Holiday Cookie Exchange

Who doesn’t like saving money and time during the busy holiday season? With the hustle and bustle of the festive season upon us comes shopping, gift wrapping, assembling the tree, and, let’s not forget about our holiday baking!

There’s no sweeter way than to enjoy the season, by hosting a holiday cookie exchange. It’s the perfect way to get a group of friends, family, or co-workers together to relax and catch up. Although not traditional, a holiday cookie exchange adds to the festive fun and relieves some stress from your holiday baking. Plus, you’re only baking one type of cookie, yet you get to taste multiple cookies and take them home. It’s the perfect kind of party to bring all your culinary experts. Central City has all the solutions to host the most amazing cookie exchange this holiday season!


First, let’s discuss your invite list. The number of guests is up to you and the availability of space. A recommended amount of guest to have for a cookie exchange is between 6 to 8 guests. By keeping the group around 6 to 8 people, you have enough variety of cookies that will be exchanged along with a manageable number of guests to entertain.


Event invitations can be sent out through traditional invite cards; find a wide selection of attractive card designs at Carlton Cards. You could also invite your guests via email or social media. If you are mailing out invitations, do this at least 4 weeks in advance; this gives guests enough time to complete their baking. Ask your guest to RSVP along with the cookie type they would like to share; this way you can ensure you won’t have duplicates of the same cookie.

In your invitation, ask each guest to make a dozen cookies for every person in attendance, plus an extra dozen for sampling. This way, everybody will go home with several dozen in different flavors and enough for the party. Also, ask your guest to copy the recipe to display next to their cookies to assist guest with food allergies and future baking.


Make sure the cookies that you bake for your exchange are the star of your party! Popular choices are shortbread, gingerbread, sugar cookies, fudge, and candy barks. Be sure to add festive touches with icing and/or decorations. If you need help with new recipes and ideas, check out ‘Happiness is Baking’ by Maida Heatter or ‘Modern Baking’ by Donna Hay; both cookbooks are available at Black Bond Books.

You can find all your cookie recipe ingredients at Walmart and T&T Supermarket and all your small kitchen appliance needs, like stand mixers, at Best Buy.

Cookie Display Table

To create a cookie display table, the table should be big enough to hold a platter for each guest. Set the cookie table with festive tablecloths, napkins, plates, and enough platters and a cake stand to display all the cookies; these all can be found at A Buck or Two, Walmart, and Dollarama. Set out place cards so your guest knows where to put one dozen of their cookies for sampling, and have them place their recipes cards beside the cookie.

Packaging Station

Create a designated decorating table for packing the cookies. Consider using inexpensive paper bakery boxes, festive tin, or cookie bags with ribbon and tags from Dollarama or A Buck or Two. Smaller boxes are better you won’t have different cookies in the same containers. Providing wax paper or parchment paper helps with layering your cookies in the same tin. Holiday trays are also a great wrapped in cello paper. These items and more packing ideas can be found at Walmart, Winners or T&T Supermarket.

Festive Touches

Add some holiday cheer to your cookie exchange… Pick up a Bluetooth speaker from Best Buy and stream festive sounds from your smartphone or tablet so your guests can get in the holiday mood! Consider adding festive twinkly lights, candles, or lanterns from A Buck or Two and Dollarama to your party area. You can also find seasonal blooms and evergreen sprigs at Continental Flowers to make the event extra special.

Snacks and Refreshments

Be sure to offer some light refreshments for your guests. Even though you will be filling up on wonderful cookies, you will want to offer savoury appetizers and beverages to balance and wash down the sweets.

Consider offering some simple finger foods to complement the platters. For beverages, wine, tea, coffee, and sparkling flavoured water, and festive options like mulled cider and cranberry cocktails are always a crowd-pleasers for pairing with desserts. Let the experts at Central City Liquor Store help you find the perfect wine or liqueur to pair with your event.

Time to Exchange Cookies

Now it’s time to sit back and enjoy the tasting! There is nothing better this holiday season than spending time with those around you in a relaxing and creative environment by tasting amazing treats. Watch as your guest gather around to enjoy different cookies and their faces fill with joy. That’s when you know your party was a success!

Thank Your Friends for Coming

A nice way to end the party is giving a small gift for each attendee. This is a personal and great way to say thank you for coming. One nice idea is a festive spatula tied with a ribbon or an oven mitt with cookie cutters and wooden spoons inside the oven mitt. Whatever you give, don’t forget to add a thank you note. You can find budget-friendly gifts, and wraps, and note cards at A Buck or Two or Dollarama.