Cookie Exchange Ideas
Baking Christmas cookies is an important tradition in so many families. In ours, our Christmas cookie trays aren’t complete without our Great Grandma Greb’s sour cream cookies. They are like a sugar cookie, in that you can cut them in different shapes and decorate them however you’d like, but they’re not as sweet and have a soft fluffy texture that is more reminiscent of cake than a cookie.
We love to eat them, but even more than snacking on them, we love to share these nostalgic treats with the people who are so special to us. For the last couple of years, Margie and I have participated in cookie exchange parties, but this year was the first time we decided to organize our own exchange.
When we first started brainstorming cookie exchange ideas, the sour cream cookies were a given. We also knew we wanted to make the afternoon swapping cookies a fun and relaxing day for some of our favourite women. The cookie exchange party was really wonderful and we wanted to share with you some of the things we did to help it come together.
What will you serve at your cookie exchange?
When we were at our first ever craft show early in November, we met a fabulous baker named Linda from dollop bakery. The show was so busy that it wasn’t until it was almost over that we were able to sneak away and admire some of the other vendors. Dollop bakery specializes in miniature desserts and their adorable mini treats caught our eyes immediately. We were so thankful that they had a small selection of desserts left for us to try and couldn’t wait to dig in. Orange caramel, mint matcha, and mulled wine macarons make up some of their seasonal flavours, and they were honestly the best macaron we’ve ever had! All three unique flavours quickly became our favourite until we tried the next one and then we couldn’t decide anymore.
Next we tried mini chocolate candy cane sugar cookies. They were seriously the most adorably delicious little dollop of a cookie! This chocolate sugar cookie was drizzled with chocolate and sprinkled with crushed candy cane pieces. They may be mini but they pack a lot of flavour. We could taste the richness of the cocoa as soon as we bit into the cookie, and then at the end we tasted the slightest hint of mint from the candy cane. When we tried these we knew we needed them at the cookie exchange party, so we contacted Linda right away.
The cookies from Dollop Bakery were the first step in planning the details of the cookie exchange party, and the rest came together around them. What goes better with chocolate candy cane cookies at 2 in the afternoon than hot chocolate? Not just any hot chocolate though, rich, creamy, thick hot chocolate that transports us, even for just a second, to a café in Paris with every sip of our decadent chocolat chaud. We served our delicious hot chocolate in white paper cups with sleeves we made to go around them. (We just love our antler design and how versatile it has become for us in making appearances all over different products. The bronze glitter paper is an elegant detail and we just can’t get enough of it.)
We set up a hot chocolate bar for our guests. We filled ramekins with garnish and treats to add to each cup of hot chocolate and we even found ourselves snacking on some of the treats on their own. Then, we whipped fresh cream, served homemade plain and candy cane marshmallows, crushed candy cane, peppermint mini chocolate pieces, instant coffee, rolled cookie wafers, and of course sprinkles. (We used our Holly Jolly Christmas mix.) Dollop bakery’s lovely chocolate candy cane cookies, Neapolitans squares, Nanaimo bars, and of course, our great grandmothers sour cream cookies rounded out the selection of sweets for the afternoon.
Hot Chocolate Recipe
The Sprinkle Sisters
- 3 Cups Whole Milk
- 1 Cup Whipping Cream
- 10 oz Semi Sweet Chocolate
- 3 Tbs Icing sugar
- In a heavy sauce pan, heat the milk, cream and sugar to a simmer, stirring constantly with a whisk.
- Add the chopped chocolate and whisk together until melted.
Determine how many people you want to invite and how many cookies each participant needs to bake. We chose one dozen cookies per participant because we wanted to keep the party small. We invited 4 people (6 including us) and decided to ask each person to contribute one dozen cookies for every person attending. If you’re planning a bigger party, asking people to contribute half dozens is a better idea, because the more people participating, the more cookies you have to make. This is a key detail when deciding whether you want to organize or participate in a cookie exchange party. If there are 12 people involved, and everyone is responsible for a dozen cookies, you’ll end up baking (and taking home) 12 dozen cookies!
Tip: When you’re trying to come up with cookie exchange ideas, think about whether the cookies you are making freeze well in dough form, and baked form. We find it easier to be able to mix, shape and freeze dough a few days before baking in an effort to save time. When you’re making so many cookies, it definitely helps to break things up, rather than mixing, shaping, baking, and potentially decorating all in one day
Share your ideas
We created a facebook group so we could all communicate with each other. Sharing your cookie exchange ideas with other guests is important so that you don’t end up with duplicates. At our party, we made 6 different delicious varieties.
This is what we made:
- Margie made Sour Cream Cookies
- Shelagh made Oatmeal Chocolate Cranberry Cookies
- Jenn made Peanut Butter Chocolate Chunk Cookies
- Trina made Gingersnaps
- Sara made Candy Cane Kiss Cookies
- Michelle made Whipped Skor Shortbread
Whether you make things all in one day, or break it up over a few days, it’s important to have a plan so things don’t get away from you. Mixing your dough and cleaning up completely before moving on to shaping makes things less chaotic when so many cookies are involved.
We also like to have three baking sheets ready to use in a rotation. One that has raw dough ready to go, one in the oven, and one cooling really does make the whole cookie making process much more efficient.
We are part of a very large club of people who love packaging, and this detail was not overlooked at all when we were coming up with cookie exchange ideas. We choose small takeout containers for the sour cream cookies, and clear bags for the oatmeal chocolate cranberry cookies. After we decided on packaging, we designed two adorable and festive labels to use. We love them so much we wanted to make them available for download so they can be used and enjoyed by anyone who wants to use them.
Download the Made with Love Printable
Download the Joy Printable
How are you going to display the cookies? Make sure you have adequate space for all the cookies to go. At sprinkle headquarters we used the kitchen island and presented the cookies around the most gorgeous Christmas centrepiece we bought at From The Potting Shed. We decorated the party space with as many sparkly festive things we could find. Shadow boxes with Christmas bows, a glittery deer, sprinkle Christmas ornaments. We even wrapped some small books to use with our Christmas tags as decoration on a red plaid table cloth. All the details transformed the space into a delightful winter wonderland for the afternoon.
We played Christmas bingo and started to play “heads up” before our afternoon turned to some wonderful conversation. We laughed, ate way too much chocolate, shared stories, opinions and smiles while being reminded that the holidays really are about spending time together. And cookies, they’re definitely about cookies too.