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Holiday Party! Cookies!

Do It Yourself (DIY) parties have been a staple in my family since I was a kid! My mom has 4 sisters, who are all so crafty and love using just about any excuse to throw a party so I was lucky enough to see first hand how to throw amazing DIY parties that are Pinterest worthy, and more importantly full of delicious food and lots of amazing memories.  

Here are 5 Tips on How to Throw The Ultimate Holiday Cookie party! 

1. Prep as much as you can beforehand!

Don't be fooled, baking is a time consuming task. There is no such thing as just whipping up a 5-star recipe for a lemon raspberry cookie bar (I have learned from experience)! 

The trick to not making baking a daunting task? Prep the dough  ahead of time and keep it in the fridge! You could take a few hours break before baking or even a couple of days. 

Cold dough or crust actually makes for a better overall product. That way making the filling or frosting and baking can be fun and not overly time consuming! Be sure to take the dough out of the fridge for an hour or so before baking so that it is softer and easier to work with. 

2. Party Planning!

Make sure each guests provides a general description of what type of cookie they will be bringing! Since the cookie party is similar to a potluck style for the dessert portion, use Google Doc, PotluckHub app, or even Facebook Event to give your guests the chance to let you and everyone know what they are bringing so there are no doubles.

Having a communal e-space for what cookies are being brought is not "extra". Your guests will love seeing what others are bringing and build excitement and anticipation of the taste-test. This also makes for a fun way to bring out the competitive spirit of your guests (my family loves a friendly competition)! 

And, most importantly it brings a piece of mind to the host and a more organized party. 

3. Create a festive drink!

As the host, It is nice to have a festive drink. Whip something up in a pitcher right beforehand and have extra ingredients on hand to make a second batch. The key is to always have a bottle of champagne for refreshing so that you aren't constantly making pitcher refills. The rule of thumb is that one standard size pitcher will give you approximately 8 drinks. Especially with the champagne topper. 

Our family was inspired by Winter Wassail - A Spiced Holiday Libation from Trader Joes. Stay tuned for recipe this week.  

4. Hot Chocolate Bar for a Night Cap 

More on how to create a perfect hot coco bar at the end of the week just in time for Christmas Eve. 

5. Cookie Tasting for Dessert! This years cookie list and recipes. 

Almost like a chef tasting dinner, have each baker stand around the table to explain their cookie. Always a nice idea to have some extra holiday cookie tins on hand (or to remind guests to bring their own) for the best part... make your own cookie tin for take home! 

*Fun tip from party planning expert Nicole Gonzalez @nicolebeet74: I would start any party with who is coming? Kids or kids + adults. If kids are coming, you need a craft. Last year we made red solo snowman cups, this year we made ornaments!

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