If your teen is tired of store-bought goodies, host a cookie-baking celebration to let everyone share some decadent desserts. It might not be a traditional party, but your group of teens will have a blast at this cookie-decorating event -- which is what a party is all about!
Spread the news about your teen's upcoming cookie-baking party with invitations that coordinate with the theme. You can make ordinary invitations coordinate with the theme by cutting out cookies from magazines, or making them from construction paper and gluing them to the front of the cards. For something a bit more creative, write the details of the party on chef's hats and hand deliver each one. You can make the hats yourself to save costs from bands of poster board and three sheets of tissue paper for each top. If your teen doesn't mind childish decorations, embellish each hat with paper muffin cup liner flowers. Write the party details around the band or attach them with ribbon. Get the kids excited about the party by writing the details on empty cookie tins -- they'll be in a hurry to get to this party so they can fill up the tins.
Transform the kitchen and dining area into your own bakeshop to impress your teen party group the moment they walk in the room. You can set up individual baking stations, with mixing bowls, measuring cups and spoons, and baking pans arranged neatly at each one, and then adorn the centers of the tables with rows of toppings, such as sprinkles, chocolate chips, toasted coconut and confectioner's sugar in small bowls. Make the room more festive with a garland made from paper cupcake liners, and complete the festive decor with some homemade wall decorations. Just write baking-related words, such as “bake,” “mix” and “stir” on individual sheets of poster board. Frame the simple artwork and hang it on the wall.
Just because this is a cookie-baking party, you don't have to dive right into the main event; draw out the anticipation with a few preparatory activities. You can pick up inexpensive aprons to keep clothing clean and have the teens decorate them with fabric pens, or give each guest a boring recipe box and let them spice up the boxes a little. At the end of the party, fill the boxes with recipe cards for a multitude of cookies for the teens to try at home. If you're hosting the party for your teen's birthday, designate her cookie-party judge to sample all the creations afterwards and determine the ultimate chefs. Award the winners a homemade jar full of cookie dough mix with the recipe to bake the cookies.
Transform your cookie party into a friendly competition by dividing the group into teams of two and having each pair follow a different cookie recipe. Have the groups stick to simple recipes, like chocolate chip cookies, oatmeal raisin, snickerdoodles, lemon sugar cookies and ginger cookies. If you'd rather turn the party into a gourmet event, try some decadent recipes, such as stained glass candy cookies, Belgian cookies, Viennese vanilla crescents, coconut macadamia shortbread, Norwegian spritz and souvaroffs with chocolate ganache filling. Provide a recipe card at each of the baking stations, along with all the ingredients each cookie recipe will require to make more than enough for everyone. Decorate the desserts when they've baked and cooled and then dig in and sample the sensational treats. If you're limited on space in the kitchen, you can skip the individual baking stations and have everyone work together to try out a few recipes or make a big chocolate chip cookie pizza instead.
- The Cookie Party Cookbook: The Ultimate Guide to Hosting a Cookie Exchange; Robin L. Olson
- The Gourmet Cookie Book: The Single Best Recipe from Each Year 1941-2009; Gourmet Magazine
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