December 22nd

National Cookie Exchange Day -

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Each year on December 22nd, we welcome the warmth and joy of National Cookie Exchange Day. This special occasion invites individuals to delight in the practice of baking homemade treats to share with those close to them. Whether demonstrating well-honed baking expertise, exchanging time-honored family recipes, or simply relishing in the spirit of giving, this day provides sweetness and unity amid the holiday season madness.

Regardless of your level of baking expertise, National Cookie Exchange Day brings a special sugary brightness to the festive period.

History of National Cookie Exchange Day

In the latter half of the 19th Century, holiday gatherings in the UK often included ‘the Cookie Exchange’. This was a time when each participant would contribute a cookie recipe and then make their cookies for everyone at the party to enjoy. It was a delicious and efficient way to discover and learn about your favorite cookie recipes.

Once this tradition traveled to the United States, it took hold in the 1950s. Thanks to the widespread availability of commercial baking ingredients and a resurgence of domestic life after the war, the cookie exchange became a beloved tradition in American holiday celebrations.

Today, this tradition has evolved into an official celebratory day. Every year on December 22nd, cookie enthusiasts everywhere bake their favorite treats and exchange them with their friends and families. This day is not just about sharing delicious cookies; it’s also about spending quality time with loved ones.

National Cookie Exchange Day Timeline

Origin of Cookies

The concept of cookies in Persia (Present-day Iran) during the reign of the Persian empire.

Spread of Cookies

The popularity of cookies spread throughout Europe. By the 14th Century, every section of society, from royal cuisine to street vendors, embraced cookies enthusiastically.

Cookies in America

The Dutch in New Netherlands introduced the word 'koekje', which means 'little cake', into American English.

First Cookie Exchange

During the holiday seasons, women started the tradition of cookie exchange. Women baked cookies at home and traded with their neighbors.

First Cookie Recipe Book

The first American cookbook 'American Cookery' by Amelia Simmons featured cookie recipes.

First Ready-Made Cookies

The introduction of pre-made cookie dough by Toll House drastically reduced the time and effort of making the cookies at home.

Modern Day Cookie Exchange

These days, cookie exchange parties are popular during holidays. It's a fun and interactive way to spread holiday cheer and taste different types of cookies.

Ideas to Celebrate National Cookie Exchange Day

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Bake a Variety of Cookies

Gather all your favorite cookie recipes and spend the day making a variety of cookies. Use different flavors, shapes and sizes to make it more fun and enjoyable.

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Cookie Swap with Friends and Neighbors

Organize a cookie exchange party with friends and neighbors where everyone brings a different type of cookie homemade. Share recipes and swap cookies to enjoy a variety of flavors.

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Make Cookie Gifts

Use the occasion to bake and pack different cookies in attractive boxes or jars. Distribute these among loved ones as special National Cookie Exchange Day gifts.

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Cookie Decorating Contest

Host a cookie decorating contest at home or even virtually. Supply cookies, colorful icing and sprinkles to see who can create the most creative cookie.

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Make International Cookies

Use this day as an opportunity to explore different cultures by baking cookies from various countries. Share and enjoy them with friends and family.

5 Interesting Facts About Cookie Exchange


Origins of Cookie Exchange

Cookie Exchange is believed to have started in America during the Great Depression. People couldn't afford to buy gifts, so they started baking cookies and exchanging them as presents. The tradition became popular and is now celebrated all around the world.


Spread Cheer with Cookies

The primary purpose of a cookie exchange was to spread holiday cheer among friends, family, and neighbors. By sharing different types of cookies, participants could enjoy a wide variety of treats without having to do all the baking.


Rule of a Cookie Exchange

In a traditional cookie exchange, every participant brings a specific number of cookies, often a dozen for each other guest. This way, everyone goes home with several dozen different kinds of cookies. The recipes are also often exchanged together with the cookies.


Cookie Exchange as a Fundraiser

Many community groups, workplaces and schools run cookie exchanges as fundraisers. Participants donate a set amount to take part, and the money raised goes to a good cause.


Different Traditions

In some traditions, there is a cookie walk where each participant walks around picking an assortment of cookies, and in other traditions, there is a cookie swap where you swap your own homemade cookies with someone else's.

National Cookie Exchange Day FAQs

Next National Cookie Exchange Day Dates

Year Date Day
2023 December 22nd Friday
2024 December 22nd Sunday
2025 December 22nd Monday
2026 December 22nd Tuesday
2027 December 22nd Wednesday
What is the pattern? Every December 22nd

National Cookie Exchange Day Word Search

  • Cookies
  • Exchange
  • Baking
  • Recipe
  • Chocolate
  • Sugar