The Creative Mama » inspiring art, encouraging women

Host a Cookie Swap

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.

There are a few things to keep in mind when planning a cookie swap.

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.

3.  Have each guest make one dozen cookies for each guest and one extra dozen to eat at the party.  So if you have 8 guests, each guest should bring 9 dozen cookies.

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.

5.  RSVP with the type of cookie that you are going to make.  You can avoid duplicates if you know what people are planning on bringing ahead of time.

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.

Do you have any tips on hosting or attending a cookie swap?  What is your favorite cookie to bring to a cookie swap?

Bree Hester

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.

About Bree

Bree is the founder and writer of, a recipe site that shares her love of cooking, baking, and entertaining with others. launched in February of 2010 as a way to merge Bree’s love of photography with her love of food, and share both with friends and family. Currently, Bree lives in the suburbs of Washington DC with her husband and 3 children.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Print Friendly
  • Pingback: Week 22 Baby-Step Creation: The Great Cookie Swap | 52 Baby-Step Creations()

  • Pingback: How to Host a Cookie Swap()

  • Judyjjbod

    I’ve had a cookie exchange every year (30+ yrs). I do it one week before Thanksgiving and plan on 15 guests. Everyone has to bring 4 dozen cookies (16 parcels), wrapped in parcels of 3 cookies each and a NICE container which will be exchanged in a drawing. at the end of the evening. I send out an invitation via e-mail 3 weeks before the party explaining what they have to bring . I wrap my cookies in cellophane bags & tie with a ribbon…this makes it easier for the guests to go around the table and pick up their cookies (15 bags of three each) there is an extra parcel of cookies from everyone that I open and cut the 3 cookies into small pieces to taste for “The Best Cookie” contest. (I give 3-4 prizes for this). By having the guests put cookies in parcels, it keeps the cookies from breaking. Since the containers they bring may not hold all 15, bags they take home, s I provide a gift bag for each to put thier cookies in as they go around the table…they then can carry them home easier & safer. I always give a small gift to everyone attending (dollar store items like oven mitts, whisks, or potato chip clips) I also do something that is not necessary and that is to make a new recipe book each year…this takes weeks and is an unecessary expense (but my guests look forward to getting and collecting them, since they are filled with quick & delicious recipes). I encourage all of you to giver a cookie exchange party, they are worth every minute of planning you put into them. I am 73 yrs old and have been doing this as long as I can remember. Surpringly, most of my guest are much younger and beg me to include them (and sometimes their friends) I always seem to get between 14 & 19… but aim for 15 guests). Have fun and make wonderful memories like I have. Judy

  • sydney85

    I host a cookie swap and have friends bring 2 dozen cookies only. I found people were turned off by cookie swaps having to bake dozens of cookies and then ending up with a mixture of cookies that may not look or taste great together. I have recipes sent to me and I print out on recipe cards (3 x 5) with a hole punched in one corner. At the cookie swap I supply large rings that each recipe card can be added to. Friends try a little or a whole cookie and then they can decide if they want to bake them at home as they have the recipe. This seems to take the pressure out of having to bake so many cookies and I can invite two dozen people with lots of great ideas for cookies. We start with a cocktail and have coffee and tea to go with the cookies. It has been lots of fun and less stressful.

  • Pingback: Moms Night Out – A Holiday Tradition()

  • Pingback: How To Host A Cookie Swap: Tips from The Creative Mama | At Home with Kim Vallee()

  • Sandra

    So fun … I’ve always wanted to do this. Questions. .. since everyone is to make a dozen for each person .. does that mean, each person goes home with like 100+ cookies? eeek – my poor waistline couldn’t handle that! 😉

  • Pingback: Thinking Of You Cookie()

  • Rebecca

    I would love to do something like this, but none of my friends are interested in baking at all. Maybe in another season of life, when my friends aren’t all college kids who only really cook ramen. =P

    Are you going to post your cookie recipes (or have you already and I’m just blind lol)?

  • Pingback: Cookie Recipes In Spanish Language | Secrets Of The "Best Cooks" Blog()

  • Pingback: Tweets that mention Host a Cookie Swap --

  • Mary

    Sooo fun! I can’t wait to plan this with my gf’s this year! Thanks for all the tips!

    Mary xo
    Delightful Bitefuls

  • lifeineden

    I’ve never done this, but it would be a great way to make new friends! (cause you know I’m on the lookout for new friends!) I’m thinkin’ I’d love to give this one a try!

  • erin cobb

    Last year I attended a swap where the hostesses purchased large plastic holiday platters (I think from the Dollar Tree) and had the guests collect their cookies on those platters. We wrapped them up at the end of the night and each when home with a beautiful assortment ready to serve our friends and family. It was lovely! Wonderful post Bree. =)

  • Stacey Woods

    I am totally doing this. Thank you for all the wonderdul ideas, Bree!!!!

  • Whatever DeeDee Wants

    This sounds like such a fun idea. Thanks for sharing!

  • Astrid

    Great suggestions and photos! thank you

  • Pingback: How to Host a Cookie Swap()