32 Best Cookie Exchange Recipes for Christmas Parties

Looking for the best cookie recipes for a party or cookie swap? These easy cookie exchange recipes will please your sweet tooth without taking a lot of time to make.

You’ll also like 20 Festive Holiday Appetizers and 25 Sweet Bread Recipes for Breakfast or Dessert.

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This post contains affiliate links. Learn more and read our full disclosure policy here.

Best Cookie Swap Cookie Recipes for a Cookie Exchange Party

The holiday season is time for people we love — and treats we love! We like to bring both the people and the treats together in a Christmas cookie exchange party.

What is a cookie exchange party?

A cookie exchange party (or a cookie swap) is a fabulous way to get to try dozens of new treats without having to spend hours in the kitchen baking. A cookie swap is one of the easiest Christmas party ideas, too! (Though you can host a cookie exchange any time of year.)

The idea simple:

  1. Each party attendee is asked to bring a few dozen of their favorite Christmas cookies plus the recipe.
  2. Then, guests get to mingle and take home a sampler plate of all of the goodies that everyone has contributed.

It can really be that simple — just an hour with cookies and socializing! All you provide is take-home plates and ambiance.

Or you can have other activities to go along with it (like simple paper Christmas decorations to make).

What should I bring to a cookie exchange?

When you participate in a cookie exchange, you’ll need to bring

  1. Cookies on a platter or packaged
  2. The cookie recipe
  3. A plate or container to bring cookies home
How many cookies should you bring to a cookie exchange?

Your cookie exchange host should specify how many cookies to bring based on the number of attendees, but if the invitation doesn’t say, it’s a safe bet to bring 8 dozen cookies. (Most cookie swaps ask for 5-8 dozen per attendee.)

Worried about making enough cookies for the cookie exchange? It’s totally acceptable to make mini cookies instead of regular sized cookies. You’ll likely still have to make a couple of batches of cookies, but bite-sized cookies are great for sampling.

We strongly suggest getting a set of cookie scoops — it will make the process so much faster and ensure all the cookies are the same size!

How do I package cookies for a cookie exchange?

Your cookie party host may specify if cookies should be plated or packaged individually or in small groups. Whether the cookies are on a platter or in a cellophane bag, it’s nice to label with the cookie name and any allergens, including dairy, nuts, and gluten.

How do you organize a cookie exchange?

A cookie exchange is an easy holiday party to host, but it does take a little bit of planning. Here’s how to be the best cookie swap organizer ever:

  1. Decide who you’ll invite. This could be your work team, your neighborhood, or you book group. A group of 6-10 is best, but larger or smaller groups can work, too.
    • The number of people who participate will determine how many cookies each person needs to bring. Do you want each person to take home one of each type of cookie, or 4, or a dozen?
  2. Send invitations 2-4 weeks before the party exchange date. In addition to the date, time, and place of the cookie swap, the invitation should include:
    • How many cookies to bring
    • (Optional) What kind of cookies to bring — as host you can assign a type of cookie or let guests sign up for certain types of cookies to ensure a good variety.
    • How to submit the recipe (and a deadline) — if you want to have a recipe booklet at the party, be sure party goers get you their recipes in time to be included. If you’ll distribute the recipes after the party, they can just bring the recipe to the party with them.
    • Any cookie exchange rules — Do cookies need to be homemade? Should they be Christmas cookies?
    • How to package cookies for the party — should cookies be on a platter/plate, or packaged individually or in a small portion?
    • RSVP information, so you can plan on a correct number of attendees.
  3. Plan the rest of the party and menu.
    • Decor & Ambiance: A few holiday decorations, a festive table set with a tablecloth and some cake stands or trays, and some Christmas music make the party easy and fun.
    • Food: You’ll want some kind of drink, whether that’s a holiday wassail or milk or hot chocolate. You might also want some other non-sugary snacks like a veggie tray or cheese plate.
    • Party Activities: This can be a simple mix and mingle party, or you can plan additional activities like games or a craft. Making paper Christmas ornaments is cheap and easy!
  4. At the cookie exchange, you’ll run the show and make sure people understand the “rules” of the cookie exchange. It’s nice to provide labels or place cards so people can see what cookies they are getting, as well as any allergens. Be sure to have extra platters, plates, or containers for guests who forget to bring a container for their cookies.

Whether you’re hosting or attending, a Christmas cookie exchange is a great place to share an old classic or a new cookie recipe.

Here are all our favorite Remodelaholic tried and true cookie recipes that will be the talk of the cookie swap party!

Easy Drop Christmas Cookie Recipes

Drop cookies are soft and delicious, from a classic chocolate chip cookie or an easy cake mix cookie to healthy banana zucchini cookie. Drop cookies are also quick to make a bunch, making them some of the best cookie exchange recipes!

Grab a cookie scoop to make these easy cookie exchange recipes even faster.

best cookie recipes for a christmas cookie exchange - red velvet cookies

Semi-Homemade Red Velvet Cookies

Using a mix makes these semi-homemade cookies so fast and easy! They’re delicious and festively colored, and you can change the color to fit any holiday theme you like.

easy cookie exchange recipes - Soft Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies With M&M Chocolate Candies #remodelaholic

Chocolate Chip M&M Cookies

Double the chocolate in these delicious classic cookies! Add red and green M&M candies to make them perfect for Christmas.

best cookie swap cookies - chewy peppermint chocolate cookies

Chewy Chocolate Cookies with Peppermint Chips

These easy chocolate cookies get a holiday flavor twist with peppermint chips! Perfect for mint chocolate lovers.

best cookie exchange recipes - soft gingerbread cookies

Soft Gingerbread Cookies

Get the flavors of gingerbread without chilling dough or rolling it out! These soft gingerbread cookies are chewy and easy to mix up and drop on a cookie sheet for holiday baking.

best cookie recipes for christmas cookie exchange - double chocolate oatmeal chocolate chip cookies

Chocolate Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

Chocoholics, here’s your cookie! The goodness of an oatmeal chocolate chip cookie, but with added cocoa.

healthy cookies for a cookie exchange part - oatmeal banana chocolate chip cookies

Oatmeal Banana Chocolate Chip Cookies

For a different take on oatmeal chocolate chip cookies, add a banana! Perfect for when you have one ripe banana left sitting on the counter. The addition of cinnamon chips takes this soft cookie over the top!

easy cookie exchange recipes - From Scratch Homemade Funfetti Rainbow Sprinkle Cookies #remodelaholic

Rainbow Sprinkle Funfetti Cookies

Nothing says holiday fun like sprinkles! Make these cake-style funfetti cookies from scratch (no cake mix needed). Swap the rainbow sprinkles for red and green jimmies or non-pareils to make these fun cookies for Christmas.

healthy cookie swap cookie recipes - chocolate chip banana zucchini cookies

Chocolate Chip Banana Zucchini Cookies

These banana zucchini chocolate chip cookies have the same texture as pumpkin chocolate chip, but with added veggies!

easy cookie exchange recipes - healthy oatmeal apple raisin cookies

Healthy Oatmeal Apple Raisin Cookies

These yummy oatmeal apple raisin cookies will satisfy your sweet tooth while not interfering with your healthy eating goals. Perfect for a midday office snack or an after school snack, too!

best easy cookie exchange recipes - lemon drop cookies from a mix

Easy Lemon Drop Cookies

Make easy lemon cookies using a cake mix! These lemon drop cookies are extra lemon-y thanks to added lemon juice, lemonade powder and/or lemon zest. The powdered sugar on the outside makes them crisp and sweet, with a tangy center — just like a lemon drop candy!

best cookie exchange cookies for a christmas party - peanut butter rolo cookies with chocolate and caramel

Peanut Butter Rolo Cookies

Like peanut butter kisses, but with added caramel! Hide a chocolate caramel surprise inside these perfect peanut butter cookies.

best cookie swap cookies for a christmas cookie exchange - chewy chocolate cookies

Award Winner Chewy Chocolate Cookies

Like peanut butter kisses, but with added caramel! Hide a chocolate caramel surprise inside these perfect peanut butter cookies.

healthy cookie swap cookie recipes - Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies - Super easy recipe and with ingredients you already have on hand. Learn how to make vegan cookies that are incredibly delicious.

Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies

Healthy replacements make these vegan chocolate chip cookies better for you while still tasting amazing!

best cookie exchange recipes - gluten free flourless chocolate walnut cookies

Gluten Free Chocolate Walnut Cookies

Flourless chocolate cookies plus walnuts equals holiday deliciousness! Swap the walnuts for macadamia nuts, chocolate chips, butterscotch chips or whatever mix-in you’d like.

Homemade Sandwich Cookie Recipes

Sandwich cookies are the best cookie exchange recipes when you want a filling bite of both cookie AND filling! These creative recipes will have everyone wanting the recipe.

best cookie recipes for a christmas cookie exchange party - chocolate chip s'mores cookies

S’mores Cookies

For the outdoorsy (or NOT outdoorsy) folks — the taste of childhood summers, no campfire needed! A gooey broiled marshmallow between two graham cracker chocolate chip cookies is a crowd pleaser!

easy cookie exchange recipes for a christmas cookie swap - better than nutter butter peanut butter cookie sandwiches

Homemade Nutter Butter Peanut Butter Cookies

These homemade peanut butter sandwich cookies are actually even BETTER than Nutter Butter cookies! If you love peanut butter, you’ll love these (mini) chewy oatmeal peanut butter cookies with a delicious creamy peanut butter filling.

best cookie exchange recipes - Pumpkin Spice Whoopie Pies with Nutella frosting

Nutella and Pumpkin Spice Whoopie Pies

We turned one of our favorite fall and winter flavors (pumpkin spice) into a perfectly soft and easy cake mix cookie and then matched it with easy nutella filling OR cinnamon spice frosting. Delicious homemade whoopie pie sandwich cookies!

Thumbprint Christmas Cookie Recipes

Thumbprint cookies are like filled cookies, but way easier! These soft cookies are some of the best cookie exchange recipes because they’re quick and easy to make, but still look festive and fun (oh and taste amazing, too).

Candy Cane Crinkle Cookies

These mint chocolate candy cane cookies are a lightened up version of cake mix cookies! Just mix the cake mix cookie ingredients, then roll in brown sugar and add a bit of candy cane to the center for a chewy cookie with a minty crunch.

Red Velvet Cookies Remodelaholic Holiday

Cream Cheese and Red Velvet Thumbprint Cookies

These homemade peanut butter sandwich cookies are actually even BETTER than Nutter Butter cookies! If you love peanut butter, you’ll love these (mini) chewy oatmeal peanut butter cookies with a delicious creamy peanut butter filling.

German Chocolate Cake Cookies

A soft German chocolate cake cookie gets topped with classic pecan coconut frosting and a drizzle of chocolate. All the best parts of a German chocolate cake in just one bite sized morsel!

best cookie recipes for christmas cookie exchange party - raspberry shortbread thumbprint cookies

Raspberry Jam Shortbread Cookies

This buttery vanilla almond shortbread cookie is complimented perfectly with your favorite raspberry jam on top.

Frosted & Cutout Cookie Recipes

If you’ve got a little bit of extra time, here are out best cookie exchange recipes that are frosted, dipped, and cut out into fun holiday shapes.

Frosted Eggnog Cookies

For eggnog lovers — your favorite drink, in cookie form! These frosted eggnog cookies have the special ingredient in both the cookies AND the frosting.

best cookie exchange recipes - brown butter cookies dipped in chocolate

Chocolate Dipped Brown Butter Cookies

This crispy brown butter cookie can be dipped in chocolate for an extra sweet treat, or left on its own as a delicious treat with your hot chocolate.

best cookie swap cookies for christmas party - cut out kool aid sugar cookies

Colorful Cut Out Kool-Aid Cookies

Kool-Aid cookies are like sugar cookies, but with a little extra flavor and color thanks to an unsweeted drink mix! We made them as Valentine conversation hearts; change these for the winter holidays by making green Christmas trees to decorate, or by cutting the cookies in an ornament shape. You could even insert ornament hangers and put them on the tree for a fun family tradition!

Bar Cookie Recipes

Bar cookies can be the best cookie exchange recipes when you’re looking to make a bunch and quick — just pull out the sheet pans!

Starbucks Copycat Cranberry Bliss Bars

Cranberry is one of the most versatile flavors of the holidays, and combined with white chocolate chips drizzle, a buttery cookie bar, and a cream cheese frosting, it’s heavenly!

easy cookie exchange recipes - raspberry granola bar cookies

Raspberry Granola Bar Cookies

The crunch of granola with the sweetness of jam, and don’t forget the chocolate chips! These granola bar cookies are a hearty filling snack.

best cookie exchange recipes for a christmas cookie swap party - healthy baked oatmeal chocolate chip cookkie bars

Healthy Baked Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars

Oats and applesauce make this chocolate chip cookie bar healthy and filling.

best cookie exchange recipes - no bake chocolate peanut butter cereal bars

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cereal Bars

Need a quick no-bake cookie? These chocolate peanut butter Cheerios treats are great for a cookie exchange party or a fast after school snack.

No Bake Cookie Recipes

Best no bake cookie exchange recipes? Coming right up! These are fun and easy for kids to help bake, too.

best cookie exchange recipes - no bake thin mints

No Bake Holiday Mint Thins

These easy no-bake chocolate mint cookies taste just like the Girl Scout version!

best cookie swap cookies for a christmas cookie exchange - chocolate peanut butter no bake cookies

Chocolate Peanut Butter No Bake Cookies

A quick and easy classic no bake cookie.

easy cookie exchange recipes - no bake cookie pops with chocolate and caramel

Easy No-Bake Cookie Pops

Use pre-made cookies and caramel bits to make a bunch of these easy and delicious holiday cookie pops, in a hurry. Swap our Valentine candy toppers with your favorite Christmas candy or sprinkles for a festive treat.

No Bake Trail Mix Cookies

All the best parts of trail mix and chocolate no bake cookies, together in one!

Creative Christmas Cookie Recipes

easy cookie exchange recipes for a christmas cookie swap - waffle iron sugar cookies

Waffle Iron Sugar Cookies

Make a crispy cookie bite without using the oven! Make sugar cookies in your waffle iron for a great dippable cookie.

easy cookie exchange recipes - protein snowman cookies

Protein Snowman Cookies

This snowman cookie is a fun take on a protein bite! Great for gifting or for an after school snack.

best cookie exchange recipes - strawberry meringue cookies with chocolate chips

Strawberry Meringue Cookies

Are meringues really cookies? This light fluffy bite-sized dessert is delicious, so it will be a hit at your cookie exchange no matter what you call it. Easy to change up the colors, flavors, and chocolate chip mix-ins to fit different holidays, too.

best cookie swap cookies for a christmas cookie exchange - sweet spice chocolate cookies

Sweet and Spicy Chocolate Cookies

These chill and slice chocolate cookies are a little sweet with a little bit of spice!


For more holiday recipes, check out these:

Best Easy Cookie Exchange Recipes For A Christmas Cookie Swap Party, Remodelaholic

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Cassity Kmetzsch started Remodelaholic after graduating from Utah State University with a degree in Interior Design. Remodelaholic is the place to share her love for knocking out walls, and building everything back up again to not only add function but beauty to her home. Together with her husband Justin, they have remodeled 6 homes and are working on a seventh. She is a mother of four amazing girls. Making a house a home is her favorite hobby.

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