What’s better than baking up batches of scrumptious holiday cookies? Sharing them with your loved ones, of course! And a Cookie Swap Party is made for exactly that. Invite friends and family to bake up batches of their favorite cookies and plan to share a bunch for all your guests to take home for their own holiday entertaining plans. The result? A tray full of cookies in all sorts of flavors, shapes, and sizes for all to enjoy!
Plan Ahead: Once you’ve figured out your guest list, ask everyone to bake up enough of their favorite cookie recipe so that each guest has plenty to taste at the party, but can take home about a half dozen each. Make sure everyone’s recipe is unique, so you don’t end up with duplicates like too many gingerbread men or sugar cookies, so plan to make a shareable sign-up sheet so that everyone has eyes on who is making what. For a personal touch, ask everyone to bring a recipe card to share that is designed by them. That way guests can recreate them on their own and have the ingredients list to share with anyone they may be serving the cookies to.
Table Prep: A table that’s large enough to display all the cookies is a must, or you can also plan to display all the cookies on your countertop or kitchen island. Either way, be sure to start with festive linens to add to the fun. The Merry & Bright Table collection is a great idea for this party, it’s cute and festive and serves as a festive background to multiple trays of holiday cookies.
While guests will no doubt arrive with their cookies nestled on their own trays, some make transport their cookies in airtight containers, so be sure to have an assortment of your own trays ready to go. Pie servers, spatulas, even tongs are all smart ways to serve and collect cookies, so be sure to have them out too.
Labeling each type of cookie is necessary but can also add a creative touch to your table. You can print out holiday-themed tent cards with the name of each cookie or handwrite them yourself. We also love the idea of printing “menu” cards and putting them on display so everyone can have a quick glance at the types of cookies available.
Make & Take: To help guests collect and safely transport their cookies back home, stock up on bakery-style boxes, parchment paper and baker’s twine or festive ribbon. Have all the supplies at the ready for when guests arrive so when the time comes to “swap” they are ready to go. We love the idea of decorating the boxes with holiday-themed stickers and don’t forget markers so guests can label their boxes. If your guests prefer, large gallon-size resealable plastic bags work too. Whatever you decide on, make sure to have plenty to go around!
Holiday Nibbles: Sure, you and your guests will be taste-testing everyone’s cookies but to counteract that sugar, we love the idea of having a few nibbles to munch on too. A board filled with different cheeses, olives, dried fruit, cured meats and crackers is a fun way to invite guests to graze on a few savory bites in between all the sweets. Elevate your board by sprinkling on some fresh bursts of red ingredients like grape tomatoes, dried cranberry, or even fresh pomegranate seeds. And don’t forget a bit of bubbly to toast the season. Sparkling wine, prosecco or cava all make tasty companions to cookies and help ring in the holidays in a special way.