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Cookie Exchange Party

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Kay Nein

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I am considering hosting a cookie exchange party in the beginning of November. I love cookies and would enjoy trying new ones and getting new recipes for the Inn. I've always wanted to host an exchange party and I think the timing (before holidays and during a slow period) is ideal.
Have you ever attended or hosted an exchange party? I have not, so my only source of information will be you and Google.
What are your thoughts of it becoming an annual event, maybe morphing into including a cookie contest. I really wanted to start an annual gingerbread house contest, but in doing the research it would be more extensive than I wanted to commit to. Cookies would be easier and fun. Could be a great source of advertising.
 

JBloggs

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My first thought is to have it as a fund raising event. Then you can get locals to participate and have it in the paper, etc. Cookie exchanges I have been to have only been in December around Christmas. In other words when people are in the baking mode... it can also coincide with an ornament exchange.
Contact some of your ladies groups, they may wish to hold it there as their holiday party or something. Gardening group, GRITS, church ladies, hospital volunteers, library clubs, Sunday School classes, etc.
 

Country Girl

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I would think you would have to limit the number of people attending for a cookie exchange, or limit the number of cookies they had to bring. The only one I attended had 10 people. Each person had to make 1 dozen cookies for each person to take, along with a copy of the recipe. That's a lot of cookies. It was a lot of fun though. I love the idea of the cookie contest and the gingerbread house contest. Would you have them make and decorate the houses at your place? You could have an open house where all the gingerbread houses were on display.
 

EmptyNest

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I have only attended small ones...10 or less and that got to be real crowded and confusing with all the cookies. Are you talking for friends or what? I am not sure a fund raiser would be a good thing. I always want to know where / who my cookies are coming from :) And a large group would be hard to manage.
We did this among friends. Each brought a dozen or two of their favorite cookie and recipes to share. Everyone brought a container. Put all the cookies out on a table and then gathered different ones and put in our own container to take home. We did bring some extras...to nibble on while we partied:)
 

JBloggs

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I have only attended small ones...10 or less and that got to be real crowded and confusing with all the cookies. Are you talking for friends or what? I am not sure a fund raiser would be a good thing. I always want to know where / who my cookies are coming from :) And a large group would be hard to manage.
We did this among friends. Each brought a dozen or two of their favorite cookie and recipes to share. Everyone brought a container. Put all the cookies out on a table and then gathered different ones and put in our own container to take home. We did bring some extras...to nibble on while we partied:).
The fund raiser part would be like a bake sale (depends on where you are, when we lived in WA State you could NOT bring homebaked food to a class, ever) here you can.
The cookies can be wrapped up and tied with a ribbon for the fund raiser. I am thinking, for example like our marching band. It would be a basket to be auctioned. Just a suggestion to get more interest and more PR. :)
 

Breakfast Diva

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I've never been to a cookie exchange, but have been to a progressive breakfast put on by several b&bs. It was fun and each b&b did a different part of breakfast....fancy fruit, juice, coffee, etc at b&b #1, entree at B&B #2, pastries/desserts at B&B #3. They invited innkeepers from all over and we got to see each b&b and meet the innkeepers. We've ended up staying a 2 of the places over the years and referred many more guests because we knew what their experiences there would be.
 

Kay Nein

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I would think you would have to limit the number of people attending for a cookie exchange, or limit the number of cookies they had to bring. The only one I attended had 10 people. Each person had to make 1 dozen cookies for each person to take, along with a copy of the recipe. That's a lot of cookies. It was a lot of fun though. I love the idea of the cookie contest and the gingerbread house contest. Would you have them make and decorate the houses at your place? You could have an open house where all the gingerbread houses were on display..
I turned my one little idea of an annual gingerbread house contest into a huge undertaking as I did my research - different entry classes (kids, professional, historic replicas, etc), auction them off for charity at the event, put them on display after the event until right before Christmas so auction winner can take home (it takes place beginning of January & remain on display for weeks before auction winner takes them home - I didn't want them at the Inn, so had to find a place they could be on display), kids section where they could make them that day (hands-on area, also means I'd have to make a ton of building pieces in advance)... etc...etc...etc... I made it huge in my head and then flipped that idea switch to off as I had already exhausted myself thinking about it *lol*
I'd still like to do it someday, but I'm too busy these days to organize such a big undertaking.
As far as the Cookie Exchange - I did see that they recommend a dozen per person attending. That is alot of cookies. I'm trying to think of ways to tweak that because honestly I just want to taste other people's cookies and get some new recipes. I don't necessarily want to leave the event with boxes of everyone else's cookies - heaven knows I don't need to be eating them! But if I did a cookie contest instead of an exchange, the organization of it would be much different. Hhhmmmmm....
 

gillumhouse

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Our Church did one - make one dozen for each person bringing cookies. It was fun It gave a variety of cookies for Christmas without having to bake 15 kinds like my Mom used to do - in a slow baking year.
There would be 5 dozen at least of each kind she baked. Pecan balls, Little Butter Ss, Neapolitans, and Candy Cane cookies were gone first (and fought over). Leckerli and 8-Day Honey cookies were the last to go (they were hard cookies).
 

JBloggs

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I just can't see this as being feasible. People don't even cook for their own families these days. Unless there is a special event coinciding with it. The holidays gets people more in the baking mood, as some bake and give cookie hampers to their friends. As suggested I would recommend to a group of sorts, then taste them! Be the judge or something. I have not seen cookie contests before. Make me some fruit pies and I will be the judge of those. :)
Have you ever had the gazillion lists of cookies emailed to you? Seems to me you may have to offer an open house and have OTHERS be the judge of the cookies you make! Then people will show up!
 

Madeleine

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I've never been to a cookie exchange, but have been to a progressive breakfast put on by several b&bs. It was fun and each b&b did a different part of breakfast....fancy fruit, juice, coffee, etc at b&b #1, entree at B&B #2, pastries/desserts at B&B #3. They invited innkeepers from all over and we got to see each b&b and meet the innkeepers. We've ended up staying a 2 of the places over the years and referred many more guests because we knew what their experiences there would be..
We used to do a progressive dinner. That was fun. The guests went from inn to inn.
 

Breakfast Diva

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I've never been to a cookie exchange, but have been to a progressive breakfast put on by several b&bs. It was fun and each b&b did a different part of breakfast....fancy fruit, juice, coffee, etc at b&b #1, entree at B&B #2, pastries/desserts at B&B #3. They invited innkeepers from all over and we got to see each b&b and meet the innkeepers. We've ended up staying a 2 of the places over the years and referred many more guests because we knew what their experiences there would be..
We used to do a progressive dinner. That was fun. The guests went from inn to inn.
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Madeleine said:
We used to do a progressive dinner. That was fun. The guests went from inn to inn.

 
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