Food & Nutrition

Surviving The Cookie Swap

Follow these smart strategies and you'll put more cookies in the tin than your tummy at the next cookie swap party.

Every winter holiday season, folks pull out their favorite family cookie recipes, commandeer the kitchen for a day or two, and get baking. Dusted with a light coating of flour, they peer proudly at the trays of cookies and wonder just what to do with such a large quantity. Apart from the obvious.

Years ago some very savvy cookie connoisseurs came up with a great solution: Host cookie swap parties. Guests bring their homemade family favorites, decorated on platters or already in individual gift bags. When all the guests have arrived let the fun begin! Swapping and tasting, tasting and swapping. At the end of the event, each person goes home with a package of goodies.

It’s fun, frugal and delicious — but also a potential pitfall to someone who is trying to lose weight or maintain a loss. Yet not participating and feeling deprived can have the same result. So what to do?

The answer is simple and fun: Create your own personal cookie tin. Not just any old tin; one that you have designated and decorated for you, and you alone. Don’t just slap a sticky note on a recycled cracker box; decorate an empty tin for yourself just as you would if you were making it a gift for a loved one. Then fill it with the cookies you're most looking forward to eating this season.

 

Before the swap
 

  • Giving cookies to others as a gift? Bring a stash of gift bags and/or boxes with pre-written labels and ribbon or tape to seal them.
  • Think: How many SmartPointsTM values worth of cookies will you eat this season? Keep in mind, there will be other goodies that you'll want to use your SmartPoints values on over the next month or so. Got your number? Write it down.

 

At the swap
 

  • Put the "gift" cookies straight into their bags. All packaged up and pretty? Great, now seal them.
  • Select the cookies you plan to eat yourself. Be choosy! Add cookies to your own tin until you have reached the SmartPoints budget you set yourself. (You might need to pull out your Tracker to help calculate as you go.)
  • Grab a pen! List the cookies and their SmartPoints values, either on the bottom of your tin or a separate piece of paper. If necessary, run your fellow swappers’ recipes through the Recipe Builder.

During the month, enjoy the treats that are in your tin. Your cookie supply will dwindle over the weeks, but your motivation will thrive and you will not feel deprived. Now grab a glass of fat-free milk and enjoy your cookie swap booty!  

RELATED: 14 Holiday Cookie Recipes