Beginners Guide

Tips & Techniques

Holiday Cookie Exchanges



Would you like to have a variety of homemade holiday cookies without slaving in the kitchen for days and buying dozens of ingredients? Hosting a holiday cookie exchange is an easy way to accomplish this with the added bonus of sharing time with friends during the season.

The premise of a holiday cookie exchange is simple - everyone who attends brings a specified amount of the cookies they have baked for each guest, usually around 6 – 12, and the cookies are "swapped out". Each guest goes home with cookies from all of the other guests.

Planning Your Party

The Wilton® Cookie Exchange book is invaluable in not only planning your party, but has easy and exciting holiday cooking decorating ideas. The book contains tips for hosting your own cookie exchange, helping you coordinate every detail.

Determine the date/time that works best for you and decide upon the rules for your exchange, such as any restrictions or regulations on types of cookies, amount guests should bring and whether you will be supplying containers or if they should bring their own. Most exchanges require the participants to notify the hostess of the type of cookie they are making to prevent duplicates, emphasis on holiday cookies and having them bring a copy of the recipe for each of the guests. Send out invitations to your party and request the RSVP by a specified date. Plan on serving refreshments, you don't want to eat the cookies at the party; the idea is to be able to take them home to enjoy during the busy holiday season.

Make your holiday cookie exchange party special with handmade invitations, name tags for guests, table tents to identify cookies and recipes cards. A mini album would be a great place to collect all those new cookie recipes from the exchange and would make a fabulous favor for the attendees, they are inexpensive and simple to make. You and your guests will treasure it long after the cookies have disappeared.

Baking The Cookies

Whether you are the hostess or a guest, you'll need to decide what type of cookies you want to make. Need ideas for holiday cookies? We have dozens of suggestions or consult the Wilton Cookie Exchange book for over 150 ideas. The Cookie Pro™ Ultra II Cookie Press makes short work of creating traditional holiday spritz cookies. Other products make baking holiday cookies easy can be seen here. Hint: bake your cookies a few days prior to the exchange – freshly baked cookies are much more fragile.

Taking The Cookies

While the cookie is king, you'll want to have a great presentation. How about making a special holiday tray to display your cookies? Make sure to add a layer of clear plastic wrap before putting your cookies on the painted tray.

Your local Michaels store has decorated boxes, take-out boxes, tins, baskets and more for your cookies. Choose from smaller sizes for individual exchanges or larger sizes to take home your assorted bounty.

Let Wilton and Michaels assist you with hosting your holiday cookie exchange – it is sure to become an annual event.

Choose one of our favorite holiday cookies recipes to try! Holiday Cookies