How to Host a Successful Cookie Exchange
Christmas is less that four days away and I can’t wait because this year my family decided to host a Cookie Exchange. We’ve done it before in the past, but I did all of the baking and just handed out cookies to my family, this year we are all bringing goodies for the family to enjoy. I’ve always had people ask me about hosting a cookie exchange, they want to know how it works, what to bring, and who gets what. I hope that this post sharing the steps of how to host a successful cookie exchange helps you pull one off with your family and friends.
Step One – Planning
One of the most important steps in hosting a cookie exchange is planning to make sure everyone enjoys the event. First figure out how many people you plan to invite. Once your invited guests have confirmed they plan to attend start creating a list of cookies they plan on baking. This is a great way to eliminate multiple people bringing the same items. You also don’t have to stick to cookies and I find that a wide variety makes for an even better experience for people attending. If you’re looking for inspiration check out these cookie recipes from my blog below:
- White Chocolate Peppermint Sugar Cookies
- Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Sooner Specials
- Chocolate Peppermint Bark Cookies
- Rolo Stuffed Peanut Butter Cookies
*Hosting Tip: Create a cut off date for when invited guests can submit their cookie choices, then create a list of what each person plans to bring as a guide for you and your guests, plus you can also use it to create label for the cookies at the table. Be sure to check with guests about food allergies as well, especially nuts. Also make sure your rules clearly state the amount of cookies to bake – about 6 dozen is a good amount based on the number of guests.
Preparing for Guests
Once you have all the details of who’s coming to the cookie exchange and what treats they plan to bring the next step is preparing for those guests. You have a few options in regards to preparing for your guests. You can ask guest to pre-package their cookies so it’s easier for guests to take at the end of the event or you can purchase special tins and boxes for treats to go home with your guests.
For our family’s cookie exchange I headed out to Safeway to find special tins, boxes and sacks to place cookies in at the end of our event. I was lucky because they were a sale on seasonal items and I was able to get them for either 50% or 40% off. That’s perfect for me because I get to save and now we have lots of options for the cookies my family will be taking home with them on Christmas Day.
*Hosting Tip: I would suggest asking your quests to pre-package some of their cookies for guests to take home. Make sure you send them all the information about the number of guest attending and ask them to put at least three of their cookies in each package.
Bake Your Treats
You’ve already picked your cookies you plan to bake. It’s time to go shopping for all your baking needs to prepare for baking. I went to Safeway for all my baking supplies. They always have great specials on baking products during the holidays. I even saved by purchasing Safeway Store Brand products.
I love baking so I prefer to make all my goodies from scratch however not everyone bakes from scratch and some people don’t like to bake at all.
With Safeway Bakery guests who prefer not to bake can still participate and show up with delicious treats that taste like it’s home-made. Bakery items are baked right in store and you can also ask one of the bakery staff questions of the products sold in store. All items show the date they were baked and usually they are fresh for about a week. Guests can also use box mixes to create one of a kind treats as well.
*Hosting Tip: It’s best to bake your cookies on the day of the event or the day before so they are as fresh as possible.
Enjoy Your Cookie Exchange
Set up your serving table for the cookie exchange any way you like. I like setting out cookies on serving trays with labels so the guests know what they will be tasting. Put out enough to each guest can have at least one cookie. Once everyone has tried all the cookies set out the remaining cookies and boxes so they can take some home. You could also pre-pack the boxes yourself or ask guests to pack two of their cookies in a sack for each of the other guests. Tip Junkie has some cute printables to help with making your night extra special.
*Hosting Tip: You can search online for party ideas for your cookie exchange. It also helps make the process so much easier on you. Also ask your guests to bring their cookies in a nice serving platter if you don’t think you’ll have enough.