Vegan Baking

Vegan Christmas Cookie Parties

Sometimes the fun of the holidays gets a little crowded out by obligations, time restraints and projects that, despite your best intentions (I know! I’ll build an ice castle in the front yard with solar lights and surround sound!/Celebrate every single religious, spiritual and secular holiday of December/ Carve my own reusable eco-friendly christmas tree out of naturally shed exotic wood bark and decorate it only in handcrafed (by me, naturally)  decorations from ethically foraged forrest compost) leave you 

… with little or no actual  time to enjoy your family and friends

Don’t think that I haven’t attempted all of those things, because I have, but most years, as the holidays approach,  inspiration creeps up on me. I visualize baking and decorating mountains of Christmas cookies, packaging them in ornate tins and boxes and decorating them with bows and ribbons. I imagine my daughters and I dressed in bonnets crinolines and cloaks and distributing them to all our friends and neighbours while singing Christmas carols and… this about the part where my children would disown me.

I usually try to start baking my Christmas cookies well in advance but for the amount of people we have to give them to and the limited amount of time I have to make them in, things tend to get a little rushed, I tend to employ my reluctant (adolescent) children to help and my kitchen starts to look and feel like an assembly line.

Last year, I pulled out all of my favorite Martha Stewart cookie recipes and veganized them. It was so easy and they were SO TASTY!

Here are two ideas to get you inspired and help keep the fun in (and the child slave labour out of), Christmas baking.

Host a vegan cookie tasting party/recipe swap:

Guests arrive with a sample of their favorite vegan Christmas cookie and enough copies of the recipe for everyone.

Host a vegan cookie baking party:

Guests arrive with the recipe and ingredients for their favorite vegan Christmas cookie. Everyone bakes together and everyone goes home with a variety of cookies.

Plan Your Party

* Invitations: Whether sent by mail,  email, texts or direct message, invitations should be received about 3 weeks – a month in advance to give recipients sufficient time to plan. Don’t forget to ask each guest to bring (for the tasting party) their best batch of homemade cookies as well as enough copies of the printed recipes for everyone or (for the baking party) the recipe for their favorite Christmas cookie.

Now there’s a few ways to work out the ingredients. You could ask for advance copies of the recipes and a $ contribution (unless you are rich and want to pay for everything yourself) so you can buy enough ingredients for everyone to be able to bake and bring some home. 

Or – tell each guest how many others will be coming and approximately how many batches will be baked in order for them to bring the necessary ingredients with them.

Or – if you’re patient, good at math and don’t have the attention span of a flea, like I do, ask for advance copies of the recipes, calculate how much you’ll need of each ingredient and assign an ingredient for each guest to bring. For example, ask Sarah to bring the flour, ask Lisa to bring the vegan shortening/butter, Elsa to bring the chocolate chips etc…

Having people RSVP is probably going to be necessary, unless you have a fully stocked bakery at your disposal, in order to calculate how much of each ingredient you will need.

* Supplies: Aside from decorations, you’ll need to make your own batch of cookies. Coffee, Tea, Hot Cocoa, Steamed Almond Milk, Pumkin Spice Latees Mulled Wine or whatever else you know your friends will want,  eco-friendly (not plastic or single-use)  containers for each guest to collect cookies in, or ask them to bring their own! Oh, and have pens and paper or recipe cards on hand for ideas and adjustments.

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