What Is A Christmas Holiday Cookie Crawl & How It Works

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Cookies, in my opinion, are such a versatile and exciting dessert to make. They come in all shapes, sizes, flavors, and colors! They are fun to make and even more fun to decorate. Usually, Christmas time is the time to make beautifully shaped and flavored cookies.

As a result, Christmas Holiday Cookie Crawls exist!

I was able to experience my first ever Christmas cookie crawl a few years ago and it has stuck with me ever since. The sheer variety and beauty of the cookies were unbelievable!

Table of Contents

  • What Is A Cookie Crawl
  • How Does A Cookie Crawl Work
  • What’s So Special About a Christmas Cookie Crawl
  • Should I Host a Christmas Cookie Crawl
  • Who Participates in a Christmas Cookie Crawl
  • How Much Does a Christmas Cookie Crawl Cost to Host
  • Most Popular Cookies to Bring to a Christmas Cookie Crawl
  • How To Prevent Potential Allergic Reactions During A Christmas Cookie Crawl
What Is A Christmas Holiday Cookie Crawl

*By the way, I recently wrote an article talking about How Many Cookies Do You Need Per Person For Christmas. In this article, I created a calculation of how many cookies to make per person for Christmas. This is important to know so that you will always have enough cookies! You can check out this article here!

These were all the questions I had when I was invited for my first Christmas cookie crawl. The next step was knowing what I had to bring, how to host my own event, and tons of must-know information!

To this day, I couldn’t believe I had never heard of Christmas cookie crawls until that day, and hope that more people find out what it is and how to host one! Read on to find out more information about this exciting occasion!

What Is A Cookie Crawl?

As a whole, a cookie crawl is usually a community-wide event in which participants fill up an empty box with unique cookies from various places of the establishment. A small fee is usually collected at the beginning of each crawl and is donated to a local charity.

While a cookie crawl can take place at any time of the year, winter holidays tend to be a popular time for communities to host a cookie crawl.

I think it’s a great way to create a sense of community and bring neighbors closer together.

Bring Unique Cookies To The Cookie Crawl
Bring Unique Cookies For Everyone To See!

*By the way, if you’re looking for some new cookie sheets/baking pans to replace for your kitchen, I recently came across the Perfect Nonstick Cookie Sheets / Baking Sheets Set that I got for myself and they work great! You can check out these Nonstick Cookie Sheet Set on Amazon!

Although no one exactly knows who invented the idea of a cookie crawl, most people are familiar with the concept. Most communities will host a cookie crawl at some point during the year.

A cookie crawl can be organized by a block of businesses, a church parish, or even by a neighborhood.

I think cookie crawls are a great way for charities to raise money for certain causes. They’re also fun since you get to test out different recipes. I always find inspiration for my baking projects when I participate in a cookie crawl!

How Does A Cookie Crawl Work?

A cookie crawl works by having the attendee pay the participation fee they are given a box to collect their cookies in. They then walk around the community visiting various businesses or tables filled with decorative cookies. They fill their box up and take them home to share with family and friends.

A cookie crawl (also sometimes referred to as a cookie walk) is a simple, yet fun, family and community tradition.

Participants are asked to pay a small fee in order to fill up a tin full of unique and interesting cookies from a variety of shops or establishments.

For participants who have agreed to supply cookies for the cookie crawl, they are asked to bake about eight dozen cookies (though larger crawls may call for more). This way, participants are able to fill up their tins and there are enough cookies to go around for everyone.

If the cookie crawl is sponsored by businesses around town, there is usually a central location to go to in order to pay the fee and pick up your box. You’ll also receive either a map or a list of participating businesses.

After you’ve picked up your box and paid the fee it’s then time to collect your cookies!

*Side Note: I’m surprised at how many people don’t know what a Cookie Swap is. I recently wrote an article that explains exactly What Is A Cookie Swap and How To Host One For Your Holidays!

What’s So Special About A Christmas Cookie Crawl?

As a whole, a Christmas cookie crawl unites the community and helps to create a fun and festive atmosphere. It is a unifying event that is also family-friendly and can help raise awareness for the particular charity it supports. This is especially popular during the holiday season.

I think what makes a Christmas cookie crawl particularly special is the sense of community that it creates.

Christmas Holiday Cookie Crawl
Christmas Cookie Crawls Unite Communities!

*By the way, I came across the perfect 24 Piece Set of Cookie Cutters that come in different shapes and sizes perfect for shaping your cookie dough the right way. You can check out these cutters on Amazon!

Nowadays it’s not uncommon for people to live in a town or city and have very limited interactions with their neighbors or local shop owners.

A Christmas cookie crawl is the perfect way to meet others in the community and maybe even make a new friend or two!

Should I Host A Christmas Cookie Crawl?

Generally speaking, hosting a Christmas cookie crawl is a great way to celebrate this festive time of year with family and friends. Christmas cookie crawls help to create a sense of community and can be a great way to stock up on Christmas cookies to share with others.

Yes, you should absolutely host a Christmas cookie crawl! Cookie crawls are relatively stress-free since you only have to worry about creating one particular type of cookie.

While you do have to make several dozen, I think cookie crawls are some of my favorite events to participate in since you get to try out everyone else’s culinary creations.

Christmas cookies make great gifts for loved ones and a family cookie crawl is a great way to try out new recipes!

Remember, while some businesses, churches, and charities may charge a fee to participate in a cookie crawl, you can host your own crawl in the comfort of your home without having to charge your family and friends!

Who Participates In A Christmas Cookie Crawl?

As a general rule, anyone can participate in a Christmas cookie crawl. A Christmas cookie crawl can be set up by a particular church or it can be a big, community-wide event. Oftentimes, community businesses will participate in a Christmas cookie crawl in order to support small and local businesses.

What I love about a cookie crawl is that it can be as large or as small as you’d like. In some areas, a cookie crawl is hosted by a block of small businesses. This is a great way to drum up interest in the area and generate more revenue for their community in the process.

Some charities will organize a Christmas cookie crawl in order to raise money for their particular cause.

Making Christmas Cookies
A Cookies Crawl Is A Community-Wide Event!

*By the way, I recently wrote an article answering the popular question of How Many Days In Advance Can You Make Sugar Cookies? In this article, I spoke about all the ways you can keep your sugar cookies nice and fresh! You can check out this article here!

Churches also tend to organize cookie crawls and may host them within their parish hall. The funds from these events also typically go to charities as well.

Some neighborhoods will also organize cookie crawls and then use the money for community projects. I’ve also participated in a cookie crawl with close family and friends, especially during the holiday season.

Hosting your own cookie crawl is a great way to get into the spirit of the holidays.

The caveat is to make sure that those who you invite aren’t going to cancel at the last minute. Last-minute cancellations can throw off your “cookie to attendee” ratio, leaving your guests with fewer cookies than intended.

How Much Does A Christmas Cookie Crawl Cost To Host?

Generally speaking, hosting a Christmas cookie crawl can cost about as much as it takes to bake the cookies and purchase boxes. While the cost of a ticket typically runs between five and twenty dollars, some cookie crawls cost more, especially the larger ones.

A great thing about Christmas cookie crawls is that they are pretty low maintenance in terms of prep work. All you need to worry about is gathering your ingredients and making enough cookies to hand out to everyone!

If you’re a business owner who wants to participate you will be asked to provide between seven to eight dozen cookies for cookie crawlers.

Some charities will already have pre-baked cookies on hand for you to give away.

Those charities can charge you anywhere between fifty to one hundred dollars to participate, however, the funds are donated to the specific cause.

There is a little math involved in order to ensure you’ve got enough cookies for everyone to take home at least a few. Larger events may call for you to create more than eight dozen cookies.

A general rule of thumb is to count on making at least six cookies per attendee.

Make Enough Cookies For Everyone
Make Enough Cookies For Everyone!

If you are hosting a cookie crawl for just a few family and friends, you may want to limit your guest list to just those who love to bake and aren’t likely to cancel on you at the last minute.

If you invite friends who are likely to flake out, you run the risk of not having enough cookies for everyone to enjoy.

*Side Note: You might also want to know How To Properly Store Cookies. I recently wrote an article that talks about all you need to know for Storing Cookies To Make Them Last, which you can check out here!

Most Popular Cookies To Bring To A Christmas Cookie Crawl?

As a whole, the most popular cookies to bring to a Christmas cookie crawl are sugar cookies and peanut butter cookies. Although popular, some Christmas cookie crawls do not allow plain chocolate chip cookies. This is a time to show off your baking and decorating skills.

The whole idea of hosting a Christmas cookie crawl is to experience new flavors or twists on classic recipes. Because of this, some cookie crawls do not allow plain cookies that are easily purchased from the store.

While chocolate chip cookies are delicious, you don’t want to end up collecting the same cookies at every participating location!

Some of the most popular cookies to create for a crawl are:

  • Peanut butter blossom cookies
  • Decorated sugar cookies
  • Gingerbread cookies
  • Peppermint stick cookies

These are all great recipes to bake around the holiday season and pair well with a cup of hot cocoa or tea!

*Side Note: I recently wrote an article talking about If Homemade Cookies Healthier than Store-Bought Cookies. This article discusses the similarities and differences of how both of these are made and which is better. You can check out this article here!

How To Prevent Potential Allergic Reactions During A Christmas Cookie Crawl?

As a general rule, clearly label the cookies with a list of ingredients in order to prevent a potential allergic reaction. Cookies that contain nuts and gluten should be specially labeled prior to the cookie crawl. Any peanut butter products should also be noted to prevent allergic reactions.

One of the biggest concerns I’ve come across among participants of cookie crawls is how to avoid allergic reactions. You can’t be at every participant’s kitchen as their baking, and it’s difficult to know what those ingredients came into contact with throughout the baking process.

Peanut and gluten allergies tend to be top concerns when it comes to Christmas cookie crawls.

For health and safety reasons, it’s important that you never assume a Christmas cookie crawl is allergy-free. Food allergies can have serious consequences for those suffering from them.

Gingerbread Cookies Recipe
Make Sure The Recipe Is Disclosed Properly!

If you or your loved one has a food allergy, it’s best to check with the person who has brought the cookies to see if they contain any concerning ingredients.

Many times, individual participants will add a note on their cookie display letting you know if they are nut-free or gluten-free. Other participants may post the recipe directly on the display so you can check the list of ingredients for yourself.

Sometimes a Christmas cookie crawl will advertise on their signs that the event will be nut-free or gluten-free.

Participants in these Christmas cookie crawls often supply the organizer with their recipes ahead of time in order to double-check for allergens in their ingredients.

Now that you’ve learned all about how a Christmas cookie crawl works it’s time to start planning!

You don’t have to wait until Christmas either! You can plan one around all sorts of holidays and events. Have fun planning, and enjoy your community cookie crawl!

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My name is Fainna! I've been baking desserts ever since I was 10 years old with my grandma passing her baking wisdom down to me with every passing day. I hope you find these tips and tricks helpful here at my little Baking Nook!

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