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Tasty Treats: Tips and Recipes for a Holiday Cookie Exchange

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'Tis totally the time of year for cookie exchanges. These fun little parties where, essentially, every guest brings a bunch of their favorite homemade cookies, and then exchanges cookies with everyone else so that every guest ends up with the same amount of cookies they brought, but in a variety, are a great chance for women to get together and chat over delicious holiday treats. These exchanges were a hot topic at a Mom It Forward Twitter Girls' Night Out party three weeks ago sponsored by Hershey's, because as one guest observed: "standing around...eating cookies..talking. Who could ask for more?"

Indeed, according to the party's top tweeters, cookie exchanges are a  popular way of sharing recipes and building or cementing friendships. Many, many fabulous tips were shared on the how-to's of hosting, tasteful or unique recipes, and where to find them. These are the top tips:

5 Tips for Hosting Cookie Exchanges

  1. Ask guests to RSVP and let you know what cookies they'll be bringing, then convey to everyone just before the party how many guests will be coming and how many cookies per guest each person needs to bring. If two or more guests indicate they'll bring the same kind of cookie, ask one of them to pick a different kind. @IHeartNaptime provides a comprehensive list of guidelines and printables.
  2. Consider turning your cookie exchange into a cookie gifting party, says @CedarHillMom. You can provide tags, bags and ribbon for guests to make sweet neighbor gifts with some of the exchanged cookies.  Consider taking them to neighbors or raising money for CookiesForKidsCancer. This can be a great option for guests looking to keep their calorie counts down or their contributions to charity up.
  3. Remind guests to bring a large container to take their exchanged cookies home, says @HowToSimplify. Consider having on hand extra containers and packing materials.
  4. Plan a hot chocolate bar to accompany the cookies, suggests @LaCasadeSweets.
  5. Plan some activities to maybe burn off calories after cookies (RockBand!), suggests @ThisEnvy.

5 Unique Recipes for a Holiday Cookie Exchange

While the classic chocolate chip cookies were *salivated* over, some tweeters shared recipes for cookies that will be sure to draw "oohs" and "aahs" and "yums." Check these out:

  1. Oatmeal Cinnamon Chip Cookies from too many tweeters to mention.
  2. Nutella Pinwheel Cookies from @FujiMama.
  3. Mini Cherry Cheesecakes from @HowToSimplify.
  4. Chocolate Crinkle Cookies from @Kimberaka and @HersheysKisses.
  5. Roshk Slovak Cookies from @BHaley9962.

If those recipes don't suit you and you're looking for some good sites to find you're own or even list your own, check out these recommendations:

3 Cookie Recipe Websites

  1. Pinterest Recipes raved about by @MimiBakerMN, @EveryDayMom23, and many others who used words like "amazing" and "favorite" to describe it.
  2. Family Fun magazine because it has good recipes for families with kids. Recommended by @EarthAngel2B.
  3. AllRecipes.com because you can read reviews of recipes before you try them, says @DidYouYarnThat.

Let us know how your cookie exchanges go, or if you have some favorite cookie recipes that are always a hit!

What are your cookie exchange tips? What cookies do you love to bake for a cookie exchange?

Photos courtesy of A-Baking We Will Go and HowTo: Simplify.

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