I love to bake and I'm thrilled that my 3 year old daughter is showing such enthusiasm towards it as well. I am looking forward to making our family's favorite Christmas cookies in a few weeks with her and hoping that my son will want to help too!
A fun way to get together with family and friends with small children is to host a cookie decorating party. Keep it casual and low key and follow the lead of the little one's.
Some tips and inspirations to get you started:
- Host your party on a weekday afternoon, if possible since weekends tend to fill up in advance with other holiday festivities.
- Roll out white (or red or green) butcher paper on your table for simple cleaning up.
- Provide the cookies, icing and decorations for the party (see below for Martha Stewart's fabulous sugar cookie and royal icing recipes)
- Create a placesetting for each child with a stack of cookies to decorate and small cups of various sprinkles, gumdrops, chocolate chips, etc to decorate with and have bowls of icing in varioius colors with brushes down the center of the table for them to share.
- Offer milk and eggnog for a festive beverage and consider having some healthy snacks for adults and kids to munch on.
Some more fabulous ideas & inspirations
Create the festive mood with this gingerbread cookie invitation from Belleza e Luce ; Send your guests home with their creations in these festive boxes from Wilton; Your little girl adore helping out in the kitchen with this fabulous retro inspired holiday apron. Guess what? They come in adult sizes too! Find it at Lover Dovers Clothing; Offer your guests hot chocolate and refreshments on these charming gingerbread man and Christmas tree mugs and plates from World Market; Protect the little chefs' clothes with these disposable aprons and throw in a chef's hat for some fun pictures. You can find them at Kids Aprons; These absolutely gorgeous cookies are almost too good to eat - almost! Pick them up for your holiday party or buy some for gifts from Sarah Bisher; This very cute gingerbread mobile would be perfect to hang from the ceiling as a centerpiece for the party. Find the details at Martha Stewart; A bright and cheery display of various candies and toppings for your sugar cookies from Real Simple; Send the mommies home with their own favor they are sure to enjoy - Cookie Sugar Bath Scrub from Doctor Sweet Tooth; Another favor that adults and children alike will love - hot cocoa cones. Make them yourself or contact The Desperate Diva
Onto that super yummy sugar cookie and royal icing recipe from Martha Stewart
Sugar CookiesMakes 2 dozen
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten
- 2 tablespoons brandy, or milk
- 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- Royal Icing, optional
- Whisk together flour, salt, and baking powder in a medium bowl. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter and sugar; add dry ingredients, and mix until incorporated. With mixer running, add egg, brandy (or milk), and vanilla; mix until incorporated.
- Transfer dough to a work surface. Shape into 2 discs, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line baking sheets with nonstick baking mats or parchment paper; set aside.
- On a lightly floured work surface, roll out dough to 1/8-inch thickness. Cut into desired shapes, and transfer to prepared baking sheets, leaving an inch in between. Leftover dough can be rolled and cut once more. Bake until lightly golden, about 10 minutes; do not allow to brown. Transfer to wire racks to cool.
- Decorate with Royal Icing, optional
If you're decorating cookies for children, pregnant women, or anyone with compromised immune systems, use meringue powder, found in the baking aisle of most markets, instead of raw egg whites.
Makes 2 1/3 cups
- 1 box confectioners' sugar (1 pound)
- 5 tablespoons meringue powder, or 2 large egg whites
- In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine sugar and meringue powder. Mixing on low speed, add a scant 1/2 cup water. For a thinner consistency, usually used for flooding, add more water. A thicker consistency is generally used for outlining and adding details. Mix until icing holds a ribbonlike trail on the surface of the mixture for 5 seconds when you raise the paddle.