I don’t think my Mom is going to be expecting to see that above photo of her tray of cookies from my 4th Annual Cookie Party… but although I took photos of each individual cookie (you’ll see those tomorrow, along with all the recipes from this year’s swap!) I neglected to take any other photos… hence stealing some off fb from Mom and my sister-in-law… thanks guys for helping me out! ;)
Mom suggested that now that I’ve nailed down this cookie swap process… (4 years running means I’ve worked out a couple kinks) that maybe it was time to share some party details too. So here’s what works for me:
Send out the invite, I went the easy route and just made a fb event (although note to self: be better about inviting those not on fb!)… here is exactly what I wrote:
“It’s that time again! The cookies, the chaos, the fun!
How it works: Everyone brings approx 4 dozen of their fave cookies! We will sample some, eat a little lunch, chat it up, and then we’ll swarm around the table and gather up a few of each of those delicious cookies to take home!
Please bring one copy of your recipe! I’ll post them all on 2createincolor.com so everyone has easy access to them!
Here are the links to previous years’ recipes: http://
I will provide:
A small lunch spread (we need some substance to balance the sweet!)
Drinks: Coffee, Tea, Milk, Eggnog, Cider, Punch & Champagne (as always at my house!) ;)
Cookie Labels: For you to write your name and what kind of cookie you made.
Wrapping Station: Trays and wrappings to take your goodies home safely!
For fun: Everyone bring one cookie cutter, and we will have a door prize at the end!!”
I lay everything out ahead of time, so people know what’s up and what to expect! Each cookie swap I’ve attended is a little different, but this has seemed to work for me.
I’ll point out a few reasons why…
1. Doing it at lunch time helps… it extends the chatting time, it makes up for people being late, and it takes the pressure off the cookies. Seriously. Everybody kind of wants to sample, but at the same time everyone is hesitant to dig into a cookie before the actual swap happens… so because I serve a little lunch it just takes the pressure off of trying cookies before we eat some real food! (PS… don’t be afraid to go the easy route on food… I had lots of options available… but they all came from costco and trader joes… think: meats, cheeses, crackers, fruit, veggies and dips, and I always do something warm: this year mac’n’cheese, duh!) ;)
2. Everybody brings a set amount of cookies. 4 dozen. You come with 4 dozen, you leave with 4 dozen… give or take, but you get it. I’ve been to some where you make 6 cookies per person attending… and package ahead of time. And I’m not dissing anybody who does that, it works sometimes… but I invite A LOT of people, in fact if I had done it that way, this year my friends and fam would’ve been baking 9, yes NINE dozen cookies each. I’m sorry… but NO… nobody wants to stand in the kitchen that long making one type of cookie. This also helps when there are last-minute cancellations, etc… the 4 dozen just works either way. You just get more/less of each type of cookie.
3. Have a wrapping station prepared. If people bring their own containers and stuff to bring home their cookies, then awesome… but that’s one more thing for them to remember. Dollar store trays and plastic wrap work really well for this part!
4. And then, I just like door prizes, so I get a little Christmas bucket or basket and put in a Christmas spatula, some sprinkles and a cookie cutter and then anyone who wants to participate by adding a cookie cutter to the basket gets entered to win the prize! Easy!
Now when it comes time to actually swap the cookies, we spread them out evenly around the table (not quite finished with that in this pic) and then we all gather with our trays and walk around adding cookies to our trays as we go! Because of how many of us there were this year we each grabbed two of each cookie to begin with, then went around once more for another, and then kind of free-for-all’d for the remaining few scattered around. :) (Ahem, I happened to be standing next to the peppermint brownies and the chocolate gooey bars… yeah, I might’ve gotten extras of those!) ;)
And I think that about covers it!
Except for those recipes I collect from everybody… I demand recipes from everybody who attends so I can distribute them via this blog. So come back tomorrow if you want those! (along with the photos I did take at my cookie swap)