12 Days to Christmas Countdown! - Day 12: Holiday Cookie Swaps!

Check check. 1, 2, 3, 4. Check check. [tap tap tap] Is this thing on? Wow, I feel like it's been awhile since I've babbled food talk here. Actually, it has, as I've been overseas in the Philippines for 3 weeks - which should have been for only 2 - but more on that later. And then this past week I've been dealing with this weird illness, virus, infection thing that has thankfully gotten under control thanks to numerous doctor visits and a handful of steroids. Gah! But now that I can actually eat real food again and not feel nauseous.... and my jetlag has also subsided, it's all in perfect timing for the 12 days to Christmas Countdown! Don't worry, I'll catch you up to date on all the crazy adventures of life abroad on the islands and everything but let's finally talk some holiday food! In the next 12 days, I'll be sharing a nice mix of holiday foodstuff from recipes, events, gift ideas, giveaways, etc... so be sure to visit often as you may never know what or when I'll be spreading some extra special holiday cheer!

To kick things off, I recently hosted a holiday cookie swap here in Chicago with fellow food bloggers. We had a great turnout of friends and treats, making for one delicious time. Everyone was asked to bring 24 (2 dozen) cookies to share in which some were to sample and the rest were to package up to take home. And as expected, food bloggers went above and beyond and made more than enough to go around!

For the swap, I purchased cute treat trays with lining paper and a bow. This made it easy for guests to pack up cookies and have them ready to take to a party, give as a gift or just have nicely wrapped for themselves to enjoy at home. [I found these treat trays at Walmart!]

At our culinary teaching space, I put together a hot cocoa bar with a variety of different flavored cocoas, a few kinds of marshmallows (french vanilla, peppermint, chocolate and toasted coconut), some white chocolate and caramel syrup, candy canes and whipped cream too. It was the perfect drink offering for all the cookies in store.

After enjoying hot cocoa with friends, we all dug in! Each of us shared a bit about the cookie/treats we made and why we chose it... and before long, we all were filling up our treat trays and nibbling on our stash. It was a great time and I've always enjoyed hosting holiday cookie swaps.

Have you ever hosted or attended a cookie swap? Share a comment below with what your favorite cookie swap cookie is and you may just win my special cookie baking gift set that includes:

A chosen reader will be announced on this post & on our Facebook Page on Monday, Dec.15th!

Denise H [Comment #6] is the winner of my cookie baking gift set!
Please email us at [email protected] for details!


  1. My friend Leigh hosts a cookie swap in December every year. She makes a ton of appetizers and we each bring 4 dozen cookies. It's ladies only so no boys. My husband loves this event because I always bring home tons of yummy treats!

  2. Almond pinwheels, which involve almond paste and puff pastry. So hard to make but so very good! We are gluten free now, so I can't eat them. : ( Would love to win the cookbook to learn new cookies to make.

  3. I haven't, but my favorite Christmas cookie is Butter Spritz.

  4. At the moment my favorite "cookie" to swap or eat is a savory cheddar pecan wafer. I have several logs in the freezer awaiting knife and oven.

  5. My first cookie exchange was last week at the senior center in a very small town in NW Missouri. I loved it. It was like being with a room full of Grandmas. I don't have any so this was a hooooot!
    Of course Grandma-made cookies are the BEST. The skillet cookies were divine and I made the Holly cookies made with cornflakes and red hots like a rice krispy treat.
    We also played bingo and we all brought prizes. Of course these little sweet grandmas played "dirty Santa" they would take gifts from someone else when they won bingo. Their scrappy. Thanks . Wende

  6. I've never been to a cookie swap before but my favorite cookie is the old standby: chocolate chip. I like to under-bake just a bit so they are super soft.

  7. I am from Chicago, and have been living in the Keys for 10 years. We do a cookie swap every year in December and the invitees change slightly every year depending on who is hosting. My biggest hit was stained glass cookies with crushed, baked lollipops for the stained glass but they are time consuming to make. This year I am doing Colorful Swirl Cookies, a twist on a pinroll.