The holiday season is so hectic and it can be difficult to find the time to add one more thing to the to-do list. Cookie exchanges are one of my favorite activities because it forces us to refocus on what’s really important during this festive season: spending quality time with the people we love and COOKIES! :)
I have attended and hosted my fair share of cookie exchanges over the years and I have a few tips for a successful party with a focus on the fun.
Host the perfect cookie exchange
1. Don’t overdo it
Making your guests bake 14 dozen cookies kind of takes the fun out of it. If that means that your cookie exchange is more intimate, then so be it. Alternatively, you can split a large group into two and have a smaller amount of people do an exchange. You want to have a minimum of 3-6 cookies pre-wrapped cookies to exchange per person. Make an extra dozen to share at the party.
2. Include the recipes
You will likely discover new favorites at your exchange. It is always nice to include the recipe just in case your friends want to try making them as well. Ask guests to write down or make copies or their recipe. You can also collect the recipes yourself and email them to your guests after the party to make it a bit easier – or create a group Pinterest board.
3. Don’t forget the savory food
Appetizers are key. Your guests will be hungry and we can’t just dine on cookies. Some of my favorite appetizers to serve my guests include the spicy Hot Jezebel shown above and the Jalapeno Popper Dip below as well as the traditional baked brie and cheese and crackers.
I have also been to cookie exchanges where a full dinner is served, but I follow the KISS motto and think that finger food is just perfect for this kind of holiday party. You do what works for you, but I prefer to stress less – and have more room for taste testing cookies!
4. Break the Ice
It’s important to get your friends to loosen up and mingle, especially if they haven’t met before. I love playing a festive game of Who Am I – holiday edition. It gets people talking and laughing, and that’s always a good thing.
Another thing that gets people loose and happy? Festive holiday drinks. Make this delicious Winter Berry Red Wine Spritzer – a super easy recipe and always a pleaser.