I love cookie swaps. I used to do them all the time when I lived near civilization (and my friends). What I love most about these is you get to sample and share Christmas cookies of all kinds as you catch up with friends and family. You get to bring old and new friends together and most importantly, leave with some great new recipes, cookies and a great memory.
To make your cookie swap a success there are some things you’ll need besides rocking cookies!
I’ve assembled some of my no-fail tips and tricks to make your cookie swap a success (and hopefully earn me an invite for your next one!).
1. You need to think of containers. Inevitably someone will forget to bring a take-home container for their treats so if you’re hosting, be the gracious host and have extra containers on hand that you don’t mind giving away. I love the large lidded serving trays you can get at most warehouse clubs. They make gorgeous cookie trays!
2. Unless you have a ginormous house, keep the cookie swap between 10-15 people. The more you invite, the more folks will have to bake. For me I like to have it so everyone gets to take home a dozen each of cookies. But if you want to create a cookie tray then keep it under 20 folks this way everyone gets a few cookies each. If you’re planning on having a sampling, ask everyone to set a few aside for a communal cookie tray. Find out what folks are bringing to avoid duplicates. I love chocolate chip cookies but I don’t want 10 dozen of them!
3. Tell everyone to have their recipes printed up and ready to pass out. If they really don’t want to share Aunt Grace’s pecan pie bars recipe then that’s fine but let them know that they may be required to make them every year. LOL
4. The day of your party set the scene – have your house decorated, a killer Christmas playlist rocking, scented candles and pretty place settings.
5. If you’re friends want to be creative tell them Cookie Jar mixes are always welcome too!
6. If you’re having a contest for the most creative use of candy, let folks know ahead of time – and have a prize ready. Remember it doesn’t have to be expensive, just thoughtful!
7. As for beverages have a variety – coffee, tea, cocoa, wine and soda is always fun.
8. Keep the food as snacks – cheeses, nuts, fruits and chocolates. You want the cookies to SHINE here!
9. Party favors – I LOVE party favors. Go to your local dollar store and grab a bunch of cookie cutters, pastry tips and kitchen items to give away in treat bags.
10. Party Game – have several dozen baked undecorated cut out sugar cookies. Have a variety of pastry bags, tips, frostings, colored sugars and sprinkles so folks can decorate.
11. Take pictures – we live in the digital age and folks love photos (including me). Post your cookie swap pics on our facebook page!