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How to Host a Holiday Cookie Decorating Party

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Is it even the holiday season if you aren't baking cookies? 

Nothing says winter like the smell of freshly baked cookies wafting through the kitchen and into the office, and having Adam run out of the office asking me for a warm cookie to nibble on. 

Since we live in Phoenix and we do not have some of the holiday and winter traditions we had as kids, Adam and I try our best to create our own traditions with our family to bring joy into our lives during this time of year! Having friends over to decorate cookies while we listen to holiday music and drink hot chocolate has become one of our newer traditions, and today I am sharing a few key recipes to help you host a holiday cookie decorating party of your own as well as some essential items to bring your holiday table to life!







After you check out all of the tutorials below, you can write your grocery list, check it twice, and pick up everything you'll need to host your very own holiday cookie decorating party including baking supplies, some holiday decor, and Glade® Holiday Limited Edition Fragrances to help bring the holiday spirit to the table! Be on the lookout for Glade® Holiday Limited Edition Fragrances on display at your local Kroger store now!

The Glade® Tree Lighting Wonder™ jar candle is the perfect candle for your cookie party. It's not a sweet fragrance, so it does not overpower the room when it will already smell sweet from all of the cookies and sweets on your table. It's fragrance reminds me of the gigantic, beautiful spruce tree we had in our front yard in my childhood home. I have so many memories looking out the window watching the snow begin to fall, and I would quickly dress myself in my snowpants and mittens and run out to the tree and shake the fresh snow off of the branches and let it fall on my face. The pine forest fragrance from the Glade® Tree Lighting Wonder™ jar candle totally takes me back to that memory as a kid and that is why I love having that fragrance around my home in the winter when the holidays roll around!

Other than playing in the freshly fallen snow, of my other favorite things about the holidays as a kid was decorating cookies! My grammy used to bake sugar cookies for our family and it was always a treat to go over to her house and have them there since my parents did not bake with me. Baking and decorating with my grammy was always a wonderful tradition, and over the years we stopped doing it until I was in college and visited with my younger cousins. One particular winter break when I came home and went to my grammy's house, I brought cookies with me and sat with my little cousins and we decorated cookies together for hours! It was so much fun and I remember that fondly! 

I try to carry the memory of my traditions from my childhood into my adult life, and I have found joy in having a holiday cookie decorating party with my girlfriends! I hope that you enjoy these tutorials to help you bring some joy into your home when you host a cookie decorating party of your own!

Every holiday cookie decorating party needs the perfect cookie trifecta--for me, that includes snickerdoodles, peanut butter, and of course sugar cookies!

Holiday Snickerdoodles

Cookie Ingredients:
  • 2 3/4 cups of unbleached cake flour
  • 1 teaspoon of baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon of baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons of cream of tartar
  • 1/2 teaspoon of sea salt
  • 1 stick of unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup of vegetable shortening
  • 1 cup of baker's sugar (granulated sugar, fine)
  • 1/2 cup of light brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
Cinnamon Sugar Dusting Ingredients: 
  • 1/2 cup of baker's sugar (granulated sugar, fine)
  • 2 teaspoons of ground cinnamon
Directions:
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees (F).
  2. In a medium bowl, mix the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and cream of tartar.
  3. In a large bowl, cream the butter, vegetable shortening, brown sugar, and the baker's sugar until it is light, creamy, and whipped. If you are doing this by hand, it may take up to 10 minutes. I recommend using a mixer--if using either a hand mixer or freestanding mixer, this will take a few minutes (around 3-4 minutes).
  4. Add in the eggs and vanilla extract and mix well.
  5. Pour the dry ingredients into the large bowl and mix until the dough comes together (once you see the flour/white powder disappear, then you know it is done). You do not want to over-mix the dough, since the more you mix it the tougher your cookies will be!
  6. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  7. Grab a shallow bowl and create the cinnamon sugar dusting by combining 1/2 cup of baker's sugar and 2 teaspoons of ground cinnamon. Stir the sugar and cinnamon together until they are blended.
  8. Use either a 1-2 inch cookie scoop or an ice cream scoop, and scoop out a ball of cookie dough. Toss the cookie dough ball into the cinnamon sugar dusting bowl, and roll the ball around in it so that cinnamon sugar covers the ball.
  9. Use the scoop or another spoon to transfer the cookie dough from the bowl onto the parchment paper. Place the cookie dough balls about 2-3 inches apart (they will spread). Repeat this process until your baking sheet is full.
  10. Bake the cookies in the oven on the medium rack at 350 degrees (F) for 8-10 minutes. You do not want to burn these cookies! Check the cookies at around 8 minutes, and if they are browned on the edges and if you gently place your fingertip in the middle of the cookie and it does not leave an indent they are done and need to be taken out of the oven. Allow the cookies to cool, untouched, on the baking sheet for 5 minutes.
  11. While the cookies are cooling, sprinkle a small amount of the cinnamons sugar dusting on top of the cookies while they are still warm.
  12. Once the cookies have hardened and they are cool to the touch, you can transfer them from the baking sheet to a cooling rack or a plate. Repeat this process until you've baked all of your cookies! Enjoy!





Peanut Butter Cookies

Ingredients:
  • 1 3/4 cups of all-purpose flour, unbleached
  • 1/2 teaspoon of baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon of sea salt
  • 1 1/2 sticks of unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup of creamy peanut butter
  • 3/4 cup of baker's sugar (granulated sugar, fine)
  • 3/4 cup of light brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
Directions:
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees (F).
  2. In a medium bowl, mix the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  3. In a large bowl, cream the butter, peanut butter, brown sugar, and the baker's sugar until it is light, creamy, and whipped. If you are doing this by hand, it may take up to 10 minutes. I recommend using a mixer--if using either a hand mixer or freestanding mixer, this will take a few minutes (around 3-4 minutes).
  4. Add in the egg and vanilla extract and mix well.
  5. Pour the dry ingredients into the large bowl and mix until the dough comes together (once you see the flour/white powder disappear, then you know it is done). You do not want to over-mix the dough, since the more you mix it the tougher your cookies will be!
  6. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  7. Use either a 1-2 inch cookie scoop or an ice cream scoop, and scoop out a ball of cookie dough and place it onto the parchment paper. Place the cookie dough balls about 2 inches apart (they will spread a little bit, but not as much as the snickerdoodles would). Repeat this process until your baking sheet is full.
  8. Use a fork to make crisscross marks along the top of the cookie (this will flatten the cookie a bit).
  9. Bake the cookies in the oven on the medium rack at 350 degrees (F) for 8-10 minutes. You do not want to burn these cookies! Check the cookies at around 8 minutes, and if they are browned on the edges and if you gently place your fingertip in the middle of the cookie and it does not leave an indent they are done and need to be taken out of the oven. Allow the cookies to cool, untouched, on the baking sheet for 5 minutes.
  10. Serve warm and enjoy with a cup of milk, or enjoy them cooled and decorate them with your favorite holiday sprinkles! 



Classic Sugar Cookies

Ingredients:
  • 2 1/4 cups of all-purpose flour, unbleached
  • 1/4 teaspoon of baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon of sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon of cornstarch
  • 1 1/2 sticks of unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup of baker's sugar (granulated sugar, fine)
  • 1 egg
  • 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
Directions:
  1. In a medium bowl, mix the flour, baking powder, sea salt, and cornstarch.
  2. In a large bowl, cream the butter and the baker's sugar until it is light, creamy, and whipped. If you are doing this by hand, it may take up to 10 minutes. I recommend using a mixer--if using either a hand mixer or freestanding mixer, this will take a few minutes (around 3-4 minutes).
  3. Add in the egg and vanilla extract and mix well.
  4. Pour the dry ingredients into the large bowl and mix until the dough comes together (once you see the flour/white powder disappear, then you know it is done). You do not want to over-mix the dough, since the more you mix it the tougher your cookies will be once they are baked.
  5. Clear a large section on the table or counter, and prepare 2 pieces of parchment paper that are the same size (about the size of your baking sheet).
  6. Put one piece of parchment paper on the flat surface, and then scoop the dough onto the center of the parchment paper. Work the dough gently with your hands so that it forms into a ball-like shape.
  7. Cover the dough with the second piece of parchment paper, and then slightly flatten the dough with your hands while squishing the two pieces of parchment paper together.
  8. Use a rolling pin over the top of the parchment paper to flatten and spread the cookie dough so that it is about 1/2 inch (you do not want to flatten it too much, since the flatter your cookies are, the more likely they will brown or even burn in the oven when you bake them).
  9. Chill the rolled dough in the parchment paper in the refrigerator for at least an hour, or in the freezer for 20-30 minutes if you are in a hurry. The goal is to get the dough to harden so that it can be easily worked with a cookie cutter.
  10. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees (F).
  11. Line a cookie sheet with a piece of parchment paper.
  12. Remove the dough from the refrigerator, and use a cookie cutter (I prefer tree-shaped for the holidays and decorate mine with ornaments) to cut out cookie dough into your desired sugar cookie shape.
  13. Place the cookies on the baking sheet about 2 inches apart. Repeat this process until your cookie sheet is full.
  14. Bake the cookies in the oven on the medium rack at 325 degrees (F) for 7-9 minutes. You will want to watch these cookies like a hawk--don't be tempted to multitask while you bake these as sugar cookies can be fickle (even a few seconds too long in the oven and they will begin brown).
  15. Once the edges have very lightly browned, remove the cookies from the oven and allow them to continue to bake for another minute or so on the hot baking sheet. Do not try to move the cookies until they are hardened, and then you can move them to a cooling rack or onto a plate so you can decorate them.
  16. Once they are completely cool, you can decorate them to your heart's desire! I love using holiday icing, sprinkles, and decorative candies to decorate our sugar cookies.





DIY Cookie Pennant Banner

No cookie decorating party is complete without a themed, homemade centerpiece that brings the table together into a festive and delicious tablescape! This gold lettered 'COOKIES' pennant banner is so simple to make, but it definitely makes a statement for your party table! 

For this DIY party decor, I used 7 separate canvas/burlap pennants, craft glue, twine, gold glitter letters, newspaper, and scissors. 

Lay out some old newspaper on a flat surface to prevent glue and/or glitter from getting all over the place. Place the pennants across the surface and line them up so that they are even and in a straight line. 

Starting at one end and working your way across, draw a line of craft glue across the pennants where you want the twine to sit (I recommend gluing the twine at the top, but not the very top of the pennants). 

Give the glue a few seconds to get tacky while you cut the twine to length (should be at least as long as all of the pennants plus another 6 inches on the ends, so you have room to hang it where you want). Press the twine into the line of glue firmly, and then allow the glue time to set and harden with the twine attached (at least 15-20 minutes, since you will be hanging it and you don't want to lose a fight with gravity later on). 

Once the glue is no longer tacky or sticky to the touch, flip the banner around so that the glue/twine is on the back. 

Use a small amount of the same craft glue to attach your letters to the front of the pennants. I spelled out the word "COOKIES," but you can also choose another festive word for your party and use one separate pennant for each letter (or 2 letters per pennant depending on how long you want your word or phrase to be). 

Allow at least another 15-20 minutes to let the glue harden and completely dry). Once the letters do not budge when you touch them they are ready to be hung, and you can decorate with this pennant banner for your party! 






More Ideas for Your Holiday Cookie Decorating Party
-have plenty of different types of cookie decorations, frosting, icing, and candies on the table for everyone to decorate their cookies with 
-serve hot cocoa and/or have a hot cocoa bar with mini marshmallows, cookie stir sticks, and have them dunk a sugar cookie in their cocoa
-bake cookies as a group in addition to decorating them (and account for the time it will take for the cookies to cool)
-have a small craft project for everyone to do while the cookies are cooling before decorating
-play your favorite holiday music and have a karaoke machine
-have one of your favorite holiday movies on and playing in the background during the party
-send everyone home with a stocking full of cookie decorating tools as a party gift
-send your guests home with a gift basket with all their holiday favorites like comfy slippers, an ugly festive sweater, and even your favorite Glade® Holiday Limited Edition Fragrances

Glade® Holiday Limited Edition Fragrances are perfect for your holiday parties--to enjoy during the party as well as an after-party gift! You can also stock up on some of your other, favorite festive Glade® products like Glade® PlugIns® air fresheners and Aerosol products. Adam and I like to have the Glade® Aerosols in each of our bathrooms ready before we have everyone over for a party, and I like to have my Glade® PlugIns® air freshener running in the living room (so as soon as I come home and open the door, it smells like a winter wonderland in my house even though it's 70 degrees outside because we live in Phoenix!) The Glade® Tree Lighting Wonder™ is my favorite of the Glade® Holiday Limited Edition Fragrances, but there are plenty of others you can choose from including Frosting With Love™, Candy Sprinkling Joy™, and Cozy Cider Sipping™.







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5 comments

  1. I just love your cookie display and drinks. May have to try to live up to this at my next Christmas party!

    ReplyDelete
  2. A cookie decorating party is such a fun idea! I may try to pull one off with my family for Valentine’s Day! I won’t be home for Christmas, but it will still be tons of fun!

    ReplyDelete
  3. I love this idea. I planned on doing something like this with my niece and nephew this weekend!

    ReplyDelete
  4. This is so fun! I can't wait to decorate Christmas cookies!

    xx,
    Amanda || www.fortheloveofglitter.com

    ReplyDelete
  5. THis looks so fun and I do not even like decorating cookies.

    ReplyDelete

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