Tuesday, November 18, 2014

It's that time of year.. Getting ready for the Cookie Exchange!

What is a cookie exchange you may ask? It's a party! Yep, an excuse to get together with friends and family and what better way than to celebrate the almighty cookie.  There is a catch to a cookie exchange. The cookies must be baked from scratch. No cheating by heading out to the local bakery.

So what better way to find that perfect cookie recipe by coming to the library and browsing our cookbook section for that perfect cookie.

How does a cookie exchange work? Here are a few simple steps.

1. Create your guest list. Choose a group of 10-20 friends & family. Lots of people will mean lots of cookies to sample and take home for the holidays.

2. Choose a  Date for the Party.  Make sure you get your invites out a month a head of time. Everyone's calendars fill up quickly over the holidays. Some people find it easier to party on a non-weekend day. Decide what works best for you and your guests.   


3. Create the Invitations. Let everyone  know how many cookies they need to make. Each guest will need to bring one (1) dozen cookies to eat at the cookie exchange  and another one (1) dozen cookies for each person attending to take home. For example, if eight (8) people will be attending, each person will need to bring 9 dozen cookies from the same recipe.

4. How to avoid everyone baking the same cookie. On the invitation ask your guests to RSVP and tell you about the cookies they will bring. Make sure each guest brings copies of their recipe to pass around. Since many people have food allergies, it's important they know the ingredients in the cookies at your party.

5. Remind guests to bring a large container. How else are you going to bring home all those fabulous cookies. Being the host, I recommend to have extra containers etc. because there is always someone who forgets their container on the kitchen table.


6. Cookies to be exchanged should be well wrapped. They should be placed either on plastic plates with plastic wrap or in disposable containers that are airtight. This prevents the special cargo from becoming stale. They need to last during the Christmas season.


7. Don't forget this is a party. At the cookie exchange party serve milk with those cookies or hot chocolate, coffee, heck even wine. Have a great time and don't stress. It's the holidays.


It is easy to say, no stress when it comes to cookie exchanges, but, I have heard of people being traumatized by them.  Like, oh no I have been invited and now I have to show off my non existent baking skills. How can I compete with Sally, she is a professional baker. Can I fudged it and buy some cookies that look homemade? Then the downward cycle continues. The hunt for the perfect recipe. The trial and error of baking the perfect cookie. You become consumed by the cookie; it takes on a life all  of its own.  By the time the party has arrived you have seen so many cookies... you want to eat them all. Well because they are cookies and who cares if your cookies  aren't perfect anyway; Sally is the professional baker. They make up for your own tasty creations. You tried and that is all that counts. Now you have a lovey assortment of cookies to share with everyone. Happy Baking.


If you are looking for some inspiration try some of theses books.



Christmas cookies  edited by Jennifer Dorland Darling

Baker's Field Guide to Christmas Cookies by Dede Wilson     

FamilyFun's Cookies for Christmas: 50 recipes for You and Your Kids by Deanna F. Cook     

Christmas Cookies!: A Holiday Cookbook by Susan Devins                               

                                     Do you like cozy mysteries?

How about reading one of these suggestions, while you are waiting for your cookies to bake.

You can even try one of the recipes that are featured in the books.

The Christmas Cookie Killer: A Fresh- Baked Mystery  by Livia J. Washburn

Sugar Cookie Murder by Joanne Fluke

Happy baking everyone!

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