Christmas is my favorite time to bake. It brings back all kinds of childhood memories for me of baking with my mother and sisters. I love making old family recipes and I love to add new cookies to the mix. Every year I make a list of the cookies I want to bake. There are so many treats to bake it’s hard to decide what to choose. Plus, who has time to bake all those cookies! Simplify your holiday baking by hosting a low-key, simple cookie swap. It’s a great way to celebrate the holiday with some of your closest friends while reaping the benefits of getting lots of cookies that you didn’t have to bake!
Here are a few ideas for doing a swap:
Decide the date and time. Will this be an event for moms only? Will it be a nighttime event with alcohol or a daytime event with kids?
Send out invitations. Make it simple by sending out the invitation via social media or Evite. Keep it small by only inviting between 10 and 12 of your friends who like to bake. It helps to invite people who like to bake as the hope is that the cookies are all baked from scratch.
Ask your guests to RSVP; if they are coming, they need to let you know what kind of cookie they are making so you don’t have any doubles. Ask each guest to bring a printed copy of their recipe along with at least 6 dozen of each cookie.
Go to your local craft store to buy small bakery boxes or cellophane bags for the cookies to be put in. Buy enough for each guest multiplied by the number of cookies being brought.
On the day of the event, cover a large table with a tablecloth. Put out enough platters for the number of guests/cookies you have. Put a name card in front of each platter with the name of the cookie and the bakers name. When the guests arrive, put the cookies on the platters along with the printed recipes. Figure out how many of each cookie your guests can take and put the rest on a platter for everyone to taste.
If kids are coming, set up a small table with some un-iced cookies, sprinkles and plastic knives for them to get all sugared up. It’s only fair that the kids should gain a few pounds as well!
If you’re concerned about all the sugar consumption, have some cut up veggies or a plate with cheese and crackers to take away some of your worries for the cookies you will be indulging in later. Don’t forget to spike the eggnog. Eat guilt-free – you can always diet in January!