christmas cookie decorating partyBaking and decorating Christmas cookies has been a family tradition ever since I can remember.  Everyone loves to decorate those sugar cookies that are shaped into stars, wreaths, snowmen, trees, angels, and bells.  That’s why a Christmas Cookie Decorating Party is a great addition to your holiday plans.

You can invite friends and family to your Christmas Cookie Decorating Party or just have a party with your kids.  At our house we keep it pretty simple, there’s more than enough of us to have a party, but we usually invite some of the neighborhood kids to join in the fun.

One thing we do is to make sure our cookies are egg, nut, and dairy free because my grandson Jett is allergic to all those things.  I use a very simple allergen free Vegan Sugar Cookie recipe that’s so good everyone loves them.  That way I don’t have to make vegan and non-vegan cookies for our Christmas Cookie Decorating Party.  Believe me at this time of year time is very valuable!  And baking just the vegan sugar cookies cuts my baking time in half!

Here are some tips to help you plan your Christmas Cookie Decorating Party, and my recipe for Vegan Sugar Cookies!

Bake your cookies ahead of time, you can even make them weeks before and freeze them.  Just thaw them out to room temperature before your Christmas Cookie Decorating Party.

Schedule your party between meals; after lunch and before dinner.  3:00 pm is my usual time.

Set a time limit, you don’t need to have this party go on for hours; kids get bored and so do adults.  2 hours max is my ideal time frame.

Set out your frostings and decorations before guests arrive.  It’s a good idea to place sprinkles and other small decorations in small bowls or even a muffin pan.  The muffin pan compartments keep the decorations separated.

Place your frostings in frosting bags with tips for easy access.  Keep them in a bowl tip down to avoid a mess.  Or you can buy bottles of icing from the baking section at Walmart or other grocery stores, much easier and less messy!

Have everyone decorate their cookies on a paper plate, avoids big messes and cookies can easily be transported home if needed.

Have fun!

Vegan Sugar Cookies

Ingredients:

1 Cup Earth Balance Vegan Butter or Shed’s Spread, softened

1 Cup Shortening

3 Cups Sugar

4 Tbs ground flaxseed softened in 3/4 cup water – place ground flaxseed in water and let it absorb the water until viscous

6 Tbs coconut milk (you can use soy milk if you prefer)

2 Tsp Vanilla

6 Cups All Purpose Flour

1 Tsp Baking Soda

1/2 Tsp Salt

Frostings & decorations

Directions:

In a large mixing bowl using your dough hook cream together vegan butter, shortening and sugar until light and fluffy.

Beat in flaxseed mixture, coconut milk, and vanilla.

In a separate bowl mix together dry ingredients.

Gradually beat into vegan butter mixture.

Divide dough into 4 portions and shape each portion into disks.

Wrap each disk in plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.

Pre-heat oven to 400°

Working with 1 disk at a time unwrap dough and smooth plastic wrap on countertop – you will roll on the wrap to avoid adding flour which makes the dough dry.

Roll dough into 1/8″ thickness.

Cut with cookie cutters into shapes you want.

Place 1″ apart on baking sheet covered with silicone baking mat.

Bake 5-7 minutes or until edges are lightly browned.

Remove from oven and place on cooling racks to cool completely.

At this point you can place cookies in freezer safe containers, be sure they’re sealed tight, and freeze.  Or you can decorate them.