The Holidays and Baking always go hand in hand! With all the potlucks, family gatherings and parties planned it’s no wonder we spend so much time in the kitchen! Baking can be a lot of fun but it can be stress inducing as well if you have a lot to do and very little time. Which is the case for most of us I suspect. I can’t even imagine having kids right now, I can hardly keep up with my own engagements. So hats down to all you parents out there!

 

To simplify everyone’s life a little and, most importantly, to see a group of people I don’t often get a chance to see I decided to plan a little gathering that would make everyone’s Holiday Baking a tad less tedious!

 

Week #103 Challenge: Host or partake in a Holiday Dessert Swap Event!!

 

These are the Cranberry Bliss Bars I made, it resulted in 27 bars.

 

The concept is really simple. It’s basically an event where each guest brings with them a homemade dessert (not limited to cookies), in individual portions, and everyone who attends will get to swap desserts and leave with a wide variety of treats.

 

Host Guidelines

 

Are you the Dessert Swap Host? Here are a few useful tips to use:

 

Invitations

Send them ahead of time, at least two weeks, as attendees will need to find a recipe and set time aside to bake ahead of the day!

 

Instructions

Make sure to clearly state what is expected in order to participate. I created a facebook event, included a cute image from a royalty-free image site and used this invitation format:

Free image from Pexels.com

 

Hi guys,

 

Have you ever done a dessert exchange? I can’t say I have so I figured what the heck.. I’ll just organize one. The idea is that each one of us will bake a holiday treat (cookies, bars, cupcakes, fudge). Basically anything that can be divided up in portions ahead of time.

 

On the swap day, you are invited at my place where we will distribute the treats equally amongst each other. This way we all leave with a variety of holiday desserts.

 

What to bring:

 

🎄 One to two batches of Holiday Treats that you baked ahead of time (feel free to share the name of your dessert below to avoid duplication)
🎄 A large enough container to bring the treats home
🎄 Optional: Prepare recipe cards (or share your recipe on this page as a more eco-friendly alternative)

 

Simple as that! Hope you can join xo

 

Preparation

As the Dessert Swap organizer you may want to do the following ahead of time:

1. Make Party Favours: This is optional but it can be a nice touch. I basically put Starburst Flavoured Candy Canes (found these in the US) and little chocolates in festive bags for guests to take home upon departure.

Picked up these Sweetarts Flavoured Candy Canes in the U.S.!

 

2. Prepare Snacks: I was inspired with my multicolored Candy Canes so all my snacks choices revolved around bright colours and included:

🍒Vegan Cranberry Orange Loaf Cake – This cake is great but be prepared to bake it for at least 1 hour and 20 minutes, I would leave it 1 hour and a half even

🍒Birthday Cake Chex Mix I replaced the pop-corn with mini pretzels and also put in Festive Confetti (red, white and green)

🍒Holiday Candy – Any kind you like

🍒Cut up fruits of your choice

🍒Tea & water to counteract with the sweets!

 

Birthday Cake Chex Mix!!

 

For savoury options you could include: nachos, vegetables, crackers, cheese, etc.

 

3. Stock up on supplies such as containers, paper or plastic bags, wax or parchment paper to separate sticky desserts.

 

4. Establish a Dessert sorting system: Every person got a plate and stacked their desserts on it, then once the original containers empty, everyone transferred their mountain of treats into their container. The whole process was so smooth and simple. We ended up with a ton of desserts and on a complete sugar high from eating far too many sweets!

The Dessert Swapping

 

Simply place all the desserts in line and identify how many of each to take (as the quantity per dessert batch varied). As an example, if you have 35 pieces and 7 people, it means each person gets 5. It came up to about 3 to 10 pieces per person per dessert. Then we labeled each container, as per my friend’s suggestion, to guide everyone with the quantity. It can also be useful to write the dessert name as well!

 

Depending on the number of participants and desserts you will easily end up with 50/60 pieces each which can be frozen and shared with all your loved ones during the Holidays! It’s a win-win for everyone involved.

 

Happy Holidays Everyone! xo

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Comments ( 8 )

  • Lisa Foerstner

    Such a wonderful idea! Will definitely try this next year.

    • Isabelle

      Aww I hope you do Lisa! With your amazing baking skills I am certain it would be a huge hit 😀

  • Bennette

    Love reading your blogs! Love, love, love the photos…so beautifully done…just like those printed in popular magazines! You should do this as a paid profession, you have a good eye for capturing everything so beautifully! Bravo! Pretty mesmerizing indeed! Xoxo

    • Isabelle

      Bennette that’s so nice of you to say 💕 I have a lot to learn I think but I try my best to include fresh content and to make things interesting! I definitely get a lot of inspiration from friends and family 😉

  • D. Barrette

    Je suis fière de toi Isabelle. Tu es très créative et inspirante pour tous ceux et celles qui lisent ton ‘blog’. Tu as toujours de bonnes idées et c’est agréable à lire. Mom xox

    • Isabelle

      Aww trop cute, merci Mom ♥️

  • Johnny ジョニー

    That sounds like a wonderful thing to do, Isabelle; I hope you had a wonderful turn out. It must be nice meeting likeminded folks, tasting sweet treats, and trying to maintain that inevitable New Year’s resolution when holding a takeaway goodie bag in hand and reminiscing about how good it tasted the first time you savoured its delights. Please plan something again. Johnny

    • Isabelle

      Thank you for your kind comment Johnny ☺️ It was such a great experience, I am lucky to be surrounded by so many talented bakers. Most had never participated in a Dessert Swap which made it that much more memorable!

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