How to Host a Cookie Swap


Molasses Gingerbread Cookies

Molasses Gingerbread Cookies

Baking is one of my favorite things to do, but it’s nearly impossible for me to make all the different kinds I love to snack on. Plus, I really don’t need more than a few of each recipe – who needs six dozen of the same type of cookies hanging around at one time? I want variety!

Whoever came up with the first cookie swap had the right idea. Make one or two kinds of cookies and trade with other bakers for a homemade cookie platter that will far outshine those boxed assortments. It’s the perfect way to taste a new flavor, stock up for long nights of gift-wrapping, and keep your own baking under control.

Here are some of my tips for hosting a cookie swap.

  • Don’t step too far out of your comfort zone. Make a recipe you’ve had success with – this isn’t the time to start a new experiment!

  • Label, label, label. Keep blank note cards or sticky notes with pens ready so you can make note of what is oatmeal raisin and what’s oatmeal chocolate chip.

  • Make the mood festive. Put on some great music, pour wine or hot cider, and keep it casual.

  • Either have cookies set out as as a free-for-all (my favorite) or have guests bring cookies already portioned according to the number of attendees.

  • Have a supply of savory snacks as well, or make the cookie swap the dessert portion of an evening meal.

  • Make sure to separate the cookies that are vegan, gluten-free, or adhere to other special diets, and keep them well-marked.

  • Have reusable containers ready for guests to take home treats. Tins and plastic containers rather than bags will help prevent breakage.

  • For packaging, waxed paper tied with colored baker’s twine adds a festive touch, or use Chinese takeout-style boxes.

  • Ask your guests for their recipes ahead of time, and print them out into little booklets for a party favor as well as go-to holiday reference.

Need some cookie inspiration? Check out these sweet recipes.

Coconut Macaroons with Cherries and Hazelnuts
Classic Gingerbread Cookies
Cranberry-Pistachio Oatmeal Lace Cookies
Goat Cheese Sandies with Cranberry and Orange
Gluten-Free Peanut Butter Cookies
Chocolate Mocha Sugar Cookies

Be sure to grab all of our favorite holiday cookie recipes!

Do you host or attend a cookie swap? I’d love to hear your tips and favorite cookies!

From carving with confidence to pouring with pride, our online Holiday Cheat Sheet means more of your best for less stress. Order holiday meals online too; we'll do the work, you'll take the credit.

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