookies take up a LOT of room. After baking them, I store the cookies in baggies with a piece of bread to keep them fresh. On the day of the party, I pile cookies upon cookies onto trays. I cover all of the flat areas in my kitchen with kraft paper or foil, to place decorated cookies to dry. As they dry, we transfer them into our laundry room to make room for more! We make sure everyone eats all the cookies they want, pack some up to take home, and that we have at least 100 decorated cookies each to donate. (Pro tip: if you have leftovers, they freeze well and are delicious straight out of the freezer!)