Saturday, December 4, 2010

So many cookies so little time!

I know that a lot of people this time of year are hosting or attending cookie swaps. I have been part of several and have learned a few tips along the way. Whenever I start thinking about what kind of cookie I want to make I always am drawn to the ones that look fancy or have fancy about you? I know we all have plans to WOW everyone with our fancy cookie baking skills but then reality hits...I have to bake how many dozen? Pecans cost how much? Yes...I've been there done that. I write down all my ingredients go to the store to stock up only to realize that I could easily sink $30 or more dollars into making cookies. I don't know about all of you, but around this time of year...every little bit counts. So back to the drawing board where we finally settle on a more practical cookie that doesn't break the bank. So in line with that are a few more thoughts about choosing the perfect cookie for that cookie exchange.

1)When choosing a cookie look at how much the recipe yields...I always aim for 5 or more dozen per recipe. This not only saves time, but money as well.

2)Look at ingredients. Keep in mind that items like butter, nuts (especially pecans and hazelnuts) are expensive...especially this year. Even eggs are expensive this year. This may not be a problem if your only making a small amount, but once you start baking several adds up.

3)Consider baking time. I always aim for a cookie with a bake time around 10 minutes. This may not seems like a big deal but when baking large amounts it really adds up to lots of TIME, which I know we are all pressed for this time of year.

4)Determine the difficulty...Now I know that fancy cookies all dolled up look great, but I guarantee you that around 50-60 cookies your going to be wishing you had chosen a cookie that didn't have to be mixed, refrigerated, rolled, filled and sprinkled. Think simple...with great flavor.

5)Last but not least...pick a cookie that can be easily packed and transported. Keep in mind that frosting is going to be messy and very crispy, thin cookies are going to break very easily. Cookies that can be stacked and moved around without being ruined are a good choice.

So these are some things I learned along the way and I hope they can be a real help to you. Merry Christmas and happy baking.

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