Start a new money-saving tradition that brings friends (and recipes) together
'Tis the season to enjoy cherished family traditions, like baking (and eating!) batches of cookies. But the cost of baking supplies can add up. This year, gather friends together and hold a festive cookie swap. You'll save money and time, plus take home some delicious holiday treats. A cookie swap is simple to plan. Follow these tips:
Pick a multi-use recipe. Chocolate, lemon, spice, or sugar—with our basic Christmas Cookie recipe, all you need to do is add just a touch of a special ingredient to create a variety of Christmas cookies. See our foolproof recipe.
Set a limit. Ask guests to bring 1 dozen cookies. If you invite six guests, you'll have more than enough to serve at the party and take home. Ask the guests to tell you what they plan to bring so you won't have duplications.
Check for allergies. Make sure guests aren't allergic to certain ingredients.
Use cherished classics. Don't feel limited by the holiday theme. Bake up a family favorite, such as your grandmother's famous oatmeal cookies.
Gather recipes. Ask guests to either email copies of the recipe. You can create an online cookbook or, if you're crafty, a keepsake recipe book.
Make it fun. Turn the party into a girl's night out. Serve mulled wine and cheese in addition to your delicious baked goods.
Involve the kids. Children can mix, roll dough, cut out cookies and of course decorate with abandon! (Be sure to lay in a big supply of sprinkles.)
Make ahead. To save even more time, whip up the dough and freeze in advance.
Send guests home with a selection of cookies. Try these creative packaging ideas:
- Place cookies into small silver or clear tins, and glue a strip of modern wrapping paper around the middle.
- Use colorful Chinese food boxes (purchase at a craft store), filled with festive colored tissue.
- Put cookies in a colorful mug, wrap in a plastic bag and adorn with colorful ribbon or a few snowflake stickers.
- Line a small basket with a festive dishcloth, and fill with cookies.