How To Host A Cookie Exchange Party aka Cookie Swap


how to organize a cookie exchange

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hosting a cookie exchange
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How To Host A Yummy Cookie Exchange Party aka Cookie Swap.  

Looking for a fun way to celebrate the Christmas season – and the perfect excuse to whip up a batch of your favorite cookie recipe? If you have family, friends or colleagues who love to bake, consider hosting a cookie exchange party – sometimes called a cookie swap. The concept is pretty simple. Everyone whips up a batch of their best cookies and brings them to the party, where you share and assemble them into little boxes to gift others. And, of course, you get to eat some, too! A cookie swap is a great way to have a lot of different cookie types around for holiday occasions and guests.  

As a kid, I remember my mom and aunts doing these cookie swaps every year.  If you’re having a cookie swap this year ask your mom, grandmother or aunt about their favorite cookie exchanges!  I’m sure it’ll bring back some fun memories to share.

While you do have to put a little effort into coordinating, cookie exchange parties aren’t too hard to pull off. If hosting a cookie exchange party is on your to-do list this holiday season, here’s how to make it happen:

Make your guest list.

A cookie exchange is tough when you don’t have enough people to participate. It’s also challenging when you have too many people involved. And since you’re giving your cookies away as gifts, you’ll want to make sure you’re inviting people who legitimately know how to bake. Burnt cookies, however thoughtful they might be, don’t make a great gift. Unless you know a bunch of serious bakers, I’d recommend keeping your list of attendees between six and ten.

Set expectations.

Send a quick note to the group and let them know what to expect. Aside from the date, time, and address of your party, you’ll want to send clear instructions around what they need to bring. As a general rule of thumb, you should ask guests to contribute:

  • One dozen cookies per person who plans to attend – plus a few for your guests to sample!
  • Something else to eat. After all, the point of these cookies is to give away as gifts – not to devour yourself. And after a few sweets, it can be nice to have a savory snack on hand.
  • Copies of your cookie recipe. This is part of the whole point of a cookie exchange party, so if your guests hesitate to spill the beans on their oldest family recipe, encourage them to bake something they are willing to share.
  • Gift boxes, bows, ribbons, twine, tissue paper, and any other supplies you can share to package your presents. As the host, it’s smart to stock up on a few of these things in case someone forgets or doesn’t bring enough stuff for everyone.

See who’s bringing what. You can do this a few different ways – through email, in a shared Google Doc or Sheet, by asking your guests to submit their recipes in advance or even by creating a facebook event. However you choose to see what people plan to bring, you’ll want to make sure you don’t have more than one of each type of cookie.

Get ready! Aside from extra wrapping supplies, you’ll want to prepare your home to host your cookie exchange. Here are a few to-do’s you’ll want to add to your checklist:

  • Set the mood with a fun holiday playlist and some seasonal decorations.
  • Prepare the cookie table. A straight, long table is best, but you can use whatever you have on hand! Dress it up with a tablecloth and some cake stands, plates and trays.
  • Make sure people have a way to know what each cookie is. Create tiny labels or signs, or keep copies of the recipes in front of the tray so everyone knows what they’re eating.
  • Put out some snacks and beverages for your guests. Stick with the standard daytime hosting beverages of coffee and tea, or host your cookie exchange on a Saturday morning and serve up some mimosas! As far as snacks are concerned, choose a couple of easy bites appropriate for the time of day.

Enjoy your event! After everyone has arrived and put their cookies up for display, take turns sampling each other’s recipes before splitting the cookies and assembling your gift boxes. As long as you put effort into the planning process, you shouldn’t have any work to do at the party – just have fun!

cookie exchange

Hosting a cookie exchange party can be a great way to celebrate the Christmas season, spend time with friends, and make some beautiful – and delicious – gifts. What recipe would you bring to a cookie exchange party? Leave a comment and let me know!

cookie exchange

Matt R

Hi, my name is Matt and I'm the founder of Barefoot Budgeting. This site is dedicated to one thing... helping you budget and save money.

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