Hosting a cookie swap is a great way to get together with friends and family – and of course, to load up on baked treats for the entire holiday season.  Once everyone has arrived and all cookies are on display, invite guests to fill their take-home box with an assortment of cookies. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to make it work:

  • Invite 10 to 20 friends who would be interested in sharing their baked goods with you. Ask everyone to bring three to five dozen of their favourite holiday cookies.
  • Rules. Provide clear instructions. Cookies should be homemade and imperishable enough to last several days after baking. Ask everyone to print the name of their cookies and its main ingredients onto a place card and bring it with them.
  • Clean up. Of course, the house needs a good clean before the festivities get started. Spread out your cleaning chores a week prior to the event, as you want to make sure all of your chores are completed before the main event.
  • Set up. To prepare, set your largest table with enough festive bowls, cake stands and platters to hold your guests’ baked goods (or ask them to bring a decorative platter with them, to display their cookies). You’ll also need tongs for each platter. Set the place cards in front of the cookie platters as each guest arrives.
  • Packing. Provide inexpensive paper bakery boxes and festive twine for guests to package and take home their cookies (visit a dollar store or bulk store for these supplies). You can also ask your guests to bring a freezer-safe container to load the cookies into, as you’ll likely be freezing a few dozen at least.

Snacks and refreshments. While the cookies are meant to be taken home, there is bound to be some sampling during the party. Offset sweet treats with savory foods (like cheese and crackers), a festive punch, sparkling wine or tea and coffee.