A friend of mine, who is a nominee as mom of the year in my book, recently threw a Star Wars-themed birthday party for her now 6-year old son. This woman does nothing halfway – there were different stations for the kids to make things – making Jabba Goo, a homemade play-dough station (she pre-made it all in every color imaginable) – tons of food, and a giant bouncy house water slide which the kids and adults alike both enjoyed in the heat. And everything was Star Wars themed! In addition to the goo and play-dough, she also planned out a station for, and this is where I came in, a decorate your own cookie station! And, before I even get into the cookie decorating, she also enlisted me to make a watermelon Death Star (of which I’m pretty proud. Thank you, Pinterest!), and she hand made chocolate treats shaped as R2-D2 and Han Solo in Carbonite. This woman does themes to the nines! She had signs like the one below which reads “Eat your Fruit!! Before Jabba eats it all” all over the party. They were all so clever and funny! My favorite was the one on the front door telling people to head around the side of the house into the backyard. It was a man with a mullet and said “Business in front, party in the back.” I died. She had mentioned wanting to do a cookie decorating station (a great craft for kids and adults, by the way, if you’re thinking about one for a party of your own), and I happened to have these cookie cutters from Williams Sonoma, so I offered to take at least one project off her plate by making the cookies ahead of time. Using this recipe for shortbread sugar cookies (leaving out the almond extract in case of kids with allergies), I made two batches of dough, and cut out the cookies. They won’t spread too much, so for baking you can put more on a sheet, and place them closer together. I ended up with a bit more than 4 dozen cookies using these cutters. This recipe is great because you can make the dough a couple of days before you actually use it and store it in the fridge. (It needs to be put in the fridge anyway to firm up, why not leave it overnight?) Once I got to her house, we made a simple buttercream in 4 different colors for the kids to decorate with. (Made even easier for the kids to use by putting it into squeeze bottles.) Just thin it out by adding tablespoons of milk until it’s an easily spreadable, but not runny, consistency. If you were piping it out, you’d want it much firmer, but for kids it was too hard to squeeze the bottles. (I tested it out squeezability with the hostess’ 3-year old to see if she could easily get it out of the bottle. Kept testing until we got it right! You can also cut the tips of the bottles a bit to make the opening wider.) For the cookies, I doubled the recipe below. (We had a ton of frosting leftover.) BUTTERCREAM FROSTING – frosts 1 dozen cupcakes
- 1 cup butter (2 sticks)
- 1 box powdered sugar (1-lb)
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup milk (as needed)
Cream together the butter and extract. Then add in the powdered sugar a bit at a time (or it will explode everywhere) and mix it until smooth. Add the milk in a couple of tablespoons at a time to get the consistency you want. (Sorry, was too busy to take pix!) We then portioned out and subsequently colored the frosting red, green, and black, keeping one bottle white. After laying out the squeeze bottles, and tons of sprinkle options, the kids didn’t hesitate to jump in and create some killer cookies. Bonus – they were great about sharing supplies and being respectful of each other’s decorating space. I couldn’t decide which samples to post, so just be warned there are a bunch of pictures below. (The first Yoda cookie being the birthday boy’s.) All in all, it was a really fun way to celebrate!