Host a Kids Holiday Cookie Swap
Among the joys of the holiday season is the holiday party. While the adults always seem to be heading to their next function, whether at work, church, or with friends, this holiday season, let your kids join in on the fun by hosting a cookie swap.
Plan Your Party
To begin the process of planning the ultimate cookie swap, sit down with your child and make your party rules. First, decide how many cookies you will ask everyone to bring and what type. The number of cookies that each attendee brings equates to the number of cookies that each person will take home. Two dozen is an easy number that won’t require too much time or money on the part of your guests. Also, you may want to be specific about types of cookies. Do you want bars and Christmas candy included? And, be specific about from where the cookies should come. It can be helpful to let your guests know that the cookies should be homemade or bakery bought.
Invite Your Guests
Next, order or make your own invitations. Since cookies are the theme, you can be as creative as you want when designing the invitations. Local paper shops like Reed’s Gift Shop, Swirlz, and Elizabeth Clair’s in Tupelo can help you pick out a beautiful invitation. Also visit Etsy online to get ideas or work with an artisan to design a custom piece. Of course, you can always break out the craft supplies and turn invitation making into a family activity. Sit down with your child and make a list of all of their friends who will be invited and then gather addresses for each invitee. Don’t forget to include your party rules on the invitation so guests will know what to bring.
Plan the Menu
Depending on the time of day that you are hosting your cookie swap, you will want to provide food for your guests. If the party is in the morning, invite your friends to wear their pajamas and serve breakfast or brunch before swapping cookies. An afternoon party with desserts and hot chocolate is an easy way to go, as your attendees will enjoy sampling sweets before gathering their cookies to take home. An evening party with soups or chili and hot apple cider is another wonderful menu for cookie swapping.
Since your child will also participate in the cookie swap, decide together what type of cookies you will make. If your child has a favorite flavor, search for recipes that involve that ingredient. Let your children participate in the actual baking of the cookies so that they can tell all of their friends that they helped make the cookies that they are taking home.
Host Your Party
Because the cookie swap is held during the Christmas season, there is no need for elaborate decorations because your house will already be decorated for Christmas. Once your guests arrive, display their cookies on a table set up in your home. It can be fun to purchase cookie boxes, tins, or bags for your friends to put all of their new cookies in to take home. Next, write individual numbers of the number of people who are there on small pieces of paper and have everyone draw. The guest with number one gets to go first. That person will pick two dozen cookies, or the number of cookies you have asked each guest to bring, and place them in the box you have provided. Once each guest has chosen all of their cookies, continue enjoying the refreshments and spending time together.
A cookie swap can be a great way for your child’s friends to get together during the holiday season. Making cookies with your children, planning the party together, and celebrating with all of their friends will create memories sweeter than any cookie out there.
Pick a cookie recipe that your child can help bake. Below, find several easy examples to get started.
- Peanut butter cup cookies – Buy a roll of slice and bake peanut butter cookie dough and mini Reese’s peanut butter cups. Spray a mini muffin tin with oil and preheat the oven to the temperature noted on the cookie package. Cut the dough into slices and each slice into fourths. Press each fourth of the cookie dough into the muffin tins and bake for approximately half to a fourth of the time listed on the package. Take the cookies out of the oven and press a peanut butter cup into the center. Pop them back in the oven for a couple minutes, but don’t let the peanut butter cup melt completely.
- Sugar cookies – Get some holiday-themed cookie cutters and either make a homemade sugar cookie dough or purchase slice and bake sugar cookie dough. Bake the cookies and let them cool completely. Provide icing, sprinkles, candy pieces, and any other decorations that can be used on the cookies and let your child’s imagination soar.
- Candy brownies – If your child has a favorite candy, make brownies out of that candy. During the holiday season, you can often find candy in red and green, so bake a pan of brownies and throw in that candy to create a yummy, festive treat for the cookie swap.
Jennie Bradford Curlee is the public relations and international sales director for the Tupelo CVB. She loves to throw a party, including cookie swaps, and looks forward to baking Christmas cookies with her son each year.