A cookie swap is the ultimate party for the underachiever. Kidding! What we really mean to say is that with the holiday stress, who has the time to bake 10 different cookies when you could host a baking exchange party instead? In this scenario, everyone is responsible for one cookie recipe and ends up with an assortment of holiday cookies to take home. The idea of baking just one excellent recipe takes a lot of stress out of holiday baking. There are, however, a few ground rules to keep in mind when organizing a cookie exchange.
Invite the right people. Make this party a success (and avoid offending any competitive bakers!) by choosing guests who are keen to bake something homemade. Determine the quantity that each participant should bring so that there are enough cookies to go around. Encourage people to make a favorite holiday cookie or a signature baked good.
Consider how you’ll display the cookies. Have a large table or a row of tables so that guests can easily access the cookies. But give some thought to the cookie display itself -- consider colorful Christmas-themed trays, winter white platters, or lovely tree slices -- to create a beautiful spread. Create labels for each cookie so guests know exactly what they’re collecting. And a centerpiece like a miniature Christmas tree is a fun detail to add in the middle of your cookie table.
Provide your guests with decorative cookie tins. Guests will usually use the containers that they brought their own cookies in, but a decorative cookie tin or charming bakery box is a nice favor for your guests to take home. You can even throw in a few extra bits and bobs -- some Christmas chocolates, peppermints, or even a little Christmas ornament to mark the occasion!
Include a drinks and snacks station. Offer your guests easy nibbles and drinks as they mingle and swap cookies. Stick to savory goodies: olives, cheese and crackers, vegetable sticks with dip are all good options. Keep it straightforward (and easy on yourself) and serve wine instead of fussy cocktails or punches.
Lastly, don’t forget that a cookie exchange party brings out the best in the season of giving and sharing. Ask your guests to provide their cookie recipe either by bringing a recipe card (guests can take a photo of it) or sending you an electronic version that you can compile and share with everyone afterwards.
For more inspiration and guidance on hosting a cookie exchange, see our Holiday Cookie Exchange party plan - and be sure to use the special discount code for the perfect Bakers Party Shop products!