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How To Host A Holiday Cookie Baking Party

5 reviews / 5 average

Last weekend I hosted a cookie baking party.

Wait, let me say that again. I HOSTED A COOKIE BAKING PARTY! Like the real, true, responsible adult that I am trying to be.

I planned, invited, prepped, hosted, and managed six people baking holiday cookies together in a new (but still small) kitchen, and no one cried, and we all took home a few containers of holiday cookies to binge eat I MEAN SHARE at holiday get togethers in the next few weeks, and I restrained myself from eating all the caramel corn before the end of the day. Success with a capital S.

Two women baking in a kitchen.

Today I am super excited to share with you a few pictures of my best ever family – grandma, mom, sisters, and nephew – and our cookie baking adventures in the new, almost-finished kitchen.

Annnnd because planning something like this is surprisingly sort of a lot of work and recipe math is hard, I am even more excited to share with you some tools that will make it ultra slick for you to host a little par-tay of your own where everyone will walk away with a few containers of holiday cookies and funny memories of you with a frosting face and all the other good feels of the season.

Chocolate covered pretzels.

Fun thing: At the end of today’s picture and tips post, you will find a free download of easy holiday cookie recipes that can be magically scaled to fit whatever size group you find yourself hosting.

I took our huge batch recipes that were meant for sharing with six people (like, where everyone takes home a big bucket) and put them in this beautiful thing called a spreadsheet, which, by the way, WHY have I not been on to this trick sooner? ugh. And so the good news is that today you can download my spreadsheets with a little extra column to scale the recipes to your OWN party size to make hosting your own holiday cookie party super easy! If you cannot wait one second longer to start scaling party-sized recipes, they are linked at the end of this post.

Okay, cookie monsters (you’re okay with me calling you that, right?) — happy cookie-baking-Christmas-food-loving-Friday to you.

Women baking cookies in a kitchen.
tips-for-hosting-a-holiday-cookie-baking-party

Assign Recipes and Shopping Lists To Each Guest – Like The Ones That Are Available As FREE DOWNLOADS At The End Of This Post!

That way you can easily scale recipes up or down depending on how many people are coming, because the free downloads are magic like that. Also, then one person doesn’t end up buying all the ingredients. If you’re the host, I’d suggest have a few backups just in case you want to make just ONE MORE batch of something. In my world, that happens. A lot.

Even if you don’t need the cookie sheets for baking, they make everything go faster when you can load them up with treats and stick them in the fridge to set faster. And to prevent everyone taking all your food storage containers home, have guests bring their own. For the recipes included here, we each used two 9×13 size foil cake pans with lids. Christmas tins would be cuter if you have them!

Don’t Overdo It.

It’s really a lot of work to bake and decorate cookies and treats together. Keep the recipes simple simple simple and don’t try to do more than three or four in one day even if you love the idea of more.

Oh, sorry, you’re a baking wizard with unlimited stamina? Okay then, go for it with all ten recipes and then puhleease tell me your secrets.

Prep Your Essential Materials.

Keep towels, hot pads, paper towels, aluminum foil, etc. within easy reach – maybe set out a box so everywhere always knows where they are.

Clear Out As Much From Your Fridge As Possible.

The more you can place in your fridge to set or chill throughout the day, the more efficient you can be. If you just can’t make it work with your fridge and if you happen to live in a wintery place like Minnesota, try setting up a table outside so you can set cookies and treats outside to chill as they finish.

And all the warm weather friends are like SAY WHAT?! Yeah, that’s a real thing we do here.

Chocolate truffles and chocolate covered pretzels.
Girl baking cookies.
People baking in a kitchen.
Woman pulling cookies out of an oven.
Cookies on a white surface.
Baby boy.
Elderly woman smiling with a young girl.

Small Kitchens Are Okay.

Don’t shy away from hosting just because you are worried about the size of your kitchen. This particular line up of cookies and treats only requires about half of the prep to actually happen in the kitchen. Set up a table in an adjacent space (doesn’t have to be a kitchen!) for the rolling, unwrapping, decorating, dipping, etc.

Invite The Right Number Of People.

We had 6 people, and that was about right for the size of our kitchen. That being said, my parents kitchen could hold 15 people and a million and one cookies. So even though you shouldn’t let a small kitchen hold you back, you should think about how many people can realistically be in each area together.

Make a Kitchen Map So You’re Mentally Prepared For Where To Direct People.

I mapped out my kitchen so I could see where people would be able to stand/sit and work. We can fit one at the back counter for dough, one at the sink for dishes, one at the oven for baking, and three to four people at the counter or the table.

Everyone Makes, Everyone Takes.

It’s a lot easier to have one person do all the dipped pretzels and then divvy them up than to try to have every single person make it over to the pretzel dipping station and make their own throughout the afternoon. If you’re all okay with it, just divide up the tasks and let everyone share the results, even if they themselves didn’t make a certain cookie.

Woman baking cookies.
Caramel popcorn.
Girl stirring caramel popcorn.
Caramel popcorn.
Pouring sprinkles.

Prep a Christmas Playlist.

Because everything is more fun with music. May I recommend the Spotify Pop Christmas radio station or Pentatonix? Can’t stop won’t stop.

Arrange a Table For Holding The Finished Goods.

Mine was just a big folding table with pieces of labeled tape for each person where everyone could store up their little pile of cookies that they would be taking home. NO STEALING.

Stay Organized Before and During The Party.

Knowing who’s bringing what, when the oven will be available, and roughly when you’re going to do everything so that you don’t end up wanting to bake two things at once. The easy good news is that I have included a proposed schedule (wheee!) in this post based on what we did at our lil party this year.

The Beauty Is In The Mess. Literally.

Just go ahead right now and plan for something to spill, sprinkles to be in every crevice of your floor, and to find almond bark crusted somewhere it doesn’t belong the next few days. Be prepared to clean up messes graciously with a ready stash of paper towels, wet rags, etc. People are more important than things (just a little reminder to my sometimes type A self) and it will all be okay in the end.

And mom, I promise this is NOT me secretly saying anything about the caramel corn incident.

Drink in a jar with a straw.
Soup in a crockpot.
Loaf of bread.
Baby boy.
Women baking in a kitchen.
Woman holding a baby boy.
Cookies in a container.
Woman smiling.
Women and a baby boy in a kitchen.

Want to host your own little party? Grab your free holiday cookie party planning downloads right on down here to make assigning lists, scaling recipe amounts, and purchasing the right amount of all ingredients a breezy-breeze.

Free Download Cookie Recipes.

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD THE FREE PLANNING SHEETS.

The download will be a compressed file. Once it shows up in your download folder, just double click to open and start scaling your recipes and printing them. There is an option for both Numbers and Excel files.


If you want the recipes as-is (no downloads, no magical scaling tricks) here is the text for the recipes that we made.

Print
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A picture of Caramel Corn

Caramel Corn


  • Author: Pinch of Yum
  • Total Time: 50 minutes
  • Yield: divides well for 6 people

Description

Carmel Corn! So simple and delicious. The perfect holiday treat that everyone will love!


Ingredients

Scale
  • 4 cups butter
  • 4 cups brown sugar
  • 2 cups light corn syrup
  • 4 teaspoons baking soda
  • 4 bags Puff Corn popcorn

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 250°F. Place Puff Corn in a deep roasting pan.
  2. Bring the butter, brown sugar, and corn syrup to a boil. Add the baking soda – the mixture will foam. Stir well and remove from heat.
  3. Pour over Puff Corn in roasting pan, stir, and transfer to the oven. Bake for 45 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes.
  4. Spread on wax paper or foil until the caramel corn is cool and crispy.

Notes

I would recommend making half at a time (i.e. 2 cups butter, 2 cups brown sugar instead of the whole 4 cups) because otherwise it gets a little overwhelming and it’s harder to control the consistency of the caramel.

  • Prep Time: 5 mins
  • Cook Time: 45 mins
  • Category: Snack
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: caramel corn recipe, caramel corn, caramel dessert

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A picture of Peanut Butter Blossoms

Peanut Butter Blossoms


  • Author: Pinch of Yum
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: divides well for six people (about 20 cookies per person)

Description

Peanut Butter Blossoms! Soft cookie with just enough delicious chocolate.


Ingredients

Scale
  • 1 1/2 cups butter
  • 1 1/2 cups brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups peanut butter
  • 3 eggs
  • 4 1/2 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 23 bags Hershey’s kisses

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Beat butter, brown sugar, white sugar, peanut butter, and eggs.
  2. Mix in the flour, baking powder, and baking soda.
  3. Form into 1-inch balls and roll in a shallow dish of white sugar. Bake for 8-10 minutes.
  4. Immediately after baking, press one unwrapped Hershey’s kiss into the center of the cookie.

Notes

We also pressed a small piece of dough into mini muffin tins, stuck an unwrapped mini Reese’s in the middle, baked for 8-10 minutes, and decorated with sprinkles.

  • Prep Time: 10 mins
  • Cook Time: 10 mins
  • Category: Dessert
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: peanut butter blossom cookies, peanut butter kiss cookies, peanut butter cookies

Recipe Card powered by Tasty Recipes logo
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A picture of Oreo Truffles

Oreo Truffles


  • Author: Pinch of Yum
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: divides well for a group of 6

Description

Oreo Truffles. Just 3 ingredients and hardly any time at all! So simple and SO YUM.


Ingredients

Scale
  • 2 packages Oreo cookies
  • 2 8 ounce packages cream cheese
  • 2 15 ounce packages almond bark

Instructions

  1. Pulse the Oreo cookies in a blender or food processor until fine crumbs form.
  2. Transfer to a bowl and stir in the cream cheese or mash it all together with your hands.
  3. Roll into small balls and refrigerate or freeze for 15 minutes.
  4. Melt the almond bark. Dip each ball into the almond bark and place on a foil or wax paper lined surface. Decorate with sprinkles or drizzled chocolate and let set. Store in the refrigerator or freezer.
  • Prep Time: 10 mins
  • Cook Time: 15 mins
  • Category: Dessert
  • Cuisine: American
Recipe Card powered by Tasty Recipes logo
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A picture of Slow Cooker Chicken Noodle Soup

Slow Cooker Chicken Noodle Soup


  • Author: Pinch of Yum
  • Total Time: 6 hours 10 minutes
  • Yield: should be plenty for a group of 8-10

Description

Slow Cooker Chicken Noodle Soup! MMMM! So good for a chilly winter day.


Ingredients

Scale
  • 1 1/2 lbs. boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 6 cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup chopped carrots
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon salt (pepper to taste)
  • 8 ounces uncooked egg noodles

Instructions

  1. Place all ingredients except egg noodles in a slow cooker.
  2. Cover and cook on high for 3-4 hours or low for 6-8 hours.
  3. Shred chicken directly in the bowl of the slow cooker using two large forks to pull it apart. Add the egg noodles and season generously with more salt and pepper to taste. Cook for another 15-30 minutes, and serve with bread.
  • Prep Time: 10 mins
  • Cook Time: 6 hours
  • Category: Dinner
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: chicken noodle soup, slow cooker chicken noodle soup, crockpot chicken noodle soup

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106 Comments

  1. Pinch of Yum Logo
    Ramona @ The Merchant Baker

    I love cookie baking parties! My friends and I used to get together when we were single and bake together…that later turning into sugar cookie decorating with kids…and now…well, we haven’t gotten together to bake in so long…too long I think…your pictures of everyone creating sweet and yummy memories together are so beautiful! Now my kids invite their friends over to make cookies…and the tradition continues! Thanks for all the great tips and I’ll look forward to the excel version of the download…

      1. Pinch of Yum Logo

        Hey Lindsay!
        So we over here at The Catch-y Caterer are in LOVE with your site and your recipes. Use them every day for inspiration and personal enjoyment. My daughters and I love the Holiday Cookie Baking Party idea but can’t get the recipes off your site when we download. The computer tells us the index files are missing. Any chance we can get them off your site in some other place like we can with your recipes we use all the time? Thanks for any help – you are freakin’ hilarious.
        Erin

    1. Pinch of Yum Logo
      Megan

      Hi! The scaling tool looks like it is broken. Any chance it can be fixed?! I’d love to use it 🙂 Great article!

      1. Pinch of Yum Logo
        Krista @ Pinch of Yum

        Thanks for bringing this to our attention! Is there a specific recipe where the scaling tool appears to not be working?

        1. Pinch of Yum Logo

          the link for scaling, etc. is not working. How can I access downloads from this website – holiday cookie baking party

          thank you!
          ~Liz

  2. Pinch of Yum Logo
    Julie

    Okay, so I think this is my favorite post ever! I’ve always wanted to do this and am scared because I’m sure my kitchen is much smaller than yours and no one as of yet has invited me to their house to do this. So, I’m going to print off the downloads and at least Ana and I can get to work together and do a few batches even if I’m too chicken to invite anyone else! The photos are fabulous and I love seeing your family working together. Thanks for the help!

  3. Pinch of Yum Logo

    So fun!! I LOVE cookie baking parties, especially with moms and grandmas. It’s just the best.
    It looks like you hit all the classics. That caramel corn gets me every year – just can’t stop eating it. But still, I must make it.

  4. Pinch of Yum Logo

    What an awesome idea! I’ve done cookie decorating parties before where I pre-baked dozens of homemade sugar cookies and had friends over to decorate them, but I love how you made a bunch of different cookies and kept it organized. I’ll definitely be using some of these ideas in the future!

    1. Pinch of Yum Logo

      Yes – it can be a little chaotic this way if you’re not prepared, but I always feel like I shouldn’t have to do the baking before the party – the party should be for the baking! 🙂

  5. Pinch of Yum Logo
    Abbie Rose

    You guys are so awesome! I love it that you are working on bringing us Excel users this also. I can’t wait to see that Carmel Corn recipe…it looks soooo good!
    You sound like my sister with all of that planning ahead! I am not a chart person myself, although I don’t mind using one if someone else goes to the work of putting it together. =) And your idea of putting recipes in a spreadsheet – brilliant!
    Thanks for sharing your fun weekend!

  6. Pinch of Yum Logo

    Awesome pictures! The lighting in your house is so great! Last time I hosted a baking party, my friends and I made it MasterChef style, which is just to say that we made it a competition (between two teams, not individuals haha, that would be a nightmare for my mom). While we were waiting for the goods to bake, we watched Grey’s Anatomy. A nice simple evening filled with the sweet smell of, well, sweets! -Audrey | Brunch at Audrey’s

  7. Pinch of Yum Logo
    Amber

    Hello Lindsay, I saw your article in my Northwestern College (now University of Northwestern) alumni magazine so just came to check out your blog! Very nice!! I wanted to ask how you do those cute chocolate swirls on your oreo truffles and the pb blossoms? Is there a trick to it or how do you get them so uniform and nice. 🙂

    Thanks!
    Amber (Jacobson) Dahl

    1. Pinch of Yum Logo

      Hi Amber! Thanks for stopping by! 🙂 I waited until the chocolate almond bark had cooled significantly – then I put it in a plastic bag and snipped off the corner and just sort of drizzled it out the corner in a zig zag over all the treats. 🙂

  8. Pinch of Yum Logo
    mira

    It’s been a while since last time I was at a cookie baking party! You guys had so much fun, cookies are beautiful! Great suggestions! Thanks for the planning sheets!

  9. Pinch of Yum Logo

    I love this post! Your kitchen turned out fabulous. And, I know this is supposed to be about the cookies, but I’m swooning over the photo of your nephew on the floor and turning around, with his little hoodie and jeans. 🙂

    1. Pinch of Yum Logo

      OH MY GOSH that one was my favorite too! he’s looking up at his mama, smiling and looking all swag in his skinny jeans. 🙂 hahaha!

  10. Pinch of Yum Logo
    ardith

    It’s so gracious of you to share these tools, Lindsay. Thank you! Happy Holidays, Ardith

  11. Pinch of Yum Logo
    Hannah Elizabeth

    Love, love, love the pictures of your baking get-together!! It looks like you had a blast, and I am one of those slightly creepy people that loves seeing photos of my fav bloggers’ personal lives. ;P Thank you for sharing!! Oh, and the cookies look A-Mazing…I hope the recipes in the downloadable are the ones you took pictures of at your bake party, ’cause they look irresistible and I am so, so hoping for the recipes! 🙂 <3

  12. Pinch of Yum Logo

    Baking together is always so fun and specifically when mom, sisters,grandma’s are all under the same roof . Just an awesome way to make new memories and remember old ones and have a good laugh about it