For those of you who read my previous post about how nervous I was about hosting a book launch party for my new book you will be glad to hear I survived. Not without some major hiccups of which I will tell you in an upcoming post, but I survived nonetheless :)
One of the things I did for the party was make a milk and cookie bar for the guests and after having planned and executed it I think I have some useful tips for those of you who might want to do one for your next event.
Have the milk and other beverages on a separate table.
I ran out of room so I needed to grab another table anyway, but I was also worried about it spilling. As luck would have it, one of the drink dispenser had a loose valve and milk spilled all over the table. Instead of having to redo the whole dessert bar, we only had to fix the small drink table.
Also by having more than one dispenser I wasn't in a bind when one needed fixing.
Make a cookie cake!
I wanted a naked cake under a glass dome, you know the ones without frosting other than what is in between the layers, ( it's totally a thing, I swear) but my glass done was just smaller than a cake pan. My solution was to make giant sugar cookies and stack them like a cake. It added a centerpiece to the table while still sticking to the whole cookie theme.
Make milk ice cubes
One of my concerns with having milk was that it would get warm. I wasn't sure if the dessert bar would be inside or out on the patio at the gardens. Nothing is worse than warm milk in my opinion. Okay, there are a few things... Like floaties in your warm milk.
I remember my sister used to put ice cubes in her milk growing up. I considered that but didn't want to water it down. Then it dawned on me that I could simply make ice cubes from milk.
This shows Shane putting the ice cubes in. We froze them ahead of time and put them in a gallon sized bag. It worked like a charm!
Use varying heights
I could have simply laid out all the plates and platter of cookies but that would have been really boring. I chose to have varying heights to display the cookies. And since my book is all about decorating with nature, I of course used some stumps. Also, if you remember, I had a few crates left over from sending out my book. I wanted to tie that into this as well so I used them on the table. I just love crates!
I ran out of the stain I had doing the 30 other crates but luckily Minwax had also sent me some staining wipes. Have you ever used them before? They are awesome for smaller projects like this!
They even come with gloves which is perfect since I ALWAYS forget to grab some. This way I didn't show up to the party with stain under my fingernails.
Label the Cookies
Yes, for some cookies it may be obvious what they are, but you should label all the cookies for continuity. It looks better if they all have tags instead of just the "gluten free" ones. Plus it adds another decorative touch. I bought these little chalkboards from Joanns Fabric. The 3 packs were less than a couple of bucks each. They were in their "all things chalkboard" isle. I think they were suppose to be ornaments but I ripped the string loop off of them.
You could also create tag with a fun font and print them out.
Add Flowers or Greenery
Maybe it was because we were at the beautiful conservation gardens, but the comparison of landscaping came to mind. You don't want all hardscaping. You need some plants to soften it up and add color. The same goes with this. They add that final layer.
I also added some pine cones for good measure.
Don't Try To Bake Them All Yourself!
I originally thought that if I started a few days ahead that I could totally bake all the cookies. But my sweet husband (who is very aware of my flaw of thinking I can do more than I actually can in a small amount of time) suggested we get help. I enlisted the help of anyone who was kind enough to offer. I also ordered some through the local university catering company. I am not sure if all universities have this service but BYU has amazing food and desserts for killer prices. As in $4.25 per dozen for the biggest, softest cookies ever. I ordered the most common types and baked the ones that were not listed as options like my Raspberry Kisses. I think we had in the neighborhood of 600 cookies total with 11 different types.
Have you ever had a cookie bar at an event? Do you have any tips that I left out? I would love to hear!
I received product and compensation from Minwax for this post but the ideas and opinions are all mine.
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