On December 4th, I hosted my first annual cookie exchange. I love baking (as you can probably tell) and hosting parties. This year has been one for the record books for our family and I wanted to get all my friends together to personally thank them for all of their love and support this year. I figured this was the perfect way to do it. I had about 14 friends at the exchange and my moms (mine and my best friends). I sent out an evite about a month before the event and spent the rest of the time planning away. Since this was my first one, I did lots of research (and called my mom) to figure out how these things work. I asked all of the guests to bring 4 dozen cookies. One dozen was on a plate to share and then the three dozen were packaged in groups of 6 to swap. This worked out perfectly for the group. We all ended up with more cookies than we knew what to do with.
I set up my dining room as the tasting room. I bought chargers to put all of the cookies on and set a few sweets around the table. I used our bar for drinks (sangria, flavored water, wine and shirley temples- for the pregnant friends). As everyone arrived, they placed their cookies on the table. Then they brought the swap packages to the TV room, where I had a card table set up for the packages. In the hallway, I had another table with a few snacks and appetizers. I didn't want to serve anything to heavy because of all of the sweets we were about to consume. I served brie bites, chips and salsa, cheese and crackers, veggies and dip and an apple pie dip-that is always a favorite.
After eating for a bit, I called all the girls into the dining room to start the tasting. We numbered all of the cookies. Then, I gave everyone a ballot to vote for the best tasting, most unique, most attractive and best packaging. Everyone walked around the table and tasted while thinking about their favorites. After that was done, my mom tallied all of the votes. We gathered in the living room to hear the results and I passed out little gifts to the winners. I also got all of the girls reusable christmas tote bags to put all of their cookies in. I also had all of the girls email me their cookie recipes. I created a recipe book that I placed in their bags to take home. I've already used the recipe book to make two of the cookies!
Then the swap began....Everyone picked numbers. As their number was called, they went to the table and picked the cookie they wanted. Simple as that. We didn't stop until all of the cookies were gone. I had such a great time. I know a few friends are already planning their packaging and cookies for next year. I can't wait for my 2nd annual cookie exchange!