One of the best things about the Holidays are Cookie Swaps. They only happen really around this time of year, which I am now thinking I should change… Who’s down for a Cookie Swap this coming July? Which is why if you’re hosting the cookie swap you want to make it memorable and fun because you can’t do it again for another year. The basic concept of a cookie swap is this. You get together with 8-10 of your favorite friends & fellow bakers. Each person brings 4-6 dozen of one kind of cookie, the recipe and you all swap, drink lots of christmas cocktails (or mocktails) and enjoy delicious homemade cookies with fabulous company. At the end of the night, as host, you provide cute boxes and packaging supplies so your guests can bring their friends and family variety boxes of cookies to share. Doesn’t that sound like a good time?! Hosting quite a few cookie swaps in my day & just recently hosting one for a guest post I did at Best Friends for Frosting, I decided to give you the inside scoop on hosting my recent cookie swap and a few tips to make sure your cookie swap is the most memorable cookie swap of the year!
1.) Make sure you have snacks aside from the cookies. This kind of goes without saying whenever you are hosting a party, that you should provide snacks, however don’t think the cookies are sufficient. Simple appetizers like chips & salsa, tea sandwiches or cheese & crackers is totally fine as long as there is something. Besides most of the cookies should be packaged as gifts and not eaten even though sampling is always encouraged during cookie swaps.
2.) Festive up your Cookie Swap table. This is a Holiday party after all. A beautifully designed and festive table will make your guests oooh and ahh over how pretty it looks and put people in the Holiday spirit. Here are fun printables you can use to help.
3.) Make hot apple cider and keep it simmering on the stove. Apple cider or hot chocolate are fantastic holiday drinks to serve but the apple cider will make your whole house smell amazing, cozy and christmas-y too! Put out some rum or bourbon as add ons to the cider or baileys & kahula if you’re serving hot chocolate.
4.) Ask your guests to send you the recipes to the cookies they are bringing a couple days in advance. That way you can print them out on corresponding recipe cards to that match you cookie labels and hand them out to your guests to include in their cookie boxes. Make sure you ask your guests to list any allergens, if the recipe is gluten free or vegan and the quantity of cookie the recipe makes.
These are the free printables I used for my cookie labels and recipe cards from Joy Ever After http://joyeverafter.squarespace.com/blog/2010/12/3/cookie-exchange-freebies.html
These are also cute from How to Nest for Less http://howtonestforless.com/2012/11/08/cookie-exchange-party-free-printables/
5.) And the most important one of all, make the most delicious cookies to swap. And delicious cookies start with delicious recipes. Here are my top 5 best cookies for cookie swaps. If you’re feeling ambitious you can even make two!
Red Velvet Crinkle Cookies - http://www.duncanhines.com/recipes/cookies-bars/Duncan%20Hines%C2%AE/red-velvet-crinkle-cookies/ Gingerbread Pudding Cookies -http://insidebrucrewlife.com/2012/11/gingerbread-pudding-cookies/ Salted Caramel Dark Chocolate Cookies - http://sallysbakingaddiction.com/2013/03/01/salted-caramel-dark-chocolate-cookies/
Chocolate Peppermint Cookies - http://www.lifemadesweet.com/chocolate-peppermint-cookies/
Lace Florentines - http://www.lifemadesweet.com/lace-florentine-cookies/
Don’t forget to visit Best Friends for Frosting to see more pictures of my cookie swap table and to enter yourself in a delicious giveaway from Betty Crocker! All you have to do is share one way you like to pay it forward.