Ask each guest to bring a big batch of cookies: estimate 1 dozen multiplied by the total number of guests. Provide guidelines to each baker so that you get a good cookie assortment: rolled cookies, bar cookies, drop cookies, decorated cookies. Your friends may have family recipes they wish to share.
Each guest should also bring copies of their cookie recipe and containers to take cookies home. Heavy duty plastic freezer bags will work for sturdy cookies, but decorated cookies and more delicate shapes should be packaged in tins or sealable plastic containers. Provide waxed paper or parchment for separating layers of cookies.
You may want to sample the cookies you're swapping, or you can stay away from sweet treats and set out an array of savory snacks. Coffee, hot cider or punch are always good choices for a cookie exchange party.
Variety is the Spice of Life
To make your Cookie Exchange Party extra-special.
1. Extend Your Circle of Sharing
Have guests to bring an unopened package of store-bought cookies or canned food. You can then collect the packaged food and bring them to a homeless shelter or food pantry.
2. Share Cookie Stories
During the actual cookie-swap segment of the party, tell stories. It could be a story about the cookie's origin, where the cook learned the recipe, or just holiday baking memories.
3. Create Cookie Recipe Booklets
Ask your guests to mail (or e-mail) their cookie recipes to you, or collect the recipes on the day of the party. Assemble a booklet of recipes for everyone to take home with them.
Christmas Cookie Recipes
Check out our recipe collections for bar cookies, sugar cookies, macaroons, thumbprints, and other favorites.