Monday, December 2, 2013

Cookie Exchange: Tips and Tricks (Recipe and GIVEAWAY!)

cookie exchange
2012 cookie exchange invitation
I'm about to host my fifth cookie exchange, so I thought I would share with you a few
tips and tricks that I've learned through my experiences over the past several years.
Plus, be sure to read to the end, because I have an EPIC and AMAZING giveaway that you
will want to win for this upcoming holiday season!
Three amazing prizes, three lucky winners, come on! Be sure you enter!

1. Have rules!
I know that rules aren't any fun and everyone thinks it will be better if you don't have rules
and you can do whatever you want to do, but it's really not true.
If you've decided it's a homemade cookie exchange and someone brings chocolates they
bought from CVS, that's really not cool, right?
You spent hours slaving away to make your 12 dozen cookies and someone else just
picks up a box of chocolates and calls it good - nope not cool.
So, have rules, whatever they may be and stick with them.

2. It's ok to tweak and change from year to year.
I've changed the awards, how many people I invite, how the exchange is done, and
several other things over the years as I've figured out what I liked and didn't like.
For instance, I used to have everyone bring all their cookies loose and then we'd go around
and pick up our half dozen from everyone.
However, as I added guests each year, it got to be unruly trying to manage all the loose cookies.
So now the guests package their cookies by the half dozen (one per guest in attendance)
and then leave one dozen loose for taste testing so we can vote.
It has made transporting cookies to and from the party so much easier!

3. Take lots and lots of pictures.
I've done better with this some years than in others, and the years I took more pictures
I was so excited to have great options to share and remember the evening.

4. Serve savory food, skip the sweets, and remind guests to come hungry.
Your guests will be tasting lots of cookies that evening, so there's no need to make
your Grandma's famous apple strudel for the festivities. Stick to savory foods
and keep it simple, because everyone will get pretty full just taste testing the cookies.

5. Make label cards for the cookies.
I have the guests name their cookies in advance and I make place cards for each cookie.
The first year I did this last minute when everyone was trying to remember the name of the
cookie the tasted when they were ready to vote.
This way it's easy to write down the name of your favorite cookie when it's voting time.
6. Have prizes!
It's always more motivating to do something if you know you might win something for your efforts.
So, if you're going to take the time to vote, then award the winners with something fun.
At my cookie exchanges, the coveted prize with the handmade apron I make each year,
which only goes to the person that wins in the Fan Favorite category.

ruffle apron

7. Choose your cookie recipe carefully!
I've made frosted cookies, sandwich cookies, drop cookies and rolled cookies
over the past 5 years and what I learned from all those dozens of cookies is to choose
your recipe SOOOOO carefully!!!! The year I made frosted cookies I thought I was going to die
frosting 13 dozen cookies. The year I made alfajores I thought I would die making double
the cookies, so 25 dozen, to make the sandwiches. The year I made rolled cookies
I thought I would rolling out and cooking cutting14 dozen cookies. 
So, keep it simple. Choose a great drop cookie that's easy to prepare and keeps well.
These will not be served warm or be refrigerated, so keep the in mind too.
Choose carefully!
My 2012 cookie recipe - Cranberry Coconut Citrus Christmas Cookies. So yummy!

8. Give a little gift to your guests.
I started this tradition in 2011 and I loved it so much, I kept it going.
I decided to do a little ornament that would remind them about the theme for that year's
cookie exchange. So in 2011, when the theme was "Cookies for Santa", I made cute
Santa Belly ornaments. It's so much fun!

I hope these tips help you host your own successful cookie exchanges.
I'm in the midst of planning my 2013 party and it's so fun!

Now, time for the EPIC GIVEAWAY I promised you!
I've teamed up with a rad group of bloggers to bring you a rad giveaway
that will have THREE LUCKY WINNERS!

You could win:
  • 5 quart Artisan Series KitchenAid stand mixer (winner's choice of color)
  • Keurig K65 Special Edition Brewing System
  • Kindle Paperwhite Touch Screen E-Reader
Enter below via Rafflecopter, and be sure to read the rules that apply to the giveaway at
the very bottom of the post.
Good luck!

The “Comforts of Home" giveaway begins Monday Dec 2 and ends at 12:00 AM on Monday, December 9, 2013.
Giveaway is open to U.S. residents only. Void where prohibited.
All entries are optional with the exception of leaving a blog comment. We will never sell, distribute, or spam your email.
Three winners will be chosen by Rafflecopter (powered by The first person chosen will choose between a KitchenAid Artisan Stand Mixer, Keurig K65 Brewing System, or Kindle Paperwhite. The second person chosen will chose between the two remaining prizes. The third person chosen will receive the remaining prize. 
This is a non-sponsored post. Prizes were purchased by a group of participating bloggers. KitchenAid, Keurig, and Kindle are not affiliated with this giveaway.
This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook. You understand that you are providing your information to the owner of this Facebook page and not to Facebook.
This promotion is powered by Rafflecopter. Metric Feat LLC (“Rafflecopter”) does not sponsor, administer, or endorse this promotion. Participants must read and agree to Rafflecopter’s Privacy Policy before entering and participating in this promotion.


Anonymous said...

I'd most like to see the stand mixer under my tree.

April @ PolkaDots n' PinkySwears said...

That stand mixer!! :)
I'm still using the old-fashioned hand beaters for everything!! LOL

awroblewski said...

I would really like to see the kitchen aid mixer under my tree this year.

awroblewski said...

I would really love to see the Kitchen aid stand mixer under my christmas tree this year.

Mika said...

I don't celebrate Christmas, but I'd LOVE to win a mixer!!!

Melanie said...

I want a new sewing machine!!

Unknown said...

I would love extra time to do everything this holiday season! :)

Jenalyn and Mike said...

Some new shoes!

GranChris said...

I want to join your cookie exchange. It looks like fun!

GranChris said...

I want to see a Bloc Loc ruler.

Kim Turner said...

I would love to see a Keurig Brewing system under my tree

Anonymous said...

I would definitely love to see the Kindle under my tree this year :-)

MoniqueB said...


Unknown said...

Very creative the label cards! Thanks for the yummy recipe & a chance for the giveaway!

Unknown said...

Very creative the label cards. Thank you for the yummy recipe and a chance for a giveaway!

BubbaandM said...

Cookie exchanges are so fun! Thanks for the tips.

Jessica said...

the kitchenaid mixer!

jessicarwarfield at gmail dot com

The Galloway Clan said...

A new MacBook Pro. I know it ain't happening, but a girl can dream, right??

Jessica said...

LOVE cookie exchanges! Can't wait to try your recipe - sounds yummy!!

Kathy E. said...

What a great contest! The one thing I'd most like to see under my tree (sorta) is to have both of my children find their one true love! Cheesy, I know, but they both deserve someone very special in their lives.

Larissa said...

The KitchenAid would be amazing!

Unknown said...

Mmm how I would love to find a new DSLR under my tree. :) Great post by the way with lots of great information. Definitely pinning it in case I need it.

Unknown said...

A tilt head stand mixer!

Unknown said...

A Tilt head stand mixer would be nice under the tree this year!

Unknown said...

A tilt head stand mixer would be nice to have under the tree!

Kikal said...

I think I entered! I'd most like to win the kindle or a new mixer, mine hops all over the counter when I mix :)

Kikal said...

I think I entered! I would most like the kindle for homeschool or the mixer, mine hops all over the counter when I use it now!

Mary said...

I'd love to see a kindle under my tree.

Vivian said...

I always enjoy your cookie party. I love the different varieties everyone brings and I'm always surprised by the cookies I do like.

Unknown said...

I would love to see a Kindle for sure. (I don't see my previous comment so if it is registered, I apologize!)

Unknown said...

I would love to be the lucky winner of a new kitchen aid mixer!

Unknown said...

I love the cookie ideas. Why no bars allowed? Are they too messy? Also the stand mixer would be so nice to see under my tree. ;)


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