Have you considered hosting a Cookie Exchange with Christmas almost here? You may be wondering what kind of fun filled activities you can get together that don’t require alcohol fueled parties and planning big meals.
Everyone loves Christmas cookies this time of year, and while many people even love baking different varieties, for some people there simple isn’t enough time to devote to the planning, shopping, baking and cleaning up such a venture takes.
So, what is a cookie exchange? It’s a fun gathering where you get everyone together and they bake one variety for everyone to share, and in return everyone goes home with many different varieties of home baked cookies that they can share with their friends and family.
In this issue, we’re going to show you how to organize a cookie exchange, and you may be surprised to find that it’s not as difficult as you may think. Below are just a few of the cookie exchange ideas that we’ve found successful.
So grab your closest friends, and tell everyone to get baking because the holidays are here! I’ve got the BEST Chocolate Cookies Recipe!
How to Host and Organize a Holiday Cookie Exchange
If you’re unfamiliar with the way cookie exchanges work, it’s actually simple. You set a date for your party, and send out invites. Each person then bakes enough cookies to share with everyone at the party, so that the end result is that everyone has a variety of cookies to make their cookie trays with. You don’t end up with store bought cookies, and it’s a really fun time for all involved. Read on for the steps and tips to organizing the perfect cookie exchange!
Step 1: Pick a date, and make sure that it’s far enough away that everyone has time to bake, and close enough to Christmas to enjoy the cookies. Mid December is usually right.
Step 2: Send out your invites. Invite as many people as you can; the more people you can get to participate, the better so that everyone gets a large variety of cookies. On your invite, you’ll need to ask guests to RSVP by a certain date, and to call you as soon as possible to let them know which type of cookie they’ll be bringing. Each guest only needs to bake one; that’s the whole point, you bake one and get a bunch in return. In order to get a good mix if cookies for your party, you should tell each guest to choose a variety and let you know as soon as possible what they’ll be bringing. The first person to get back to you with their RSVP will have first choice. Let them know that they can make whatever they want, but ideally you don’t want duplicates. So if two guests want to make chocolate chip cookies, the one who responds to the invitation first will make them, the other person has to choose something else. Give everyone until the RSVP date to respond, after that, you can call or otherwise notify everyone who responds how many people are attending the party so they’ll know how many to bake. In addition to the standard information (location, time, date) you should make sure your guests know:
- How many cookies they’ll need to bake (1 dozen per person, so if you’re having 10 people attending, each guest will need to bring 11 dozen, 10 for the guests and one for the host; you can also specify that they make an extra dozen to share at the party, but that’s up to you)
- That they’ll need to bring containers or plastic bags to bring home their cookies (or they can use the ones they bring their cookies in)
- That they should also bring one copy of their recipe for each guest
- That they must be sure to let you know they will be attending the party before the RSVP date. Unlike a regular party where plans can be changed, once you tell people how many cookies to bake, changing it can be a hassle on both the hostess and the guests.
It’s up to you whether or not to let your guests know ahead of time what kind of cookies to bake, but it’s a good idea to ask if anyone has allergies, so that everyone can avoid those particular ingredients.
Step 3: Plan the party. While it does not have to be a fancy affair, you should put out some salty snacks and maybe a veggie tray for nibbling. A wintery hot beverage is a nice touch, such as hot cider or hot chocolate. You can always just as easily serve coffee or tea. Christmas music and decorations and music are also a nice touch as well.
Step 4: Enjoy the party! Plan to spend a couple hours catching up with friends and relaxing before the holiday.
Tips for the best cookie exchange:
You want to have a manageable number of guests that will comfortably fit in your home or location of the party.
Variety is the key to a successful party; so you should stick to the rule of first come first serve when it comes to who makes what. You can ask if someone would mind switching if someone has a recipe they’d really like to try, otherwise simply encourage them to choose something else.
If you have time, you can seek out inexpensive holiday tins at thrift or discount stores and surprise your guests with a festive way to take their cookies home.
Again, make sure your guests know that they must RSVP by the date on your invitation if they want to attend to prevent confusion and the possibility of not enough cookies on the big day.
Encourage guests to bring copies of their recipes and bring a copy for each guest. Easy recipes are appreciated.
That’s all there is to it. It’s an easy fun way to have a variety of home baked treats for you and your family. We hope you enjoy your cookie exchange, and of course, we wish you and your family a safe and happy holiday!
What cookie exchange ideas would you add to the list above?
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