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How to Host a Cookie Exchange Party

How to Host a Cookie Exchange

Get into the spirit of giving and receiving with a holiday cookie exchange! Take a peek at all of our recipes and find how-to tips now. If you've never participated in a cookie exchange before, it's a great way to enjoy other families' favorite recipes and to share your own! Bring your secret sugar cookie recipe, or share some Chocolate-Candy Cane Cookies. Browse our holiday cookie collections, or try other great cookie recipes for you cookie exchange.

In the Weeks Ahead of Your Next Cookie Exchange Party:

Cranberry Chocolate-Dipped Cookies

  • When you know how many people will be participating in your cookie exchange, you can figure out how many cookies each person will need to bring. For instance, if you want people to go home with 1 dozen of each cookie type, and you are having 5 people plus yourself (6 people total) over for the exchange, guests will have to bring 6 dozen of their cookie. Let guests know the amount they will need to bring plenty of time ahead of the date on which you plan to host a cookie exchange.
  • If the number of people participating in the exchange gets too high and, let's say, 10 dozen cookies sounds like too much for people to bake and bring, you could cut it down to each person getting 1/2 dozen of each cookie to take home instead of a full dozen. This cuts down on the amount of baking everyone will need to do.
  • Even though it's a cookie exchange, your guests are probably going to want to snack on something more than just cookies. Search our recipes for easy and delicious make- ahead snack recipes to serve your guests. Some ideas are: Feta-Spinach Dip, Bacon, Cheese & Fruit Bites, or Zesty Shrimp Spread.
  • When celebrating the Holiday Season, it's important to remember those that are less fortunate. With a little bit of planning you can do this while hosting your cookie exchange party. When speaking with your guests beforehand, ask them if they would like to bring a non-perishable food item that the group could use in creating a food basket to donate to a local charity.

A Day or Two Ahead of Your Cookie Exchange Party:

Gingerbread People

  • As host, it's always polite to remind folks to bring large containers to collect and take their cookies home in. When they get home they can divide and wrap up their “stash” to give out as they please.
  • Bake your own batch of cookies and, in order to keep them fresh for the day of the cookie exchange party, store them in airtight containers or freeze them.
  • Try and get most or all of the house cleaning you need to do done at least a day before the party so that on the day of the exchange, you can just tidy up, turn on carols and enjoy the time with your guests.
  • Spend a few minutes decorating and preparing an area to display the cookies. This could mean clearing off the dining room table, or setting up a large folding table in the living room. Where-ever space allows!
  • Have large platters or even clean box bottoms ready for cookies to be shown off on the display area.
  • Have a selection of coffee, tea, hot chocolate, sparkling water, fruit juices or other refreshing beverages to enjoy.

Finally...The Day of Your Cookie Exchange Party:

Chocolate-Candy Cane Cookies

  • As guests arrive have them place their cookies on a platter or in a box you have set up in your display area.
  • Direct guests to our Guidelines for Storing, Packing and Mailing Cookies for helpful hints about what to do with the cookies once they are home.
  • Place copies of the recipes along-side each cookie so that anyone can make any new favorites on their own—that's one of the best parts of a cookie exchange party!
  • Enjoy some holiday music, delicious food and—most importantly—each other’s company.
  • Then, each person takes their large container they brought with them and walks around the table and takes their fair share of cookies, whether it is 1/2 dozen of each type or 1 dozen of each type.
  • Everyone goes home with a great assortment of home-baked cookies for the holiday season! And all they had to do is bake one kind!

After all is said and done, you may have just started a wonderful holiday tradition! But the cookie exchange party doesn't have to be limited to the holidays. As you know, cookies are delicious year-round—and twist to this idea are endless. You could have a group of mothers and daughters get together. Or a group of coworkers could get together after work one evening. Or perhaps a set of neighbors joining forces on a Saturday afternoon.

Regardless of who or where, the idea of “many hands make light work” surely applies when it comes to a cookie exchange party! So with the help of your great guests, these tips and some of the sweet, simple recipes you can find below, hosting a cookie exchange can be a breeze any time of year.

Wow the Guests at Your Next Cookie Exchange Party with These Recipes: