It all started with me reorganizing my baking-supplies cabinet. I was going through my cookie cutters, tins and a ton of other baking tools that I think I need to have on hand (note: when I get into something…I really get into it!)I usually end up buying every possible tool because I tend to think I’m going to need it. I quickly got the idea of participating in a cookie swap just by looking at a tin I had hidden within the jam-packed cabinet.
I quickly searched online to see if there were any Cookie Swaps in Toronto, or the GTA. I was specifically looking to see if I could join any community swaps going on in the city, and wasn’t able to find anything. This still kinda surprises me since this city is huge and all (if anyone knows of any, please leave a comment), but all that searching pushed me just enough to want to host my very own first-ever cookie swap!
I quickly gathered a list of 12 people who I knew would enjoy being a part of the swap, sent out online invites via Paperless Post and put together a Google doc with instructions and a sign up sheet. All this happened in a matter of a few hours and I was pumped! Here’s another pro tip about me: When I plan something…I really get into it! (see a pattern forming here?)
On the day of the swap I had set up the dining table with everyone’s cookies, made a delicious velvety hot chocolate to greet people with at the door, and decorated to my hearts content. I ensured there were enough cookies made so that everyone got to sample one at the swap and take two of each home with them. This was a good amount to start with, it meant each person was only making 36 cookies. For a first-time Cookie Swap host or attendee, it can get a little overwhelming. This resulted in more than enough for everybody.
The day I hosted my swap was the same day that Toronto decided it would like to host an ice storm! Two of my guests could not make it out due to weather issues and another got sick. I was pretty bummed and at one point almost considered rescheduling the event. I am glad I went ahead with it. Everything went as planned and some missing guests still sent their cookies and because we had extras, we were able to pack a set for each person who was missing.
For packing the cookies, I got white window bakery boxes from Creative Bag and went through my tissue paper and ribbon stash so everyone could get creative when it came time to wrap their cookies to take home. I made salt dough gift tags with a chalkboard back for each guest. Each guest also got to take home a handmade recipe book made by me.
I picked up some delicious milk from Moo Milk Bar in the beaches and paper straws from target (my fave!). I also made sure to keep plain white milk in a decanter that kept it chilled for the duration of the swap. The flavoured milk was poured into shot glasses so everyone could try each flavour.
I cut out a banner with ‘Milk & Cookies’ with my Silhouette Cameo, used a regular disposable plastic table cover with a fabric runner as the base for my Cookie Swap tables cape. I loved setting up the table with all the varying heights with the dishes and the wide selection of cookies.
Lastly, I used the Ikea Tolsby frame as sign holders for each cookie. I love using this frame because it is white and very versatile. If you love hosting events, this would be the best investment to make. It is super cheap and very handy.
Everyone seemed to have a great time and really loved the idea of the event as well as all the goodies. I am sure I will host a second one next year and can’t wait to up the ante with a ‘best cookie’ and ‘best looking cookie/presentation’ award!