The guests have arrived and they?re ready to party! Cookie children,
gifts and cake topper are all baked and decorated ahead of time. On
party day, you simply ice cake, add icing swags, dot balloons and go!
2-3 days in advance: Bake cookies. Prepare dough. Tint portions assorted skin tones for figures. Roll out dough. Cut six figures and birthday cake topper using metal cutters. Cut 30 to 32 gifts using medium and large square Cut-Outs; trim to various sizes and shapes. For cookie easels, cut three additional large square Cut-Outs; cut shapes in half. Cut a 1 1/2 x 1 1/2 in. rectangle for cake topper base. Bake and cool cookies. Attach cookie easels to backs of figures with melted candy.
Also in advance: Decorate cookies on waxed paper-covered boards using royal icing. Use full-strength icing and tip 3 to outline and fill in shirts and pants (pat smooth with finger dipped in cornstarch). Use full-strength icing and tip 3 to outline gifts, cake topper and base; flow in using thinned icing. Let dry. Pipe details with full-strength icing.
Guests: Pipe tip 2 outline, fill in, zigzag and dot trims on shirts and pants. Pipe tip 4 outline and fill in shoes. Pipe tip 2 dot eyes, outline smile and outline, swirl and curlique hair. Let dry. Trim spice drops into cone-shaped hats; cover cut areas with granulated sugar. Attach with icing. Pipe tip 2 pull-out dot fringe and pompom.
Gifts: Pipe tip 3 outline ribbon, bead bow loops and dot center knot.
Cake Topper: Pipe tip 2 double drop-string garlands about 1/4 and 3/8 in. deep. Pipe tip 2 dot bottom borders to define layers. Let dry. Using melted candy, attach cake cookie to Cookie Stick, 1 in. from top; attach base 1 in. below cake. Paint Cookie Stick to match base using icing color and vanilla. Roll out yellow spice drop on waxed paper. Use knife to cut tear-drop shaped flame; push onto tip of Cookie Stick.
Use cake dividing wheel to divide 8 in. cake into 6ths, 12 in. cake into 10ths. Pipe tip 104 double swag garland, 1 1/2 in. deep, between marks. Pipe tip 8 dot balloons. Pipe tip 6 bead bottom borders. Insert cake topper. Attach guests and gifts with icing.
* Combine Leaf Green with Lemon Yellow for green shown.
* Combine Red-Red with Christmas Red for red shown.
* Combine Violet with Rose for violet shown.