This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #HolidayMadeSimple #CollectiveBias
When it comes to the holidays, Justin and I love entertaining. We always host a huge annual Christmas party for family and friends but we also like to just have our families over for dinner or desserts throughout the season too. Our families love spending time together- like spend three straight days together still want to see you more than that love spending time together. We tease my mom because every year she says the only thing she wants for Christmas is to have her whole family under one roof- sounds corny but she actually says that every year.
The one thing that keeps me from having people over more often is time. And my hatred of doing dishes. And the fact that between our party, baking for gifts and making dishes to bring to other people's parties the last thing I want to do is cook or bake again. Every year I want to have a cookie decorating party but then when I think of the process of making sugar cookies and gingerbread men, I convince myself that next year will be better.
This year things were different. Both my brother and my cousin Rob were in town for Thanksgiving this year as well as my parents, sister and her husband, Justin's parents and a few of our aunts and uncles. I knew that I needed to get it together and have everyone over. I've mentioned before that our family is competitive and cookie decorating proved to be no different.
When I was at Walmart doing some Thanksgiving shopping earlier in the week, I saw that Toll House has new Rolled & Ready Sugar Cookie Dough Sheets and I had to give them a try. The idea that I could have tons of sugar cookies and gingerbread men without the hassle of making and rolling out my dough thrilled me. I also grabbed a Stouffer's Lasagna, Nestle Toll House Dark Chocolate Peppermint Refrigerated Cookie Dough, Toll House Semi-Sweet Chocolate Morsels and some other things for dinner and cookie decorating.
I will admit that I was skeptical about the Rolled & Ready Cookie Dough Sheets but they worked perfectly. I took them right out of the fridge and used my own cookie cutters to make shapes and gingerbread men and they baked up in about 7 minutes. The whole process was so easy and Justin was thrilled that I didn't have to take out the rolling pin or cover our kitchen island in flour.
When everyone got to our house on Sunday we had an easy lunch of lasagna, salad and garlic bread and then moved on to the main event, cookie decorating. It was nice to just throw the lasagna in the oven right from the freezer and then throw the pan away when we were done- no dishes, no prep work. Although I think my mom might have missed having pans to wash. (She has a dish washing obsession)
For the cookie decorating I set up a big table on the back porch (living in Florida means you do things like decorate Christmas cookies with sunglasses on) and used all disposable plates, icing knives and a plastic table cloth. My family's competitive nature also means that they tend to do things like spill sprinkles every where and cover everything in sight with icing so it was a good thing we were outside.
I used holiday paper snack cups for all the decorating items which also cut down on the clean up. I put out things like Toll House morsels in various sizes and flavors, sprinkles, marshmallows, Christmas candies, toffee bits and more. I went with canned icing and even bought the pre-colored ones so that I didn't have to do it myself. For the Toll House Dark Chocolate Peppermint Cookies I made a little homemade Peppermint Mocha Whipped Cream using holiday coffee creamer so people could make mini cookie sandwiches (which were amazing by the way).
Do you host any annual holiday parties? What is your favorite way to decorate Christmas cookies?