First, know that you can use any type of cookie of your partners fancy. Just make certain that they're not soft or weak cookies that will dissolve once dipped in warm chocolate.
Second, know you also have the option of dipping and decorating strawberries, bananas and cherries with this same recipe.
Have all chocolates and shortening at room temperature.
Make certain you kitchen is at a nominal temperature. 65° to 69°. A source of ventilation [ceiling fan] wouldn't hurt either since your cookies won't go into the fridge, they'll cool and harden on the counter.
You'll need everything ready to go before you start melting your chocolates, especially if you're going this alone. Know where everything is before you need it since once the chocolates are melted, the process goes pretty quick. It's helpful to set up your counter assembly line style.
Have all utensils at the ready.
Lay flat several large pieces of wax or parchment paper throughout your kitchen.
Crush or chop all cookie garnishments and place on individual plates.
Have all boxes, bottles or bags open and ready.
If you're making any cookies on a stick, have those already attached together.
It's very important that your bowls be glass or ceramic for heat control, distribution and cooling.
Add 2 tbs shortening [added for chocolate to achieve a tempered like sheen] to each glass or ceramic bowl and add each 12 oz package of chocolate chips to them. Know that you'll only be working on one type of chocolate at a time. A batch of dark chocolates first, white cookies second, etc., etc.
Place one glass bowl with chips and shortening in the microwave at 50% strength/output and set time for 1 - 2 minutes. Watch your heating chips very carefully. Mix chocolate regularly.
Ideally, you will only want your chips to melt at their edges. You'll use the residual heat in your glass bowl and the friction of your spatula to finish melting your chocolate. Do not overheat your chocolate or get any water into it. That will destroy it.
Now you can start dipping your cookies or strawberries. If dipping fruit, make certain they are clean and dry.
Dip and place on parchment paper. Decorate and let cool and dry. Reserve your leftover chocolate for decorations.
Start your next batch of chocolate in a clean bowl water free and follow the same steps as the last batch.
Now that you have two different colored cookies, you can use both to lightly drizzle on each other for decoration.
Continue to heat up your other chocolates, decorate and allow your cookies to set up.
Authors Note: You can get some extra milage out of your white chocolate by adding some food coloring jels to it. [pink, red, purple]
Place cooled and firm cookies in festive paper cups.