Wednesday, December 26, 2012

How to Throw a Cookie Swap / Cookie Exchange Party

Cookie Swap / Cookie Exchange Party

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Everyone loves a cookie swap! You bake a bunch and go home with a variety to share with your family and friends. It is one of the easiest parties to throw. Here's how:

  1. Decide how many to invite. For instance; If you have 6 people including yourself, that will mean baking 6 dozen cookies which is usually 2 batches depending on the recipe. Five dozen will be packaged and given to each other to take home and one dozen will be shared at the swap.
  2. Pick a time and place that is convenient for your friends. Like an early afternoon, while kids are at school or with dads on the weekends. Usually your home, but if they are all work friends, do it there and at a time that everyone can attend.
  3. No need for a formal invite, but do stress that you need to know by a certain date if they can attend. The number of guests dictates the amount of cookies each one needs to bring. Also, ask each person to bring their cookies packaged by the dozen with one dozen to share and have them bring the recipe, preferably printing enough for each guest.
  4. Since everyone else is bringing a dozen cookies to share, you only need to bake your own cookies, have coffee, tea or whatever beverages your guests will enjoy and possibly a savory treat, like a cheese ball and crackers or veggies and dip to counter all the sweet cookies, but that isn't necessary. If you want to make it a lunch or dinner affair that is up to you too.
  5. At the swap have ziploc bags available for those who didn't pre-package theirs. For the extra dozen that each brings to share during the swap, make markers to identify the cookies and platters waiting for the cookies to be placed on. 
  6. Have fun! Visit after you swap cookies or plan an activity, it is up to you.
My friends and I have hosted cookie swaps in the past and followed these steps for a great time had by everyone. You gain some extra recipes without having to bake them to find out how they taste and your family will be so thrilled to help you pick some new favorites!

For a Swap with many Guests...

I haven't been apart of one for awhile but my daughter who is now 18 decided to host her own.
She made a list of friends and e-mailed invites. (It is so cute how girls 16 and up love to bake!)
She came up with 15 friends so with herself that is 16 people and would be 15 dozen a piece if everyone brought a dozen for each other. She asked them to bring 8 dozen which is about a triple batch if you allow for one burnt batch.     :)  That way everyone goes home with a 1/2 dozen of 15 different cookies. And there were a few of each cookie to share.
Since there were so many girls invited that were new to a cookie swap , we decided it better not to have too many stipulations about what to bring. She asked for 8 dozen and kept if flexible as to how many each person would take home of each cookie since I assumed at least a couple would have to cancel.
In preparation, we bought ziploc baggies that could be labelled with the type of cookies in it. I also had some extra address labels that we used for the bags. When each person got there we asked how many cookies they brought, some weren't able to bring a whole 8 dozen. Divided that by the number of girls that were able to attend and started bagging and labeling. There were usually a few left for the sample platters also.
We made reusable bins to put the cookies in for each girl. She can use it later for socks, trinkets or whatever since it has a chalkboard heart on the front ready to be labeled. See how we made them here
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We put the bins out with chalk so each girl could label hers with her name, then displayed the bagged cookies. Some had prepackaged theirs, the rest we did has they came.

Kira also suggested that everyone bring at least one copy of their cookie recipe. We put Index cards on a table in another room for the girls to write down the recipes of one anothers cookies. 


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