Iknow what you are thinking. “Bree, are you crazy? Halloween was 3 days ago. Why are you showing me Christmas cookies already?” The reason being, you need to start planning your soon-to-be-annual cookie swap! A cookie swap is one of my favorite ways to get into the holiday mood. I spend an afternoon in the kitchen listening to the Christmas station on Pandora, and make a few dozen cookies. I package them all cute like. Then a few days later I have a fun, low-key party at my house and pass them out. The party does not need to be fancy. Nothing more than some tea or coffee or a few appetizers. The idea is to be together, eat cookies, and have fun.
Some of the cookie recipes that are now a must have on my “to be baked” list have come from a cookie swap. It is a very good way to get some new recipes and to try some new cookies without having to buy a ton of ingredients. Not to mention a chance to spend the morning (I usually do a brunch) with good friends.
1. Plan your party early. The holidays can be very busy and people need time to plan when they are going to bake. I suggest giving guests at least a months notice.
2. Keep the cookie swap small. I recommend no more than 10 guests. In most cases, the more the merrier, but you do not want to have to bake more than 11 dozen cookies. 11, you say? I thought that you said 10 guests tops? More on that in a minute.
4. Have each guest bring a copy of their recipe. When you leave the cookie swap, you should have a handful of new recipes to add to your collection.
6. This is a perfect occasion to make something special or something very seasonal. I love a chocolate chip cookie as much as the next person, but now is a time to branch out. Keep in mind that these treats need to travel, so now might not be the time to make tuile or super fragile cookies.
I like to pre-package all of my cookies for my fellow swappers. I know that they will travel well and people do not have to damage any cookies in transit. You do not need to do anything fancy, but it is nice to have them boxed. I really do not like getting home to find half of my cookies crumbled in a bag. If you are hosting the swap, you might want to give people containers as party favors to take their cookies home.
Click on the pictures and you will be taken to the cookie recipes.
Bree is a food blogger and photographer based out of Carmichael, CA. She lives with her husband and 3 children. Her blog, Baked Bree, is a recipe blog for the home cook who wants to eat well and laugh often.