Throw a fab holiday cookie exchange party

Sep 24, 2010 at 1:29 p.m. ET

This holiday season, throw a cookie exchange party and enjoy sweet treats from all of your friends! It is a great way to celebrate the season and open your house to friends without being responsible for all the food! Learn how to throw a fab cookie exchange party with these top tips.

Holiday cookies

1. Design festive cookie themed invitations to mail out at least 2 weeks prior to your party date. Remember to include date, location, and RSVP information such as a phone number of email address.

As many friends might be unfamiliar with how a cookie exchange works, be sure to include a brief description such as "Bake 2 batches of your favorite holiday cookie! We'll sample holiday delectables and send each attendee home with a batch of cookies too!" You can also encourage guests to bring copies of their cookie recipe.

Don't be afraid to encourage guests to try new recipes instead of opting for the common chocolate chip. Provide some fun recipe websites like where guests can research recipe ideas.

2. When guests arrive, instruct them to place 1 dozen of their holiday cookies on the party table and 1 dozen on a separate cookie table.

3. Prepare the party table with a festive tablecloth and an assortment of drinks. Serve ice cold milk in glass shooters or hot mulled cider. Play holiday music to get everyone in the seasonal spirit.

4. Provide an assortment of seasonal containers and wrappings for guests to transport a dozen treats home. Each guest gets to leave with a different holiday cookie and lots of fun recipes. A cookie exchange is the perfect way to take care of your holiday baking and your favor cookies can be used for treats for neighbors too!

5. Consider adding a twist to the traditional cookie exchange party by hosting a contest for the favorite cookie of the party. Let guests fill out printed score cards to rank each cookie. The winning cookie's creator gets to take home any extra cookies from the event. Everyone will surely want a copy of the winning cookie's recipe so be sure to have some on hand or email out after the party.