The reasons why, after never having been to a cookie exchange before, I’ve now been invited to five:*

  1. The concept is old-fashioned, but seeing a resurgence in popularity, not unlike homesteading, quilting, knitting, canning, urban-chicken-raising, and beekeeping.
  2. It’s a mid-western thing, like calling a potluck a pitch-in. Which I may never be able to do.
  3. Someone saw the party theme as a way to effectively guarantee that no spouses would want to participate.
  4. In that same realm of Parties Where No Spouses Want To Participate, the Twilight Marathon Holiday Party ran out of juice in 2008.
  5. One year, a clever (yet baking-phobic) woman figured out a way to have all her friends bake her Christmas cookies for her by hosting the first “exchange.” It’s like a cookie pyramid scheme — which means that somewhere, one woman is receiving approximately 2 million cookies each Christmas. I tend to think this woman lives in Muncie, Indiana.
  6. Since this is only our second Christmas in Indiana, I’ve not yet made it onto any “Who Not To Invite” lists.
  7. It’s the Christmas spirit. It will not be squelched, no matter what Black Friday does to us all.
  8. Since I blog about food, people mistakenly think this will guarantee that I bring good cookies. They don’t yet know that I oftentimes suffer from severe performance anxiety.
  9. What else can you do, but run your oven 24/7 under the guise of baking twenty dozen cookies, when it’s EIGHT DEGREES OUTSIDE.
  10. At the end of the day, we are all just puppets of The Pioneer Woman, and darnit, she says it’s time to bake cookies.


* DISCLAIMER: I like cookies. I also like cookie exchanges, and the people who invite me to them. I’ll be posting recipes of the cookies I’m making this week for the two exchanges I plan to attend — but you can’t make them if we’re going to the same exchange.

16 thoughts on “The reasons why, after never having been to a cookie exchange before, I’ve now been invited to five:*

  1. It is THE season, isn’t? im always surprised when I get invited, I am so not a baker! To be honest, these parties stress me out. But I’ll do anything for some good cookies, including trading my mediocre ones!!

    1. It is a bit stressful. Which I know is never the intention — but one can’t help but feel a little pressure to make kick-ass cookies.

      Or maybe that’s just me, with my highly-competitive baking drive? (And I wonder why I would possibly have performance anxiety)

  2. I am hosting an ornament exchange – so much less stress .

    Good luck with those cookies .

    I am making gingerbread cookies this week – not for an exchange just because my kids and Chap love them (yea me too).

    1. Now, see, those I’ve been invited to before. But it seemed even more overwhelming than the cookie exchange — aren’t you supposed to make the ornaments?

      Oh, and ginger cookies will be a post this week! Great minds!

      1. I guess some crazy hostess would make you make them – not me – pick one up at Target and come over for a glass of wine! Really it is just to visit and have outreach in my neighborhood.

        as for the cookies – i want to see your recipe – I LOST the one I used last year , I am so sad – trying another hope it works out.

  3. I, too, seem to make my way on the lists…this being in spite of the fact that I have the most annoying dietary preferences (read:vegan-low sugar-dye free-organic snob)! Thought I might make a batch and venture out for the company (will there be wine?)…NOT the cookies πŸ˜‰

    BTW, looking forward to the gingersnap post…suggestions on how to improve my vegan roll/cut out cookies would be welcome! Their pretty good; not great!

    1. Well, I got all excited about the rolled sugar cookies I used to make for Little Man when he was df, but then remembered they have eggs.


      I might take it as a challenge. Vegan sugar cookies. There must be a way.

  4. Oh girl, when you see how laid back my cookie exchange is you’ll kick yourself for stressing. I’m probably the only one who gets her knickers in a knot about the perfect cookie to bring. I entertained the thought of macarons last year! And then snapped back to reality and realized all anyone wanted was a couple of good cookies and a glass of wine or two. Or my sister’s spiked hot cocoa.

    But if you decorated some cookies like the chick in the PW post? I wouldn’t be mad at ya.

    1. It’s more the sheer number of cookies. And — no, I don’t plan on icing mine, but they might get dipped in bittersweet chocolate — it is something to ponder, what cookie to take to the swap. Mainly b/c I just like cookies, so I want them to be good — and this is a prime opportunity for me to try a new recipe, which sometimes ends in Murphys-Law-like disaster.

      Oh, and I’ll take the wine. Or two.

  5. maybe just skip the processed sugar and white flour altogether and try a little less toxic gathering? or do the typical ‘Merkan thing and overlook the health consequences of a diet high in sugar and un-nutritious food-like substance and eat ’em up, preferably washing them down with Mountain Dew!

    1. josephine, I *believe* the traditional cookie swap utilizes a wash-down of red wine…
      (ok, at least the ones I’ll be attending)
      does that count?

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