How To Host the Ultimate Cookie Exchange Party

Whoever conjured up the holiday tradition of a cookie swap is a genius. Sure, the white elephant gift exchange is a hoot, and there's no denying our love for #DirtySanta, but when it comes to exchanging goodies, there's nothing quite like cookies — hence our love for cookie exchange parties during the holiday season!

Thinking about hosting one but don't know where to start? 

In this post, we're exploring the wonderful world of wintery treats to uncover the sweetest tips and tricks to keep your party from crumbling (pun totally intended). Whether you're a new host or could simply use a little inspo to take your party to the next level — start here. 

What's a Holiday Cookie Exchange Party?

What's more fun than munching on good cookies while sipping hot chocolate surrounded by framily? 

A cookie exchange party — or "cookie swap" — is a delicious shin-dig in which guests each bring a few dozen cookies to share with their loved ones. This way, you only have to bake one favorite recipe, but you still get to enjoy sampling multiple platters of cookies. Plus, what better way to show off your sweet decorating skills to friends, family, and neighbors?

What Kinds of Cookies Should You Bring?

You can bake whatever type of cookie your little heart desires! After all, the beauty of a cookie exchange is that you really can't go wrong. 

Plus, when you’re the host, you have a lot more freedom when it comes to the type of sweet treat you create — as the host, you don’t have to worry about transporting your baked goods elsewhere!

However, you should still take into account friends who will need to take them back home when the party’s over. That's why we loveBOOP cookies

These wholesome cookies have an unbelievable homemade taste that's second to none. BOOPs are perfect for those busy weeks when you honestly just don’t have the time to whip up something from scratch — plus, BOOPs are wonderfully reminiscent of a soft, homemade cookie… meaning you can use holiday cookie cutters to create festively shaped BOOPs! Just craft your festive baker’s dozen, add them to a cookie tin, and voila.

We're partial to BOOP, but here are some other yummy homemade cookies to consider for the cookie swap party just in case you want to try out a new cookie recipe, too:

How Can You Host an Unforgettable Cookie Swap?

Now that you're up to speed on what the annual tradition of a holiday cookie swap is, it's time to learn how to host one! To help you be the host(ess) with the most(est), we've put together a quick party planning guide below:

1. Make your guest list.

While you'll need to take into account your living space when determining how many guests you can accommodate, it's a good idea to keep things modest — especially when you're baking (or BOOP-ing!) for a crowd. 

Cookie swaps typically work best with a small group of friends, usually no more than ten. A small(ish) guest list will also make it a whole lot easier to keep dibs on who is bringing what.

2. Set ground rules. 

Since you're hosting this shindig, you get to decide the rules and set expectations on what this cookie exchange will be (and what it won't be). 

Here are a few things to consider:

  • What qualifies as a "cookie?" Can friends bring things like homemade fudge, Rice Krispie treats, or other no-bake goodies like peanut butter balls? 
  • Keeping in mind that not everyone loves to bake — are you OK with store-bought or slice-and-bake cookies? 
  • How many cookies should each attendee bring? One or two for each friend? A baker's dozen? A half dozen?

3. Collect recipes.

One of the sweetest things about participating in a cookie swap is finding new addicting recipes that you simply can't get enough of. If attendees are willing to share their secrets, you can print out their recipes for guests to take home along with a goodie bag full of yummy cookies — and perhaps a BOOP or two!

4. Plan a small bites menu.

While cookies are sure to be the highlight of the party, it's a good idea to have a table full of appetizers and refreshments. Consider non-sweet nibbles like veggie dip, finger sandwiches, stuffed mushrooms, bruschetta, coffee, and tea, since you'll likely be munching on cookies.

5. Bake your cookies, buy your BOOPs, and get your supplies

As the clock ticks forward and your party draws near, you'll find less and less time to tackle items on your to-do list. With this in mind, it's also a good idea to gather all of the supplies ahead of time. 

If you’re going the homemade route, start baking in advance. If you’re choosing BOOP (in which case, nice to meet you), make sure to place your order ahead of time.

And don’t forget your party supplies! Some things you may need include:

  • Serving trays
  • Partyware (think: plastic plates, cups, party favors, napkins, etc.)
  • Cookie labels and recipe cards
  • Voting ballots
  • Plastic wrap and storage bags

6. Create a BOOP-worthy playlist. 

Bring on the BOOPs with a fun playlist full of upbeat vibes. According to experts, music is a surefire way to lift one's spirit. Not that anyone will be down in the dumps with cookies around, but if you're looking to keep the mood happy and bright, BOOPy tunes are definitely the way to go. 

Don't want to be DJ? Ask your friends to give you three of their favorite bops before the cookie exchange. Make a playlist of these sweet beats and let the good times roll!

7. It's Party Time!

Ready to get down on some cookies with your besties? Get everything ready before guests arrive and do any necessary last-minute prep.

  • Decorate the room
  • Set up the refreshments table
  • Put out cookies and appetizers
  • Turn up the tunes
  • Relax

Any Other Sweet Tips?

As a matter of fact, we do! Here are some delicious tips to help make your cookie exchange an unforgettable one:

1. Be aware of food allergies. 

When setting up your event, be sure to take into account the food allergies your guests have by labeling cookies and appetizers with potential offenders — such as gluten, nuts, or dairy. 

Pro Tip: Need an unbelievably yummy cookie that is made without any gluten, dairy, soy, or GMOs? Look no further than BOOP cookies.

2. Reward the best cookies with prizes. 

Although every cookie is a winner, only a select few can be the best! Set aside a few prizes for the tastiest cookie, most creative, most festive, and more. 

3. Hand out goodie bags.

Before each friend leaves the party, hand out a bag or Tupperware so they can fill it up with cookies to take home with them. This way, they can share the love with their family, and you’re not up to your ears in cookies. 

Unless, of course, you want to keep them all for yourself… hey, we don’t judge! 

That's the Way the Cookie Crumbles!

Whether you're brand spankin' new to hosting or just need some inspo to make the shin-dig an unforgettable one, we hope this guide has provided you with everything you need to put together the ultimate cookie exchange party. 

From a detailed timeline to delicious tips and tricks, as long as you stick with us — and serve lots of BOOP cookies — the event will surely be the talk of the town!



9 Health Benefits of Music | NorthShore

Food Allergies: What You Need to Know | FDA

Why Is a Baker’s Dozen 13? | Britannica

Best Chocolate Chip Cookies Recipe (with Video) | AllRecipes 

Easy Sugar Cookies Recipe (with Video) | AllRecipes

Gingerbread Cookies Recipe | AllRecipes

Classic Peanut Butter Cookies Recip | AllRecipes

Shortbread Cookies Recipe | AllRecipes 

Peppermint Holiday Cookies Recipe | AllRecipes