Holiday Cookie Exchange Ideas
Hosting a Holiday Cookie Exchange this year? Here are some tips and ideas for hosting the perfect Cookie Swap this holiday season. I have also included free printable invitations, recipe cards, table tents, ballots (oh you know you want your cookies to “win”), and cookie gift tags!
A Holiday Cookie Exchange (Christmas cookie exchange, Christmas cookie swap, holiday cookie swap… they are all the same thing) is simply a gathering a friends, family, acquaintances, neighbors (in other words, people) who make enough of a themed cookie to share. There are cookie samples, cookies to swap and recipes to exchange.
● Sent out your invitations early! Invite people a good month in advance so they have time to plan, and bake, their cookies. Make sure you send along this pdf for them to print their recipe out before arriving at the party. Be sure to let everyone know how many people will be attending so they can make plenty of cookies for everyone to try, as well as enough copies of their recipe for everyone attending to have! If you are worried about duplicates, keep a list of what people are baking to ward off too many alike cookies.
● Ask people to make an extra dozen or two cookies to either “swap” as full plates, or for you to repack in boxes so people can take home one or two of each cookie. If you feel the need, remind people that cookies should be non-perishable, seasonally appropriate (Christmas, Hanukkah, Valentine’s Day, etc), non burnt (LOL can you imagine showing up with a burnt cookie? But, it happens), and from scratch.
● Note: some cookie exchange party planners like to have people bake an extra dozen of cookies for each attendee! Wow, you’d REALLY need to invite bakers if your party has 12+ attendees. Use your common sense. If you have 6 attendees, a dedicated half dozen cookies per attendee is not outrageous, but if you have 20 attendees, an extra 2 cookies per attendee for take home is plenty.
● When setting up your cookie table, use one of these tent card labels so everyone knows what type of cookie they are sampling. Simply print out the tent card write the cookie name on one (or both) sides, and fold in the middle to form a “tent” that will stand by the cookie plate.
● Decorate your table with some ribbons, ornaments or flowers if you like, but remember the cookies are beautiful and center stage! Don’t upstage them with unnecessary decor; let those cookies shine! Have plenty of serving dishes or simply decorated paper plates or holiday paper plates on hand for serving.
● Make certain to offer your guests coffee, tea, hot cocoa along with different types of sweeteners and coffee creamers. Use holiday paper plates and napkins, and disposable hot cups if you don’t want to dishes after the party. Depending on the time you set your exchange, you may want to offer more substantial food before the sweets.
● If you have not asked for recipes in advance (to collate and compile beforehand), collect the recipe cards with the cookies as people walk in the door. Either place the recipes cards next to the cookie plate on the serving table (space permitting), or place one of each recipe in an envelope and hand the envelope to people with a packed cookie box when they leave.
Hosting a Holiday Cookie Exchange can be a lot of fun! You can get great ideas for new cookies, freeze the cookies served for holiday dinner (ask the baker if their cookies can be frozen) and have a great time with friends and family before the holidays!
Here are some Free Printable Cookie Exchange Invitations, Recipe Cards, Table Tents, Ballots and Cookie Gift Tags:
Note: if you are downloading a pdf (highly suggested) you need a pdf reader. Most people use adobe acrobat. You can download adobe acrobat if you don’t already have it installed on your computer, here. Just make sure you uncheck the box for the trial McAfee first.
Need some Cookie Exchange Cookie Recipe ideas? Here are dozen Holiday Cookie Recipes that would be perfect to bring to a Holiday Cookie Swap! You generally want cookies (or bars) that are stable, do not need refrigeration, resist crumbling when packed, and that taste great!
● Candy Cane Cookies
● Cherry Cordial Cookies
● Cranberry Noels Cookies
● Easy Chocolate Peanut Butter Balls
● Gingerbread Biscotti
● Holiday Butter Cookies
● Kris Kringle Cookies
● Lemon Snowball Cookies
● Rum Logs
● Striped Sugar Cookies
● Whiskey Sour Cookies
● White Chocolate Cherry Almond Biscotti
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