It's that time of year! One of my favorite traditions each year is the holiday cookie exchange. Things are still a little different this year, but there are still ways to have a fun holiday cookie swap and keep everyone safe! I've put together some tips for hosting your own holiday cookie exchange, from swapping cookies to cleaning up your baking messes.
Cookie exchanges are a genius way to just bake one kind of cookie (ideally your favorite kind), swap them with friends and end up with an assortment of cookies to enjoy through the holidays. They're also a low key party which means you don't need to do a lot of prep or holiday clean-up. You'll thank yourself later for keeping things simple. Especially because you know you can count on Neato Robotics to help you with your party prep. Thanks to Neato Robotics for sponsoring this post, which contains affiliate links.
Here are some simple planning tips on How To Host A Holiday Cookie Exchange
Pre-Holiday Cookie Exchange Planning
Pick a date
Since cookies are generally meant to be enjoyed during the week of Christmas, the week before is the best time to host a cookie swap. Choosing a weeknight may make it easier for your friends to attend and not compete with weekend holiday parties. Cookie exchanges generally last about two hours. Try to send out your invites at least three weeks in advance.
Make the guest list
Determine who you want to invite: If you haven't been social for awhile, it might be tempting to invite everyone you know. Don't! Not only will you stress out about cleaning your house for the party, but cookie exchanges work best in small groups. Not only does it limit the amount of cookies and help avoid repeats but it also keeps the germs to a minimum too!
Set the cookie exchange rules
Explain in your invitation the rules for your cookie exchange. Each guest should be responsible for bringing a certain type of cookie to the swap. You can ask guest to make brownies, bars or even scones. The idea is to avoid duplicate cookies.
Be sure to let everyone know about any dietary restrictions like nuts. Making a dozen of the SAME cookie for each guest is a great way to give everyone a nice variety
While traditional cookie exchanges may have guest displaying their cookies on platters, ask guests to bring their cookies in gift-able containers to allow for an easy and safe cookie swap! You can even make brownies in small batches in disposable pans, which are perfect for gifting.
The week before
Remind your guests
About a week before the party, touch base with your guests and make sure they understand the rules on making the cookie exchange safer and how everything works. Festive cookies that are easy to freeze and transport are perfect.
Buy your food
Buy your party food and drinks, cookie making supplies, containers and party favors for your guests.
Take safety precautions
Take precautions while preparing your home for your cookie exchange party, as well as baking and packaging your holiday cookies.
Make sure to keep start with a clean kitchen - from countertops to floors. A Neato Robotics intelligent robot vacuum can take away the stress of cleaning up spilled flour and sugar while you tackle the countertops.
While you don't need to wear a mask while baking your cookies, it's important to keep your hands clean, so even if you stop to take a picture of cookies before they go in the oven, or use your phone to summon your robot vacuum to clean mess on floor, always rewash your hands.
It’s Party Day!
Decorate your party area with Christmas decorations.
While you’re putting the finishing touches on your holiday décor, let your NEW Neato D9 robot vacuum do the work of getting your floors clean. This robot vacuum gives you the help you need, before, during and after the party, all on a single charge. Plus the generous dirt bin means you aren’t having to empty it mid clean and getting your hands gross. No fun at all! It works on any surface—hardwood, carpet or tile which makes it quite the versatile robot vacuum!
Set up a cookie swap spot
Have a designated area where your guests can place their containers of cookies. Make sure they are well labeled so guests know to take one container from each guest. Have festive bags for each guest to package their cookie containers in.
Food and drinks
Have single serve drinks for guests and foods that are easy for the guest to serve themselves. Think finger sandwiches or proportioned appetizers vs veggies with dip/.
Don't forget to Play some festive Christmas music to set the mood!
Time To Share Some Holiday Baking Love!
Sharing the recipes
It's nice if each guest provides their recipe with their cookies. They can either include them on a recipe card with their cookies at the swap, or ask for them ahead of time so they can be printed out and shared at the party or emailed to each guest afterwards.
Consider a party favor like a cookie cutter or Christmas ornament for each guest. The cookie crumbs will be long gone thanks to your robot vacuum, but the memories will remain with your gift.
Once the guests have gone home, send your robot vacuum on one final mission for the evening. You shouldn’t have to worry about cleaning your floors when you have cookies to enjoy!