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Every year between Thanksgiving and Christmas, I find myself in the kitchen baking dozens upon dozens of cookies. I take cookies to work (I find that sugar makes people less cranky around the holidays), cookies to friends and family and most importantly, have cookies around the house for people to snack on while Christmas dinner takes longer than anticipated to finish cooking. ONE DAY I'LL FINISH ON TIME!
If what I said above sounds familiar, consider hosting a cookie swap!
A cookie swap is a fun, festive way to gather with your friends, enjoy some cookies, exchange some recipes and enjoy some sparkling wine. As you're probably aware, it's a little difficult for me to host some kind of social gathering without wine of some sort and a cookie swap is the perfect excuse to pop open bottle of bubbles or two.
Three to four weeks prior to your party, you should invite your guests. You can order invitations from Minted (they even have cute online invitations, too!). Be sure to set some rules for your guests: cookies should be homemade and seasonally appropriate—absolutely no burnt cookies. Ask everyone to send you a copy of their cookie recipe, or alternatively, have them bring enough copies for each person in attendance.
Each person brings a dozen cookies per person (so if there are eight people in attendance, bring eight dozen cookies), plus a dozen to put out on display for everyone to taste.
If you're hosting the cookie swap in the late afternoon or early evening, consider serving some savory dishes that will offset all of the sweets you'll be eating.
Three to Four Weeks Before Party
Invite guests, buy decor, packing materials for packaging station.
Two Weeks Before Party
Collect recipes, print copies, make or purchase place card labels for cookie display table.
Week Of Party
Buy ingredients, decorate your party space, put sparkling wine in refrigerator, purchase or make savory food dishes, prepare cocktail mix and punch (just hold the alcohol until right before your guests arrive), bake cookies (and store at room temperature).
Day Of Party
Brew coffee, tea and hot chocolate for your guests. Cook any dishes that are extremely perishable, set up your display and packaging stations, wash and display champagne flutes.
Be sure to check back for our "8 days of cookies" for some new ideas to introduce into your family this holiday!