Nothing spreads cheer around the holidays quite like a plate of homemade cookies, and the act of baking is a wintertime tradition for so many people. There’s no better way to share these memories and the sweet desserts that come from them than to invite your MilSpouse friends over for a cookie swap. At a cookie swap, each guest brings a batch of cookies to share with the rest of the party. Sounds like a great (not to mention delicious) way to celebrate the holidays with your friends, right? If you can’t wait to share the freshly baked joy, read on to learn how to host a cookie swap of your own.
1. Send Out Invitations
It’s best to send out invitations 3 to 4 weeks in advance, but, if you’re inviting a smaller group, you can provide shorter notice. Remember to be mindful of your guests’ schedules and the size of the group you invite — it’s best to cap the group at 10. In your invitation, ask guests to RSVP with the type of cookie they’re making and any allergens it may contain like nuts or milk. Also, ask guests to bring out enough printouts of their recipe to share with each guest.
2. Bake for a Crowd
Guests to make at least a half dozen cookies for each guest, as well as a half dozen for sampling at the party. You’ll need to make the same amount, as well, so be sure to give yourself plenty of time to bake. Choose a recipe that’s easy to make in advance and store so you don’t have to worry about baking the day of the party.
3. Set Up a Display Area
Make the cookie table the focal point of the room by setting out several decorative plates for your guests to use. Since you’ll have a list of what everyone’s bringing before the party, you can also set out display cards with the name of each cookie and any allergens your guests should know about. When your guests arrive, ask them to set their cookies on the display table with the recipes they brought.
4. Provide a Packing Station
Help guests bring home their cookies in style by setting out a few sizes of paper plates and boxes for them to wrap their cookies in. Cookies make for easy holiday presents, so your guests may want to pack a box or two for a friend or family member. Spread the cheer by offering guests cellophane wrapping, colorful ribbons, and gift tags to decorate their bags and boxes.
5. Offer Refreshments
Your guests will need something to wash down their cookies. Brew pots of tea and coffee for guests to serve themselves from, as well as cold pitchers of water and milk. You may even want to make a holiday cocktail if you’re feeling extra festive!