First of all what is a cookie exchange party? Also known as cookie swap, a cookie exchange is a party that brings together a group friends and acquaintances that like to bake. Every guest must bring enough of one to two types of cookies to share with everyone else. At the party, everyone can sample the goodies and trade them, then package to take home.
Here are the steps for hosting a great Cookie Exchange:
Step 1: Invite Your Friends
-Send out invitations to all of your friends that describe what guests need to bring with them. You can invite them via e-mail, e-card, e-invite, Facebook orrrrrrrr you could be really old fashioned and send them an ACTUAL invitation in the mail. Though that requires a little bit more planning since you will then need addresses and time to make some invitations.
-Invite them 2-3 weeks in advance so that guests have time to plan what they are going to bring with them to the party.
-Ask at least 10 people to come to your party in hopes that 5-8 people may attend. Ask them to make at least a dozen cookies to share. This makes for a manageable party and a good variety of cookies to exchange.
-In your invitation also ask that each person bring along copies of their recipes to hand out to each of the guests include the number of guests you expect so that everyone gets a recipe card.
Step 2: Choose what cookies you will bake!
-If you would like you can ask all your guests what they intend to bring so as not to have any duplicate cookies.
-This isn’t a baking website so I’m not going to include actual recipes here; but don’t worry, I will link you to some good ones!
- Martha Stewarts Cookie List
- Better Homes and Garden’s List
- Oprah’s Cookie Exchange List
- Betty Crocker’s List
- Chef In-Training Blog 50 Cookies List
Step 3: Create Boxes for all of your guests to take home their cookies in
-If you don’t want to pay for all of the boxes and items to design them yourself you can ask your guests to each bring an item for the decorating.
-Plain boxes are plentiful at this time of year and can be very helpful to pick up for this very task.
-Set everything out on a large table. Consider stocking the station with tags or sticky labels, ribbons, twine, cardboard boxes, sturdy paper plates, baking papers, scissors, hole punches, tissue paper, cellophane, and other trimmings.
Step 4: Create Display Cards
-It is helpful to know which cookie is which also which contains allergens for any guests.
-Put folding place cards in front of each variety as a label.
-Write or print the name of the cookie and the contributor on the card.
-It’s also helpful to write or print a cookie menu that lists each of the different types displayed this can be done before hand if each of your guests lets you know what they are brining.
-To make display cards you can use any paper but card stock will be the most sturdy. If you don’t know the types before your guests arrive create an outer design on each of the cards and leave them in a pile for your guests to fill out when they arrive.
Step 5: Let the Swap Begin
-Before your guests arrive make sure you have lots of drinks ready, clear a table or two for all of the cookies and make an area for everyone to place their recipe cards.
-Once your guests arrive let everyone sample the treats. You can also add a game and prize of allowing everyone to vote on their favorite cookie of the day.
-When the sampling and voting is done it is time to start the trade. Set out the remaining cookies and let each person walk around the table to pick up their share of each.