Many articles you will find on cookie exchanges detail how to host a cookie exchange including everything from invitations to decorations to containers to take cookies home. My article will briefly address some of those points but you will also find one of my favorite cookie recipes and ideas to either make yourself or suggest to participants.
To touch on the basics, be sure to send your invites out in plenty of time for guests to choose recipes and bake cookies. People are more likely to attend with advance notice. A cookie exchange party is a great way to start the holiday season. Maybe schedule it early in the season.
Determine the number of cookies each guest should bring. If you make it too many, you’ll turn off guests. I don’t want to make dozens and dozens of cookies but I’ll make a batch of cookies that makes 4 or so dozen. Friends of ours host a cookie party every November and ask that guests bring 2 dozen per person attending. One dozen would be equally reasonable. Every family is then given a container to take home some of their favorite selections, rather than everyone going home with a dozen cookies of 12 varieties. I also don’t need 12 dozen cookies!
Serve coffee, milk, tea and water to accompany the cookies. Some bubbly like an Italian Prosecco or Spanish Cava would be nice too. If you want other snacks that’s fine but not necessary.
If guests ask what type of cookie to bring or are looking for ideas tell them variety. Stay away from chocolate chip, sugar and peanut butter blossoms. Far too common. If you have a baking challenged friend suggest doctoring up Pillsbury cookie dough. Try this:
1 package Pillsbury sugar cookie dough
1 cup pecans, finely chopped
½ teaspoon vanilla
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
In medium mixing bowl break up sugar cookie dough and let stand 10 minutes. Stir in pecans and vanilla. Drop by tablespoonful onto baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake at 350 degrees F for 7 – 10 minutes. Cool 1 minute on pan before removing to cooling rack to cool completely.
Makes about 2 dozen.
To change up the cookies mix in mini M&M’s, walnuts in place of the pecans, peppermint extract in place of vanilla or dip half of each cookie in melted white or milk chocolate. Right there are 4 different cookies. Try peppermint extract and dipping the cookie in white chocolate.
If you make things easy for your guests and don’t stress them out by asking them to bring copies of recipes and making dozens and dozens of cookies, your party will be a great success.