Friday, September 2, 2011

2,000 Cookies

Geeky Cookies
Left: Rice Krispies of Infinite Improbability. Right: Combustible Lemons.
An entire list of all Cookie Brigade recipes can be found on this site here.

The summer of 2011 was the Summer of the Cookie. In the spring, I had decided to join the Cookie Brigade, and bake cookies for charity at PAX Prime 2011. I gave up most of my summer to bake cookies. Yard projects started in April are still sitting there, overgrown with weeds and spiderwebs; my friends knew to come over only if they wanted to get elbow-deep in cookies; I gave or brought cookies to every event I attended for months. We made trip after trip to the restaurant supply store, purchasing 25 pound boxes of chocolate chips and 5 gallon buckets full of peanut butter.

Because I decided to set myself a goal to bake 2,000 cookies.

I don't know what I was thinking. For those of you who need that number quantified, that's a square metric asston of cookies.

Here are some interesting stats to put it all in perspective:
-40 pounds of chocolate chips
-5 gallons of peanut butter
-30 pounds of flour
-240 eggs
-25 pounds of butter
-14 hours of baking time
-8 large rubbermaid tubs of finished, wrapped cookies
-3 people took 4 hours to label all the cookies

In the end, it was completely worth it. The Brigade collected a record breaking $14,000 in donations over a 3-day weekend, thanks in part to my donation which made up 1/3 of the total. I spent the weekend hawking cookies to geeks in lines, hauling around tubs and bags of cookies, ignoring my boyfriend for hours and hours while I worked the crowds (thanks, Sweetie!). My feet ached, I was tired, and I missed the convention. But it was great. One of the best times I've had in years; I highly recommend volunteering for something like this because there's almost nothing you can do that's quite as rewarding.

I'd like to give a special shout out to my friends, who comprised the Infinite Improbability Baking Team. When my job got crazy busy in August, right in the middle of baking, they swooped in for the last couple of days and helped pull it all together at the last minute. Sara, DamantaMaith, AzBat5, Hottie Scottie, Deb, Emimonster, Menolly07 and Stephanie all came through to help to bake off the last of the dough, ice, decorate, wrap and pack.

Special thank yous to JobiWanKenobi - who funded much of the venture, and the Greenwood Market - who graciously stored tubs upon tubs of cookies in their freezer(Thanks Patty!).

I decided that I wanted to make big, sturdy, delicious cookies that could stand up to the expectations of a coffeehouse culture. To that end, I decided to split the effort into fourths: 3/4 easy drop cookies, and 1/4 specialty, themed and gamer cookies.

Final Results:
48 Dz Double Chocolate Chip Cookies
42 Dz Chocolate Chip Cookies
20 Dz Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Bacon Cookies (Gluten Free)
12 Dz Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies (Gluten Free)

20 Dz Star Wars Sugar Cookies
20 Dz Rice Krispie Treats with Toppings
7.5 Dz Combustible Lemons - A spicy/tart lemon sugar cookie with cayenne
3 Dz Coconut Lime Sugar Cookies
2 Dz Bacon Wrapped Oreo Stuffed Chocolate Chip Cookies
2 Dz Bacon Wrapped Nutter Butter Stuffed Double Chocolate Chip Cookies
1 Dz Splicer Mask Sugar Cookies

I started making dough in June. This is 16 batches of double chocolate chip dough.

Using a #20 (2.5 oz) scoop, the dough was scooped and frozen, then vacuum sealed 2 dozen at a time, in 1-gallon Ziploc freezer bags. When it came time to bake, the dough was sheeted, thawed and baked off.

We had a terrific time with some of the more unusual cookies.