One of my favorite things about the holidays is the holiday treats – cookies, candies, you name it. And I love hosting an annual cookie swap to share my favorite treats with my friends. This year I was invited to a different kind of exchange that I thought was a brilliant idea – a frozen cookie dough exchange. Rather than bringing actual baked cookies to swap, everyone was asked to bring three bags of frozen cookie dough (1 dozen cookies each) to swap. That way you could take the frozen cookie dough home and have cookies to make throughout the holidays. I had such a great time and wanted to share this idea and my tips for hosting one with all of you.
I was a little lazy and brought two of my favorites rather than holiday cookies but can you really go wrong with chocolate chip or roll-out sugar cookies? And honestly I think all of the kids thought my pumpkin sugar cookies were the best because they had frosting and sprinkles.
We had a huge variety of other holiday and non-holiday cookies as well. Some of my favorites were the peppermint sugar cookies and coconut macaroons drizzled with chocolate.
Oh and one of the things I liked the best was that someone actually skipped out on the cookies and brought a plate of fresh fruit. It made me feel a little better to eat a grape in between each cookie.
And now it’s your turn!
How to Host an Awesome Cookie Dough Exchange
At least one week before:
- Invite as many of your close friends as you’d like to come to your home and bring with them at least 3 dozen (of the same) frozen cookies with each dozen in a separate Ziploc freezer bag (or some other freezer safe container). Let them know that they can bring as many bags of cookies as they’d like; the number of bags they bring is the number they’ll go home with. Ask that they also bring one dozen of their cookies
- Decide on what kind of cookie(s) you’ll make. The possibilities are endless!
- Make your cookie dough and put into Ziploc baggies to freeze with instructions on the front. Depending on the type of cookie, roll them into balls or into a log (for slice and bake type cookies) and freeze.
- Make sure you have plenty of serving plates (to display cookies), eating plates, napkins, cups, water, milk, something fresh (fruits or veggies), grocery bags (to take cookies home in) AND most importantly, freezer space!
- Send a reminder to your guests.
- Make your fresh cookies so you aren’t scrambling the day of.
- Cut up fresh fruit and/or veggies to serve with the cookies. Everyone likes to have a healthy option to go with their treats.
- Print out cookie name tags so people can put a label in front of their cookies. There are a ton of free printables on Pinterest. I love these ones from Living Locurto.
- Gather up markers for people to write with.
- Send a final reminder to your guests.
- Cut up strips of paper, probably 6 for each guest you are expecting. Setup an area with the slips of paper with some pens and a cute basket/bucket.
- Set your table/buffet area with the serving plates, labels, and markers. Add your fresh cookies to one of the serving plates.
- Set out your paper goods, fresh cookies, fruits/veggies, water, and milk.
- Instruct them to put their frozen cookies in the freezer. If they didn’t write instructions on their bags, have them write on them with a permanent marker before going into the freezer.
- Once their frozen cookies are in the freezer, tell guests to put their fresh cookies on a serving plate and to write the name of the cookie on a label and put it in front of their cookies.
- And finally, ask guests to write their name on one slip of paper for each bag of cookies they brought and put the slips of paper in the basket. So if they brought three dozen cookies they would write their name on three slips of paper.
During the Party:
- Eat cookies, mingle, and have a good time with your friends.
- Toward the end of the party (or when people seem to be close to leaving), get the bags of cookies out of the freezer.
- Choose who goes home with which cookies similar to how I did in my favorite things party. Starting with one guest, have that person choose the number of slips of paper out of the basket equal to the number of bags of cookies they brought. So if they brought three bags of cookies, they will pick three names out of the basket. Those three people will go home with that person’s cookies. This gets away from anyone feeling left out because they’re cookies weren’t chosen. Repeat until all cookies have been exchanged. If people are worried about allergies, dislikes, etc. they can trade after everyone has been given their cookies.
- Send out an email to your friends thanking them to coming to the party and asking to reply all with their cookie recipes. This way if anyone didn’t go home with the cookies that they absolutely wanted, they can still make them later.
You might like these other party ideas as well.