Here is my guide to setting up a cookie exchange. First is figure out how many people are participating. A good number is between 4-8. Any more than that, it’s way too much baking. If you have more than that participating, try a “Bring What You Can” cookie exchange. This kind is where you bring some cookies and take some. So if you decide to bring 4 dozen cookies you can take 4 dozen cookies.
Set a date
You want to make sure that there is enough time for people to plan, buy, prep, bake and come to the event. If it is a work exchange, I suggest a Monday or Tuesday. That way, people have the weekend to bake cookies. If it a friend exchange, I suggest a Sunday. That way, people have time to make the cookies, but also don’t have to take time off work for the exchange. I would give people 2 weeks from the day you set it
Picking out a cookie
Simple is better. Also ingredients that aren’t going to be too expensive. One that is easily doubles. Also one that you can use a stand mixer or electric mixer with. My suggestions? Whipped Shortbread, Peanut Butter Cookies, or Ginger Snaps.
Start baking a day or two before the actual exchange so you aren’t up at 5am trying to bake 96 cookies.
Double, maybe triple a recipe but no more. I just had a cookie exchange with 8 people giving a dozen each. My recipe called for 24 cookies, so I quadrupled it and regretted it. My stand mixer couldn’t handle it all, it over flowed the bowl, and didn’t mix thoroughly. I would suggest just doubling it twice.
Have 2 cookie trays. Fill one, and bake. And while it’s baking, fill the other. When the first batch is done switch them out. and repeat. This may seem like a no brainer but when you only have one cookies sheet it takes forever.
Individually Wrap and Bring in a Box.
Wrap them into the bags of dozen. Plastic bags with Christmas stickers are great. But bring then all in a box. Cookies are delicate and bags are just not sturdy enough and that way you have something to bring all you loot back in. Also, take a couple of copies of the recipe in case people fall in love with it and would like it.
Most importantly have fun. This is about spending time with people enjoying a variety of different cookies.