Well, it’s that time of year again!  Christmas cookie decorating time! So on Friday I put on my apron, and made some cookies!

This year I made the standard sugar and gingerbread cutout cookies that are the recipes that my mom made for all of my Christmas cookie decorating parties while I was growing up.  They are always good!

I’ve actually been having cookie decorating parties every Christmas for as long as I can remember.  I believe I was either 2 or 3 years old (probably 3?) the first year my mom threw a cookie decorating party for me.

She invited a few of my little friends over, and made cute little aprons for each of us with our names on them.

The parties continued all the way through high school, and then when I was on my own after college, I started throwing them for my friends.

It’s such a fun tradition, and I really enjoy continuing it on as an adult.

Always in the past, we’ve put out cookies, different colors of icing, and tons of different decor items like sprinkles, colored sugars, mini M&Ms, mini chocolate chips, etc., and everyone gets their decorating on.

This year, I got a new icing recipe from my friend Melissa, and tried their tradition of dipping the cookies into icing a day ahead so that the cookies have a dry base of icing on which you can add more icing and more decorations.

I did this for about 40 of the cookies (I think?) and then lost steam and left the others plain.

My final verdict was that I think pre-icing the cookies is nice, and worked out well, but it was also a lot of extra work, and I’m not sure that anyone really cared whether they decorated a pre-iced cookie or a naked cookie.

I’d say for the snowflakes and snowmen, it made it much easier to start with an already white-iced cookie, and then you could just add pretty little details.  But the other cookies didn’t seem to make much difference.

Also, the gingerbread cookies did not like being pre-iced.  Their dark coloring ended up seeping into the icing as it dried, and turned the icing weird yellowish colors, so in the future I will probably no bother pre-icing the gingerbread cookies.

I decided to do a break-down of all the shapes I made, so here it is:

We had 6 friends come over to decorate cookies with us.

Patrick and Amy:

Laura and David:

Amanda and Mike:

And here we are:

Unfortunately Patrick and Amy had to leave early, so they didn’t get to decorate quite as many cookies or hang out with us after the decorating was over.  Hopefully next year!

After decorating, we enjoyed a potluck dinner – Bryan made a chicken taco casserole, Amanda brought a potato casserole, and Laura and David brought baked autumn vegetables with sourdough bread.  It was really nice getting to sit down to a hot home-cooked meal after the decorating.  So I think we’ll plan to continue that tradition.

The amount of cookies I made seemed to be just right.  In past years we’ve ended up with lots of undecorated cookies, but this year there were only about 10 cookies left undone at the end of the decorating session.

In this next picture, David looks like he’s had about enough of decorating cookies… 🙂

After dinner, we played some games in the living room: Balderdash and Linq.  Overall it was a very fun evening!