Cookie Exchanges -- How Many Cookies?

Decorating By prterrell Updated 18 Nov 2009 , 4:26am by stampinron

prterrell Posted 17 Nov 2009 , 3:51pm
post #1 of 24

I am going to be hosting a cookie exchange for the first time this year.

First, here's what I've planned to do:

I am posting an open invitation with sign-up on the bulletin board at church, in addition to inviting a few non-church friends and some of my DH's co-workers, so I could have anywhere from half to a couple dozen participants.

I plan to have everyone put out their cookies on my large dining room table and then have drinks and goodies to enjoy at the party set out in my living room (I have a very large coffee table that can easily hold about 9 platters of goodies).

I plan to have pretty decorative tins for each guest to put their take-home cookies in.

There endeth the plans.

I've never participated in one, so I do have a few questions:

How many cookies should each participant be asked to bring?
(I want everyone to bring enough for there to be a good variety and enough for all the participants to have some, but I also don't want to ask for too many and have people not participate because it's too much work.)

Should I have the people who sign up write down what they are bringing and ask that everyone bring something different?
(I'm afraid if I don't we'll end up with mostly Toll House chocolate chip cookies.)

How should I word the invite/sign-up poster?
I want ask that everyone bring HOMEMADE cookies, plus if I'm asking for people to bring different stuff....don't want it to come across as bossy.

23 replies
cookie_fun Posted 17 Nov 2009 , 4:20pm
post #2 of 24

This year will be my 3rd year doing one, and I usually do 1/2 dozen per person. So if you have 8 participants they'd need 4 dozen (which is usually less than 2 batches per recipe.

This seems to be a fair amount per person, without having a crazy amount to bring home.

I usually do savory appetizers and some extra sweets to eat. We also do an ornament exchange that evening as well. It's been fun.

elizacake Posted 17 Nov 2009 , 4:49pm
post #3 of 24

My family does one every year. Mostly everyone takes about 2 of each cookie. I think that they ask for everyone to bring 2 dz of their favorite homemade cookie. My mom, sister, and I usually go all out and make several kinds...and bring a ton of cookies. icon_smile.gif I think the closest thing to TollHouse cc that end up being brought for the exchange are ones with festive candies in them. Im my group at least, everyone tries to bring something creative or new every year!
So you get the idea...if you expect 12 people to participate, ask for 2 dz cookies. More if you think more will come. icon_smile.gif
Good luck!

bonniebakes Posted 17 Nov 2009 , 5:35pm
post #4 of 24

the ones I've been to have been limited to 30 people and each person brings a minimum of 3 dozen cookies - enough for everyone to have one of each kind, plus the recipe card. Then, after everyone's gone through and taken one of each, the participants can go back and snack on the ones that are leftover.

TexasSugar Posted 17 Nov 2009 , 7:17pm
post #5 of 24

Wilton has a new book out that has some ideas on Cookie Exchanges.

cookie_fun Posted 17 Nov 2009 , 7:29pm
post #6 of 24

I haven't had any problems with people bringing tollhouse cookies. Everyone so far has given it a go at something creative and different. I have only had one occurrence of 2 very similar cookies showing up at the same time too.

I went to someone else's cookie exchange once where there were 20 people, and we brought 8 dozen. My exchanges are usually 10 people on average.

No matter what you decide to do, it will be fun.

mmdiez10 Posted 17 Nov 2009 , 7:34pm
post #7 of 24

I have been to many cookie exchanges and I love them. I have never hosted one because of the cookie count formula that I cannot figure out.

irish559 Posted 17 Nov 2009 , 7:43pm
post #8 of 24

The general rule of thumb (at least at the exchanges I've been involved in) is that you bring as many cookies as you'd like to take home. For example, you bring 2 dozen, you take home 2 dozen, you bring 6 dozen, you take home 6 dozen, etc.

CeeTee Posted 17 Nov 2009 , 8:31pm
post #9 of 24

The cookie exchanges I've been to have varied from 2 to 18 cookies per person, depending on the kind of cookie and the amount of people invited. The more people there are, the less cookies per person are required. The average is a half dozen per person at the exchange, with up to 10 people invited.

Though there was one year when the place I was working at the time thought it would be a good idea to do an office-wide cookie exchange, and announced that everyone needed to bring a dozen cookies per employee and we'd pass them around at the office party. We had 63 employees. Needless to say, that idea got recalled pretty quick.

prterrell Posted 17 Nov 2009 , 10:17pm
post #10 of 24

Okay, here's what I've come up with for the poster/invite:


ECW Holiday Cookie Exchange

Friday December 11th -- 7pm

At the Home of ______ and _______ _________

What to Bring
A plate of 3 5 dozen of your favorite HOMEMADE cookies.
(The more cookies you bring, the more you get to take home!)

Containers to take home cookies will be provided.

Sweet and savory snacks, along with festive drinks, will be served.


RSVP: Please sign-up below by Wednesday, December 9th.

How's that look?

elizacake Posted 17 Nov 2009 , 10:27pm
post #11 of 24

Looks good. icon_smile.gif

TexasSugar Posted 17 Nov 2009 , 10:31pm
post #12 of 24

I personally would put a firm number. Do you really want to police people at the exchange and say, well you only brought 3 doz you don't get as many as her?

I'd probably also leave out homemade. I'd say bring your favorite Holiday cookie. You could also ask that they bring so many copies of the recipe or email it to you so you can have copies of it, which would insure that they bring home made ones.

I think if someone is wanting to go pay for cookies just to be there and be a part of things it wouldn't be a bad thing, though.

Beckup Posted 18 Nov 2009 , 12:37am
post #13 of 24

I was just invited to a cookie exchange for Dec 5. The host said bring 12 dozen cookies. 24 copies of my recipes and containers to take cookies home. Holy Cow! I've never been to an exchange so big! Usually it's 3 or 4 dz. She did ask that I RSVP with my cookie type so we don't have duplicates.

andpotts Posted 18 Nov 2009 , 1:13am
post #14 of 24
Originally Posted by Beckup

I was just invited to a cookie exchange for Dec 5. The host said bring 12 dozen cookies. 24 copies of my recipes and containers to take cookies home. Holy Cow! I've never been to an exchange so big! Usually it's 3 or 4 dz. She did ask that I RSVP with my cookie type so we don't have duplicates.

LOL, this is what my friends say when they get my cookie exchange invitation and "rules" But it works well. I usually have 15-20 people. I have everyone bring 6 dozen cookies and I ask that they let me know in general what kind, I discourage plain cho chip or no bake varieties. I put all of the recipes together in a packet and make a cute cover with the year on it for take home. I have little contest for most festive outfit, best cookie display and we play a few easy games, we've also done ornament exchanges before. I buy a few easy prizes like a cookie spatula, cute cutters tied together with ribbon and a recipe, etc. It's just a really nice time to take a break from the holiday hustle and bustle, fellowship with the girls and take home a variety of treats! (Mine is women only) I could go on forever, I love exchanges icon_smile.gif

I am a devoted follower of she is the ultimate cookie exchange guru in my book! So much fun!! Oh I also buy large holiday shirt boxes, and wax paper for people to put their cookies in. Have fun!! Andrea

cakemeasIam Posted 18 Nov 2009 , 1:25am
post #15 of 24

we do one every and a good friend swap houses every year.
we ask for 12 dozen ...and there are only 12 people...we usually have fall otu or knew people etc...but we bake 12 dozen and you take home 12 dozen.
its blast...
have fun and happy baking!

jdelaney81 Posted 18 Nov 2009 , 1:44am
post #16 of 24

I have hosted a few of these parties...Let me tell you what has worked best for us. Give people a definite number to bring. Otherwise you get the over-achievers that do bunches (no complaints there). Then you get the people who do the absolute least amount of work but get to reap the benefits of the over-achievers. Depending on the group size, I have people bring 1/2 to a dozen cookies per person coming. (if there are 6 people, I do 1 doz/person. If there are 12 people, 1/2 doz/person. Either way there are 6 doz cookies.) I also have people tell me what varieties they are willing to bring. That way I have a list of 12 different types of cookies. Not having 3 people bring the same type of cookie. HTH. I hope I explained this in away that is understandable. icon_biggrin.gif

cakesbycathy Posted 18 Nov 2009 , 3:22am
post #17 of 24

My sister and I have hosted one for the last 6 years. Last year we finally figured out the solution that works the best for us. We typically invite around 15 people. Each person is asked to bring 15 packages/containers/bags each with 8 cookies in it. It solves a lot of problems.

singhscakes Posted 18 Nov 2009 , 3:48am
post #18 of 24

My sister is planning on doing one this year and she has a list of rules that come with the invite. Like, no chocolate chip cookies, main ingredient must be flour(no unbaked cookies), and they must be homemade.

I did one a couple of years ago where we all made a christmas centerpiece as well. It's a lot of fun!

cylstrial Posted 18 Nov 2009 , 3:57am
post #19 of 24

Great thread! I've never done a cookie exchange before - but it's a great idea! And there have been some really great thoughts about how to plan one. Thanks everyone!!

AverageMom Posted 18 Nov 2009 , 4:13am
post #20 of 24

I'm part of one every year. We know a month in advance how many guests will be attending. Each person brings 1 dozen cookies (must be homemade) in already divided packaging. For example, this year I am taking 15 dozen gingersnaps, each dozen in a pretty Christmas paper box. I will bring home 15 dozen from the other ladies. It works better than people picking and chosing from a table...someone always gets their feelings hurt in that method!

aundrea Posted 18 Nov 2009 , 4:17am
post #21 of 24

this sounds like so much fun! i want to go to a cookie exchange. i wish i could host one but my place is so small-i could have one by myself.

prterrell Posted 18 Nov 2009 , 4:21am
post #22 of 24

aundrea, maybe you and your friends could meet at a coffee shop and do the exchange there? It would work if you went the pre-divided pre-packaged route like AverageMom described. You could give each attendee a pretty holiday bag to put all the little cello packages of cookies in.

aundrea Posted 18 Nov 2009 , 4:25am
post #23 of 24

yes, thats definately an option. probably not as much fun as hosting a party but it may work. thanks for the suggestion.

stampinron Posted 18 Nov 2009 , 4:26am
post #24 of 24

I find it hard to get an exact count or rely on just a certain number of people coming.

This works:
Everyone brings 2 dozen cookies. Then each person takes turns taking two sets of 3 cookies. After each person has gone through, then you do it again until you have 2 dozen cookies. You don't always get all the different cookies, but you get the ones you want since you choose the 3 difffent cookies in each go around. We draw numbers so it is random who goes first.

Pre dividing them is too much work. Take the cookies in the tupperware or platter you brought them in!
Hope that makes sense.

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