Thinking ahead...Christmas cookie walk ideas

evenshadeAugust 28, 2014

Our women's group at church always has a cookie walk for a holiday fund raiser. We want to go a step further and do some baking sessions ahead of time in the church kitchen. I'm the organizer and haven't done this before. Does anyone have any ideas what will make the process as efficient as possible? How to organize recipes/ingredients? Does each person bring her own? Buy in bulk and just make a few kinds of cookies? Easiest cookies but still festive? Any ideas would be welcome.

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Cindy103d

My women's group used to make 100 cakes each Halloween for the cakewalk at the community party. We pre-mixed the basic dry ingredients - flour, sugar, baking soda, etc. prior to meeting at the community center. There, we added the wet ingredients, flavorings, etc. The decorations is what really made each cake unique.

I think you could do something similar for cookies. Have a few recipes with basic ingredients and add the things that make each batch unique. If you're doing "some baking sessions", you could do something different each session. Maybe one session is all sugar cookies. Another session is all gingerbread people.

    Bookmark   August 28, 2014 at 5:44PM
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lazy_gardens

Does anyone have any ideas what will make the process as efficient as possible? Been there, done that ...

How to organize recipes/ingredients?

By storage life of the cookie ... if some can be easily frozen, last for weeks, or need to age, make them first. Save the fragile crisp ones for later sessions or home kitchens.

Have a recipe selecting and ingredient comparing session to make sure you have good variety - my "Ranger Cookie" may be someone else's "Cereal Crunch Cookie".

Does each person bring her own? Good question.

Buy in bulk and just make a few kinds of cookies?

Get a list from each participant of the ingredients needed for "X" batches of her recipe or recipes. See what you can combine - I may need a couple of teaspoons of something that someone else is using by the pound.

Buy the main ingredients: flour, sugar, butter, eggs and vanilla in bulk.
Buy as many of the rest as possible in large quantities.
Save the "granny's secret spice" for the individual cooks to bring.

Look for those "I Dough, 12 kinds of Cookies" articles ... usually the dough is the basic dough and you add "trimmings".

Look for cookies that can be easily double- and triple-batched.

=========
On baking day, round up all the BIG mixers and bowls you can find. And cookie sheets, tables and cooking racks and containers to store cookies in.

How many ovens do you have to use?

    Bookmark   August 28, 2014 at 5:56PM
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evenshade

Thank you so much, Cindy103d and lazygardens for your thoughtful and helpful replies that will give me some direction. I am going to print off your answers and keep these ideas in mind. So sorry I posted this on the wrong forum. :)

    Bookmark   August 28, 2014 at 6:48PM
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evenshade

lazygardens, to answer your question, I will have 3. Two are in an industrial stove and one in a conventional stove. I think we can keep the trays going in an out.

    Bookmark   August 28, 2014 at 6:54PM
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SaraKat

Our church does cookie trays for order each year as a fund raiser. They buy the nice big Christmas motif trays at a Dollar or Garden Ridge store and arrange several different shapes of decorated icing cookies, powdered sugar cookies, macaroons, gingerbread men, other pretty Christmas cookies and then put cellophane over them with nice bows. There are several kinds beautifully displayed. I have no idea how they pull this off each year. They take the orders quite awhile ahead so I think they must bake, freeze and then decorate, arrange the cookies at delivery time.

    Bookmark   August 28, 2014 at 8:11PM
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gr8daygw

I made these ginger cookies at Christmas and I can say that they freeze really well. I also made a green pistachio cookie and then put the red and white kisses in the center and it turned out really Christmas-y and fun.

Then there are the Christmas favorites

Santa's helper The big mess is on the other side of the kitchen, lol. Good luck! Some good suggestions from the other posters!

This post was edited by gr8day on Thu, Aug 28, 14 at 23:17

    Bookmark   August 28, 2014 at 8:31PM
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evenshade

SaraKat, great idea on the cookie trays. I'm stealing it!

gr8tday...what lovely cookies. The ginger with the striped kiss is gorgeous! If you have the recipe and would be willing to share, it's just the kind that would be easy for a group baking session. And I see you have a fine helper. :)

    Bookmark   August 28, 2014 at 10:15PM
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gr8daygw

In this post by Peabody she used white chocolate chips. So much better to use the kisses. The red and white kisses are hard to find so be on the watch for those for Christmas cookies. Sometimes even the white chocolate with chocolate swirls can be tricky. Hershy seems to want to mix them with their regular chocolate kisses in the same bag but I have found them, it's just that not every store seems to carry them. Hope this helps : ) and that you have a great time doing this project. Oh P.S. don't forget to roll them in sugar before baking. I forgot on some of mine as you can see in the picture above.

Here is a link that might be useful: Here is the recipe Gingerbread Cookies

    Bookmark   August 28, 2014 at 10:57PM
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gr8daygw

Here's another easy, cute cookie to do at Christmas. It's really fun for kids (and older people too : ))) to put the kisses in the cookies.

Here is a link that might be useful: Peanut Butter Blossoms with Kisses

    Bookmark   August 28, 2014 at 11:09PM
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gr8daygw

One more recipe. This one is from Trisha Yearwood. It is the best recipe I have found for white chocolate cranberry cookies~ great at Christmas time.

Here is a link that might be useful: Trisha Yearwood's White Chocolate Cranberry Cookies

    Bookmark   August 28, 2014 at 11:16PM
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evenshade

gr8tday...thanks so much for taking the time to post these recipes for me. I really do appreciate it! I'll try to remember to come back to this post and let you know how it all goes.

    Bookmark   August 29, 2014 at 10:11AM
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party_music50

gr8day, I'm always asked to make the peanut butter & kisses cookies -- I've never heard of a ginger version! Yours look awesome! TFS.

    Bookmark   August 29, 2014 at 10:18AM
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lazy_gardens

Letting people order ahead of time - prepaid, of course - does several things for you and them.

1 - they get cookies even if they get there late
2 - you get money to buy the supplies with ahead of time

Packaging on trays would be a nice added offering - especially if you package up the popular combos on 1 and 2 and FIVE POUND trays and have them wrapped in saran like the party packs at Costco.

    Bookmark   August 29, 2014 at 1:44PM
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cloud_swift

On oven management, it is best to load up several trays with cookies and load them into the oven at the same time rather than putting in each tray as it gets ready. That way it is easier to keep track of the time until they are done and there is less opening and closing of the oven door so the temperature stays more accurate.

If the kitchen doesn't have a timer for each oven, you might want to get an inexpensive timer to use for each one. Or you could ask one person per oven to use their cell phone timer.

    Bookmark   August 29, 2014 at 1:51PM
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evenshade

Thanks cloud swift! Good idea on loading ovens. I'm so grateful for all of you...I wouldn't have thought of some of these things.

lazygardens, thanks for the idea on the pre-paid trays, etc. We do sell chicken salad pre-paid and you're right about it being nice to have money in hand ahead of time. It's amazing...so many times people donate $ and supplies to us, too. It really helps ensure the success of the event.

    Bookmark   August 29, 2014 at 3:42PM
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gr8daygw

You're welcome! I love to bake cookies, I just wish I could eat a whole bunch of them. Calories!!! Darn⦠Good luck with all of this, it's nice of you to take it on for your church.

@partymusic50, I bet your peanut butter blossoms are amazing : ))) They are a really fun cookie to make and so good! I think you will like the ginger cookie version too.

    Bookmark   August 29, 2014 at 5:45PM
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mgmum

Gr8Day, what is an "all purpose baking mix"? I'm assuming it's not all purpose flour but has baking powder/soda in it? I've never heard of all purpose baking mix. Or Reese's peanut butter, but Peanut butter I can find. ;)

I LOVE this recipe for Christmas cookies. If I'm bringing them to work I leave out the almonds due to allergies. If I'm feeling lazy, I put the almonds into the dough.

Lemon Snowballs
Ingredients

Cookie:
1 cup butter
ý cup icing sugar
1ý cups flour
þ cup cornstarch
ü tsp salt
2 tsp grated lemon rind
1 cup finely chopped toasted blanched almonds

Lemon Frosting:
1 cup icing sugar
2 tbsp melted butter
1 tbsp lemon juice
(beat above ingredients until smooth)

Directions:
Grease cookie sheets (or line with parchment paper)
Cream butter with sugar
Add flour sifted/mixed with cornstarch and salt
Mix in lemon rind
Shape into 1" balls and roll in chopped almonds and press them in.

Bake 15 minutes at 350ð
Cool and then drizzle with frosting

*This recipe can be doubled. Use 1 lb butter and double everything else.

    Bookmark   August 29, 2014 at 6:52PM
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cloud_swift

Bisquick is an "all-purpose baking mix" - flour, shortening, leavening and salt all mixed together. There are some recipes on like giving proportions for making your own, but I've not tried that.

It's a Hershey's recipe so they call out their brand of peanut butter. They don't have a baking mix, I suppose, so they use a generic term for that.

    Bookmark   August 29, 2014 at 8:36PM
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lazy_gardens

"On oven management, it is best to load up several trays with cookies and load them into the oven at the same time rather than putting in each tray as it gets ready. "

Oh YES ... group recipes by cooking time! You want to LOAD and then CLEAR those ovens for RELOAD.

    Bookmark   August 29, 2014 at 9:53PM
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mgmum

Thank you Cloud_Swift!! I can get Bisquick. Those cookies sound great, so I really needed to know! LOL

    Bookmark   August 29, 2014 at 11:17PM
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gr8daygw

MGMum, I had the same problem!! When I first made that recipe I thought what is that? But then I somehow found the info that it was Bisquick. It really makes them perfect every time. Who would have thought all purpose baking mix was good old Bisquick??? I just had never heard of it referred to that way. Thank you cloud_swift, I was late getting back to answer, so glad you had the information to share : )

    Bookmark   August 30, 2014 at 6:50AM
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CEFreeman

So I have questions.

1) which forum would have been the right forum for this, if not kitchens? I need to be there if they're talking cookies.

2) do you really have to cook 'em all, or can one order the dough?

3) where do you live....

    Bookmark   August 30, 2014 at 8:06AM
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evenshade

I'm posting again and will delete it if necessary...I haven't seen my post show up yet.

CEFreeman,
I also posted on the Cooking forum and yes...there is cookie talk there.

Great idea or selling frozen rolls of dough. You all are opening up new doors. Thank you!

I'm in Eastern NC.

    Bookmark   August 30, 2014 at 10:44AM
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gr8daygw

I have also seen all the cookie dry ingredients layered in a mason jar sold as a cookie mix. Sometimes you will see soup ingredients done that way too. Might have to add something but the basic mix is there and layered to make a pretty assembly when viewing the jar. You can use a little square of Christmas fabric under the lid before screwing it on to make it look like an already wrapped Christmas gift. Make sure the fabric square is a couple of inches bigger than the opening so it flares out around the lid. Having a hard time explaining that!! It might be a little easier than making up the dough if that is a problem with storing or presentation. I do like the idea though.

    Bookmark   August 31, 2014 at 7:30PM
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