The holiday season is great time of year to get together with friends and family. If you are looking for a party idea to host this season you are in the right place. A cookie exchange is a unique party that everyone will enjoy. You may be wondering what exactly a cookie exchange is. A cookie exchange is a party is where each person brings a different type of cookie, you sample each other’s treats and decide which cookies and recipes to take home with you. Not only will you get to spend time with people you care about, but you get to eat cookies. Who doesn’t enjoy that? Everyone will leave with a smile on their face, a stomach full of cookies, and a pocket full of new recipes. Let us help you find all the information you will need to host a cookie exchange.
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As the host it is up to you to decide on the rules of your cookie exchange. After you are establish your rules make sure to inform all your invitees so everybody is on the same page when they arrive. Here are a few things to consider when you are coming up with your own rules.
Each guest is going to be responsible for bringing a certain cookie. To keep it authentic, make sure that the guests know that their cookies should be homemade. The exchange is the most fun when there are completely different kinds of cookies. When you are inviting your friends encourage them to be creative and think outside of the box. As delicious as everyday basic cookies are, recipes that people have never tried before will make it more interesting. In order to avoid someone bringing a repeat cookie it is important to have your guest report back with what they are bringing in advance. If two people are planning on bringing the same cookie then kindly suggest to one that they bring something different. A good way to keep it fair is to let your guest know that claiming recipes will be on a first come first serve basis so they are aware of the rules. Also let them know of any allergies or dietary restrictions other guests may have they should be aware of and try to avoid.
The amount that each person will need to bring will of course differ depending on how many guests are coming. For your average cookie exchange, 7-8 dozen cookies should be brought by each person. This is to make sure there are enough for every guest to have an opportunity to sample and take home some of the cookies. When guests arrive with their cookies separate a small number of cookies for sampling. This way you can guarantee that enough are left over for people to put in their boxes. A good idea for organizing this is to have a table entirely dedicated to samples and another table that will be solely for cookies and decorations that will be used to fill up boxes.
It is important to have each recipe collected before hand, so you can have them ready for the party. Give your guests a date in which you need their recipe by to make sure you have enough time. After you have all your recipes collected print them out, so each person can take them home with them. You can either set the recipes out with the cookies or you can put them together into a recipe book. To make a recipe book take your printed-out recipes, punch holes into the border and tie them together with some ribbon. Now everyone can take home a little book full of their recipes and keep it as a memory as well.
After deciding to host a cookie exchange and all the rules are established, the next step is invitations. The first thing you want to do is choose who you are going to invite. The amount of people can have a huge effect on how successful a party is. For a cookie exchange to run as smoothly as possible less participants are better. Between 8-12 people will optimize party results.
Once you pick who you want to be there, it is time to send out the invites. You have a few options when it comes to this. You can go with good old fashion hand made invitations since there will only be a handful. Pick up some festive paper and markers from your local office supply store. Write all the information you need, and you are ready to go. There are also unlimited options of printable invitations online. Fill out the template and print them out. Whether you do it online or by hand you can either send them by mail or deliver them personally. If you are more tech-savvy, then an electronic invitation is a another option. There are lots of websites that will help you send these out. An example of one of these sites is Evite. No matter what type of invitations you send out it is important to have people respond back so you can get a headcount. Make sure to include all important information and rules on the invites so your guests will know what to expect.
Your next step is going to be choosing what cookies you will be providing. As mentioned before cookie exchanges are a lot more fun when there are recipes that no one has really tried before. This will require you to think outside of the box. If you need help coming up with some unique recipes you can click here for some easy recipes. Furthermore, here are a few ideas:
These are fun twist on black and white cookies. If you are unsure of what black and white cookies are, they are a flat cake with a hint of lemon covered in chocolate and vanilla icing. For this recipe instead of lemon you are going to create a peppermint flavor. If you are looking for a new spin on an old recipe this a great option for you.
Pretty cookies are not only delicious to eat but they also look good. We all know that food tastes better when its fun to look at as well. These cookies are essentially two cookies sandwiched together with a yummy filling in the middle. When you are making the cookies, make them in a swirl so when they are baked they look like a rose. While this may be a simpler cookie to make they are unique because of the look they have.
The Kringla cookies are a Norwegian cookie. Bringing a cookie that originates from another country is great idea for a cookie exchange. These cookies will teach everyone about a new recipe and techniques while also learning some things about Norway that you may not know. These are super soft sugar cookies baked into a figure 8 shape. They are cooked just enough that they get barely golden brown so that they have a slight crispness on the outside while being pillow-like on the inside.
A cookie that uses a pretzel? These are super simple to make and are also a different take on your average cookie. Not only are they unique but they are also festive. When you are finished, they will come out looking like little reindeer. If you like Rolos and pretzels this is the perfect recipe for you.
When it comes to games for your party you can either stick to the cookie theme or go with your classic holiday games. If you would like to provide prizes to the winners of the games a fun idea is to give baking supplies such as a whisk or measuring cups etc. Not only does it stay on theme, but they can use while making their new recipes they take home.
Cookie Decorating Competition
If you want to stay true to the cookie theme then a cookie decorating competition is a fun idea. Before your guests arrive have a larger sized sugar cookie for each one of them ready. Provide frostings, sprinkles, candies, and anything else you want to decorate the cookies. Each person decorates their cookie however they would like. Once everyone is finished you can have people vote on the cookies for awards such as most creative, most festive, most appetizing, etc.
Pin the Hat on Santa
This is a twist on the classic game Pin the Tail on the Donkey. What you will need is a blindfold, a print out of Santa without his hat, a separate print out of a Santa hat, and something to attach the two such as double-sided tape. Have the guests take turns trying to pin the hat on Santa while blindfolded. If you want to make it more interesting spin them around a few times before they go as well so they are slightly disoriented making it harder. Whoever gets the hat closest to the correct placement wins.
Reindeer Ring Toss
You can find the supplies for this at Amazon.com, Walmart, or Party City. To play this game you will wear a pair of reindeer antlers. Your guests will then take turns attempting to throw rings onto the antlers. Set up a line to mark where to throw from so the distance is equal and it will be fair. Whoever lands the most rings on the antlers wins.
Party favors are a great way to make sure your guests know you appreciate them joining you for your party. In addition, favors allow them to take home a physical memory so they can remember the time you spent together.
Create a custom cookie jar/box for each guest. You can either buy or build a cute and festive box and then add a personalized touch to them. Add each guest’s name to the box and decorate them if they are not already, to make them special for each invitee. This is a great favor because they can use them to take their cookies home and then as a cookie jar at home. Baking supplies such as cookie cutters, an apron, or rolling pin are also great options.
The holidays are the perfect time to have fun and be festive with the people you love. Hosting a cookie exchange is great way to get together and enjoy some yummy treats while you do so. We hope that if you decide to host your very own Cookie Exchange party, it is a huge success.
If you would like more information on how to host a Cookie Exchange party in a new home, Contact C4 Elite Real Estate Team. We can help you find that dream kitchen!