A Christmas cookie exchange is a great way of building up your stock of holiday goodies without adding a lot of extra baking time to your schedule. Here's how to do it!
The idea is fun and simple. You and your guests each make multiple batches of the same cookie, then exchange the treats at a pre-Christmas get-together. Everyone has a great time and leaves with a tasty variety of baked goods they can enjoy over the holiday season. It's so fun and simple, in fact, that hosting a Christmas cookie exchange might just become one of your favourite holiday traditions! Here is a foolproof guide that will help ensure your cookie exchange is a success!
The type of exchange
Decide if you want to host a cookie-only exchange or a mixed-baking exchange that can include any holiday sweet treat. Either one will work, but be sure to inform your guests in your invitation so they know what to prepare and expect.
Invite your guests
Invite your guests about two weeks before the exchange, and request a firm RSVP, since an optimum number of guests is about six to 10. Any more and it could become hard to manage; any less and you might not get the variety or quantity of cookies you desire.
Hosting the cookie swap
Ask your guests to let you know what kind of cookie they will make so you can keep track and make sure you don't end up with duplicates or triplicates!
Have each guest (be sure to include yourself) bring a dozen of the same cookie for each person at the party and an extra dozen for sampling. So if you have eight people in total, each guest should bring nine dozen treats, and that will mean everyone should take home a full dozen of each. If you have a large number of confirmed attendees, consider dropping the number of cookies to half a dozen per person to make the number of cookie batches each guest has to prepare more reasonable.
Remind your attendees to bring containers and sealable plastic bags so they can transport their cookies home.
Request that each guest name their cookie and provide copies of the recipe for everyone.
Keep the party refreshments light and easy. Set up a large tray with the sample cookies, and serve coffee, tea, and a holiday beverage such as warm apple cider or hot chocolate. And don't forget the icy cold milk!
Create a festive table display so everyone can admire the treats and read the recipes before swapping the cookies.
Packing the cookies
Encourage your guests to bring special packing materials, such as decorative treat boxes and tins, cellophane, tissue paper, ribbon, tags, etc.
Set up a special table or station for packing up the goodies.
Have extra plastic bags, paper plates, foil, plastic wrap and containers on hand for guests to use.