How to Host a Cookie Swap

The holidays are just around the corner and it’s the perfect time to party. Many of you will have large parties, some with just a few close friends while others might like to host a “Cookie Swap”.

A “Cookie Swap” is a great way to gather family, friends and others that you might not get to see during the holiday season. It’s also a great get-together during the day while the kids are still at school and a nice alternative for exchanging gifts.

If you aren’t familiar with this fun party here are a few tips. First of all you need to:

Pick a Date: Early in December is best for most people. Select an afternoon or early evening during the week or weekend when everyone has a couple of hours to chat and nibble on some cookies.

Send Out Invitations: It’s best to mail them out a month before your cookie exchange to give your guests plenty of time to schedule the event and do their baking. Keep your guest list to a manageable number. Large enough to enjoy an interesting variety of cookies, but not so large that you and your guests feel overwhelmed. Between 8-12 people is perfect.

Cooke Swap Basic Rule:

Bake/Bring: Each guest should choose a cookie recipe and bake 4 cookies for each invited guest. (If there will be six guests in all, including the hostess, that means each guest will bring 2 dozen cookies.). Or, bring cookies from your favorite bakery. Let the hostess know what type of cookie you will be baking. Guests should also bring copies of their recipes to share at the cookie swap.

Swap: Don’t forget to take photos of all the cookies and everyone having a great time. Then swap cookies. Each guest will get a large assortment of cookies to take home. Don’t forget containers for taking the cookies home though! It’s always a good idea to have disposable containers on hand for those that may have forgotten to bring one. Of course if your guests want to sample the cookies that’s up to them. However, it’s a good idea to have some additional snacks and beverages, just something light for those that might want to indulge.

Cookie Swap Hostess Ideas: Organzie your cookie swap by suggesting a cookie category to each of your guests. That way you’ll give everyone an enjoyable challenge, and you’ll end up with an attractive array of cookies.

The Office Cookie Swap: Gather with co-workers one day after work to celebrate the holidays, or if you work from home, turn your office cookie swap into an informal networking party.

The “Block Party” Cookie Swap: Invite just the neighbors on the block for a cozy winter gathering.

The Parents Cookie Swap: A great way to get to know the parents from school, the soccer team or dance team.

Book Club, Knitting or Bead Club Cookie Swap: Gather your group since you meet already for this fun time.

The Kids Cookie Swap: A fun, creative activitiy to get the kids involved. Have the kids in class, or a scout troop, exchange cookies instead of store-bought gifts.

Mother & Daughter Cookie Swap: Moms and their daughters get together with others and swap cookies. A fun time and great bonding experience for all.

So start thinking about what you might like to do now. By thinking ahead you’ll be ready just in time for the holidays. With so many wonderful cookies you might even come up with a creative way to display yours for all to see and taste. If you aren’t sure what to bake or need more tips there are plenty of great books out there. A new one (photo above) by local St. Louisan, Julia M. Usher is called “Cookie Swap”. Available on Amazon or your local bookstore.

Just something to think about. I need to start planning mine now.

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