Mamamanda I would have called those other ladies because they might be feeling the same as you. How dare this woman over step. It's not like she is co-hosting with you.
Don't let her spoil the fun either. Have a great party and lots of fun so everyone will come back next year. I would also consider saying something to all those who attend (one on one) that next year you will not be asking for so many cookies. This will make them feel better and less stressed about accepting your next invitation. Also, consider NOT inviting this woman. Let her do her own party! Believe me when these ladies realize she was behind all those cookies they won't be going to hers. She sounds like a drill sargent!
After the cookies cooled, I put the white chocolate chips in a ziploc bag and placed it in a sink of hot tap water until the chocolate melted. Then I snipped one of the corners and used it like a frosting tip. I tried melting it in the microwave but the chocolate hardened instead. The microwave works great for traditional chocolate but it definitely didn't work for the white chocolate. Anyone know why?
Thanks for sharing. I went to a cookie exchange today and one of the ladies made thumbprint cookies rolled in crushed pecans. She used orange marmalade and cherry jam (I believe). They looked nice but I think I will stick with Rasberry Jam and try the white chocolate drizzle.
A good tip for microwaving chocolate for dipping or drizzle is to add a teaspoon or so (depends how much chocolate) of crisco. It keeps it smooth and adds a lovely gloss to the cookie (or fruit) as well.
Hi Robin, I hosted my first cookie exchange on Sunday December 12th and it was a total success! I invited 16 ladies and 13 showed! Most of my guests were Canadian so I got to try nanaimo bars for the first time and they were exquisite! I served hot artichoke dip, buffalo-style chicken bites, tortellini skewers, bruschetta and champagne punch! But the biggest hit at the party was Chaucers Mead (Trader Joe's $8/bottle) my guests went through 5 bottles of the hot drink. We played the "who am I?" game and had a great time doing it! We all shared our cookie story and recipe along with a few laughs and I gave out a prize for the most-disasterous cookie story. My favors were a silver and gold Christmas tree candle ($20 for 20 at TJ Maxx) a snowflake ornament ($5 for 18) and Sugar Shox lip gloss (Bonnebell website $20 for 20) all in a little cellophane bag. This will be an annual thing for me! Thanks for the terrific website!TEXT
Hi Robin, I am so glad I found your site. I hosted my first exchange on Sunday 12/12 and it was a big hit. There were 14 of us, and everyone brought six dozen cookies. Only one lady had to stop at a bakery; she's not very organized but really wanted to come so when she still hadn't baked at midnight the night before I told her to go ahead and purchase some and come along.
I used evite, which worked wonderfully. I was even able to include a link to your site for people who wanted more info on cookie exchanges. We had only one duplicate because most people didn't state what they planned to bring. Hopefully we can avoid that next year.
I didn't do any prizes or favors, although I might next time. I served finger food, coffee w/optional Kahlua, and eggnog w/optional rum. It was from 3-5pm, so "happy hour." I should have figured out in advance how many cookies each person could take so we didn't have to go around twice -- it was kind of chaotic and crowded.
If there is a place to post pictures, I'll do that.
Hi, I described my "1st annual cookie exchange" in another area of the message board. You can read all about it there if you like. I can't say enough good things about this site and how much it helped me. I am already looking forward to next year's exchange, even though I'm moving across country and will have all new friends/guests. I coudn't have done it without you.
I have a very small space and couldn't quite figure out how to display the cookies and have space to set out lunch. I solved the problem by buying bakery cake boxes for everyone and putting them on the table. I wrote everyone's name on the outside of their box. After drinks and chatting and catching up, everyone took their cookies and walked around the table putting about 7 of their cookies in each box. Then we wrapped up the boxes with beautiful ribbon and I added a pretty ornament I had bought for everyone. The pretty boxes were then piled by the front door for people to pick up on their way out and the table was now clear to set out lunch and dessert. We had a wonderful time and I think this might become a tradition. Thanks for all the great suggestions here.
Well, I did it! I now have 2 exchanges under my belt! I had my second annual exchange on December 10th and had a really great turnout, (considering the nasty rainy day we had!) THere are pictures on Robin's Cookie pic page, if you'd like to see everyone and their cookies!
Anyway, I had several appetizers and a few different drinks to offer, and of course, everyone brought wonderful cookies. We played "Christmas Charades" - a couple ladies and I came up with several different ideas that had a Christmas theme, and everyone had a turn. We had a great time! This will become a new "annual tradition" along with the exchange. I gave away personalized dish towels to the one who won "Most Delicious Cookie", and "Most Creative Cookie". Do do the towels, I just used a sewing machine to "embroider" the Title on them. And, for the "Best Christmas Attire", I gave away a gingerbread printed shopping list, and a clay snowman pin I made.
I also gave each lady a party favor - a bag of "snowman soup" ingredients (See post for that on this message board for more details).
We had a great time, and I'm already looking forward to next year's party!
If your hosting an exchange party or attending one, do most people bake their cookies a couple of days in advance to the party date or do people bake ahead and freeze? If your baking a couple of days in advance, are you keeping your cookies in the fridge or on the counter?
This is my 7th year hosting a Cookie Exchange. I have gotten so many wonderful ideas from this website. I thought I would share a little of how I do mine.
I do an e-mail invitation, just because that is how I keep in contact with most of the people I know. It tends to work very well. I do list rules -- no chocolate chips, no kids, etc. We do the actual swapping a little different though. In the past I have had everyone bring 1 dozen per person (excluding self) and if any left over a few for a tasting tray. The cookies are brought already individually packaged per dozen in nice Christmas tins or baggies, so everyone just needs a large bag to get all their containers home. This year, however, we have our biggest group -- 16 people, with a few newbies -- so I knocked it down to 9 cookies per person (I did however get many e-mails saying they would be more than happy to have made the whole dozen per person). Next year I will keep it at the full dozen per person. We also play many of the games listed here -- because this is where I found them! One game that I don't think is on here: Take a gift (I usually use a christmas candle or nice ornament) and wrap 5-6 times in different wrapping paper. As music plays the gift is passed around. When the music stops whoever has the gift unwraps one layer. Keep doing this until the last layer is unwrapped. The person who unwrapped it gets to keep it. I also do a cookie book to give out. I ask for everyone's recipe in advance and make a nice color cook book including all the cookie recipes, what I serve for appetizers, lunch and dessert that day, along with a few others that I put in there. I also give everyone a parting gift. This year because we are having a Mexican buffet for lunch I think the parting gift will be Mexican cocoa mix and a chocolate covered spoon in a coffee cup. Thanks for this awesome website. I love reading everyone's experiences and ideas and I'm glad I could share some of mine!
I absolutely love this website. Last year was my first exchange and I loved every minute of it! I had 12 ladies come. The way that I do my exchanges is to ask each lady to bring 6 dozen cookies on a platter. Then we walk around the table, each taking 3-4 cookies and placing them in boxes that I have made. I buy bakery boxes at my local paper supply store and then buy Christmas ribbon and put nice bows and decorations, (the one's at Michaels or Hobby Lobby that people use to decorate gifts, wreaths, etc.), on each box. They are then displayed on a table at the swap and each lady gets to pick out her own box. I line the inside with christmas tissue paper. The boxes come out beautiful! This year I am doing the boxes again and the whole place will be decorated with a Gingerbread theme. I am also doing an appetizer buffet, Christmas punch, hot chocolate and Hot apple cider. I'm going to have games that I found on this site. I bought gingerbread necklaces and this will be for the "Don't say Cookie Game." We are also doing an Ornament Exchange, which I let my ladies know was completely optional and I've decided to try the "Left-Right Game" for this. I am going to have contests- Best Looking Cookie, Best Display, Most Ingredient, Most Unique Cookie. As you can read I am so very excited and this event has been in the planning stages for 6 weeks already! I love entertaining so this is a real fun way to do that. Oh yeah....each lady will leave with a goody bag filled with "Snowman Soup," a chocolate spoon, gingerbread sticky notes, a candle and Christmas candy. I thought this was a way for every lady to leave with something even if they didn't win a game or contest. I will also put together a cook book with all the recipes of the swap that they will get the following weekend. I hope that everyone's exchanges goes well and I'll let you know how mine turns out! Happy Exchanging!
I sent out invitations for my first cookie exchange. To avoid offending anyone on the first try, I simply offered info that I would provide a delicious luncheon and each guest was required to bring 4 dozen homemade cookies. I asked for a reply, stating a date, as to whether or not each would be attending. Very few have responded and at this point I am unsure of whether there will be only the 5 who have called to say they will be coming or if there will be an additional 15 who didn't bother calling. It's impossible to plan how much food to prepare or even how many chairs and dishes, etc. to have set out. Should I call the ones who haven't responded? Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance. J.L.
I would call or even email all the ladies and just say that you know that is a busy time of the season and that you are sure that they just forgot to R.S.V.P., but you need to know for sure who will be attending since you are providing food. Most would understand the reason for your call and not feel offended. Hope it all works out for you.
I'm currently wrapping up the details for my first cookie exchange.It will be Tuesday December 6 from 7-9pm. I've invited about 15 people and I'm aiming to have between 10 and 12 here. I've already received 2 positives and my husband just took the bulk of the invitations to work today (he's military and it's just easier to deliver them to the husbands at work and have them take them home to their wives).
My goodie bags are done (chocolate mint candy canes and Christmas-scented votive candles in organza bags). I have done all of the non-perishable shopping and will do the perishable shopping the weekend prior. Fingers foods are the bulk of the menu.
We are also doing an ornament exchange during the cookie exchange so that will be our main activity. I need to come up with some kind of ice breaker for the beginning but most of these women already know each other. I also need to decorate but that will happen this coming weekend.
I have prizes for the following categories : most original cookie recipe (cookie cutters for a prize), most festively dressed (Christmas charm bracelet), and best presentation (Yankee Candle).
I think that's about it. I think this will be a lot of fun and I'm really looking forward to it!!!
Hi Everyone: I just hosted Mai's 2nd Annual Cookie Exchange and it was a total success. I had 10 guests and we had a total of 23 varieties of cookies. I had three prizes: Best Taste, Best Xmas Decorated Tray (for trading) and Best Xmas Presentation (winner's presentation was a 'poinsetta arrangement' with the cookies and the real flowers. It was very nice! Merry Xmas to all!
"I am unsure of whether there will be only the 5 who have called to say they will be coming or if there will be an additional 15 who didn't bother calling." A lot of People in this day and age are rude about RSVPing. These people probably have never hosted anything. They don't know that we spend time, money and plan for the menu for a nice gathering. I have solved this rsvp problem by rewarding guests with "tickets" (that you can purchase or make yourself) for rsvping 4 days before the party. Their tickets get put in a basket for mini gifts that they can choose. Now everyone Rsvp's because they want a gift, and I get to know who's coming, it's a win-win situation. Hope this helps
OH YEA~ This will be my third exchange, a lot of people look forward to it, it is nice to be together and PARTY! And now I am now using the cookie exchange to movitate other to think of others. As part of my invitation I "reward" guests with tickets for 1 ticket for Rsvping, (2)wearing holiday attire, (3)sharing stories, (4)Singing a Christmas song solo or bringing canned goods for a pantry and (5) tickets for bringing an unwrapped gift for toys for tots. I then have a basket of goodies: that they "earn" by choosing their ticket from a basket or answering trivia questions. If anyone earns ALL the tickets I have gift baskets and gift certificates that I give away. This is my way of giving them a christmas gift from me. I'm hoping to get a lot of canned goods and gifts for toys for tots. I work in the welfare office, and realize there are a lot of needy families in the area, so all I have to do is bring these items to work, once received. Thanks for your website again, it does more good than you know!