How to Host a Cookie Exchange
By Rosemary Black
If economic woes have you feeling less than merry this holiday season, you may feel Scrooge-like enough to opt out of cookie baking. Who’s got the money for all those expensive ingredients, especially when you need to make several different varieties?
Let me share with you my not-so-secret strategy for ending up with a Santa-sized platter of festive cookies in many varieties, with very little effort. It’s called a cookie exchange, and besides being the perfect way to sample dozens of different cookies, it’s a fine way to get together with friends and just de-stress. Everyone needs some fun, this year more than ever.
My community has hosted a cookie exchange for more than 10 years now, and it’s always at the home of one gracious mom of three children who opens up both her heart and her kitchen one Saturday afternoon in December. Myself and my neighbors all look forward to sitting around enjoying one another’s company. We like trading stories as much as trading cookies, and we linger over the plates piled with gingerbread men, magic bars, and frosted Christmas trees.
A cookie exchange not only doesn’t have to be expensive to host or to participate in, but it can actually save you money. You don’t have to run out and spend $6 on a tube of almond paste, or another expensive cookie ingredient, only to use one third of it and leave the rest forgotten in the cupboard. By making just one kind of cookie, you save on the cost of ingredients, as you can buy a giant bag of flour, plenty of butter -- when it’s on sale, of course --, and a five-pound container of sugar, all of which are the basis to a great cookie.