Swap-Worthy Cookies

Shortbread, Nuts and Squares
Miki Duisterhof
Want to see old friends? Invite them to a cookie-swapping party. Want to impress them? Bake up a bunch of these.
Miki Duisterhof
Miki Duisterhof

How to Host a Cookie Swap

Organizing a holiday cookie exchange ensures you'll have plenty of treats to eat or give as gifts. It's also a cherished chance to catch up with friends. Follow a few simple guidelines to guarantee a great party.

* Send invitations three to four weeks in advance. Invite eight to 12 people.
* Ask everyone to bring eight to 12 dozen cookies and to let you know what kinds they're baking so you can make sure there aren't any duplicates. Instruct guests to bring the cookies on a pretty platter, with labels for each kind. Some groups like to exchange recipes too.
* Make sure everyone remembers to bring empty containers for toting their selections home.
* As the hostess, provide drinks and snacks. Sometimes people bring an extra dozen cookies to create a big platter for tasting, but include savory choices too. Wine or warm cider and cheese and crackers are good choices, and they create a grown-up atmosphere. Don't forget the holiday music.
* After snacking and schmoozing, have guests circle the cookie platters and collect their share. Have each person explain why she baked the ones she did or where her recipes came from.

Read on for the recipes!

The Naptime Chef, Kelsey Banfield, shows how to make easy thumbprint cookies with jam.

Miki Duisterhof
Miki Duisterhof

Chocolate Malt Crinkles
Makes: 5 dozen

Molasses Spice Stars
Makes: 8 dozen

Miki Duisterhof
Miki Duisterhof

Peppermint Snow Balls

Makes: 4 dozen

Miki Duisterhof
Miki Duisterhof

Prep Tip

Tip: Place mints in a plastic bag and use a rolling pin to crush them for the Peppermint Snow Balls.

Miki Duisterhof
Miki Duisterhof

Crunchy Cereal Wreaths

Makes: 4 dozen

Miki Duisterhof
Miki Duisterhof

Caps & Cups

Santa Caps
Makes: 8 dozen

Peanut Butter and Jam Cups
Makes: 4 1/2 dozen

Miki Duisterhof
Miki Duisterhof

Rainbow Rounds

Makes: 12 dozen

Miki Duisterhof
Miki Duisterhof

Shortbread, Nuts, and Squares

Lemon Shortbread Slices
Makes: 8 dozen

Double Chocolate-Macadamia Nut Cookies
Makes: 5-1/2 dozen

Apricot-Pistachio Biscotti
Makes: 5 dozen

Pecan-Chocolate Squares
Makes: 48 bars
Copyright © 2003 Jackie Plant and Fraya Berg. Reprinted with permission from the December 2003 issue of Parents magazine.

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