The cookie exchange can be done a couple of different ways. Depending on the time that you are working with will probably make your choice easier. If you have all day, mix and bake the cookies together. This way you can share stories and decorate goodies with your friends.
- You can have each of your guests simply bring the recipe and mix it up and bake it up at the party;
- Have each guest bring the premixed batter to the destination;
- or each guest brings the baked goodies and they are distributed between the guests.
All guests should let the invitees know what they are planning to make so you don't have duplicates. Remember to bring copies of the recipe the date of the party.
- Set a date. Finding a date is difficult, but pick one that works for the majority of your invitees.
- Invite 4-5 guests. Anymore than 6 people could make it difficult to maneuver around the kitchen.
- If you will be doing the baking on site, stock up on pantry items such as sugar, flour, etc.
- Either have each guest bring enough containers for 6 dozen cookies or have them on hand. You can get some holiday containers at great bargains this time of year. Have labels on hands to label all of the goodies.
- Have some healthy snacks and beverages, like mulled cider, available during the gathering. Healthy snacks are perfect when you are stealing sweets left and right.
- Create stations for mixing, baking, decorating and packaging.
Checklist for the host:
|1 Month Before|
Remember, you’ll be baking enough cookies for every guest to take home, so don’t invite the entire neighborhood. Shoot for 4-5 friends who like to bake and who will have fun spending an evening together.
|Determine the quantity to make|
Typically, guests bake 1 dozen cookies for every guest.
|2 Weeks Before|
|Decide on your cookie|
Use an old family favorite or one you have made before. This isn't the time to test out a new recipe unless you test it out before the party.
|Check who is coming and who is making what|
Make sure you don’t have similar recipes; suggest someone switch if there’s an overlap.
|Set a menu of other snacks and drinks|
Have some simple appetizers and beverages on hand during the swap. Consider non-sweet dishes like vegetable dips or finger sandwiches, since you’ll probably be nibbling on cookies.
You’ll be making a large amount of one cookie, so you may be able to buy ingredients in bulk.
|Make sure you have a large table|
Be prepared to clear off the dining room table, or gather a few folding tables to make a long buffet where guests can spread out their treats.
|1 Week Before|
|Stock up on storage containers|
Have some containers on hand for those guests who forgot to bring them. Get ones that you don't need returned.
|The Day Before|
|Set up the area|
Decorate with festive centerpieces and table cloths. Be sure that is room for all the guests to sit and move around.
|Prepare the menu|
Get your non-cookie food ready to go.
|The Day Of The Party|
|Set up drinks|
Have cocktails, coffee or mulled cider ready when guests arrive.
|Set out baking supplies|
Get out the baking essentials and place them on the counter so guests don't have to dig around for them.
|Collect the recipes|
Share the recipes and stories behind them after all the work is done.