Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Host a Holiday Cookie Exchange!

Last year I hosted my first Holiday Cookie Exchange with my girlfriends. It was so much fun and I think all the guests enjoyed their time (and all the goodies they got to take home). Here's how you can do the same!

1. Send out the invitations well in advance so people have time to choose their cookies and bake them. I think three to four weeks is enough notice, but I know how my friend's schedules book up, so I sent mine out for the "2nd Annual Exchange" about eight weeks ahead.
I used this fun template from Evite.com

2. Tell guests how many cookies to make. Final numbers will be determined by RSVPs. I'd been to one cookie exchange where we had to make 10 cookies per person. That was too much. So for my parties I say 2-3 cookies per guest. So if there are 12 guests you'd be required to make 24-36 cookies each. That's much more doable.

3. Have guests print their cookie recipe for everyone. I didn't do this my first party but I think it's a really nice touch.

4. Here's the fun part!! Decorate and make appetizers!! Last year I made meatballs, crostini, a veggie tray and fried (baked) ravioli. We had hot chocolate, coffee, wine and a few sodas to drink.
The cookie exchange savory snack spread!

5. Set up one big table or several smaller tables for the cookies. Make sure there is room for guests to walk around in a circle and gather their cookies.

6. Have plenty of saran wrap, wax paper and some extra containers on hand. (Guests should be instructed to bring their own empty container, but it's always nice to have some on hand, just in case).

7. Entertain, mingle, take pictures, have fun!

8. When it's time for the formal exchange I really enjoy having each guest share which cookie they made and a little bit about the cookie--why they chose it, what's in it, how hard was it, etc.

9. Go around in a circle and have each guest take the given number from each container.

10. Mingle more, take more pictures and then sit back and soak up the success of your party.
Love these ladies!
I can't wait for this year's party. I've started a group Pinterest Board with cookie recipe ideas and I've got great plans for making the party even more fun.

Happy (early) Holidays!


  1. oh, you're reminding me of how much fun i always have at cookie exchanges!! now, of course i also honed in on the vittles on the savory spread.... what are the round pieces in front, to the right of the crudite?

    1. Hi Eila!! Those are ravioli that I quickly dredged and then breaded. Instead of frying them, I just baked them on a wire rack. :)

  2. I'd love to join in the fun this year. I notice even Porter (Your Big Chocolate Lab) made it for the picture! Send me an invitation. Love, Mom