Guest Author - Amelia Johnson
A cookie swap is a fantastic way to gather your friends, family, or Church groups together. Who doesnít love cookies, right? Swaps get people who arenít very familiar with one another talking about something they all enjoy, and maybe even become friends. With a little planning you can host a memorable swap.
-Mail your invitations 3 weeks in advance once youíve decided on a date for your party. As a general rule, this time frame gives both you and your guests plenty of time to plan on coming, and time to bake up the perfect treat, without being so far in advance that it is easily forgotten.
-After making your guest list, double the number of invited participants and request that each guest bring that number of cookies. You could also go with a safe number: One dozen for 1-4 guests, 2 dozen for 5-9, or 3 dozen for 10-15 guests. This guarantees no one will be without something delicious to take home.
-As a party favor, give your guests a seasonal decorative tin, which will also serve as their dish to take cookies home in. You may even want to put out some blank recipe cards and pens for those recipes everyone wants to have.
-Once everyone is at the swap, make sure all cookies are on a plate to make it easier to swap.
Cookie swaps generally last 1-2 hours depending on the number of guests you have and how well the conversation flows. To get things going, you could have each attendant explain the meaning behind their chosen cookie. You just might find out a thing or two about your friends in the process. After the cookies have been sampled and swapped guests may choose a group favorite and you could give the baker of a favorite a small door prize, like a cookie cutter, if you choose to.
A Recipe to get you started:
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1tsp vanilla extract
2tsp baking powder
In a bowl, cream the butter and sugar together, then beat in the eggs and vanilla. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt; Mix. Stir flour into butter mixture, only adding 1 cup at a time. Chill for 3 to 4 hours.
Preheat oven to 350. Roll out dough and cut into shapes with cookie cutters or a knife. Brush with milk and sprinkle with colored sugar. Bake on a parchment lined cookie sheet 10 to 15 minutes depending on the size of the cookie. Cool cookies on a baking rack.
Yields three-dozen cookies.