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Old 09-03-2009, 10:10 AM   #1
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Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Indiana
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Organizational tips for a Holiday Cookie Fundraiser needed!

I am in charge of a Christmas cookie fundraiser this year for our youth group at church.

The youth did this several years ago but those leaders moved away and I don't have much back up information about how they did things. Many members of the congregation have requested this fundraiser again because they could order many of their cookies to cut down on or eliminate baking on their own.

We are choosing 6-8 cookies and taking orders for three weeks. I don't have much info on how much they actually sold in the past but I'm guessing we'll be making between 60-100 dozen total cookies.

We are delivering them at church on the Sunday before Christmas.

Does anyone have experience with how to make this organized and to run smoothly? Should we mix dough one day and bake the next? We have 3 ovens to work with in the church kitchen with so I'm hoping the baking isn't too problematic. Any suggestions would be welcomed.



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Old 09-03-2009, 10:16 AM   #2
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First, get a thermometer to check those ovens! What size mixer do you have? A lot of schools have large industrial mixers in their cafeteria areas, that would definitely make the mixing easier. PARCHMENT PAPER!!! Get it and use it. You can re-use sheets of it about 3 times before the butter in the cookies starts to really show up.

How big are the cookies going to be? I make a 4 to 4.5 inch cookie by using an ice cream scoop to portion the dough. The scoop (in any size) is fantastic for regulating the size of the cookie and keeping it consistant.

I will post more tips as I think of them.

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Old 09-03-2009, 10:53 AM   #3
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Are there any health department regulations you need to check? Our state just passed a cottage law, nicknamed the "bakesale bill," to loosen regulations (product needs to meet quality control issues, kitchens are not health inspected) and allow breads, cookies, cakes, jams, jellies to be sold. It makes it easier, but there are regulations to follow as to labeling.

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Old 09-03-2009, 08:06 PM   #4
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I don't think there are any regulations in Indiana. We have bake sales often at church. We are doing it in a commercial kitchen NOT in peoples homes.

We will be using household mixers. The kitchen is nice and big but only the ovens and one of the reach-ins are commercial equipment. No large mixers. I have a stand mixer and I hope a few of the other youth members families have some they can bring.

My biggest concern is the dough. Can all cookie dough be prepared the night before and put in the refrigerator to be baked the next day?

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Old 09-03-2009, 08:19 PM   #5
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Yes, they are called refrigerator cookies. Usually, they are rolled and then sliced, so I don't see why not. Just make sure they reach a cool temp (like 40 degrees) and stay cool until you bake them.

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Old 09-04-2009, 10:59 PM   #6
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I've made cookie dough the day before and they came out fine. If Pillsbury can do it I think you should be okay. The question will be do you have enough space in the fridge at the church to store it? I also agree with checking the temp on the ovens. One of the churches I've cooked in had a wonderful gas oven but it ran about 50 degrees lower than it was set for. I didn't find that out until it was time to serve the meal and it was not cooked through. Now I know to set the temp higher when I'm using that oven.
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Old 09-05-2009, 10:05 AM   #7
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Sherin, 100 dozen cookies will be anywhere from 10 to 20 hours worth of baking. (Using 3 ovens it will drastically reduce your time in the kitchen) It would be my suggestion that you choose a couple of cookies that are quick and easy and a couple that are overnight chill recipes. That way you do this in two days and have a few steps. Also that you have 3 crews running (they can be either one man or two man crews) on each day.

1. Crew one makes dough.
2. Crew two preps trays and mans the oven.
3. Crew three deals with the cooled cookies and packaging. (These guys can be your gofers too for ingredients etc as their job happens last. You can even have crew one become crew three after they are done all the dough you plan to do that day.) EVERYONE does clean up.

On the first day you make all the cookies that don't require refrigeration. Like shortbreads etc. You make ALL the dough the first day. On day two you move into the refrigerated doughs like the sugar cookies etc. You may need a decorating crew here too depending on what you are doing for cookies.

Can you post the list of cookies you plan to offer for sale? That would help to know better how to organize this.

Couple of tips. You will need to get nice packaging. Something that won't allow the cookies to smash. The old Turtles boxes used to be ideal. You would gently pack a dozen cookies in the bottom, then use cellophane to wrap the whole thing and tie it with a pretty ribbon. Sometimes if it is a fundraiser you can talk to a packaging company they might donate some supplies. BUT, the dollar store is your best friend for this one. Buy waxed paper to line the bottom of the boxes. To keep your costs down buy both butter and margarine and blend these as your fats. Make lists. Good luck! Hope some of this might have helped.


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