Thursday, December 6, 2012

Cookie Exchange Ideas | Christmas cookie ideas

Cookie Exchange Ideas | Christmas cookie ideas

Author: sumansujata99
Cut down on holiday baking and have fun with your friends and family by hosting a Christmas cookie swap or exchange. The basic premise behind the swap is that you invite a group of people to bring dozens of their favorite home-baked Christmas cookie and then the participants exchange cookies (either 1/2 or full dozens) with each other. That way each participant ends up with a wide variety of cookies to enjoy during the holiday season. Here are some tips on how to host an exchange.

1. Decide How Many Guests To Invite - Choosing the right number of participants can be tricky. Too many and each person will have to bake dozens upon dozens of cookies which can be overwhelming. Too few and the participants won't end up with a good variety of cookies at the end of the swap. Therefore, I suggest somewhere between 10 and 14 people.

2. Decide on the Cookie Swap Rules - After hosting many exchanges over the years, I've found it best to layout the rules and expectations up front. Here are some rules that I suggest incorporating:

a. Cookies must be homemade! This avoids disappointment when many participants lovingly spend a day baking cookies only to end up swapping for a bag of store-bought cookies. If you want to be somewhat flexible on this rule, you could indicate that cookies from local bakeries or places like Cookies by Design are acceptable.

b. Christmas cookies only! While you may love your oatmeal scotchies, a Christmas cookie exchange is not the place to share them with friends. Ask that everyone bake and bring a Christmas themed cookie. It avoids dozens of chocolate chip cookies and will get the participants creative juices flowing.

c. Bring dozens of cookies! Decide up front if participants will be exchanging 1/2 or full dozens of cookies with each of the other participants. For example if you have 10 participants, each guest will either need to bake 5 or 10 dozen cookies depending on how many they will be exchanging with each of the other participants (although they won't need cookies for themselves, the extra 1/2 or full dozen in the tally can be shared at the party as a snack).

d. Pre-package the cookies! To make the swap easy and to avoid having everyone handling each others cookies, ask each participant to pre-package their cookies in either sets of 6 or 12 in cello bags, tins, holiday favor bags, or even a zip-loc bags. It is amazing how creative people can be with their presentation.

e. Include the cookie recipe. Ask the participants to include a copy of the recipe with each of the pre-packaged bags of cookies. That way the participants can bake up a batch if they love them.

3. Send Out The Invitations - Let your creativity shine by sending out fun and festive cookie swap invites. Be sure to send them out at least 3 weeks prior to the event since many folks can get quite busy during the holiday season. It is best to have the exchange a few weeks before Christmas to ensure that everyone will have plenty of cookies to enjoy throughout the season. Be sure to include the date and time of the exchange on the invitation and ask participants to RSVP at least 10 days prior to the event so that you have time to let each of them know how many dozens of cookies to bring to the exchange. Be sure to stress that they'll need to bring dozens of cookies. Most importantly include the rules so that everyone knows how the swap will work.

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