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Planning A Cookie Exchange

Cookie exchanges are the best way to get a variety of baked goods and new recipes with the least amount of work and expense. It is an activity that can take place any time of the year. Imagine what it would be like to have a selection of cookies and squares to fill lunch boxes, entertain, take to the cottage or have on hand when company drops in unexpectedly.

Using our suggested guidelines below, and recipes in our "Cookies" and "Just Sweets" sections, your baking marathons could be over!

Some of our recipes we recommend are:
Pfeffernuesse, M & M Cookies, Eat More Bars, Arlene's Butterscotch Squares, Oatmeal Raisin Cookies, Chocolate Fudge, Almond Slices, Magic Lemon Squares, Cherry Flips, Holly Clusters, Shortbread, Banana Loaf, Lemon Loaf, Confetti Squares, Sugared Peanuts and Macaroons.

1. Start planning now.

2. Decide if you are going to have everyone bring their favorite choice of goodies or if you are going to hand out recipes for everyone to make and bring.

3. Make a list of everyone you can think of (friends, relatives, co-workers, etc.) who could be involved. From this you will end up with your short list of participants.

4. Everyone attending needs to bring a dozen of one kind of cookie or squares or candies for each of the other people in attendance; plus one dozen for themselves and an extra dozen for the "sample plate". In other words, if you have ten people coming including yourself, each of you need to bring eleven dozen of your choice of baked goods. It is recommended that the baking not be previously frozen and that all of the goodies are freezable.

5. Set the date for the exchange. By setting the date well in advance, everyone can put it on their calendar and will be there to enjoy refreshments and "samples".

6. Approximately one month before the exchange date, call everyone to remind them. People may have had seconds thoughts and want to drop out. Encourage them to stay involved as they are going to receive so much in return. This might be a time to send out a reminder note or memo including the date, location and how many will be in attendance.

7. Ten days before the exchange, again confirm with everyone.
  • Reaffirm to them the number of people attending, the date, time and location.
  • Remind them to bring an extra dozen for the "sample plate".
  • Suggest they wrap each dozen they are bringing separately.
  • If the goodies have been previously frozen, they need to label them as such.
  • Include an ingredients list. This will help anyone with allergies.
  • They need to bring a big box or container to take their goodies home in.
  • Will they share their recipe with the other participants? If so, please bring enough copies to share with the others in attendance.
  • Ask what type of baking they are bringing. You could then make up an "Index/Menu" to hand out as the opening page of their new recipe book.
  • Have them bring a duo-tang or binder to take their new recipes home in.

8. If you are going to serve refreshments, perhaps something from our "Beverage" selection would be appropriate. Try our "Hot Apple Cider" or "Tropical Ice" to accompany the sample plates.

9. Be ready for your guests when they arrive.
  • Greet them with a copy of the "Menu".
  • A separate table just for the "samples". Place the recipes near by.
  • A separate area for the dozen's of other goodies.
  • Don't mix & match goodies. On the sample table keep each recipe on its own plate. On the goody table keep each selection brought in its own area. This will ensure each person will get a selection of everything being offered.
  • Place napkins, small plates, glasses, mugs, refreshments on another table.
Table decorations from our "Table Centerpieces" might be part of your decor. Encourage everyone to relax and enjoy the samples, recipes and each other's company.

10. Have the rest of the family go on an outing for the day and turn on the answering machine - with no interruptions, you too can enjoy the day.

Copyright 2003.
Ann Edall Robson, owner of Comfy Country Creations is a quilter, avid gardener and freelance writer.
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