Cookie swaps are a fantastic way to minimize costs and effort on holiday baking and they are super fun to put together and host! The idea is that you get a group of friends together and everyone makes 1 type of cookie. Then you have a party and trade cookies so that everyone leaves with a nice assortment of cookies to serve over the holidays. It’s much easier (and less expensive) to make multiple batches of the same type of cookie than it is to make many different types of cookies. Cookie swaps are a fantastic way to make things easier on ourselves.
How to Host
Decide how many people you wish to involve. Realize that some may not be available and some may drop out at the last minute. Make sure you invite enough people to make it worth while. Send out invitations – use the method that makes sense for your group. If they are Facebook users then a Facebook event is a good way to manage details. Make sure you provide enough time prior to the swap for people to bake.
If everyone plays by the same rules then it should all go smoothly. Be sure that everyone knows how many cookies to bake. They should bake 1 dozen per every person included in the swap. If there are 7 people coming, everyone will need to bake 7 dozen cookies. You’ll need to send your invites out and get RSVPs to determine this.
If there are allergies specify ‘no nuts’ in the cookies and make sure that everyone knows this before they begin to shop and bake.
Remind people to bake their cookies a day or two before the swap. Last minute cookies have a tendency to squash together when packed up for travel.
Remind participants that their baking will likely be stacked and frozen upon receipt and to ensure that whichever type of cookie they choose can be easily frozen. This means that meringues might not be the best choice.
Ask participants to write out the recipes for their cookie on recipe cards to share at the party.
It can be helpful to specify size. “Please make your cookies approximately 3 inches in diameter,” ensures that nobody is miffed that they made big cookies while someone else made tiny ones.
The party can be anything from a simple afternoon tea to a full on holiday bash. Design an event that will suit participants. Offer your guests a chance to sample the host’s cookie. Be sure to make an extra dozen or two just for the party.
Provide large containers for everyone to pack their cookies up into. Aluminum turkey roasting trays work well. Be sure you have plastic wrap or foil to put over the top.
Exchange recipe cards. It is a nice idea to secure them all together with a clip this way each guest will go home with a mini cookie cookbook!
Exchange cookies! All the cookies can be laid out on a table and every person can fill their container with a dozen of each. Your guests will all go home with loads of cookies for their holiday season.
There are many things you can do to make your event special. Consider including a taste testing competition with prizes for the winners (you’ll need people to bake extra cookies in this case) or send your guests home with a nice parting gift like a bottle of egg nog. Planning is key for hosting a smooth event. Get started now and enjoy the fun!