Cookies on a slate background
Food

Navigating Cookie Swaps

Tips for staying on plan, while enjoying the treats of the holiday season.

While it’s difficult to guess the exact origins of cookie swaps, it’s safe to say that these baking parties have gone on to become an important holiday tradition since their humble beginnings almost a whole century ago. The premise is simple, a group of cookie-baking enthusiasts will each claim a cookie recipe and bake each participant their own dozen to exchange for other cookies. To enter into a cookie swap is to acknowledge you won’t be coming home empty handed. It’s entirely possible to end up with over twelve dozen delicious homemade cookies depending on the number of participants, enough baked goods to tempt anyone interested in maintaining a healthy diet. Don’t panic! These tools will help you stay on track while still letting you enjoy the cookies of your labour!

Find like-minded bakers

If you’re on a weight loss journey or in maintenance mode, the easiest way to navigate a cookie swap is to plan ahead with like-minded family members and friends. Invite participants to choose cookie recipes that have a certain SmartPoints® value and stick to recipes that either meet the criteria or have fewer Points. Instead of making a dozen cookies try making a half dozen, the fewer cookies you have to make the more you can pay attention to detail and splurge on better quality ingredients.

Empower yourself

It wouldn’t be realistic - and it would be a waste of time to make cookies for a swap only to deprive yourself of the finished treats. Empower yourself by calculating the Points values for the cookies you’ve received and don’t feel shy about asking for the recipe, if anything it’s a flattering gesture towards the other participants. Once you know the Points values of the cookies you can make sure there’s room in your daily plan to have a cookie or two every day. After all, it’s the holiday season!

Have a holiday party

There’s no better way to get rid of excess cookies than by having a holiday party. You’ll have all of your dessert appetizers made already, not to mention a big selection of cookies for your guests to choose from. This option is particularly nice because you’ll have the pleasure of enjoying the cookies yourself and your guests will be just as happy to have their fill of homemade cookies. Get creative and arrange the cookies on glass serving platters and cake stands which have been decorated with bright ribbons and Christmas decorations for an elegant yet enticing dessert course.

Freeze leftovers

Most cookies will freeze incredibly well if they’ve been wrapped in plastic or parchment and stored in a container. Avoid cookies that are covered in powdered or granulated sugar, that have delicate icing or cookies containing meringue or marshmallow. Most cookies can be defrosted at room temperature for an hour or two before serving. Make sure you label the container being used to store the cookies with the type and date they were frozen, most cookies will last three to four months in the freezer as long as they’re tightly wrapped.