It’s cookie exchange time! Holiday parties, including a cookie exchange or two, typically fill my December calendar. I’m sharing my best cookie exchange recipes today! But they’re also great for hostess and holiday giftsThis is the Ultimate Guide for hosting a Cookie Exchange.

These are tried and true and some of the Best Christmas Cookies you’ll ever make. Each recipe will guide you through how to make one of my favorite Holiday Cookies Recipes.

Best Christmas Cookie Recipes photo collage with 3 photos and a text box

Packaging loads of sweet treats is part of our holiday tradition. Bill and Katie deliver all the goodies to our neighbor friends and even a few who have moved out of the hood. Along with an array of cookies, I make fudge, toffee, caramels, and peppermint bark. I’d be in deep trouble if I skipped any of the regulars! Many of these were brought to holiday cookie exchanges!

I’ve linked my best cookie exchange recipes for you. I’m down to only one cookie-swap party per year, but I never like to make the same selection twice. I’ve included many of the sweets I make for the holidays plus some winners from past parties. I hope you find some inspiration for your next cookie exchange or hostess or holiday gifts!

Frequently Asked Questions

Can You Make Ahead and Freeze Cookies?

Yes, these cookies will freeze well for up to 3 months if kept airtight. I like to use freezer-grade Ziploc bags and remove all the excess air. If freezing cookies with sticky components like caramel, chill them in the refrigerator before freezing so the caramel solidifies. And although you can freeze frosted cookies, it’s better to freeze them unfrosted, then defrost and frost when you’re ready to eat or give them away.
You can also freeze dough balls to bake later. Just defrost overnight in the refrigerator before baking.

How Do You Display Cookies for a Cookie Exchange?

Find a festive platter (look for sales after Christmas) and arrange your cookies artfully. Garnish with something from the recipe if possible like fresh cranberries, cinnamon sticks, or pecans. If you have evergreens in your yard that aren’t sprayed with pesticides, a few small sprigs with a red ribbon look Christmasy.

What Are the Top Tips for Making Holiday Cookies?

Here are some basic cookie-making tips:
Have all your ingredients at room temperature unless otherwise noted. This is especially important for eggs, butter, and cream cheese to help them incorporate into the dough more easily.
Use a cookie disher for even-sized cookies.
Line your baking sheet with parchment for easy cleanup and no sticking!
Cool your baking sheets before reusing them.
Use an oven thermometer to make sure your oven temperature is where it should be.
Cool cookies completely before packing them up.

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Best Cookie Exchange Recipes

The best cookie recipe for your next holiday cookie exchange, holiday gifting or to eat while celebrating with family.

Stay in touch through social media @ InstagramFacebook, and Pinterest. Don’t forget to tag me when you try one of my recipes! And if you love the results, please give it a 5-star rating in the recipe card.

 Christmas Cookies collage with 3 photos and a text box

This post was first shared in November 2015. Photos and content were updated in 2020.