Tips & Tricks: Cookie Exchange!

Categories: Oxi Fresh - Just for Fun

We all love cookies, but we don’t have the time to sit down and bake a dozen
different kinds. If we want some variety in our cookie jars, most of us have to go to the
store. That is unless you host a Cookie Exchange!

Don’t know what that is? Let’s find out from our own expert, Crystal McClain.

Q: So, what is a Cookie Exchange?
A: It’s basically an excuse to get together with all of your closest friends and family – and
get a bunch of great cookies at the same time! Each guest will bake one type of cookie and
bring enough to the party for everyone to take some home. If ten people are coming to the
party, that means everyone will leave with ten different kinds of cookies.

Q: How many cookies should I bring for each guest? Should I bring some cookies to sample?
A: I always recommend bringing three cookies for each person. If you’re making a non-
cookie dessert, like lemon bars, just use your best judgment. Since I always
provide light snacks and dessert for my guests, we don’t eat any sample cookies
during the party. If you did want samples, I’d still say bake three cookies
per person and just bring a few extra. Maybe four to six extra cookies in total.

Q: What kind of cookies are best for an exchange?
A: They definitely should be homemade, preferably something you’ve baked in the
past. Nothing is worse than trying a recipe for the first time and ending up with a few
dozen bad cookies. If there’s a cookie you’re known for or that you consider your
specialty, that’s a great choice. If not, just make something that sounds good to you.

Q: Are there any types of cookies or ingredients I should avoid?
A: That’s a tough one. With so many different kinds of allergies, it’s hard to say
what to avoid. Rather than skipping any particular ingredient, just be sure to note if
your cookie contains anything that people may be allergic to (milk, nuts, eggs, etc.).
If, however, you know one of your guests has a severe allergy, like peanuts, be sure
to tell your other guests not to cook with that ingredient.

Q: If I wanted to host an Exchange, how should I prepare?
A: Send your invites as soon as possible, because people’s schedules fill up quickly
around the holidays. Let your guests know about a week in advance how many people will
be attending (so they know how many cookies to make). Plan on serving drinks and
snacks and consider having an activity. We always play a version of Family Feud, and
my guests LOVE it – it’s so much fun! It’s also a good idea to have lots of extra baggies
in case people don’t pre-package their cookies.

Q: What sort of snacks or drinks should I provide?
A: A casual menu might include sandwiches, chips, dip, soda, etc. A fancier menu
might include shrimp cocktails, bacon wrapped scallops, mini quiches, mimosas, etc. My
menu last year included spaghetti, pigs-in-the-blanket, spinach dip, sandwiches, biscuits
with butter and jelly, sparkling lemonade, hot tea and coffee. I went a little overboard,
and you definitely don’t have to serve all of that – just do what you like and what
you’re comfortable with.

Q: Any other tips?
A: Just try to make your cookie exchange as fun as you can. Your guests worked hard
to bake and package their cookies, and you want to make them feel like it was worth
it. If you keep it fun, they’ll return year after year.

Q: Thanks so much for your time!
A: My pleasure. Merry Christmas!