Host a Christmas Cookie Swap
If there's a dessert that speaks to the festive season, it's cookies. That's why cookie swaps are such a novel idea this time of the year. Not only is it fun to share cookies with friends and family, but you also get to leave with a selection of new recipes to try. Instead of waiting to get invited to a cookie swap this season, consider hosting your own. Keep it simple by inviting a few friends over for snacks, drinks, and some cookie exchanging and tasting.
1. Make a guest list: Most cookie swap hosts ask guests to bring at least a dozen cookies.
2. Create a theme: give everyone a more general guideline to follow—family favorites, quick-and-simple, or easy to freeze.
3. Send out invitations: Emails and texts don't have the same festive feel as a paper invitation, which is more likely to earn your party a spot on your friends' full schedules.
4: Set the Menu. Some cookie swap hosts assign each guest a specific cookie (chocolate, iced, or butter, for example) or category (tray bakes, bars, no-bake)—which prevents accidental duplicates; others set no guidelines at all, assuming the surprise is part of the fun.
5: Dress the Table: Show off the treats on coordinating white plates, or create a cozy, vintage atmosphere by using mismatched serving platters and cake stands. Include place cards with the name of each treat and the baker who brought it.
6: Prepare Snacks and Drinks: Balance out the sweets with a selection of light bites, like a food board, a platter of fresh fruit and cheese, or some appetizers. Offer favorite winter beverages—think cider, hot chocolate, mulled wine.
7: Share the Recipes: Before the party, ask each guest to send you the recipe for the cookie they plan to make—assuming it's not a family secret—so you can provide copies for each guest. Combine all the recipes into a book for each attendee to take as they leave, leave a stack of individual sheets so guests can take only the ones they want to recreate, or print each recipe on its own card.
Your cookie swap is sure to be a huge success and something you'll be hosting every festive season. Since cookies are loved year round—start planning the next one so you don't have to wait another year.