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gingerbread cookie decorating party for children

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 
Hi everyone,

I really appreciate the replies to my pumpkin pound cake post. I plan on trying out the suggestions very soon.

Here's my next question:
My daughter's 1st birthday is in the first week of December and we're hosting a rather elaborate party for her (that of course she won't care about or remember). Some of the guests will be her five cousins (ages between 2 - 5). Since children of this age really need entertainment, I'm planning to let the decorate gingerbread cookies (along with such staples as pin the nose on Rudolph ;) ).

So, first off, does anyone have a GREAT gingerbread cookie recipe that preferably does not spread and lose shape when baked? (Most of the recipes I've found along this guideline are intended for Christmas ornaments and include things like glue (!!!)). Since I know the kids will be munching on these cookies, I'd prefer they are non-toxic :)

Secondly, should I use royal icing (made with powder, not real egg whites)? And should I just put it in plastic pastry bags (without tips) or should I use another method?

I plan on having lots of sprinkles and candies to decorate the cookies with. But I also have to be careful of choking hazards.

I have little boxes for the children to take their cookies home in, so I want the icing to harden somewhat. I know royal icing dries like cement, though.

Thanks for any suggestions!
post #2 of 4
With that age spread, if I were you, I'd make it easy on myself and use the prepackaged frosting that comes in tubes. You can usually find it in the baking aisles in the grocery store. I think one brand is, "Cake Decorate" or something close to that. You used to be able to buy screw-on decorating tips to go with the frosting tubes. It doesn't dry rock hard, but will form a light crust. At least you won't have the mess of frosting leaking out of bags and frustration from little ones who'd have a hard time learing to control the bag and the frosting.

If you want to use royal frosting, you could try buying some squeeze tubes and put the frosting in that for the kids to use. You could then cut off the tips to make any size hole. That way when the party's finished you could just throw away the left-overs tube and all. Makes for easy clean-up.
post #3 of 4
Been there, done that.

They really have a hard time with the icing. Buy lots of sprinkles in differant colors and a few tubes of the store bought.

I suggest you make a buttercream frosting in white, and maybe 2 colors such as red and green, and sit down amongest them to do a base color of their choice for them to work from. The base frosting will still be wet and they can add some frosting from a tube or add sprinkles. I also suggest that you give each a large paper plate to build their cookies on, something you can set aside and then provide another.

I have a cookie recipe that works very well, I will get it for you and post. But it won't be today.
post #4 of 4
5 children between the ages of 2-5 is going to be a LOT of work. I used to do these classes and would NOT take them on unless they had at least one parent in tow.

if you're going to make the royal, make it with the powder, do NOT use the egg whites with this age group as more will be in their tummies than on the cookies.

one of the options I used to offer was for the younger group to decorate a "cookie" house front only.

Plastic tips in disposable bags with rubber bands around to keep the icing inside the bags.

If you are going to do a full on Gingerbread house, my advice is to have the walls and roof predone and just let them decorate along with a parent and take lots and lots of photos.

Make each parent and child a couple of candy bowls and keep the same candy for everyone, a nice follow up would be to maybe print out a little collage of the party and mail out a "thank you" in your daughters name.
Food may bring us together, but a CAKE makes it a PARTY!!
Food may bring us together, but a CAKE makes it a PARTY!!
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