How to Host a Cookie Exchange

I’ve been hosting a cookie exchange for 10 years, and it’s one of my favorite Christmas traditions!

A cookie exchange is an easy and inexpensive party to plan, and I’ve put together some ideas to get you started.

Cookie Exchange Invitation Ideas:

– A simple e-vite
– Hand deliver a cookie cutter with the invitation attached
– Turn a recipe card into an invitation
– Clearly state what to bring on the invitation.

Cookie Exchange Tips:

Be specific as to how many cookies and copies of the recipe your guests should bring. I ask my guests to bring 6 dozen cookies wrapped in packages of 4 with recipes attached…this number works well for a party of 18 – 30 guests. So, my guests come with 18 little packages and leave with an assortment of 18 little packages.

Why you should ask your guests to package their cookies? Cookies are easier to collect if they’re packaged, cookies are easier to transport if they’re packaged and it’s easy to attach a recipe to a package of cookies which eliminates the guesswork of which recipe goes with which cookie.

Why you might not want to ask your guests to package their cookies: time consuming, added expense. If you opt for packaging cookies, give your guests some suggestions: zip loc bags put inside a small gift bag, cellophane bags tied with a ribbon, zip loc containers tied with a ribbon or Chinese take-out containers. Ask your guests to bring a basket or container to collect their cookies in.

Cookie Exchange Menu:

We usually have our cookie exchange in the afternoon, so a few light appetizers are perfect! As guests arrive, have them open 1 package of their cookies on a tray to be enjoyed at the party. Poinsettia’s have become one of our Christmas traditions, and when you serve a signature cocktail, you eliminate the need to offer other alcoholic beverages.

Poinsettia Punch Recipe:

3 cups cran-raspberry juice
1/4 cup white grape juice concentrate, thawed (do not dilute)
1 bottle champagne (cheap is fine!)
1/4 cup Cointreau
1 liter lime sparkling water
Optional: frozen raspberries to float in the glass
Non-alcoholic version: eliminate the champange and Cointreau. Substitute 1 liter of Sprite.

Other Fun Cookie Exchange Variations:

Make it a mother/daughter event, and have crafts for the children! This year, the teen girls are going to make homemade sugar scrub to give their mothers. When the girls were younger, we made ornaments! Have an award for the best packaging, best looking cookie & best tasting cookie.

If you have a cookie exchange for a really large group (40+), skip the packaging and just let guests pick up a designated amount of cookies. Recipes can just be left next to each tray of cookies.

Teacher Cookie Exchange – have school volunteers bake cookies and let the teachers collect a nice assortment to take home for the holidays.

Now, what do you do with all those yummy cookies? Well, that’s another one of our Christmas traditions! We put all the little packages in the freezer, and each night during Christmas, our children take turns being in charge of making the cookie tray for dessert. It’s a dessert we all look forward to!