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Host a Christmas Cookie Swap!

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It’s an easy to throw party that will bring your friends together for an afternoon full of holiday fun and sweets.

At a recent class at Sweet LaLa’s Bakery, Cara Greenstein, who is the author of the award-winning blog Caramelized, shared her tried-and-true tips for hosting a Holiday Cookie Swap Party.

Tip 1: Put a date on the calendar and it will all fall into place.

Cara suggests picking a time mid-morning or mid-afternoon.  That way, you only have to make light snacks rather than have to provide a meal.

Tip 2: Assign by ingredients so all the cookies are different.

Cara assigns cookies by such categories as chocolate, pumpkin, rainbow sprinkle, nuts or caramel.  This ensures that she has different flavors on the table, but allows guests to pick their own recipes.

Ask people to bring a dozen cookies to display and a dozen to swap - that way you get to try the cookies and take some home.

Tip 3: Have something to take their cookies home in.

You will need to supply a container for your guests to bring their cookies home in.  It can be as simple as a cardboard cake box. Cara picks up inexpensive cake and pie pans and has cellophane and ribbon on hand to wrap them up.

Tip 4: Have a plan to label the cookies.

It’s important to let guests know what the cookies are … and who made them. You can always use place cards or note cards to label each one. Cara uses a chalkboard paper runner to not only decorate the table, but also to label the cookies.

And, if you happen to be invited to a cookie swap this year, but don’t like to bake – no worries!

Just pick up your cookies at your favorite bakery.

This is Jennifer Chandler with The Weekly Dish. Happy Holidays!

For more information about Cara Greenstein and her entertaining tips, visit www.caramelizedblog.com.

Jennifer Chandler graduated at the top of her class from Le Cordon Bleu in Paris. She is a full-time mom to two daughters in Memphis, Tennessee, and is a freelance food writer, restaurant consultant, and author of four cookbooks The Southern Pantry Cookbook, Simply Salads, Simply Suppers, and Simply Grilling.