Bake ‘em and swap ‘em
One of the sweetest things about the holiday season is tucking into a plate of homemade cookies. But perhaps sweeter still is gathering with friends to sample and share everyone’s favorites at a holiday cookie swap.
The idea is simple: everyone who is invited brings one dozen homemade cookies, and once all the cookies are laid out on a table, each person takes their fair share of each variety to bring home. Obviously the number of cookies each person can take depends on the number of guests. If you have a dozen guests and each person has made a dozen cookies, everyone can only take one of each. If you have eager guests, ask them to make two or three dozen so everyone can take home even more – and have a few leftover to taste at the party! The rules are totally up to you.
The idea is to be able to go home with a sample platter of a dozen (or more!) different homemade cookies. To make it the best cookie swap ever, check out these 8 helpful cookie-swap suggestions:
- Bring recipe Ask everyone to print out the recipe for the cookies they’ve made, and make sure they bring enough copies for each person. The recipe cards can sit in front of each plate of cookies to identify what they are and what’s in them. You can also make little tent cards to place in front of each cookie platter. Include the name of the cookie and the baker’s name below it.
- Check for food allergies. If you know one of your guests has an issue, you’ll need to make sure your guests don’t include anything in their cookies that could be harmful. If one of your guests has an issue with gluten, check out our article on gluten-free eating for holiday recipes you can suggest your guests might try.
- Provide takeout boxes or plastic containers. These items are helpful for when your guests want to pack up all their cookies to take home. If you want to get fancy, you can also set out pretty ribbon, labels and other embellishments. Check dollar stores, container stores and cooking supply stores for cookie boxes.
- Request sample cookies. Ask everyone to bring half a dozen extra cookies that you can serve during the party. That way everyone will be able to sample all the goods and know exactly what it is they’re taking home. Offer coffee, tea, hot chocolate or big glasses of cold milk to go along with the cookies.
- Include recipes with your invitations. Martha Stewart’s favorite cookie swap recipes, or Chef in Training’s 50 cookie exchange recipes can help inspire your guests.
- Create recipe books. Instead of asking everyone to bring copies of their recipes on the day of the party, you could ask them to email them to you in advance, and then compile them into little recipe books. Make copies for each person, and hand them out at the end of the party as a sweet little memento.
- Decide on “rules” for cookie making. If you don’t mind people bringing store-bought frozen dough they’ve simply sliced and baked, then that’s fine. But you may want to specify that people must bring homemade-from-scratch cookies to ensure that everyone puts the same amount of time and effort into the treats they’re bringing.
- Gather up your serving platters. Make sure you have enough trays, platters or large plates to showcase each kind of cookie. Dollar stores often have great, inexpensive serving platters that are perfect for this sort of event.
In the spirit of the season, you could also turn your cookie swap into a Foresters Cookies With Care event by donating all the cookies you and your friends make to your local Ronald McDonald House. Families staying at the house to be closer to their seriously ill child who is in hospital would certainly appreciate sweet, homemade treats to help brighten their holidays.
The festive season is meant for enjoying time spent with friends and family. Throw in a few dozen amazing homemade cookies and you have the makings of a fantastic and delicious party everyone will love. Check out our December 2014 Membership Matters article on Bake Cookies Day for more delicious and festive recipes.
413105B CAN/US (12/15)