Cookie swaps or exchanges are fun ways to gather friends and neighbors for a festive time. They're so easy to organize and require very little effort on any one person's part. You can host one at work, home, church or other group. Just the mention of coffee and cookies will get people interested! Here's how they work.
Cookie swaps are a time for friends to bring over a few dozen cookies for exchanging.
You decide in advance how many dozen to ask each person to bring. Usually, it's two dozen - one to swap and one for guests to enjoy at the party.
Everyone bakes the recipe of their choice and arrives with a container big enough to hold the stash of cookies they will take home. You can also offer gallon sized zipper bags or Chinese take out cartons if you like. Your guests can fill them as they go.
A Christmas cookie swap is probably the most popular, but don't limit yourself to the holidays! other great ideas are birthday, spring time or housewarming cookie swaps.
Send out invitations with a cute cookie or baking theme.
You can find free printable invitations online, make one of your own, or even use a recipe card as a unique invitation! Be sure to ask everyone to bring the recommended cookie amount and tell them they'll be going home with a variety of cookies as a reward for their labors.
Most people have either heard of or been to a cookie swap in the past, so they will be able to help out those who aren't familiar with the process.
When the guests arrive, you take their cookies and place them on a table. Arrange the one dozen that's meant for swapping and leave it on the table. Take the other dozen into the kitchen so you can arrange it on a large platter along with everyone else's dozen when you serve the coffee.
When everyone has arrived, you can play a fun name game if everyone doesn't already know each other. Or you can just enjoy chatting and visiting with each other.
Serve coffee and tea and the one dozen cookies that each person has brought. Chances are the conversation will turn to funny stories of baking mishaps and staying up all night to make the deadline. It's all in good fun.
Then, the swapping begins. Place all the cookie tins or plates to swap around the perimeter of your table. Each guest goes up and takes one cookie from each plate. When all the guests have gone, if there are any extras, they can be shared for take home as well. Some people might want to take more than one of one kind and none of another for allergy reasons. So be sure to list the type of cookie and what it contains. You might even want to ask people to bring their recipe and put it out in front of their tray.
You'll find the variety of cookies is wonderful. You may get a few chocolate chip or sugar cookies, but no two batches will taste the same. It's all in the magic the baker has put in and the ingredients she used.
Find Free Printable Recipe Cards at FreePrintableRecipeCards.net
The fun of the cookie swap is that everyone takes home gourmet cookies they ordinarily wouldn't have had time to bake or wouldn't have known how to. You may get some ethnic or regional specialty cookies that some have never tasted before.
There really are no hard and fast rules other than to have fun. But there is one requirement that you must adhere to. No one is allowed to bring in store bought cookies. It ruins the excitement for those who spent time baking. A store bought cookie just doesn't have the same panache as a home baked one does.