Tips for Hosting a Cookie Exchange
What better way to reduce your holiday baking stress than to host a good old-fashioned cookie exchange. Not only will you have some beautiful and delicious goodies to share with your family throughout the entire holiday season, but you will be hosting a festive event for your friends. Here are tips for making your holiday cookie swap an eco-friendly success:
Choose Your Cookies
Each guest (including YOU) should make a dozen cookies for every person at the party along with an extra dozen just for nibbling during the evening. “Decide who will make what, coordinating ahead of time to avoid duplicates,” suggests Martha Stewart. Ask guests to bring along copies of their recipe to distribute along with their samples. Sturdy cookies are best for an exchange (they pack better), so try some of these great recipes from MarthaStewart.com.
Display the Goods
Clear two tables in your home—one for sampling and one for swapping. For both tables, gather your cake stands and cookie towers to add height and additional space along with name cards for each cookie, listing any ingredients that may be an issue for those with allergies. You may also want to clear an extra table for packaging—this will allow guests to flow and mingle with ease and not feel rushed as they carefully package their holiday treats.
Create Your Own Container
The easiest way to host a cookie exchange is to have guests bring their own reusable containers. However, you may want to have some containers on hand just in case. You can stock up on reusable cookie tins and purchase small gift boxes made from recycled materials or look for items you already have at home such as coffee cans and chip containers. You can also purchase inexpensive, reusable plates or colorful paper plates (great sustainable options from Susty Party) for guests to pile high with their holiday treats. Provide tissue paper, ribbons and twine for guests to use when packaging their cookies.
Offer More than Cookies
While the cookies are certainly the focus, be sure to have additional food and beverage on hand as well. BonAppetit.com suggests having more savory foods like dips, cheeses and olives as well as beverages that compliment your offerings like tea, coffee and a festive punch. “And a glass of either cold milk or hot chocolate is a cookie’s best friend at any time of day,” writes the BonAppetit.com blog.
Clean It Up
Before the party even begins, start thinking clean up. Make sure the dishwasher is empty, use tablecloths, provide coasters and make sure trash and recycling receptacles are easily accessible to guests. When the last guest has left, focus on the big items right away—picking up food and drink, pre-treating stains to let them soak, storing leftovers, putting plates and glasses in the dishwasher and taking out the trash. Let other items—such as putting away decorations—slide until the morning.
Talk to us: What is your favorite holiday cookie to make?
image courtesy of flickr CC/Connor Lesniak