It’s the most wonderful time of the year: shopping, parties, decorating, wrapping, traveling, baking…in other words—it’s also the busiest time of the year. There’s truly nothing better than the joyful spirit surrounding the holidays, but let’s face it, decking the halls and rocking the night away can leave us rather…exhausted. So why not check off that to-do list twice by hosting a cookie swap party? Not only do you get to enjoy time with your closest friends and family, but you also leave with enough baked goodies to last you through the holiday festivities. Here’s our step-by-step guide to throwing your very own cookie swap bash!
Choose your swappin’ buddies
Depending on the size of your hosting space, a manageable guest list falls somewhere between 6-8 party goers. Aim to send out your invitations several weeks prior so guests are well-prepared. Asking your friends to whip up six dozen cookies is not something we recommend doing last-minute!
Set clear expectations
Your invitations should include clear guidelines so guests aren’t left wondering and confused.
- Decide how many cookies each guest should bring. Remember, the purpose of a cookie exchange is so that guests can sample during the party, but also bring some home to enjoy later. A minimum of two dozen and a maximum of six dozen per guests are both appropriate options. Also, ask that everyone bring a copy of their cookie recipe to share with each guest.
- Should the cookies be handcrafted? This is entirely up to you. However, make sure your guests are aware if cookies should be made from scratch or store-bought. (Of course since LorAnn Oils is a supplier of artisan baking and candy flavors, we think homemade is the way to go!)
- Establish a dress code. Will it be dressy? Super casual? Ugly-Christmas-sweater vibes? Having a dress code is a fun way to get into the holiday spirit!
Cookie Swap Recipes and Ideas
We’ve pulled together a few of our favorite cookie exchange recipes to make sure you’re the host or hostess with the mostess (and the best cookies). For even more recipes, check out our holiday list here
Cheery Cherry Cookies
Who doesn’t love a good chocolate/cherry combo? If you’re looking to spice up your classic chocolate chip cookie recipe, then these chewy delights are the answer. The heroes in this creation: dried cherries & LorAnn Cherry Bakery Emulsion.
Chewy Red Velvet Bars
The holiday season calls for crushed velvet slacks and these red velvet snacks. Smothered in a cream cheese frosting blanket, these red velvet bars are a guaranteed hit! What makes these treats oh-so-delicious? Lots of butter and a dash of LorAnn Red Velvet Bakery Emulsion.
What to say when the cookie swap party leaves your waistband feeling tighter than usual? Eggnogrance is bliss. So, indulge in these festive eggnog snickerdoodles! LorAnn Super-Strength Eggnog Flavor gives these cookies that creamy-nutmeg-beverage essence we crave during the holidays.
Mint Chocolate Blossoms
You could freshen up with a piece of gum, or chew on these mint chocolate blossom cookies instead (we prefer the latter!) Packed with cocoa powder, LorAnn Peppermint Oil, and kissed with a chocolate candy on top, these cookies really pack a delicious, chocolatey punch.
Walnut Bourbon Balls
Maybe baking isn’t your forte, that’s okay! Luckily, these walnut bourbon balls featuring LorAnn Super-Strength Bourbon flavor are a no-bake and fool-proof solution. Simply combine the ingredients, roll together, throw them in powdered sugar and voilà, you have a (non-alcoholic) Kentucky flavored cookie that will leave guests in awe of your “baking” skills.
The day of your party, you’ll want to put the finishing touches on decorations, lay out all of your appetizers and drinks, and throw on a festive playlist to set the mood. Once guests have settled in and had a few bites to eat, spark up some activities for guests to interact with each other. Throw in a little competition by handing out ballots and asking guests to vote on their favorites.
Hosting a cookie party is the best way to escape the hustle and bustle of the holidays, eat some good food and enjoy time with even better company. So, do a little planning, get creative, but most importantly, have fun!