The holidays can be so busy with the hustle and bustle of decorating, shopping, wrapping, and family obligations that sometimes I wish I had a little time to enjoy seeing close friends during the holidays. What better way than to get some baking done while enjoying a little “girl’s night” With your closest buds. To read about ways to deal with December without going crazy, check out that post. Here are some logistics on how to host a cookie exchange and the things I like to include when I’m hosting.
I have found inviting 5-7 people makes for enough cookies for everyone, but a small enough group to make it an intimate gathering. I found some really cute invites on Etsy and Evite that could possibly match your theme. As you know I don’t do anything without a theme in mind. Keep in close contact with your guests. RSVPs are a must for each person to know how many cookies to bring. Each person will also need to tell you what cookie they are bringing so there aren’t any duplicates.
Let your guests know the amount of people to bake for and how much for each person. Usually the rule of thumb is to bring 6-12 cookies per person attending and 12 cookies for tasting. You will also want each guest to write out or print a recipe card for each guest. As a hostess, you should have extra cards out for guests that may have forgotten to bring their recipes. This helps just in case there is someone who has food sensitivities or dietary restrictions. I always try to make a clean eating cookie so there is a healthy option.
Setting up the tasting table is always my favorite part. Anything dealing with decor really gets my creative juices flowing. You will want to have cake stands, trays, platters, and apothecary jars of varying heights and sizes. Then you can bring in colors of linens that go with your theme. Adding small details to your table with give it the look you are going for.
Make sure you have supplies like: bags, tins, boxes, labels, scissors, hole punch, twine, cellophane, baggies, ribbon, and paper plates for guests to pack their cookies to take home. You can find tons of this stuff at the Dollar Store or on sale after Christmas.
BEVERAGES AND FOOD
You will also want to have a beverage station with plenty of options for your guests. After talking all evening and tasting lots of cookies, your guests will be plenty thirsty. I like to have coffee, tea, water, soda, wine, and milk. I also like to put out other appetizers like a veggie tray, fruit, and something else savory to balance out the sweet.
Don’t forget as a thank you favor you could give out little cookie cutter favors, or whisks and spatulas. It just adds a nice touch for your guests. Having a holiday play list going throughout the party is also a nice touch. I hope you are having a wonderful December.