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Planning a Holiday Cookie Swap?

Joe Rondone / The Commercial Appeal

I have some tips for you from Cara Greenstein, the lifestyle expert behind the popular blog and website Caramelized.

For years, Cara had been dreaming up her favorite girls’ get-together. A holiday cookie swap was the entertaining idea that brought her close friends together for a festive afternoon full of holiday fun and sweets.

With hardly any effort, you too can host a holiday soiree your friends will look forward to each and every year.

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

Choosing a date and committing to it is usually the hardest part of planning a party for many.

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

She also recommends limiting the invitations to 12 guests so that your attendees do not feel overwhelmed by the number of cookies they need to bring.

“I ask people to bring a dozen to display and a dozen to swap — that way you get to try the cookies and take them home,” she said.

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.

Tip 3: Have something for guests 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, or an inexpensive pie or cake tin.

This is Jennifer Chandler with The Weekly Dish. Bon Appetit!

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.