Get the sprinkles out -- it's time for a holiday cookie party


Share
Originally Posted Online: Dec. 11, 2012, 10:03 am
Last Updated: Dec. 12, 2012, 6:38 am
Comment on this story | Print this story | Email this story
By Joe Gray

It started several years ago when we realized we seldom got to see our friends and their kids, what with sports, activities and all. The solution: a holiday cookie party, in which the kids got to decorate and create with abandon while the adults got to catch up. It has become an annual event that the kids ask their parents about weeks ahead: When's the cookie party?

If you're hoping to grab the attention of a kid (or her parents) in the holiday crush, a cookie party's your ticket. Here's what to do.

The keys to success:

Be organized, and have something to engage the kids at all times.

Make just two kinds of cookies; kids will provide the variety as they decorate. We make a roll-out sugar cookie and a gingerbread.

It's all about the kids; theirs is the joy of sprinkling way too much green sanding sugar all over the gingerbread men. So let them do it the way they want.

The basics

The kids cut out cookies.

While those cookies bake, kids decorate cookies you baked in advance.

When those are done, the just-baked cookies are ready to decorate.

Do ahead

Bake cutout cookies in a variety of shapes, five or six per kid. Leave them undecorated; store in airtight containers. Can be made well ahead and frozen.

The day before, roll out one piece of cookie dough per child, about the size of a cookie sheet, on waxed paper. Stack on a cookie sheet to stay flat; wrap in plastic wrap; refrigerate.

Cut sheets of parchment paper to fit your cookie sheets.

Cover the table(s) with butcher paper (try uline.com) or plastic tablecloths, something to withstand the royal icing.

Put a variety of cutters down the middle of the table so kids can choose what they like.

Put decorations in spice jars with shaker lids or in small bowls. Tuck them away until the kids are done with the cookie-cutting.

Put out lots of small, food-safe paintbrushes. You will need a few per color of icing so that no one has to wait for the red while Erin paints Santa's big belly.

Designate counter space to re-roll scraps; get older kids to help or a patient, speedy, adult.

Day of

Make royal icing about two hours before the party. Divide the icing into small, sealable plastic containers. Dye with food coloring or paste, making two of each color you will offer. Make sure you have plenty of white icing too. Cover with plastic wrap down to the surface; you don't want the icing to set. Chill.

Heat the oven to cookie-baking temperature.

Kids arrive

Transfer each sheet of dough to a sheet of the pre-cut parchment. (The waxed paper will be wet and tear easily.) Place one in front of each child; let them go to town with cutters. Have parents help the younger ones. (This is fun for the adults too.) Write each kid's name in pencil on the parchment paper.

Slide the parchment onto cookie sheets; bake, in batches. Put platters of the pre-baked cookies on the table for kids to decorate.

After cookies that the kids cut out are baked, the kids decorate those.

Remember

Don't worry about the mess. Icing will be everywhere, caked on brushes, smeared on the shaker jars. Sprinkles too. It all cleans up easily.

Keep an eye on the oven or designate someone to do so. You'll be busy. Kids don't understand mistakes happen. They just know you burned their cookies.

















 



Local events heading








  Today is Tuesday, July 29, the 210th day of 2014. There are 155 days left in the year.

1864 -- 150 years ago: Col. H.F. Sickless informs us that there will be new organization of troops in this state under the call for more men.
1889 -- 125 years ago: James Normoyle arrived home after graduating from West Point with honors in the class of 1889. He was to report to Fort Brady, Mich., as second lieutenant in the 23rd Infantry.
1914 -- 100 years ago: Austria Hungary declared war on Serbia. Germany and Austria refused an invitation of Sir Edward Grey to join Great Britain at a mediation conference.
1939 -- 75 years ago: Dr. William Mayo, the last of the three famous Mayo brother surgeons, died at the age of 78.
1964 -- 50 years ago: One of the biggest horse shows of the season was held yesterday at Hillandale Arena on Knoxville Road under the sponsorship of the Illowa Horsemen's Club.
1989 -- 25 years ago: Davenport is like a gigantic carnival this weekend with the Bix Arts Fest taking over 12 square blocks of the downtown area. A festive atmosphere prevailed Friday as thousands of people turned out to sample what the Arts Fest has to offer.








(More History)