How To: Host a Cookie Exchange Party

What's the best way to turn one holiday cookie recipe into a variety of scrumptious goodies? Host a Cookie Exchange Party! These old-fashioned parties are back in style and so much fun! It's a great way to discover new recipes and share your favorites with your friends. Here are my five best tips to make your party perfect. 1. Size Matters. Decide in advance how many people you want to attend. I recommend somewhere between 10 - 12 people. Keep in mind that the number of people you invite directly relates to how many treats everybody has to make, so aim for a reasonable number. Follow up with all invited guests and get a total a few days before the party, then let everybody know so that they can plan accordingly. (I like to encourage guests to bring a dozen cookies to share that evening, plus 4-6 cookies per guest to take home.) 2. Insist on Homemade. In your invitation emphasize that treats need not be fancy, but definitely should be homemade. Your guest list should include people who enjoy making treats, who won't feel overwhelmed or burdened by the idea of the party. 3. Share Recipes. Part of the fun of a Cookie Exchange Party is discovering new recipes. Encourage guests to bring copies of their recipes for each of the other guests. You could also gather recipes ahead of time via email, then print them out for guests. 4. Provide Materials. Have a supply table set up for guests to package their treats. I recommend an ample supply of cupcake liners to keep messier cookies or fudge separated. Tissue and wax papers are helpful, as are disposable plastic containers, labels and pens. Provide folders or binders for guests to keep their collection of recipes tidy. Have a gift bag for each person as well. 5. Supply Sips and Salt. Have a variety of drinks available that compliment sweets (milk, egg nog, champagne, or creamy cocktails), as well as a sampling of salty treats such as pretzels to offer a balance to all the sugar, as well as a way to cleanse the palette between cookie tastings. Those are my best tips, what are yours? Are you attending a Cookie Exchange Party this year?
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