I think there are lots of great reasons to throw a party. One of my reasons is that it forces me to clean my house, but it also gets me out of my comfort zone. Now that I’m in a new place, throwing a girls’ night is a great way to get to know people.
When I received a copy of Maggie Battista’s new book, Food Gift Love, I knew I had to do something that would combine ladies’ night with a food/gift component. I’ve followed Maggie’s Instagram forever, and I was so excited about her book. The pictures are gorgeous, and there are over 100 recipes, but I think my favorite part is the flow chart that helps you pick the perfect thing to give someone. She also lists the sources for her packaging ideas, which is a huge help.
For the party I came up with the idea of Halloween cookie decorating for grown ups. I think you’ll agree that cookie decorating takes two forms: Super messy and less than sanitary decorating with kids, and the creative and somewhat cathartic decorating that comes when there are no kids around! I invited a few friends over for a completely stress free evening to decorate Halloween cookies. I did it at night, after all my kids were in bed, and my husband was out of town, so it was completely relaxed. I made all of the cookies and frosting ahead of time (I always use the recipe from Bake at 350, because there’s no point re-inventing the wheel!). I set up a decorating station for each guest with icing, sprinkles, bamboo skewers, napkins, and to go boxes and filler.
For snacks, I kept it fairly low key. I didn’t have too much in the way of sweets since we had the cookies. It was mostly chips and nuts. I bought a bunch of fruit, but I had one guest show up early, and it threw me off my game a bit. I ended up forgetting the fruit in the fridge! I also had fun drinks like Martinelli’s and Orangina, which made things a little more festive.
Since no one was worried about kids making messes or having to clean up cookie dough and flour everyone was able to relax and enjoy evening. On the invite I told everyone the decorating would go from 7-9, just in case people needed to get home (no pressure), but everyone ended up staying until past 11, which may not seem like much to all my 21 year old readers, but for those of us with young kids it’s huge!
Everyone went home with about 10 cookies (plus we ate some at the party) all packaged and ready to go. I also made some citrus sugar from Food Gift Love. I can’t even describe how amazing it smells!
Christmas will be here before you know it, and this is the kind of low key party that most everyone enjoys. Here are my top five tips for throwing a cookie decorating party (for grown ups):
- Make extra cookies. If you don’t end up using them all, your kids can decorate them the next day!
- Fill disposable frosting bags ahead of time. That’s probably the messiest part, and no one needs to see how clumsy you can be with royal icing!
- It takes more food coloring than you think: I’m always disturbed how much food coloring it takes to make a bat black! I always use Americolor Soft Gel Paste Food Color because it’s way richer color than liquid.
- Provide some no sugar snacks. You don’t want anyone going into sugar overload on your watch!
- Have a couple of examples made ahead of time, just in case some people are new to cookie decorating!