Invite Your Family and Friends in for a Baking Party


During the 90’s I was the chef at a suburban country club. The club was closed every Monday and Tuesday. On the Tuesday before Christmas I would invite employees, family and friends in for a cookie baking party. One year we produced more than 80 dozen cookies. Being the chef I would assign all the duties: several volunteers rolled out the dough and cut or balled refrigerator cookies. Two experienced workers manned the mixers making the dough. One person watched the oven. One did simple decorations and one stacked the cooled cookies into plastic containers. The only rules to the action were no elaborate decorations, no iced sugar cookies and no flour fights.

Here’s how to pull off a cookie party in your home. Invite at least five adults and just as many kids. Every adult gets a child as a helper. Aassign a shopping list to each guest. Host the party at the home with a double oven and kitchen aid standing mixer. Have everyone bring extra sheet pans and containers to take the cookies home. Make a list of the cookies to be produced, then make copies of the individual recipes. Use your space wisely and set up a logical production line. Don’t forget to buy some parchment paper to bake the cookies on. It makes baking and clean up a snap. Make a holiday punch for the kids and have some wine on hand for the adults. Have fun and make lots of cookies and don’t forget to sample a few warm cookies fresh from the oven.

Here’s a list of my Christmas favorites:


Bon Bons (in different colors)

Mexican Wedding Cookies

Spritz Cookies

Shortbread Cookies

Mexican Chocolate Cookies

Good old Chocolate Chip Cookies

Pinwheel Cookies

Ginger Snaps

Here’s a recipe for a melt in your mouth shortbread cookie with ground pecans.

  • 3 C. flour
  • 1 C. corn starch
  • 2t. salt
  • 2 C. butter
  • 1 C. confectioners sugar
  • 2 t. vanilla
  • 1 C ground pecan meats

Sift flour corn starch and salt into a big mixing bowl. Beat the butter, sugar, vanilla in a hand mixer till smooth and creamy, fold in the pecans. Put the butter mixture into the bowl with the flour and mix together by hand. If you do all of your final mixing by hand you will never have a tough cookie and it shows your sensuality and love for the process. Plus, the kids love it. Either ball up the fresh dough and put directly into the oven or refrigerate the dough for at least an hour, then roll out and cut into shapes. You can dip the finished cooled cookies into a chocolate ganche and let them set on waxed paper.

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