How to Host a Cookie Swap


Molasses Gingerbread Cookies

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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 opens in a new tab!

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 opens in a new tab means more of your best for less stress. Order holiday meals online opens in a new tab too; we'll do the work, you'll take the credit.

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