NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

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December 5, 2012

Get the sprinkles out -- it's time for a cookie party

It started several years ago when we realized we seldom got to see our friends and their kids, what with sports, activities and all. The solution: a holiday cookie party, in which the kids got to decorate and create with abandon while the adults got to catch up. It has become an annual event that the kids ask their parents about weeks ahead: When’s the cookie party?

If you’re hoping to grab the attention of a kid (or her parents) in the holiday crush, a cookie party’s your ticket. Here’s what to do.

THE KEYS TO SUCCESS:

Be organized, and have something to engage the kids at all times.

Make just two kinds of cookies; kids will provide the variety as they decorate. We make a roll-out sugar cookie and a gingerbread.

It’s all about the kids; theirs is the joy of sprinkling way too much green sanding sugar all over the gingerbread men. So let them do it the way they want.

THE BASICS

The kids cut out cookies.

While those cookies bake, kids decorate cookies you baked in advance.

When those are done, the just-baked cookies are ready to decorate.

DO AHEAD

Bake cutout cookies in a variety of shapes, five or six per kid. Leave them undecorated; store in airtight containers. Can be made well ahead and frozen.

The day before, roll out one piece of cookie dough per child, about the size of a cookie sheet, on waxed paper. Stack on a cookie sheet to stay flat; wrap in plastic wrap; refrigerate.

Cut sheets of parchment paper to fit your cookie sheets.

Cover the table(s) with butcher paper or plastic tablecloths, something to withstand the royal icing.

Put a variety of cutters down the middle of the table so kids can choose what they like.

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