Updated 12/5/2016: I have added photos from my 2016 cookie swap so for more decorating ideas!
How to host a cookie swap: or rather, cookie swap/hot cocoa bar. Be ready for picture overload!
This year I decided I wanted to have a few friends over for a little holiday gathering and also the first get-together in my new home! I made a few snacks and a hot cocoa bar loaded with different toppings. And of course, there were cookies!
There are tons of ideas on Pinterest for how to decorate for holiday parties. I chose to take a “rustic” approach for my party. The branches are from my yard, and I just sprayed them with paint I had on hand and sprinkled with glitter while they were still wet. Put into a vase full of salt and they are perfectly festive! The candle holders are from the dollar store. Coated in glue and rolled in salt, they add a fun winter touch to the table. Pine branches and cones are always festive this time of year. Candles with cinnamon sticks and kitchen twine also graced the table. All of the decorations I purchased from the dollar store or had on hand. Cheap and easy!
When all of the cookies and guests have arrived, everyone begins collecting their cookies to take home. I ask guests to bring as many cookies as they would like to take home… so if you bring 2 dozen, you collect an assortment of 2 dozen to take home. I also recommend that your guests bring an empty container to place their “take home” cookies in. At the end of the party, their shared cookie platter will be empty and they can take that home as well.
I used a simple hot cocoa recipe that was delicious, and one I will be using again for sure. . I kept it in my slow cooker so it would stay nice and hot for my guests. I offered a variety of toppings for their cocoa:
- Candy Canes
- Whipped cream
- cinnamon sticks
- pirouette cookies
- caramel sauce
- pumpkin spice syrup
- raspberry syrup
- peppermint schnapps
- chocolate chips
- sea salt
I hope this post inspires you to host a cookie swap of your own. Be sure to pin this post for next year if your holiday schedule is already booked for this year. I know this will become an annual event for me and my friends! If you have any questions on the food served, leave me a comment and I will be sure to reply to you!
Creamy Crockpot Hot Cocoa
1.5 cups whipping cream
1 14oz can sweetened condensed milk
6 cups milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups of chocolate chips (milk chocolate OR semi-sweet depending on how sweet you like it. I used a cup of each and I thought it was perfect.)
Stir together the whipping cream, milk, vanilla, and chocolate chips in a crockpot.
Cover and cook on low for 2 hours, stirring occasionally, until mixture is hot and chocolate chips are melted. Stir again before serving. Garnish as desired.
Recipe Source: Mrs Happy homemaker