a holiday cookie swap with friends!
This post was done in partnership with Pyrex, who sponsored this post by providing their beautiful wares you see throughout the post and compensation to make it happen. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own, and I genuinely use Pyrex products in my kitchen almost every day. As a special thank you to my readers, Pyrex is offering 20% off your purchase via their website — use the code PYREX20. Thank you for supporting Hummingbird High and my awesome sponsors!
December is here, which means that we are in full swing for COOKIE SEASON. As much as I love baking cakes, I love how easily and quickly most cookie recipes come together. It seems like cookies are the most universally beloved baked good too — I know plenty of people who are ‘meh’ on cakes and pies, but I’ve never known anybody to turn down a chocolate chip cookie. They’re just that magical.
This year, I’ve decided to go DIY for all my presents and give my friends and loved ones my baked goods instead of cards, gift cards, and other presents (to be fair, it’s mostly because I’m in full recipe development mode for #WEEKNIGHTBAKINGBOOK, a lot of the presents are actually just “repurposed” trial versions of the recipes in my cookbook — but shhh, you didn’t hear that from me!). And what better way to kick off the gift-giving with a cookie swap party with some of my closest friends?
If you’ve never been to a cookie swap party, here’s how it works: you can either bake a bunch of cookies yourself, or ask each guest to bring their favorite homemade cookie and do it potluck style. Set all the cookies out buffet style along with a bunch of containers for everybody to take home, and let your friends load up on all the different goodies!
1. Variety is the spice of life.
If you’re going the potluck route, start an email thread with your friends to make sure you’re all bringing different types of cookies! Or better yet, you can present a list of cookie types with your invite and have folks sign up and choose what kind of cookie they want to make. Doodle is a great (and free!) tool for creating polls and impromptu sign-up sheets.
2. But don’t overthink it either!
It’s totally okay if there are doubles of certain cookies, or if folks want to bring the same kind. Don’t be a cookie dictator! I guarantee that your friend’s chocolate chip cookie recipe is probably pretty different from yours. Besides, it’ll be fun to compare and contrast. ???? At my cookie swap, we actually had two chocolate chip cookies that ended up being crazy different from each other: Sarah Kieffer’s famous Bang-on-a-Pan Chocolate Chip Cookie versus my Any-Time-You-Need-‘Em Chocolate Chip Cookie. Sarah’s cookie was twice as big as mine and had crispy edges; mine was more chocolatey and fudgier throughout each bite. Both were delicious in very different ways despite being the same kind of cookie!
3. Have a wildcard cookie.
Because I am an overachiever, I also provided a not-so-traditional cookie for everybody to enjoy: ube crinkle cookies. Ube is a purple yam commonly used in Southeast Asian desserts; I used my friend Autumn’s recipe from her bakery, Brooklyn Kolache (in my old neighborhood in Brooklyn!). People loved their vibrant purple color, and they were far more memorable than a traditional chocolate crinkle cookie.
I also offered up some red velvet cupcakes left over from my cookbook testing; who says you have to be limited to cookies during a cookie swap?! There was also caramel corn and candy cane Hershey’s Kisses. Make your own rules and win at ’em.
4. Use festive and sustainable packaging.
With all the online shopping and work-related packages I get for my blog, I’ve become very conscious of how much waste that we can create. It’s also especially exacerbated during the holidays, when folks wrap presents and send them around the world. Some of it is unavoidable for sure, but I’m always looking for ways in which I can cut down my waste and have others do the same. So instead of providing paper or plastic bags for my friends to carry their cookies home in, I sent each one home with a 4 Cup Storage Dish from Pyrex Simply Store line full of cookies that they could reuse in their own kitchens.
These storage dishes are probably my favorite product out of Pyrex’s extensive product line (and believe me — as a Pyrex die-hard fan girl, it was really hard to pick just one!). But they’re the perfect size, and come in a wide range of fun colors and retro patterns that you can collect. And because it’s a glass container, there’s no need to worry about any of the food staining or flavors remaining in the container like they often do with plastic ones. I use one almost every day in my kitchen for both savory and sweet dishes.
Plus, pro-tip: each container fits a GENEROUS amount of cookies. What more could you want?!
That’s why we’re all here, after all. Don’t forget the coffee and dance moves!