December is definitely cookie month, and one great way to get a variety of cookies with minimal work is by hosting a cookie swap! I recently threw a cookie swap party for a bunch of my girlfriends and I think it’s safe to say it was a success. With a little planning, you can throw an incredible party, too.
Tip #1: Set Up Festive Platters & Place Cards
Set the scene for the focal point of the party – the cookies! I designated a table for everyone’s sweet treats and filled it with a variety of cake stands, plates, and platters. As guests walked in, it was easy to take their cookies out of their hands and
run off with them set them on the table. I also had some cute place cards handy (Target dollar section, how I love thee) so that it was easy for everyone to identify each cookie.
Tip #2: Serve Hot Cocoa and Snacks
It was perfect timing that Chicago’s first snowfall of season happened on the night of my party! A chilly evening during the holiday season calls for some hot cocoa. I made a spiked hot cocoa on the stove and poured it into a cute hot drink dispenser. I heated 4 cups of milk with 1 cup of Dark Cocoa Candy Melts Candy until melted. Then I added 1 cup of Rumchata cream liqueur 1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon. Delish! I think one of the biggest hits of the party were these cute marshmallow snowmen and peppermint sticks. To avoid a total sugar rush, I also had some appetizers on hand and asked everyone to bring a dish to share so that we had some savory snacks to much on.
Tip #3: Deck the Halls
Every party needs decorations! I made this decorative garland out of baking cups. It’s so easy to make and caught a lot of attention – I’ll be making baking cup garlands for every occasion now! Find the how-to and other unique ideas for baking cups here.
Tip #4: Have Hands-On Fun
None of my friends have worked with royal icing before and I wanted to show them some different cookie decorating ideas. I chose two projects: knitted mitten cookies and patterned snowflake cookies. I made sure to have my cookies baked beforehand and also had all of my royal icing mixed and colored. I provided decorating bags and tips for everyone and showed them how to properly fill a decorating bag. We started with the knitted mitten cookies, as I thought those might be a little easier.
I thought everyone did a great job for their first time decorating with royal icing! The most important thing, as my friend Cheryl here shows, is to just have fun with it.
After the mitten cookies, we moved on to snowflake cookies. My friends seemed to enjoy these a lot more as they are more abstract in design. It was funny to hear the room fall completely silent as everyone was concentrating hard on outlining and filling their cookies. Don’t forget to breathe when cookie decorating!
It was fun seeing how every cookie turned out different.
Cookies decorated with royal icing have to dry for at least 8 hours – overnight is best – so I gave everyone some gifting boxes with sliding trays and carrying handles to take their cookies home with them.
Tip #5: Give Cute Cookie Boxes
After all that decorating, it was time to swap cookies, pack up, and head home! I had a variety of cookie boxes on hand for everyone and we all got to swappin’.
Cookie swap parties are a great way to get together with friends, have some fun, and try some new cookie recipes! What’s your favorite cookie recipe? Share with me in the comments below!