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.
21 sweet recipes that will make you the star of your cookie exchange
White Chocolate-Bottomed Ginger CookieThere are ginger cookies, and then there are ginger cookies dipped in a base of sweet white chocolate. You decide which is better. GET THE RECIPEBless This Mess
Goat Cheese Sugar CookiesDon’t be afraid! You can’t taste the goat cheese in these sugar cookies, but it does make them irresistibly light and fluffy! GET THE RECIPE Spache the Spatula
Double Chocolate Ginger Crinkle CookiesThese flavourful cookies represent the beautiful intersection of easy and amazing. GET THE RECIPE Melanie Makes
3-Ingredient Nutella CookieHow could a cookie that only requires 3 ingredients (one of which is Nutella) be bad? It can't be. These gooey and chocolate-rich cookies only take 12 minutes to make! GET THE RECIPEThinkstock
3-ingredient Mock Butterfinger BarsNo mocking –they really do taste like Butterfingers, but with a festive sprinkle for extra cheer! GET THE RECIPE Let’s Dish Recipes
Super Stuffed Chocolate Chip CookiesOn the outside, these are just oversized chocolate chip cookies. Make sure everyone gets a peek of their cookie stuffed middles, and prepare for minds to be blown! GET THE RECIPE Spache the Spatula
Brown Butter Caramel SnickerdoodlesThere’s nothing like a cookie that oozes caramel for spreading love and joy. GET THE RECIPE Spache the Spatula
Italian Anisette CookiesThese traditional Italian cookies are a trifecta of holiday perfection: easy to make, gorgeous to behold and delicious to nibble. GET THE RECIPE A Family Feast
Cardamom CrescentsThese classy crescents are grownup enough to land in a fancy gift box, and sugary enough to warrant hiding them from your kids. GET THE RECIPEMaya Visnyei
Chewy Ginger Molasses CookiesSnappy ginger cookies are easy to buy, but rich, chewy ones like these are best when home baked. Bonus, this recipe is gluten-free and paleo-friendly. GET THE RECIPE Gourmande in the Kitchen
Chocolate Chip Cookie Cups with Panna Cotta MilkCookies and milk come together like the delicious shot they were intended to be. GET THE RECIPESpache the Spatula
Cranberry Orange CookiesClassic holiday flavours infuse these pretty glazed cookies. GET THE RECIPE Let’s Dish Recipes
Pecan Crème de MentheThere’s only so much crème de menthe one can drink. When you hit that point, turn it into cookies! GET THE RECIPE Roti ‘N Rice
Eggnog CookiesThe perfect use for leftover eggnog. Got leftover rum, too? Sip it while baking these. GET THE RECIPE Yankee Kitchen Ninja
Christmas Magic Cookie BarsTake your holiday Hello Dollies to the next level with these colourful cookie/square fusions. GET THE RECIPE Love From The Oven
Salted Cardamom Oatmeal CookiesThese are your favourite oatmeal cookies – they just got dressed up for the season. GET THE RECIPE Yankee Kitchen Ninja
Chocolate S’mores CookiesBring summer’s tastiest pastime into the Christmas season with these melted marshmallow beauties. GET THE RECIPE Spache the Spatula
Dark Chocolate Macaroon Thumbprint CookiesIf you’re the kind of baker who likes gourmet presentation with minimal preparation, meet your new favourite cookie. GET THE RECIPEGourmande in the Kitchen
No-Bake Chocolate Candy Cane Cheesecake CookiesCan’t be bothered to turn on the oven? No one will accuse you of laziness when you arrive with these festive delights. GET THE RECIPE From Brazil to You
Vanilla Bean MacaroonsIt’s up to you whether to divulge that these vanilla-flecked sweets are also vegan. GET THE RECIPE Spache the Spatula
Lavender Linzer CookiesThese classic Christmas cookies can be filled with whatever jam you have on hand, but they’ll taste extra fancy with lavender preserves. GET THE RECIPERoti ‘N Rice
Thai Basil Lime Shortbread CookiesTurn your classic shortbread cookie into a Southeast Asian adventure with an infusion of Thai basil and lime. GET THE RECIPEMuch Ado About Fooding