Learn How to Host a Cookie Swap To Simplify Your Holiday Baking
Seriously simplify all of your holiday baking this year by hosting a cookie swap! Invite a group of friends (or as we did, coworkers), and have each person make enough of one kind of cookie to share…then trade! Everyone leaves with finished gifts or their holiday dessert tray—and plenty of new recipes.
1. Set the guest list.
Choose a group of 10-20 friends who you think would be interested in sharing their holiday workload (and baked goods!). Ask each guest to bring a half or full dozen cookies or bars for each person at the party to take home, and to send you the recipe ahead of time.
2. Set the date.
You’ll want to have the party close enough to the holidays so the cookies will last, but not so late that you get caught up in the last-minute rush—usually about a week or two in advance works well. A cookie swap party can be any time of day, depending on what works best for your schedule. Try to send invitations at least a few weeks in advance to allow people to plan, buy ingredients and bake.
3. Set the rules.
Be sure to include a list of clear instructions. Rules you might want to include are: (a) Cookies should be homemade and (b) Cookies should last a few days after baking (and hopefully can be frozen if you’re having it early). Other than those, it’s really a free-for-all!
4. Get Ready.
Ask each guest to bring recipe cards for the other guests (or gather all of the recipes in a PDF and send it to each guest following the party). Provide inexpensive paper bakery boxes and festive twine for guests to package and take home their cookies. Or do what we did and put a green spin on it by asking each guest to bring their own reusable containers or cookie tins.
Jennifer’s very chocolatey Chocolate Brownies and Anke’s Lucious Caramel & Chocolate Shortbread Squares.
5. Provide Snacks and Refreshments.
While the cookies at a cookie swap are mostly meant to be taken home, of course, there is bound to be sampling during the party. To keep the snacking at a minimum and guests happy, you might want to serve or have guests also bring a few snacks like chips and pretzels or crackers and cheese, appetizers and dips. Also, it’s the season for warm bevvies so a few options like cider, hot chocolate, coffee and tea are great.
Follow these steps and you’ll have a party with friends, food, festive cheer, and enough baked goods to last you the rest of the season. Sweet.