One of the best things about the holidays are all the sweets. Many people have cookie traditions--cookies they bake just once a year, around Christmas. This year, instead of making several different kinds of cookies, cut down on baking time and host a cookie swap! Read on for tips on how to host a successful cookie swap!
The basic idea of a cookie swap is to bake several dozen cookies and swap them with your friends. So, even though you baked 8 dozen of the same kind of cookie, you'll leave the swap with 8 dozen different kinds of cookies. To make it exciting, you could even have a contest for Best Cookie at the swap!
What to do
1. Invite 8-10 of your friends to attend the cookie swap. Any more than this and the baking becomes very difficult. Remember, you have to make a dozen cookies for each person attending the swap, plus one extra dozen for tasting. So, you don't want to invite too many people!
2. Decide on a date, time and place to swap cookies. Many people like to have the swap close to Christmas so they can serve the cookies on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day. As for location, someone's house is usually the best place, but a coffee shop works too. All you need is a large table, some drinks to wash down the cookies and paper and pens for voting on Best Cookie.
3. Bake the cookies the day before the swap. Be sure to leave yourself enough baking time. 8-10 dozen cookies usually take a few hours to bake.
4. Once cookies are completely cooled, wrap each dozen individually. Large zip top bags work well for packaging. We especially like holiday themed ones, like these! Pack the cookies in a large shopping bag -- you'll need it again to carry home all your new cookies! And, don't forget to bring copies of the recipe for the cookies you made.
5. On the day of the cookie swap, meet up with your friends and set each dozen cookies around the large table. Put the extra dozen out for tasting. As each person arrives, have her add a dozen of her cookies to each group, creating twelve piles of cookies. (Each pile should have a dozen of each different kind.) Once every baker has placed her cookies out, everyone can go and take a bundle of cookies & put them in their shopping bag.
6. Let the taste test begin! Have everyone taste each one of the cookies and then vote on a favorite. You could award a small prize for the winner of Best Cookie, or have the winning baker wear a crown for the evening and earn bragging rights till next year!
Cookie swaps are a fun, low-key holiday get together that's perfect for a girls' night. Hopefully you'll have so much fun that the swap will become a tradition and year after year you'll look forward to baking, baking, baking!