Every year, I host a Cookie Exchange in December. We’ve finally found our perfect spot on the calendar – the Eve of Christmas Eve. This way, when everyone goes home with dozens of cookies, they have plenty for their own family’s Christmas. Our crowd morphs and changes each year – often with people who have never participated in a Cookie Exchange before. This was our first year to have multiple generations baking. Mothers and daughters baking away! Alyssa and Katie made some delicious (and easy) Faux Thin Mints and my friend’s daughter who loves experimenting in the kitchen brought some fantastic lemon cookies. YUM!
We decided to have a friendly competition this year. We had ballots with categories for “Best Tasting” and “Prettiest Cookie.” Katie was so helpful at creating little tags for each person’s “tasting plate.” We broke some of the larger cookies up into pieces so no one had to finish off 12 cookies in one sitting! Everyone tasted and cast their votes. Katie and Alyssa tallied the votes and then made the big presentation. We had “Fresh Baked Cookies” scented candles to give as prizes and smaller ones as party favors. I loved that part!
Coral won with her Lemon Bars, squeaking past a couple of other delicious options. My White Chocolate Cherry Cookies won prettiest.
My other big lesson for this year was to not worry about a “headcount” and not ask anyone to pre-package with a certain number of cookies. Everyone brought platters or containers that we laid open on the dining room table. We just went around the table taking a few at a time until the platters were empty. Perfect!