Host a Cookie Swap!

Chewy & Moist!








Something I look forward to every year at Christmas time is my neighbor Kathryn’s annual Cookie Swap! She invites many of our neighbors and close friends, too!  It truly puts all of us in the holiday spirit! We have such a great time catching up with each other and it gives us an opportunity to get to know our new neighbors, as well! We sample the delicious cookies that each guest brings and we leave with the recipe for each one, too! I’m so excited to share with you the details that makes Kathryn’s Cookie Swap so successful and so much fun each year!

PRINT Host A Cookie Swap Suggestions

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Invite neighbors, co-workers, book club or bible study members asking them to bake 6 dozen homemade cookies using a recipe of their choice.  Have each guest notify you in advance as to which cookie they will be preparing.  This will help to avoid any duplicate recipes.

Just before the guests arrive set out some hors d’oeuvres.  Keep it simple by offering a display of cheeses, dips and crackers. Bowls filled with assorted shelled nuts are always a favorite!  Keep the beverages simple.  Offer wine and hot spiced cider kept warm in a slow cooker. (For our amazing recipe for Hot Cranberry Apple Cider click here!) Serving your guests items that aren’t too fussy will allow you to spend more time visiting instead of in the kitchen prepping food or cocktails.

Before the “cookie swapping” begins have all your guests join you in the family room.  Going around the room one by one, ask each guest to share how they know you (the host) and ask them to share a favorite holiday memory, or a special holiday tradition that they have in their family.  They might even have a sweet story to share about the cookie recipe they’ve prepared for the Cookie Swap! This is a great way for the guests to not only get to know each other a little better, but an opportunity for the guests to learn about a tradition that they may want to adopt themselves.

After everyone has had an opportunity to introduce themselves and share a memory or tradition, explain to them just how the “cookie swapping” will work.

Ask them to circle around the table choosing the appropriate amount of cookies from each platter.   When they have reached the final platter of cookies they should have collected 6 dozen cookies.  Allow the guests the opportunity to take a copy of each recipe to add to their own recipe repertoire.


  • Before the cookie swapping begins count the number of guests who have brought 6 dozen cookies.  To figure out how many of each kind of cookie each guest will take, simply divide 72 by the number of guests at the party.  For example:  There are 72 cookies in a dozen.  There are 20 guests at your party.  Divide 72 by 20 which would equal each guest taking 3.6 cookies of each kind.  Tell your guests to choose 3 or 4 of each kind of cookie.  It will work out in the end that each guest will leave the cookie swap with 6 dozen assorted cookies.
  • Before the party, designate a large table or two for the platters of cookies to be placed on, as the guests are arriving.  Cover each one with a decorative holiday table covering and a small centerpiece or floral arrangement to make the table look amazingly festive!  Platters will be large, as they will be accommodating 6 dozen cookies each, so make sure you have plenty of room for all the guests to place their platters in one area.  Leave adequate room around each table, so that the swapping line can proceed smoothly, with no delays.  You can either leave the recipe next to the platter of cookies it represents, or you can set up a separate area for guests to collect the recipes on their way out.
  • Ask each guest to bring a plastic food container to take their 6 dozen assorted cookies home.
  • It’s quite a bit of cookies to enjoy…mention to your guests that they can freeze a portion of the cookies to offer guests or unexpected visitors throughout the holiday season.
  • Ask each guest to bring a small plate of the same cookie they baked for the swap.  Set these small plates out among the hors d’oeuvres for everyone to sample and enjoy!
  • Mention to your guests that cookies purchased from the super market or bakery will not do, nor will “no bake” cookies or bars.
  • If the cookies accidentally baked too long or the recipe flops for some reason, tell them to come along anyhow and enjoy the evening sampling cookies and leaving the party with a whole new repertoire of cookie recipes!
  • As a “favor” for the guests, create a festive (red or green) 3 ring binder and stock each one with empty plastic sleeves.  The guests can slip each recipe, they’ve collected from the Cookie Swap, into individual sleeves and start a “Cookie Swap Recipe Book” of their own! They can add recipes to it each year that they attend your annual Cookie Swap extravaganza!
  • Another “favor” idea for your guests is an oven mitt with cookie cutters attached by a beautiful silk ribbon bow, or stuff the oven mitts with a whisk, spatula and mixing spoon!
  •  Yet another “favor” idea is a holiday dish towel lined in a small basket.  Fill with colored sugar crystals, cookie cutters and homemade Madagascar Vanilla Extract!  (For a wonderful recipe for Homemade Vanilla Extract click here!)
  • Have your guests bring 20-25 copies of their cookie recipe, depending on the total number of guests attending, on an 8 ½ x 11 sheet of paper.  Have them include their name on the recipe too, for example: “’Peppermint Candy Cane Cookies’ from the kitchen of Paige Harrington – 2012”  This will be a great way for those that bake the cookies in the future to remember who they received that amazing recipe from!


Be creative and use your imagination! You’ll come up with amazing party ideas, recipes and tips… and when you do we’d love to hear about them!  Email us your ideas to  Who knows…we might just post your’s in our next edition of ‘Celebrate’ to be shared with all!

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