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National Cookie Exchange Day and Recipes

Photo courtesy of National Today

Did you know that there’s a holiday for nearly every day of the year? National Today, a website completely dedicated to listing holidays on a specific day, has listed December 22nd, 2022, as National Cookie Exchange Day. We all know about the traditional holidays like Christmas, Valentine's Day, or Halloween, but you probably didn't know that February 26th is National Pistachio Day or that National Wear Your Pajamas to Work Day is on April 19th, and can you believe that they have a day dedicated to the Ugliest Dog? Yes! It’s a real day, and it’s on the 20th of June. 

With the holidays coming up, there seems to be no better time than now to bake with family and friends. National Cookie Exchange Day offers that opportunity and allows you to connect with your community on a tasty and fun level. The day involves the hosting of a party where all the guests make cookies of any kind of variety. Guests pack their cookies in little tin boxes and bring them to the party to be displayed. Believe it or not, there's a strict guideline for some of these parties that the host and guest must follow. One rule, which seems obvious, is that all cookies must be homemade (so no sneaking in any of your local bakery’s day-old chocolate chip cookies). Another rule includes writing out and displaying the recipe for your cookies. No more secret recipes, according to the Exchange Party! 

The history of Cookie Exchange Day is pretty extensive. While it is up in the air when cookies were first made, many historians believe the creation of cookies took place in 7th century Persia. The first cookie exchanges happened in the Middle Ages. Cookies, at the time, were made with exotic spices and dried fruits. Cookies weren't introduced to the States until 1703, and they were brought over by the Dutch to New York for early Americans to taste. The infamous chocolate chip cookie was invented by mere accident in the 1930s by Ruth Graves Wakefield, who ran the Toll House Restaurant. And finally, in the 1950s, pre-made cookie dough was invented as a convenient fix for a raving sweet tooth. 

With all that's happening in the world and with the holidays being such a fast-paced time of year, I encourage you and your friends and family to slow down and hold your own little cookie exchange party. This could be a cool opportunity to tap into your creative side and unwind after a long year. To help get you started, I've compiled a list of some of the tastiest and most creative recipes (none include pre-made dough, unfortunately) that I've found and personally tasted. Grab your apron and start baking!

Tasty Recipes

One of the criteria for a rating in a cookie exchange is the tastiness of the cookie. You could easily win with a simple chocolate chip cookie that's made very well. I've found three chocolate chip cookie recipes that will knock your party goers' socks off.



chocolate chip cookie

Photo courtesy of JoyFoodSunshine

This one from Allrecipes has nearly 20,000 reviews, and everyone seems to love it, including me! It yields 4 dozen cookies, so twice as much as would be needed in the general cookie exchange rulebook, and only requires 30 minutes of your day. If you're looking for a soft, chewy, and crisp-edged cookie, this recipe is for you. 

This recipe by JoyFoodSunshine claims to be the best chocolate chip cookie recipe ever, and I can agree. Along with being a delicious recipe, it's quite simple, with no chilling or difficult-to-find ingredients required. These cookies are buttery, slightly doughy, and irresistibly sweet. 

The third and final chocolate chip cookie recipe I've found to be scrumptious is this one by Tasty, which could be the most popular chocolate chip cookie recipe on the internet. This recipe calls for milk or semisweet chocolate chunks instead of chocolate chips, so it's more of a chocolate chunk cookie recipe, but it serves the same delicious purpose!

Creative Recipes

Creativity is another major criterion for a rating in a cookie exchange. Some of the most creative cookie recipes come in gingerbread, shortbread, or sugar cookie form. The next three recipes include all three types of cookies mentioned, with the creativity aspect coming from the decorative icing.

gingerbread men

Photo courtesy of once upon a chef

This gingerbread recipe I found from once upon a chef is easy to throw together and the cookies are as tasty as they look. Many people find gingerbread cookies (while very cute) to be plain and tasteless, but this recipe claims to bridge the gap between beautifully frosted gingerbread men and tasty cookies. 

A shortbread cookie your guest will love is this one by Somewhat Simple. They’re designed to look like little Christmas Trees that will inspire Christmas spirit to your party. You’ll add Christmas colored sprinkles to your dough mix to add a little spice to your cookies on top of the icing you'll add once the cookies are baked and cooled. 

Who doesn’t love a classic sugar cookie? The Pillsbury premade doughs are absolutely delectable, but this one by The New York Times is easy and bakes cookies ideal for creative frosting designs. This recipe also allows for some variation in flavors, depending on how you’re feeling or to what extent you want to be creative. 


December 22, 2022 is National Cookie Exchange Day, and while I had not heard of it until this year, it has been widely celebrated for centuries. Cookie Exchange Day offers a great opportunity to bond and have fun with your friends and family during this hectic time of year. Along with the social aspect of the exchange, you’ll get the chance to tap into your inner chef and bake up something delicious and creative. From a simple chocolate chip cookie recipe to a creative gingerbread men display, there’s a recipe for any viber you’re after. I hope you enjoy these cookie recipes and spend lots of time with loved ones this holiday season. Cheers!

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