How to Host a Holiday Cookie Exchange
*This blog post is sponsored by President's Choice
There is something about the first chilly day of winter that makes me want to take out the stand mixer and start dusting my counters in flour with family and friends. This is our first year home for the holidays in our new house so I was incredibly excited to host my first ever Cookie Exchange Party. With the help of some key items from the PCⓇ Insiders Collection™ for Holiday to make my party preparation a breeze, I was able to spend less time prepping and more time enjoying catching up with my girlfriends. There is your first tip guys, focus less on the party prep and focus more on the cookie!... that, and invite a group of friends and ask each person (including yourself) to bake a dozen for everyone coming to the Cookie Exchange. That way each person will leave with a dozen of each type of cookie.
I decided to have the party in the afternoon so that we could all nibble and mingle. I wanted some appetizers to even out the sugar rush from all of the cookies that were going to be there so the PCⓇ Bang Bang Shrimp and PCⓇ Squash, Kale and Beet Flatbread were the perfect choice. I loved that the sauce for the PCⓇ Bang Bang Shrimp could be used as a dipping sauce or just to coat the crispy shrimps like I did. The kick of spice in the sauce was just right and it was one of those appetizers that you couldn't just have a few but you wanted the whole bowl. The flatbread was so well balanced and the fact that it was ready in minutes was so convenient. You just have to preheat your oven and pop it in when your guests arrive and then before you are done serving the drinks, the flatbread is ready to be served. I also had the PCⓇ Milk Chocolate Toffee Hazelnuts and the PCⓇ Cranberry Shortbread Stars out as guests arrived so they would have something to munch on as they were setting up their cookie samples.
Now let’s get onto the main event, the cookies! For my cookie I made the PCⓇ Two-Toned Chocolate Coconut Cookie (click HERE for the recipe). It was a simple recipe that made lots of cookies, making it the perfect cookie exchange cookie. You can make the dough up ahead of time and even freeze it to slice and bake at a later date. I will tell you that if you don't have the PCⓇ Non-Stick Carbon Steel Textured Cookie Sheets then start the car and get yourself a few! I basically retired my old baking sheets the moment the first batch of cookies came out of the oven. The textured surface allows for proper air flow and venting so you have evenly cooked and crispy cookies.
Having a packing station with boxes and/or bags and ribbon so that your guests can pack up goodies to take home is a great way for them to transport them. I know baking dozens and dozens of cookies is such a task to ask of my friends so I made them each a goodie bag to take home. I love these adorable Christmas themed Cookie jars and I gave each guest one along with a mini whisk and a seasonal cookie cutter. Decor wise, I kept it simple with greenery like pine and cedar, LED starry lights, DIY orange slice garlands, felt pom garland and candles. When setting up your cookie area simply remember that it looks better visually with added height, so don't be afraid to put those cookies on cake stands big and small. If you find you need additional goodies to fill space amongst your cookie display, you can simply place an assortment of the PCⓇ Luxury Biscuit Assortment onto a plate or two. These delicious biscuits are imported from Belgium and France and I can promise you that you can’t have just one.
What's your favourite holiday cookie recipe? I would love to know so I can add it to my list to check out next year!