A classic holiday tradition, a cookie exchange is a fantastic way to socialize with friends and family—and maximize the amount of holiday cookie varieties you have in your house, without spending the month endlessly washing your mixing bowls and sheet pans. Use these time-tested tips to throw your best (or first!) cookie exchange ever.
Timing is key. Plan your cookie exchange for early- to mid- December. Because many people travel right before the 25th, more friends will be able to attend and no one will be “cookied out” yet.
Day-of preparations. One cannot subsist on cookies alone. The morning of the party, prepare several savory snacks so dessert isn’t the only food option at your event. Keep it simple: Arrange fresh crudités, such as celery sticks, carrots, radishes and broccoli, around a bowl of hummus or guacamole; place a wheel of Brie on a pretty cutting board and pair with whole-wheat crackers and grapes; make or purchase a vegetable quiche for added sustenance. Have a big pot of freshly brewed coffee or tea and assorted beverages available, too.
Swap meet. Instruct guests to arrange their cookies on a big table, and place pretty packaging supplies nearby—white cardboard boxes look beautiful when tied with festive ribbon—and have your guests fill their boxes with one or two cookies from each friend. It helps to have small placards by each type of cookie, outlining what they are called, who made them and any possible allergens.
Get buddies on board. Solidify a guest list, and ask each attendee to make double the amount of cookies for the number of people attending. For example, if you expect 12 people, each guest should bring 2 dozen of the same kind of cookie. This allows each person to take two of each cookie home—or sample it during the party. Additionally, ask guests to bring printouts of their cookie recipes to bolster everyone’s recipe collection.
Need cookie inspiration? Try these amazing Gingersnap & Raspberry Jam Sandwich Cookies, an annual Delicious Living staff favorite!