Cookie parties are a big deal in my neck of the woods. I attend no less than three every year, and I’ve hosted my own for a few years now. Thanks to some help from my iPad, I’ve been able to hone my hosting skills and have a few suggestions for you. If you are planning on throwing a cookie exchange this year, here are a few things the iPad can help you with.
Obviously, invitations are the first thing on your list. Cookie Exchange parties aren’t formal, so sending a digital invite is totally acceptable. You could use a fantastic service like Evite( Free) to send out your invitations , or use a clever card app like Cards HD for iPad ($3.99) (formerly Lifelike Cards). Personally, I prefer Evite because you can easily keep track of who has already R.S.V.P’d to your little soirée.
The planning stages begin right away. To have a successful cookie exchange, you want more than just a table full of cookies. Ask each of your guests to email you the recipe they used for their cookies. Using a productivity app, like Pages ($9.99) or PaperDesk ($4.99) to create a booklet with everyone’s recipe in it. Make a cute recipe book cover that includes the year and add pictures of each cookie and the name of the guest who made them for the party. This needs to be done ahead of time because the printed booklets will be given as party favors to each guest.
If you are looking for the perfect cookie recipe, the obvious first choice is Martha Stewart Makes Cookies (Free). This app is really big, so make sure you have plenty of space in your iPad and plenty of time to let it download. Festive Holiday Baking ($0.99) is another great app for finding cookie recipes. There are 50 amazing cookie recipes, ranging from rolled cut outs, to bars, to Icebox cookies. Bite Club Reader’s Favorite Cookie Recipes (Free) is perfect for finding vegan and gluten free cookies, but that isn’t all they offer. Find interesting recipes, like Rosemary Cardamom pinwheels to really wow your guests.
The next thing you’ll need to prepare for your cookie exchange is a set of tabletop tags These will be placed next to each plate of cookies so that guests can see who made what. I’ve been to lots of cookie parties where the question of the night was, “Who made these?” You can create your own nametags for the cookies using the same productivity apps mentioned above. But, if you are like me and don’t have the time to create the perfect tag, there are lots of sellers on Etsy (Free) that will make them for you.
For only a few dollars, you’ll get a PDF file with customized tags that will be perfect for you tabletop. Use a PDF reader like GoodReader ($4.99) to open the PDF, add the guest name and cookie to the ones you already know. Be sure to have blank tags on hand because you will definitely have a few people who didn’t give you the recipe ahead of time.
The last thing you’ll need to do before the party is grocery shopping. If you don’t have one already, get a useful app like Grocery iQ (Free) or Simple Grocery List (Free) to help keep track of what you need.
It is important to remember savory snacks for your cookie party. There will be so many sweets that people will be dying to munch on some cheese and crackers or hummus and pita bread. You should also plan to make lots of coffee and have some wine on hand for libations. Don’t get too sweet of a wine. Nothing will be as sweet as the cookie, so there is no point in trying. Choose something light and dry.
Once you’ve done your shopping and planned your outfit, you’ll be ready to go. With a little help from your iPad and PadGadget, you’ll have the best cookie exchange in town. Check out our tips on how to rock the holiday party for what to do when the fun begins.