READY, SET, Bake!

This year, bake smarter, not harder, by par­tic­i­pat­ing in a cookie ex­change. Here are our tips for a suc­cess­ful swap.

Canadian Living - - COOK & EAT | SECRETS FROM THE TEST KITCHEN - TEXT JEN­NIFER DANTER

Choose a lo­ca­tion

Tai­lor the ex­change to the amount of time and space you have, and how many peo­ple are par­tic­i­pat­ing.

OF­FICE EX­CHANGE This type of swap is great for larger groups and makes the work­week so much sweeter. Re­mind every­one to bring a few of their own air­tight con­tain­ers for stor­ing.

WEEKNIGHT APRÈS DIN­NER Gather the neigh­bours and en­joy a low-key ex­change along­side co ee and tea.

SATURDAY SWAP Plan it for af­ter­noon or early evening—this is a so­cial swap. Don’t for­get the eggnog!

SUN­DAY BAKE SES­SION This is ideal for small groups (and a host with a large kitchen). Ask guests to bring baked cook­ies, then dec­o­rate to­gether over treats and snacks. Have them pro­vide cool­ing racks, pip­ing bags, food colour­ing, pas­try brushes and any­thing else they may need.

Be­gin early

Set the date for your cookie ex­change at the start of the hol­i­day sea­son. Al­low a week for all guests to re­ply af­ter the ini­tial e-in­vite. Early Novem­ber is a good time for the event since hol­i­day par­ties can take up most free days in De­cem­ber.

Keep a record

En­sure that there are no du­pli­cate cook­ies by cu­rat­ing a list of di er­ent types. Choose a mix of sweets that will freeze well and keep in the fridge for most of the sea­son. If your group is large, stick to big-batch recipes.

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