Too busy to host a dinner party, try a cookie exchange instead. You send everyone home with a variety of cookies to enjoy during the holidays and you get to hang out with friends.
There’s nothing like a cookie during the holidays and a cookie exchange is a great way to share your favorite recipe and gather some new ones from your friends. I don’t know about you, but at Christmas I tend to make the family favorites. Hosting a cookie swap allows you to try out some new recipes and maybe add to your favorite list. Need some help deciding on what are the best cookies for a cookie exchange, I’ve got some great ideas.
Table of contents
- What is a cookie exchange
- Why you’ll love it
- How to host a cookie swap
- What should you serve at a cookie swap
- Christmas Sprinkle Cookies
- Peanut Butter Kiss Cookies
- Peppermint Fudge
- Cranberry White Chocolate Shortbread Cookies
- Chocolate Peppermint Cookies
- Peanut Butter Snowballs
- Eggnog Cookies
- Cornflake Wreaths
- Peppermint Blondies
- Lemon Curd Cookies
- Whole Wheat Spritz Cookies
- M&M’s Christmas Bark
- Stained Glass Sugar Cookies
- No Bake Chocolate Oatmeal Peanut Butter Cookies
- Pistachio Cranberry Cookies
- FAQs and tips
What is a cookie exchange
A cookie exchange or cookie swap is where you make several dozen of one type of cookie and invite several friends to do the same. Everyone brings their cookies and goes home with a variety to eat during the holidays. You end up with a wide variety of cookies and you only had to make one kind.
What I enjoy the most about cookie exchanges is having an excuse to get together with friends that doesn’t require a big time commitment. No dinner to fret over, just some snacks and drinks.
Why you’ll love it
- You get a wide variety of cookies to enjoy over the holidays.
- You only have to make one type of cookie which is much quicker and easier than making ten!
- If you’re hosting a party later, you already have cookies to serve.
- It’s a great way to get together with friends without having to do much work.
How to host a cookie swap
When hosting a cookie swap, have everyone bring enough cookies to share a dozen or half dozen with all the guests. If it’s a small group, 6-8, go with a dozen. If any larger, then go with a half dozen. Making 12 dozen cookies is a lot of work, 6 is manageable.
When you send out your invitations, ask your friends to tell you what type of cookie they are going to bring. You don’t want duplicates. If they don’t have a favorite cookie, a dessert bar or fudge are nice additions. Have them send you a copy of the recipe so you can print one out for everyone to take home with them.
If you want to be creative you could pick a theme and have everyone bring a peppermint dessert or cookies that have red or green in them, or frosted cookies.
Also plan ahead and have plastic bags or treat boxes to package their cookies in. You can find them on Amazon, this box should work for several dozen cookies.
What should you serve at a cookie swap
You don’t want to eat up all the beautiful cookies and not have enough to send home with your friends. So instead of eating cookies, try some simple appetizers and serve them with wine or a favorite holiday punch. Here are some favorite appetizers that you can make ahead and which are still scrumptious at room temperature if the party goes long.
If you want to make something more substantial, you could serve pulled pork or chicken sliders made in the slow cooker, or a big pot of chili and cornbread, all of these can be made in advance and won’t take you away from your guests.
For inspiration, whether you’re hosting or bringing cookies to a cookie swap, here are some of my favorites along with some from some fabulous bloggers that I know you’ll love. You’ll find some classics along with some twists.
Christmas Sprinkle Cookies
Christmas Sprinkle Cookies combine the BEST sprinkle cookie recipe ever with some holiday decorations. Fun and EASY to decorate but even more fun to eat!
Peanut Butter Kiss Cookies
Tender, perfect Peanut Butter Kiss Cookies (from Pip and Ebby) are a classic holiday or any-time dessert. Super easy to make, these are the softest, chewiest cookies you’ll make! The Hershey’s Kiss pressed into the center MAKES the cookie!
Peppermint Fudge is just what you need during the holiday season. It’s so quick and easy to make and everyone loves the creamy texture of Christmas fudge. A perfect gift for someone special.
Cranberry White Chocolate Shortbread Cookies
These easy six-ingredient Cranberry White Chocolate Shortbread Cookies (from Cup of Zest) are a fantastic holiday treat perfect for a cookie swap party!
Chocolate Peppermint Cookies
Rich chocolate cookies filled with white chocolate peppermint bark are a decadent holiday treat. Brownie like cookies with a hint of peppermint that are great for cookie exchanges and holiday parties.
Peanut Butter Snowballs
Peanut Butter Snowballs (from Emily Enchanted) are a peanut butter truffle with flavors of honey and vanilla. These no bake peanut butter balls make a delicious Christmas treat that you can pop in your mouth.
Frosted Eggnog Cookies are a soft, cake-like, holiday cookie for all eggnog lovers. With a buttery eggnog frosting it’s soon to be your new favorite holiday cookie.
I’m not sure why, but ever since I was a child Cornflake Wreaths (from Savory Experiments) trigger the ultimate of Christmas feelings.
White chocolate peppermint blondies taste just like Christmas. With a bit of crushed candy canes in the blondie and more in the frosting, it’s the perfect amount of peppermint.
Lemon Curd Cookies
Technically not a drop cookie, these lemon curd cookies (from Josie + Nina) are a tart bite of buttery flakiness. If you’re a shortbread lover, you’ll be smitten because the dough has only 3 ingredients! Perfect for an afternoon tea—lemon thumbprint cookies are a holiday cookie tray must.
Whole Wheat Spritz Cookies
Whole Wheat Spritz cookies (from A Red Spatula) are such a healthier twist on the classic Christmas cookie! They are fairly simple to make and the only special tool needed is the cookie press. Don’t be intimidated by this recipe, it is actually pretty simple! Don’t hold spritz cookies to only being a Christmas cookie, I think they can easily be a cookie enjoyed year-round.
M&M’s Christmas Bark
M&M’s Christmas Bark (from Fox Valley Foodie) is quick and easy chocolate holiday treat loaded with white chocolate, pretzels, and plenty of M&M’s!
Stained Glass Sugar Cookies
A fun and unique Christmas cookie recipe, these Stained Glass Sugar Cookies (from Sugar Spice and Glitter) are super easy to make with the kids. You can make the windows all one color or add a mix of different candies to make marbled stained glass cookies!
No Bake Chocolate Oatmeal Peanut Butter Cookies
These No Bake Chocolate Oatmeal Peanut Butter Cookies (from Hot Pan Kitchen) are the best for when you want a gluten free treat but don’t have a lot of time. Made with cocoa powder, maple syrup, and old fashioned oats, they might even be considered healthy. This is a classic cookie recipe that kids absolutely love!
Pistachio Cranberry Cookies
These Pistachio Cranberry cookies (from Intentional Hospitality) have a soft and chewy dough with a hint of almond and vanilla. Crunchy bits of pistachios and pistachio pudding mix flavor the dough. Butter and dried cranberries add sweetness to each bite of the cookie.
FAQs and tips
Resealable plastic bags work the best to keep the flavors of the cookies separated. However, you can find cute holiday themed boxes at Amazon.
Check with your friends beforehand to make sure there are no duplicates. Most people have more than one favorite cookie recipe.
6-8 is a great number because everyone will only need to make 6-8 dozen cookies. If you have more, send your guests home with ½ dozen cookies instead of a dozen of each type.