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Cookie exchanges are the latest old-is-new-again trend capturing hearts and crumbs across the country, and it’s little wonder. Coming together to swap home-baked goods with friends captures the sharing spirit of the season, and it does it with COOKIES. For the work you put into baking one mega-batch, you’ll be rewarded with a variety of treats to gift or gobble as you please.

New to the concept? We spoke to some of our favourite bloggers and bakers to get the low-down on this ultra-sweet cookie ho-ho-hootenanny.

“Reach out to a group of friends or family members who enjoy baking,” suggests Sweet Potato Chronicles’ Ceri Marsh. “Let them know you’ll need to hear back from them in advance of the exchange as to what they’ll be bringing. That way you won’t end up with duplication in the cookie selection.” Next, she says, decide how many cookies each baker should bring. Dear Lauren, Love Mom blogger Sandra Simmons suggests tacking an extra dozen onto each baker’s contribution and donating the extras to a local nursing home or Meals on Wheels (just check your chosen charity’s food donation policies first).

When the day of the great swap arrives, Marsh advises clearing a wide space on your counter or table so everyone can display their goods. “You can either supply nice boxes or tins or ask that everyone bring along their own,” she says. “Have the coffee brewed–or the wine corked!–when your friends arrive.”

For tips on hosting a cookie exchange with kids, see Kleinworth & Co.’s comprehensive guide. Want to bake in stages, or save your goodies for later? Nellie Bellie’s cookie freezing primer will set you right.

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