Host an Around-the-World Cookie Swap Party

Host a casual around-the-world cookie swap party this holiday season, complete with international cookie recipes, hot cocoa and to-go boxes for guests.
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Photo By: Sweet Louise Photography

Photo By: Sweet Louise Photography

Photo By: Sweet Louise Photography

Photo By: Sweet Louise Photography

Photo By: Sweet Louise Photography

Photo By: Sweet Louise Photography

Photo By: Sweet Louise Photography

Photo By: Sweet Louise Photography

Photo By: Sweet Louise Photography

Photo By: Sweet Louise Photography

Photo By: Sweet Louise Photography

Photo By: Sweet Louise Photography

Photo By: Sweet Louise Photography

Photo By: Sweet Louise Photography

Photo By: Sweet Louise Photography

Photo By: Sweet Louise Photography

International Desserts

Bring friends together to kick off the holiday season with a cozy, international-inspired cookie swap party. Take inspiration from holiday dessert traditions from around the globe and incorporate natural elements like pinecones and conifers into the decor to keep the atmosphere perfectly seasonal.

Wintry Garland

Deck the halls and create a decorative detail that can be enjoyed year after year by transforming ordinary mini pinecones. Simply dip the edges of the pine cones into white tempera paint and allow to dry. Then string onto red twine and hang above the buffet, around the Christmas tree or on the mantel.

Frosted Trees

With just a few coats of white spray paint, these miniature bottle-brush Christmas trees get a wintry makeover and make the perfect decorative centerpiece for a Christmas table or, in this case, a cookie buffet.

Easy Cookie Buffet

Spread holiday cheer by setting out cookies for guests to enjoy, along with the recipes to re-create them. The best part? Each guest brings a batch of cookies, keeping hostess duties to a minimum and allowing everyone to feel involved in the planning. Then take turns taste-testing each batch.

Festive Partyware

Rather than using flimsy paper plates, invest in a great set of neutral dessert plates that will suit most any party theme. Set these out at the front of the cookie buffet with festive red-and-white-patterned linen napkins for guests to grab on their own.

Cookies + Milk

Take a cue from Saint Nick and wash down the day's sweets with a tall glass of milk. Find glass milk bottles at any home store or source vintage ones at antique shops, fill with milk, and garnish with red-and-white-striped paper straws for a pop of peppermint.

Stylish Identification

For the hostess who loves to add a personal touch, there's no better investment than a set of alphabet stamps. Dip in black ink and stamp onto folded card stock to create menu cards that identify each cookie type on the buffet, then fold and prop by each corresponding batch of cookies for easy viewing.

Austrian Linzer Tortes

Add an elegant touch to your holiday buffet table with classic Austrian linzer tortes. Raspberry preserves are sandwiched between two buttery crusts, with a small cutout on the top, to create this holiday classic. Pile them high in a vintage tin for a nostalgic presentation. Get the Recipe Here>>

Eastern European Rugelach

Eastern European rugelach are a Jewish pastry known for their crescent-roll shape. Fill with any combination of raisins, cinnamon, chocolate, nuts or fruit preserves, then roll up and slice before baking. Get the Recipe Here>>

French Madeleine Cookies

Say oui, oui to beloved French Madeleine cookies. With the consistency and flavor of small sponge cakes, these cookies are unmistakably shell shaped. Dip half of the batch in chocolate for an added touch of sweetness, and serve in a basket lined with a festive tea towel. Get the Recipe Here>>

Mexican Wedding Cookies

An all-time favorite, Mexican wedding cookies are a buttery, nutty cookie perfect for any festive occasion. Blanket in a snowfall of powdered sugar, then set out on a tray for guests to grab freely. Get the Recipe Here>>

Italian Biscotti

Buon Natale! Take inspiration from Italian holiday culture by making these homemade biscotti. Serve up these crunchy treats with coffee, cappuccinos or, if you're truly in a sweet holiday spirit, alongside a piping-hot glass of cocoa. Get the Recipe Here>>

Sizzling-Hot Cocoa

No holiday season is complete without mugs filled with hot cocoa. Serve with cinnamon sticks for flavorful stirring, and a liberal sprinkling of marshmallows, of course.

Dessert for Later

Send guests home in style with neatly packaged "to-go" boxes. White bakers' boxes lined with parchment paper are the perfect containers for filling with each guests' loot from the day. Print and cut out these festive tags, hand-stamp guests' names and string onto red-and-white kitchen twine.

Memorable Recipe Cards

Before the party, send these printable recipe cards to each guest in the mail. Ask them to fill out the recipe for the international cookie they'll be bringing to the party, and make enough copies for each guest to take one home with them. Set the recipe cards out on the buffet for guests to pick up as they sample each cookie.

Sweet Take-Home Treats

The best party favors are ones that remind guests of a sweet celebration long after the party is over. Not only will everyone leave the cookie swap with a box full of sweet treats — they'll have recipes to add to their collections to enjoy for years to come.

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