Thursday, December 16, 2010

Cookie Swap ~ Are you ready for some cookies?!

Ok, well I am way behind on the Christmas season as far as blogging goes since I just started this, but let me tell you earmark this for next year or ring in the new year with a Cookie Swap as an afterthought because it is a great excuse to :

1) Get together with friends
2) bake
3) eat lots of different cookies
4) share recipes

Who doesn't like these 4 things? (Ok, well I must admit that #2 can be a deal breaker for some of my friends, um I mean acquaintances, no really, friends) Seriously, my first call for an invite was to a dear friend of mine who I knew was kind of if-y about the whole cookie swap thing but I thought what the heck it is the holiday season, maybe that will get her to cooking, because she is a fabulous cook when she does it and the response I got was "Do you know who you are talking to? Um! No, I do not bake" (I do not bake here or there I do not bake anywhere, sorry I had to do that!!)

So, what exactly is a cookie swap?  

Well, there are believe it or not web pages out there with rules, regulations, and guidelines for a cookie swap but basically it is:

A bunch of fun loving people who like to bake and share recipes get together, chow down on cookies then take lots of cookies home to hopefully share.

In all seriousness (as serious as one can be about cookies), if the thoughts of hosting a get together where everyone bakes a different cookie to share with one other so that everyone goes home with an assortment of cookies and you get new recipes sounds like your kind of fun then here are some guideline and tips for it to be successful (My list is short because to me the main thing is to just have fun and enjoy and it will be fun!):

1) confirm your group before you ever send out invites
     *Loco Cocoa tip: I suggest this because you need to let everyone know how much to bake in the invites and that is  determined on the number of people coming!

2) think about the number of total people coming because in general you will be baking at least 1/2 dozen cookies per person coming so, if there are 8 people doing the cookie swap then that is at least 4 dozen cookies plus an extra dozen to share at the party. (because the whole idea behind the cookie swap is to share recipes so each person will bring copies of the recipe for everyone plus bake enough cookies for each participant to take home either 1/2 dozen or dozen of the cookie they brought!)
   *Loco Cocoa tip:  I suggest a 1/2 dozen vs. the more traditional dozen per person just because come on people, really, think about it you have to do something with all those cookies once you are done with the party, and while I like to eat and eat, and eat some more, and will even share, that is just way too many cookies for one cookie!!! If you want to be ambitious and ALL of your willing participants are ambitious as well, go for the dozen per person or if you have a smaller group! If you want to donate a large portion of the cookies to a local shelter to brighten up someone else's day do 1 dozen per person and share!

3) no NO bakes!!!!  I stuck to this guideline, not to sound like a scrooge, but come on, if you have slaved in the kitchen, over a stove, baby'ing, timing, putting in the oven, taking out of the oven, cooling, and on, and on... then do you really want to see someone show up with the "Oh, it is so simple just stir and plop done!" or do you really want to be that person who says, "Oh, it is so simple just stir and plop done!" and then receive the glares,

4) time for invites once you have:
a) confirmed group (please note inevitably one or two will cancel, even if you notify a month or two ahead because it is the holiday season and well, that just happens anyways)
      b) determined set number of 1/2 dozen or dozen per each person attending plus your extra to share at the party
      c) let everyone know the where and what Loco Cocoa tip: I would do this at least a month ahead because the holiday season is so busy

So, those are my guidelines, just enjoy! Only other Loco Cocoa tip for the hostess of a cookie swap is to know what everyone is making beforehand because that will keep you from having duplicates, I mean come on chocolate chip cookies are almost everyone's favorite and you don't want to have a chocolate chip party or you would have just called it a Chocolate Chip swap!

If you want to be the hostess with the mostess I suggest you get the actual recipes and instead of having everyone bring copies of the recipe for everyone you can put together a booklet of all the recipes for everyone.

see exhibit A

Want to see what 550 plus cookies looks like, well take a look see at these babies:

And these:
Snowflake Sugar Cookies

So, there it is!! Now you are ready to host your own Cookie Swap!!! I really wish I had more lovely pics of all the lovely and delish cookies the ladies brought to my cookie swap but I am still new at this blogging stuff and I just get caught up in the moment of the baking, the cookies, friends, cookies,chitter chatter, and cookies, you get the point!!! We had an array of delish Chocolate Blossoms with confectioners sugar, Chewy Chocolate Brownie Cookies, Pecan Puffs, Apple Drops, the traditional Chocolate Chip cookie, Pecan Ritz Crackers, Chocolate Mint Cookies drizzled in white chocolate, Brown Sugar cookies, and more, mmmm...
So, go for it, host your own cookie swap!!! Don't let the non bakers scare you away even if your first reply is "Um! No! I do not bake!".

Please share if you have had a cookie swap or want to just share a fabulous cookie recipe!!! 


  1. I have tried doing the cookie swap. But would take 6 dozen cookies and only get to bring 6 cookies home. They all took mine and ran.
    So now I just make a pan of fudge and give it as gift.

  2. Glona,
    OH, my how disappointing!!! But hey I would take a pan of fudge any day, I must confess making fudge is one of those things I am still "working on". I usually end making a yellow cake when I try to make fudge because mine turns out like a syrup. So, there you go that is my kitchen faux pas! I do not own a candy thermometer as of yet, but most people that I personally know that make fudge do not use one, how do you people do that!!! I just am not a good judge at the whole water ball thing!!! You may have to share your tips Glona!!!