January 9, 2012

Host a Cookie Bake-A-Thon

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Need a reason to get together and continue the holiday festivities? Host a cookie bake-a-thon! Call up a few friends and family members, pick your favorite cookie recipes and get baking. My mom, sister and I got together recently and ended up baking forty dozen cookies in a single day– that’s over 450 cookies! We gave them away as gifts and brought them to our office parties and friends’ homes. You might not need to bake that many, but it’s a great excuse to get together during these cold winter months and catch up while mixing, stirring, baking and decorating sweet treats. I’ve come up with a few tips for hosting a fun, manageable cookie bake-a-thon. 

Before you get together, decide on which recipes you’ll be making. Everyone can bring their favorite cookie recipe or you can browse for new ones– you could try Courtney’s Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookies or you could even branch out into other desserts with Anne’s Pandoro or Keeley’s Cherry Cobbler. Just make sure you have a game plan of what you will make ahead of time, so you can get the right ingredients!

Assign each person a few ingredients to bring. As the host, you may want to stock up on the basics- flour, sugar, eggs, butter- and have your guests bring any of the additional ingredients required for their favorite recipe. Or you can decide to divide up the whole grocery list. For affordable top quality ingredients, try ShopRite for a huge selection of flours, sugars, spices, chocolate chips, extracts and more. They really do have everything you need to keep your bake-a-thon delicious and easy on the wallet.

For the grocery list…
– ShopRite Whole Wheat Flour
– ShopRite All-Purpose Flour
– ShopRite Granulated Sugar
– ShopRite Powdered Sugar
– ShopRite Dark Brown Sugar
– ShopRite Baking Cocoa
– ShopRite Pure Vanilla Extract
– ShopRite Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
– ShopRite Coconut Flakes
– ShopRite Pecans, Walnuts or Almonds
Refreshments. Even though you’ll be tasting cookie dough all day long, you are going to want to supply non-cookie snacks and refreshments. Think simple: you’re kitchen will probably be a complete mess by the time lunch or dinner rolls around, so stick with sandwiches or other ready-to-go snacks like chips and dip, crudite with hummus or even a prepared meal from ShopRite’s…. If you are having lots of people over for the bake-a-thon, you could even order a party platter online for minimal fuss!

Extra equipment and tools. Ask your guests to bring their own mixing bowls, measuring spoons and cups, utensils, baking sheets, cooling racks and aprons. That way you won’t be have to wait for supplies to free up and can bake different recipes at the same time.

Set up a cooling and packaging station. So essential. Gather up your cookie tins or goodie bags and tell your friends to bring some with them too. We set up a separate folding table with cooling racks so that they were out of the way while we started the next batch. At the end of the day, we packaged them all up into small and medium batches.

What’s your favorite kind of cookie to make? Did you overdo it on cookies this holiday season or can you still squeeze in a few more? Even after all of my Christmas cookie baking, I’m still searching for new cookie recipes to try out. Share your favorite recipe with us in the comments!

IMPORTANT NOTICE: As a POTLUCKTM blogger, I received ShopRite baking ingredients listed in this post from ShopRite for free.