First time hosting a cookie exchange? Let us help! At a traditional cookie exchange, friends gather to try new recipes, sample a few sweets and maybe even enjoy a some vino. It’s a great way to save time, too. In the time it takes to make one big batch of cookies (and swap treats with your friends), you have a variety of festive cookies take home and enjoy. With a little extra thought and planning, the gathering can take your holiday spirit to a whole new level.
Step 1: Pick a Theme
It’s the holiday season, of course, but not everyone celebrates the same holiday. Last year, one of our Clabber Girl bakers hosted a cookie swap with a “memories” theme. Guests came with old photos of family celebrations and went around the room, explaining the pictures, while everyone sampled cookies inspired by these treasured childhood memories. There were a lot of laughs, and a few tears, too. Other theme ideas include:
Go Nuts! Cookie Swap
Cookies & Cocktails
Mistletoe & Munchies
Step 2: Invitations
A cookie exchange is about celebrating the joy of the holidays. The invitation is where you’ll let your 8-10 friends know the party details and set the tone for the event. Give them plenty of notice; about 4-6 weeks should be plenty of time. The invitation should also include:
- Specs: The time, date, location and what you, as the host, will provide.
- Props: Attach the invitation with a colorful ribbon to a wooden baking spoon, an ornament or a Christmas tree cookie cutter.
- Swap rules: Let your guests know what to expect. Some rules include homemade only or nonperishable preferred cookies. Tell them how many cookies to bring (three dozen, or six?), as well as anything they’ll need to take the cookies home, such as plastic containers or sealable bags.
- Exciting envelopes: Place your invite in an apron-shaped or a cookie sandwich envelope. You can even tie it to a mason jar filled with your favorite DIY baking mix.
Step 3: The Big Event
Be sure to set the stage by picking décor that sticks to your theme. You’ll also want plenty of colorful trays and cake stands on hand for displaying your friends’ handiwork.
- Nice Package: A crafty packaging station with cute boxes, bright paper and festive ribbon is a great way to spark conversation and give your guests a special take away party favor. We also have these free gift tags to help decorate the bags people take come.
- Prizes: Turn your cookie swap into a cookie contest. Offer voting and prizes for creative cookie categories like best dressed, biggest flavor, most creative, best crunch… the possibilities are endless.
- The Art of Mingling: Some of your guests might be friends and some may be meeting for the first time. Either way, you can keep the conversation going and the laughter flowing with scavenger hunts, holiday mad-libs or other games. Guessing games always bring a good laugh, especially after the second round of cocktails!
Make this year’s cookie exchange the most memorable one yet!