As I mentioned before, part of being a good wedding planner is being a good hostess. Hosting parties in my home is one of my most favorite things! This year I hosted my very first Thanksgiving, and with the help of my mom it was a perfect event. Tomorrow I am hosting my favorite party of the year…the Annual Cookie Party for all of my Y friends. Here are some things I am doing this year to make this party even better than last year:
First you have to invite your guests (duh!) I use evite for all of my in-home parties. Cheap and Easy!
All husbands/boyfriends are invited to come. We wouldn’t want to leave them out 🙂 Trust me, they love every minute of the Cookie Party! Last year they enjoyed a rousing night of video games and beers in the living room.
Each woman is asked to bring two dozen cookies. These cookies are munched on throughout the evening…and all leftovers get swapped. This is a great idea for the holidays. Now instead of just 2 or 3 kinds of cookies I can have an assortment of 10-12 cookies. This may be cheating…but I use these cookies as gifts throughout the season…for the mailman, people at church, neighbors, etc.
I appointed one friend to bring baked sugar cookies that need to be decorated. Then we spend the evening decorating cookies! This happened by accident last year (Ashley’s crafty planning or the busy girl just ran out of time) and was such a fun activity.
Because we all met in some way at the YMCA…I plan healthy snacks to go along with the evening of cookies. This year I am serving up hummus and veggies and cheese and crackers. Simple, yes…but really you don’t want to get bogged down preparing food when you have so much baking to do in advance!
Now as the hostess, I too have to provide cookies. I am baking some in advance, but I’m also planning to bake some while everyone is here. I am preparing all the dough today…that will save me tons of stress tomorrow! I will bake some tomorrow afternoon before the party and save some dough to bake tomorrow night. This gives us fresh, warm cookies right out of the oven to eat! Yum!
Other than baking cookies for the party, I have prepared by cleaning the house (ugghh!) and also decorating it for the holidays. Alex and I set up all of our Christmas decorations last weekend! The one Christmas decoration yet to be set up is my annual Gingerbread house. Alex thinks these are silly, but I just love them. This year, I will enlist my girlfriends to help me decorate it at the party as a fun activity. (That will also relieve Alex of this “silly” task!) I have not ventured as far as to bake my own gingerbread…I still use the box. Maybe next year!
Before I sign off today, I will just share with you one of my favorite cookie recipes. My mom always made these when I was kid and I am attempting them for the first time this year. Please comment with your favorite cookie recipes for me to try next year!
Thumbprint CookiesCourse: Recipe
2/3 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/3 cup granulated sugar
2 large egg yolks
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. salt
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flou
2 large egg whites
1 cup finely chopped nuts of choice (I’m using pecans)
1/3 cup jam (any flavor-I’m using Strawberry)
- Preheat oven to 350 F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper. In a large bowl, beat butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Beat in egg yolks, vanilla extract and salt. Gradually stir in flour. Refridgerate dough at least 1 hour until easy to work with. Form dough into 1-inch diameter balls. Dip lightly into beaten egg whites, then roll in nuts. Place 1 inch apart on prepared cookie sheet. Press down center of each with thumb. Bake for 16 to 18 minutes until golden bown. Cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes, then remove to a wire rack to cool completely. Just before serving, fill centers of cookies with jam. (You can also fill with jam before baking…I’m going to try both methods to see which I like better).