If you’re looking for the best cookies for a cookie exchange party, I’ve got you! These are the best cookies to bring to a party! I've updated this list of the best cookies to share to include even MORE recipes for your cookie exchange to spread more holiday cheer!
And in addition to these Christmas cookie exchange recipes, you'll find cookie exchange rules, cookie swap party menu, and tips for how to win the cookie swap this year! And I also include a few ideas for a cookie exchange party to help you throw the ultimate cookie exchange!
If you love this roundup of big batch cookie exchange recipes, you’ll love my Quirky Baking Gifts for the Bakers on your List, my 24 Thanksgiving Breakfast Ideas to Start Your Day Right and my list of Foodie Gifts for the Bakers and Home Chefs on Your List!
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Best Cookies to Bring to a Party
Happy Holidays! I think it's well established that I love baking cookies. And this is my favorite time of year because I have a great excuse to make lots of them! Today, I'm sharing some of my favorite big batch cookie exchange recipes from some of the best food bloggers and recipe developers around to make sure that you've got all the best cookies for a cookie exchange!
What is a Christmas cookie swap?
So what is cookie swapping? It's so fun! It's a way to get together and share your favorite cookie recipes with friends and family. Everyone meets and brings lots of delicious cookies to share, and they're displayed all together on a large table. Guests can sample cookies while they socialize and discuss their best recipes, and then everyone can pack a box of cookies to take home! See below for all my favorite cookie exchange ideas for what to make!
How many cookies do I need for a cookie exchange?
Usually, the host will decide how many cookies to bring for each guests, but the traditional amount is to bring a dozen or a half dozen for each attendee to take home, plus some to enjoy on the cookie platter during the party. So depending on the amount of guests, you may need to make 7-8 dozen cookies -- and with these Christmas cookie recipes for an exchange, you can double or tripe the recipes to turn them into big batch cookie exchange recipes and make sure you've got plenty to share!
No Spread Sugar Cookies
This recipe grew out of a holiday tradition in my family, and I hope they'll become a tradition for yours too! These are the best no-chill, no-spread cutout classic sugar cookies you'll find, and the only sugar cookie recipe you need for any holiday! Truly one of the best cookie exchange recipes!
Thumbprint Cookies with Icing
Old fashioned thumbprint cookies with icing and sprinkles are the ultimate holiday treat! You can even make these thumbprint cookies with buttercream or chocolate icing and nuts instead of sprinkles! The thumbprint cookie filling is so customizable!
Brown Sugar Shortbread Cookies
These cookies are so simple, you'll be baking them all the time! With just 4 ingredients you can have a rich, buttery treat that is SO good!
Chocolate Orange Shortbread Cookies
Classic chocolate orange shortbread cookies recipe with chocolate chunks and orange zest! These chocolate orange biscuits are always a favorite! If you love Terry's chocolate orange, these shortbread cookies are right up your alley!
Key Lime Cookies
The bright, tart flavor of key lime is perfect in these soft, tender cookies that just melt in your mouth!
Peppermint White Chocolate Sugar Cookies
During the holidays, everything just seems to be glittery and bright... especially these peppermint sugar cookies topped with a creamy white chocolate ganache, finished with sparkling sugar. They look just like freshly-fallen snow!
Snickerdoodles without Cream of Tartar
Easy snickerdoodle recipe without cream of tartar! I know you’ll love this chewy snickerdoodle recipe and you'll be making your snickerdoodles without cream of tartar from now on!
Christmas Cookie Cake
This decorated Christmas cookie cake recipe is one of my favorite Christmas cookie recipes because it’s SO easy and so much fun! This Christmas cake is made from moist chocolate chip cookie dough and topped with festive colors and fun Christmas cookie cake designs!
Lemon Curd Cookies
Buttery shortbread thumbprint cookies filled with tangy lemon curd -- these lemon curd cookies are irresistible!
Salted Caramel Thumbprint Cookies with Cinnamon Sugar
You won't be able to stop eating these! These soft, cinnamon-sugar cookies filled with a gooey salted caramel filling are a guaranteed hit for your cookie exchange party! Make them and watch them disappear!
Oatmeal Cookie Bars with Brown Butter and Salted Nutella Swirl
An easy, decadent treat! These brown butter oatmeal cookie bars are so rich and flavorful, yet so simple to make!
Pie Crust Cookie Twists
These pie crust cookies are the easiest and best cookies for cookie exchange swaps! They're made with store-bought pie crust and just a few more ingredients, and come out crisp, buttery, and flaky and swirled with cinnamon and sugar! Plus, the recipe includes instructions for a vanilla icing AND a salted caramel dipping sauce!
These crispy, flaky French puff pastry treats are filled with shredded coconut and crunchy turbinado sugar. They're such easy cookies, and they're perfect for your cookie exchange!
Brownie Mix Cookies with White Chocolate, Cherries and Pistachios
Easy brownie mix cookies with cherries, pistachios, and white chocolate! These cookies are made with cake mix, so they're perfect for you even if you're not an experienced baker. See how to turn brownie mix into cookies so easily for the holidays or any occasion!
Cranberry White Chocolate Shortbread Cookies
These cranberry white chocolate shortbread cookies are the perfect slice and bake Christmas cookies! One of the best festive cookie recipes out there!
Vegan Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies with Banana and Cacao
These vegan, gluten-free breakfast oatmeal cookies are made with no refined sugars and are perfect for breakfast, dessert, or a healthy snack.
These super-easy chocolate covered Oreos are perfect for a Christmas treat and make great edible gifts!
No Chill Gingerbread Cookies with Stout and Brown Butter Cream Cheese Frosting
I love this combination of full-bodied stout and spiced gingerbread. But I'm always looking for an excuse to use brown butter...
Almond Flour Peanut Butter Cookies
ingredient almond flour peanut butter cookies - vegan and gluten free! Maple syrup, almond flour, and peanut butter are all you'll need for these almond flour peanut butter cookies -- keto option included!
Dairy Free Chocolate Chip Cookies
Dairy free chocolate chip cookies - chewy and delicious! If you want one of the best dairy free cookie recipes, you’re in the right place! These dairy free cookies are amazing!
Oatmeal Cranberry Pecan Cookies
If you like crispy cookies (who doesn't?) you will LOVE these praline pecan cranberry oatmeal cookies...
Ginger Crinkle Cookies
Best ginger crinkle cookies recipe! These chewy ginger crackles are the best soft ginger cookies! And we’re making these gingerbread crinkle cookies with cake mix!
Almond Lemon Cookies
Soft, delicious almond lemon cookies with a bright lemon glaze! And we’re making these lemon almond shortbread cookies with almond flour and maple syrup, so they’re vegan, gluten free, dairy free, and are made without refined sugars!
Matcha Chocolate Chip Cookies
These soft matcha chocolate chip cookies are an incredible twist on a classic chocolate chip cookie! Chewy green tea chocolate chip cookies with a subtle matcha flavor that everyone will love! Try this matcha cookies recipe!
Strawberry Cheesecake Cookies
These strawberry cheesecake cookies with white chocolate chips are the perfect sweet treat! How to make strawberry cheesecake cookies from cake mix that are so easy and delicious! You’ll love these strawberry cookies!
Chocolate Chip Cookies Without Brown Sugar
These soft chocolate chip cookies without brown sugar are perfect for you if you’re looking to make a chocolate chip cookie recipe and can’t find any brown sugar! They’re perfectly soft, gooey, and rich, and wonderful dipped in milk! Read on to find out how to make chocolate chip cookies (no brown sugar)!
Strawberry Shortbread Cookies
These strawberry shortbread cookies are the perfect sweet treat! Take a soft, buttery shortbread base and add sweet, tart strawberry jam and you’ve got these strawberry jam shortbread cookies! You’re going to love these strawberry butter cookies so much!
Raspberry White Chocolate Cookies
Raspberry white chocolate cookies - Subway inspired recipe! If you love those cookies at Subway, this white chocolate raspberry cookies recipe is perfect for you! You can make fresh or freeze dried raspberry and white chocolate cookies and either way you can’t go wrong!
This brown sugar coffee cookies recipe is easy and perfect for your morning cup! Start with a 3 ingredient coffee cookies recipe, and add a hint of coffee flavor, vanilla, and a raw sugar topping! This coffee cookie recipe is sure to be your new favorite!
Chocolate Shortbread Sandwich Cookies
These chocolate shortbread cookies melt in your mouth and are filled with a dark chocolate ganache combined to create a rich buttery sandwich cookie.
Gingerbread Cookie Bars
These gingerbread cookie bars are soft and chewy and topped with cream cheese frosting and all the holiday sprinkles. The perfect alternative to making cutout gingerbread shapes!
Cookie Monster Cookies
These easy cookie monster cookies are one of my favorite recipes and a guaranteed hit with the whole family! This is the blue cookie monster cookies recipe Tiktok inspired, packed with two kinds of chocolate chips, Oreo cookies and chocolate chip cookie chunks, and stuffed with melty milk chocolate! Try this cookie monster chocolate chip cookies recipe for your cookie swap!
Oatmeal Raisin Marshmallow Cream Pies
These Oatmeal Raisin Marshmallow Cream Pies are a fun recipe to make with your family! They’re gooey, chewy, sweet and perfect for any occasion!
Gluten-Free Thumbprint Cookies with Raspberry Jam
These vegan, gluten-free thumbprint cookies with Raspberry Jam come together in less than 20 minutes! These decadent cookies are the perfect Christmas treat that everyone will enjoy!
Coconut Macadamia Oatmeal Cookies with White Chocolate Chunks
Soft, chewy oatmeal cookies with buttery macadamia nuts, toasty coconut, and creamy white chocolate!
Chocolate Laced Triple Ginger Cookies
Nothing indicates the holidays are here like gingerbread and chocolate. So, these Chocolate Laced Triple Ginger Cookies are destined to become your new favorite way to celebrate.
Serkerpare - Turkish Semolina Cookies
After being baked, these Turkish Semolina Cookies are coated with an orange syrup. The perfect cookie for any time of year!
Candy Cane Cookies
These candy cane cookies will be an annual tradition your family never lets you forget! Almond vanilla cookie dough meets cool crushed peppermint candy canes and the result is highly addictive.
Gluten-Free Snickerdoodle Cookies
These gluten-free snickerdoodle cookies are pillowy-soft, cinnamony sweet, and perfect for your cookie exchange, or to share with your family and friends this holiday season.
Gingerbread Reindeer Cookies with Royal Icing
Gingerbread is a must during the holiday season. Not only are these reindeer cookies cute, their spiced dough and sweet royal icing decorations make them a great gift.
Perfect Soft Christmas Sugar Cookies
These Christmas Sugar Cookies are simple, soft, and buttery! They bake up perfectly shaped, stay soft and tasty for days, and are fantastic to cover in sweet icing. These sugar cookies are perfect for your cookie exchange and to give away as gifts for the holidays!
"Chocolate" Plantain Chip Cookies
These ‘Chocolate’ Plantain Chip cookies are thin, light, crispy, and so addictive. They’re the perfect chocolate wafer with a sweet and savory twist and they’re also AIP, paleo and vegan!
Double Chocolate Pecan Cookie Bars
These Vegan Double Chocolate Pecan Cookie Bars are made chocolate dusted pecans that are folded into a chocolate chip batter and then baked to perfection! A perfect vegan holiday treat idea for a cookie exchange!
Browned Butter Skor Toffee Cookies
These Browned Butter Toffee Cookies are delightfully soft and chewy, made using browned butter, Skor toffee bits and a hint of vanilla; which make for a very irresistible treat! These are the best cookies for cookie exchange parties because they're deliciously addictive, and the perfect treat to share with family and friends!
Christmas Cookie Charcuterie Board
Now that you have all the delicious recipes for the best cookies for cookie exchange parties, you need a great way to showcase them! This post guides you on how to make a Christmas treat charcuterie board from start to finish with every type of cookie and snack that you like! You can use any of the amazing cookies from this list, or some from my collection of 50 Vegan Desserts for Christmas! Either way, you can make an EPIC grazing board to display treats and cookies for cookie exchange parties all season long!
Tips and F.A.Q. for the Ultimate Cookie Exchange
For most cookie exchange parties, the host will set up the party much like a potluck: she will decide how many cookies each guest brings (typically one dozen per guest), and even assign cookie types if desired -- one guest will bring chocolate chip cookies, another will bring sugar cookies, etc. Guests can also be asked to bring copies of their recipe to share. The host will also manage dietary restrictions or other considerations (check out my list of the best gluten free and dairy free cookies!).
On the day of the swap, guests will bring their cookies and the host will set them all up on a large table, next to copies of the corresponding recipes. Guests can mingle and enjoy cookies and other refreshments, and at the end of the party they can take home some of each cookie!
Besides the homemade cookies, of course, the host may want to provide light snacks and drinks -- whatever your favorite things are to enjoy during the holidays! Maybe some cinnamon kettle corn, an appetizer dip, an easy puff pastry tart. You can also put out a Fruit Charcuterie Board and some festive cocktails like Oat Milk Eggnog or a Mistletoe Margarita! The cookie swap party menu can vary depending on the host and the size of the group, but it should always be festive and fun!
The cookie exchange rules are typically set by the party host, but they often include that each guest must bring 1-2 dozen cookies per attendee. That way attendees can have enough cookies to take home, plus another 6-12 to enjoy during the party. Hosts set the recipe types, dietary restrictions, and packaging guidelines.
Usually the host will decide on the amount per guest, but it's typically one dozen cookies per attendee at the cookie exchange party.
So how do I package cookies for a cookie exchange? Well, if you've made unfrosted cookies like my Coconut Macadamia Oatmeal Cookies with White Chocolate Chunks, then you can use any lightweight food storage container you like! For frosted or decorated cookies like peanut butter blossoms, a tiered cookie carrier like this one would be a great idea.
I hope you enjoy these cookie recipes for a party, and that you are able to try some of these cookies for cookie exchange swaps this year! To me, cookies are a sweet symbol of the love and support we try to show each other this time of year -- the effort and attention that comes through in every bite really lets our loved ones know how much we care.
So thank you so much for including these recipes in your traditions this holiday season. It's my hope that all your holiday cooking and baking finds you and your family happy, healthy, and surrounded by love and comfort this Christmas season!
PIN these cookies for cookie exchange parties coming up!
Check out my Best Cookies for Cookie Exchange Web Story!
Last Updated on February 14, 2023 by Chenée Lewis
Saving this roundup for the holidays. So many good cookies to try. The key lime cookies look delightful.
They are so yummy!
Oh my goodness. What a list. I could make all of these delicious cookies just for my family.
Ohhh, I love this collection with all my heart!! I'm not a baker at all, but when it comes to Christmas cookies, I make up for it, lol. Thumbprints are always a go-to for me, but I'm going to be messing around with a few of these recipes this year!
Can't wait to hear how you like them!
What a great list of cookies! I have my eye on the raspberry white chocolate chip. They all look delicious!
Those are so good! Hope you like these recipes!
I'm definitely making the chocolate covered Oreos with my kids! The raspberry white chocolate cookies sound super good. I'm going to make them for my church Christmas party! Awesome list!
So glad you like the list!! 🙂
I am so excited to start Christmas baking! This list is awesome!
Me too!! So glad you like it!
I'm not even joking - I just spent an hour looking at all these lovely recipes, and have 21 on my must-bake list over the festive period! So good!
Yayy!! I love adding to my baking list so I know the feeling! 🙂
Oh this just make me wish is Christmas already! What a bunch of inspirational recipes, I wanna try them all!
I can't wait for Christmas either! Hope you enjoy them!
I've never done a cookie exchange before. This sounds fun and will do this with my family when we get together. They all enjoy this especially with the kids since its all cookies.
Kids will love it for sure! 🙂
I don’t even know where to begin! I want to try them all! Saving this for Christmas.
I know what you mean! So many great options!
What a great roundup of holiday treats! Excited to give a few of these a try this year; we do a cookie exchange in my neighborhood and these will be perfect!
Wonderful! I hope you like the ones you try!
Going through this list while I sit here snacking on carrots and hummus is just wrong, lol. Man, how am I supposed to choose just a few of these to make this season??
There's plenty of time to make them all! 🙂
Wow so many delicious cookie options I can't wait to try the browned butter toffee cookies! Thank you!
Those are a great place to start!
Great Roundup! So many good options that I'm excited to try!
Yes I love all of these!
Great list for the holiday season! They all look great, wish I could try that salted caramel thumbprint cookie right now!
Thank you! That's one of my favorites!
I can’t wait to make these cookies in preparation for Christmas!!! So many amazing recipes in this roundup!
Thanks!! I love these recipes too!
What a fantastic roundup! I can't wait to try them all!
Me too! They all look great!