Is one of your holiday traditions a cookie swap party? We have an idea for a fun twist that involves your pets – a Pet Cookie Swap Party!
Beckham, who is my Head Cookie Taster, and I will show you how to plan a festive Pet Cookie Swap Party with pet treats and a big pot of mulled wine for the Pup Parents.
A pet treat swap is a genius idea with the added bonus of a relaxed and festive holiday party with your friends. A Pup Parent bakes one kind of treat – and magically after a couple of hours of partying with your pup’s best friends, every Pup Family goes home with a variety of homemade goodies.
How to Plan a Pet Cookie Swap
What better way is there to kick-off the holiday party season than with a relaxed, fun party with your friends and their Pups? We could all use a cookie break once we get into the hustle and bustle of the holidays. National Cook for Your Pet Day is in November – the perfect excuse to plan a day for some baking therapy with our favorite furry Cookie Tasters to get ready for our holiday party.
How Many Guests Should You Invite?
- 6-8 guests (or couples) is the ideal number, which will give each guest at least 6 different types of pet treats to take home.
- A written invitation is a good idea so you can explain the “rules” and instructions for the party including the number of guests expected. One rule is that the pet treats must be homemade! No cheating with store-bought pet treats.
The Pet Treats
- Tell your guests to bring their pup’s favorite pet treat or a brand new treat for everyone to try. You can coordinate the flavors if you want, but chances are good that you will end up with a variety even without that pre-planning. I’ve included a new Pet Treat Recipe below to get you started!
- Ask your guests to bring copies of the recipe for their pet treat. That way Pup Parents can check for food allergies their pup might have. To make it easier for guests, you can ask them to email you their recipe so that you can make copies or send to your guests after the party when you thank them for coming!
- Guests should bring at least 1 pet treat per guest, but tell them they are welcome to bring several for each guest. A good suggestion is for each Pup Parent to bake 6 treats for each party guest to take home and at least 1 per Pup Guest to try at the party.
Make sure to include Gourmet Cat Treats in your plans for the day so that the felines in the Pup Families can join in the fun. We have shared several gourmet cat treat recipes in our blogs, so please check them out!
- You should have a packaging station with supplies for wrapping the pet treats – cute pet-themed tins, boxes, or packages. Pawprint ribbon will tie up the packages nicely.
- You could also ask your guests to bring their pet treats individually wrapped.
- Here are some cute options for packaging. Click on the picture to purchase.
Every Pup Guest will go home with a bag full of treats, but you can give them a lasting memory of the party with our adorable Cookie Taster Bandanas (available at our Website Shop). My dog never bakes without his.
- Plan to hold your party once your holiday decorations are up and your party decorating is already done!
- Make sure you have a table where Pup Parents can put the pet treats they bring. Presentation is everything when it comes to cookies, so plan to have display cards to put in front of each guest’s pet cookies with the name of the pet treat and the Pup Guest who brought them along with the recipe.
Party Food and Party Drinks
- For the Pup Guests, you may want to consider making 3-4 different types of treats yourself, so that they don’t eat all of the pet treat loot at the party. Try serving PupCakes (cupcake size) and mini Dog Pies – you can find recipes for both in our past blogposts.
- For the Pup Parents, a cocktail matched for the season and cold weather is perfect, so we have included a recipe for Mulled Wine. This is easy to fix ahead of time and to serve during the party. You should also include a non-alcoholic beverage in your menu planning, such as a flavored sparkling water.
- I would suggest you offer the Pup Parents a variety of savory appetizers or individual cheese and cracker plates. I also plan to make the Properly Posh Pets Party Cookies, which are the ultimate frosted sugar cookie that our friends LOVE!!!! You can find the recipe in our Properly Posh Pets Cookie Cutter Set and in our award-winning book, Posh Celebrations, (available on Amazon). Click on the picture to purchase at our Website Shop.
The Party Drink – Mulled Wine
- 1 bottle red wine (such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Zinfandel, or Merlot) (750 milliliter bottle)
- 2/3 cup sugar
- ¼ cup brandy
- 1 orange, peeled and sliced
- 4 cinnamon sticks
- 6 whole cloves
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger or allspice
- Combine the red wine, honey, brandy, orange slices, cinnamon sticks, cloves, and ginger in a slow cooker. You can also use a large pot over medium heat on the stove
- Cook on low until the wine is steaming (just before boiling) – 20 to 25 minutes.
- Pour into a glass or mug using a straining spoon (so the spices stay in the pot).
- This recipe is for 6 servings.
Cookie Taster Treats – A Gourmet Dog Treat
- ½ cup peanut butter
- ½ cup unsweetened applesauce
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 ¼ cups water
- 4 cups whole wheat flour
- ½ cup cornmeal
- ½ cup quick cook oats
- Preheat the oven to 350°.
- Mix peanut butter, applesauce, egg, vanilla and water.
- In a second bowl, combine the flour, cornmeal, and oats.
- Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix well. Consider using a food processor to mix these ingredients, which may be better than using a regular mixer.
- Turn the dough onto a floured surface. Roll out to ¼ inch thickness and use cookie/pet treat cutters to cut into shapes.
- Place on a greased cookie sheet or parchment paper and bake for 25 minutes or until slightly browned.
- Cool on a rack and store in a sealed container.
Calling all Cookie Tasters for a Holiday Party!
The holidays are a magical time full of baking and gift-giving and socializing with family and friends. The key to a perfect party is the laughter, the friendship, and the memories long after the party is over.
Making magical memories with my pets – one pet cookie at a time!