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Enjoy the fun of giving and receiving during the winter holiday season and celebrate by participating in National Cookie Exchange Day!

Cookies’ roots trace back hundreds of years, first appearing in Persia in the 7th century and then becoming common in Europe in the 14th century. Not long after, cookies made their way into Christmastime traditions, particularly related to gingerbread style cookies that included spices like cinnamon, nutmeg and, of course, ginger. Other ingredients in cookies at the time may have included dried fruits or nuts.

As time has passed, Christmas cookies have become more elaborate in flavors and styles, with the inclusion of shaped cookie cutters as well as festive and colorful frosting, icing and decorations. Today, cookie making is often a winter holiday activity that many families consider to be a tradition, and cookie recipes are often handed down through generations.

Cookie exchanges offer an opportunity for people who love baking to enjoy their own recipes but also appreciate those someone else made as well. Each person bakes their own style of cookies, which may be agreed upon ahead of time (so everyone doesn’t end up with just a bunch of snickerdoodles).

The cookies are all brought to the exchange party and given away to other guests so everyone gets a little bit of variety without having to bake fifteen different kinds of cookies. It’s a win-win!

Founded by Jace Shoemaker-Galloway, National Cookie Exchange Day falls at the end of December, which is a perfect time to enjoy and appreciate the taste and beauty of each person’s cookie creations.

Enjoy National Cookie Exchange Day by participating in the day with some of these fun and festive ideas:

Invite a few friends to participate in a cookie exchange event in honor of National Cookie Exchange Day. Have fun baking up some batches of cookies ahead of time and then have each guest package them up in bundles of six or twelve cookies for each person to take home with them.

This type of cookie exchange can be done at work or at school as part of the normal day. Or it can be made into an after hours party that includes hors d’oeuvres, wine and some fine Christmas music.

For those with a short amount of time and a large group, making the cookies ahead of time is the way to go. But in a more intimate setting, it might be fun to invite just a few select friends for an all-day cookie making party. Have everyone bring certain ingredients, such as butter, sugar or flour, and then make the cookies together on site.

Perhaps it would be a fun time to have everyone bring a unique recipe and be ready to teach others a new style of cookie making. Learn from friends how to make them and then incorporate them into new family Christmas traditions in honor of National Cookie Exchange Day!

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