posted in Entertaining

Holiday Cookie Exchange Party Menu

Host everyone’s favorite theme party with a Holiday Cookie Exchange Party Menu that will satisfy all palates.

Holiday Cookie Exchange Party Menu on

‘Tis the season for a multitude of cooking, baking, and entertaining opportunities! It’s your turn to host the classic cookie exchange party and I’ve got you covered with tips on planning, decorating, and recipe selection.

As you know, a cookie exchange party is a great way to celebrate the season with friends, try some new cookie flavors, and stock up on Christmas cookies to enjoy throughout the holiday season.

Holiday Cookie Exchange Party Menu on Holiday Cookie Exchange Party Menu on Holiday Cookie Exchange Party Menu on

Some of the basic rules I like to follow for a cookie exchange party are:

  • Plan early to give guests plenty of time to prepare. They may want to test out a new recipe beforehand, or they may just want to peruse the list of cookies and bars at their leisure before picking one to make. They’ll also need to set aside a few hours for baking so they’ll have plenty of cookies to bring to the party.
  • I like to keep the party somewhat small and intimate; about six to eight people. That way you don’t get overwhelmed tasting all those cookies at the party, AND you don’t have to bake as many!
  • If you’re keeping the party small as suggested, each guest should bake 4 to 5 dozen cookies. That should be enough for tasting during the party, plus enough for each guest to take some home.

Holiday Cookie Exchange Party Menu on

Setting up the party table:

This may be one of the easiest parties to host since half the work is done for you (guests bring the food). You will need to set up a table that can display everyone’s cookies for sampling. Many time’s guests love to bring their own festive platters of cookies, but you can still have pedestals and boxes placed on the table in order to elevate the presentation. A buffet with height is always more interesting to look at than one that’s all flat.

Make sure to add a festive centerpiece to the table. My favorite decorating tools for Christmas are tree ornaments. I love putting them in bowls, apothecary jars, trays, or under a cloche. They instantly deck the halls!

Next, cut some fresh evergreens and tuck them around to highlight the rest of the decor.
Holiday Cookie Exchange Party Menu on

To help wash down all those cookies, I like to set up a self-serve beverage station with eggnog and coffee. These can be enjoyed on their own, or with a shot of indulgent liqueurs like Kahlua, Godiva, Bailey’s, Amaretto, or Frangelico.

Holiday Cookie Exchange Party Menu on

Finally, make sure to have some packaging available for guests to put their cookies in to take home. I like these kraft boxes from Hobby Lobby, but you could also use tin canisters, gift bags, or gift boxes. I set these up with ribbon so guests can fill them, close it up, and tie a pretty bow around it.

The wonderful thing about hosting a cookie exchange is that you get to try a variety of cookies and maybe even get some new recipes. I put together this holiday cookie exchange party menu to get you started. It has some great twists on classic styles.

Holiday Cookie Exchange Party Menu

Holiday Cookie Exchange Party Menu on

The recipes (or use some of your own!)>>


Chris Nease

Chris Nease is a party stylist and home entertaining expert with over 15 years of experience specializing in small celebrations. In addition to being the Editor & Creative Director of Celebrations at Home blog, Chris is a freelance stylist & writer for brands and publications. She lives in Virginia with her husband and 2 young teens.

more by Chris »


  1. postedNov 28, 2016 8:48 PM

    I used to love cookie exchanges, but haven’t been to one in several years. Maybe I need to try hosting one. Great ideas!

    • postedNov 30, 2016 1:03 PM

      I hope you go for it Susie. Any time you can get together with friends and relax during the holidays, it’s worth it! 🙂

  2. postedNov 30, 2016 6:56 PM

    These are such beautiful cookies and a fun, festive party for the holidays!

  3. postedDec 6, 2016 2:07 AM

    Love all these tips! The cookies are all beautiful!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *