The holidays are about honoring family traditions, whether they are decades old or just forming. There is always a place in your heart for the rituals and events that happen this time each year, be it tree-trimming or caroling. Cookie decorating is one tradition we especially love.
Cookie decorating, for some, is one of the most sacred holiday traditions. People bust out their baking pans and piping bags and really get down to it. For some, it is about precision and really impressing with decorative flare. Others go by taste, making cookies that might not look impressive but will wow with serious flavors. And then there are those who really just want it to be a family activity.
Making cookies with the kids is a very different experience from an adults-only cookie party. Obviously, you'll be serving hot cocoa instead of mulled wine, but there are other differences too. Kids can be messy and so can child-friendly cookie parties. You can’t just consider the good time: you have to consider other important factors, like cleanup. But don’t worry, we’ve thought of them for you!
For instance, what can you do to give yourself the easiest cleanup possible? Simply line your table with a vinyl tablecloth that will catch any stray icing, sprinkles, and dough that might trickle through those little fingers. And don't be afraid to take shortcuts when it comes to decorating cookies with children, either. Having a hot oven and rowdy youngsters can lead to injury and disaster. Instead, bake all your cookies the night before (if you can muster the energy to stay up a little later). Also, assemble all of your icings in advance and keep them covered tightly in the fridge. Don't waste time fiddling with messy food dye when eager fingers are reaching for the next icing tube or sprinkle.
And of course, don't be afraid to be selfish. Adults have more deft hands and can easily craft a beautifully sprinkled snowflake. We love the adorable, mish-mosh designs that children create, but be sure to keep a few grown-up sugar cookies for yourself, if only to brag to your loved ones about your skills.
With all of that being said, it is time to bust out the sprinkles and to wash off the cookie cutters — let’s get to decorating!
This article was originally published on December 12, 2013.