I need to have a separate area within Windows 7 to have a "backup," as it were, of a directory created on a VM (XP Mode). What are the steps to accomplish this?
While not a direct answer to your specific question, this may still be a solution.
You can add both machines, 7 and XP, to the same workgroup/network space and allow the sharing of a folder on your Windows 7 machine.
Access the share through the XP VM and copy over anything from XP into the Win 7 share.
In the same respect, you could share a folder on your XP VM and access it from Win 7.
If you need help setting that up, I can provide more details.
In addition, if you configure the network locally (within your machine and it's virtual adapters), I don't believe it will even need to communicate with your router maximizing transfer speeds.
Noted by BroScience below: