Teresa’s Bake Shop – Christmas Cookie Extravaganza – 2012
Christmas cookie baking is finally finished for our family for 2012. I thought I would take you through the process of how we bake, package, and ship off cookies all over the country. We baked 35 different cookies in the past five to six weeks– all of which have already been posted. This is a labor of love for our family. It is also one way we take our hospitality ministry to others.
We’ve been baking Christmas cookies for family, friends, coworkers, neighbors, church friends, seminary staff, doctors and other service providers since the first year of our marriage when we couldn’t afford to do anything else for family but bake cookies! It has expanded to what it is now. I think we baked about 7,000 or 8,000 cookies packed in 140-150 containers (trays, popcorn tins, and buckets) in 2012.
This year we included a couple thousand cookies for delivery at one of the prisons in Texas and for our church’s holiday fine arts and music gala in addition to our regular deliveries. Anyway, I thought some of you might be interested in seeing the pictures. It is quite a spectacle. I will tell you that after baking all this stuff every day for almost six straight weeks I am exhausted and resting for the rest of the year! Enjoy!
I apologize in advance for the graininess of the pictures. When I originally published this post in December 2012 I had a low resolution iPhone that I took pictures with. While I can upgrade some of the pictures in our 2014 Christmas Cookie Extravaganza, some pictures including the four from the fine arts gala can never be reproduced.
Christmas Cookie Extravaganza Production
Christmas Cookie Extravaganza is a huge event in our home every Christmas season. Here are some of the tins and buckets we filled with Christmas cookies and bars this year.
Here’s one of my work tables set up in the dining room. We use a lot of really large mixing bowls and baker-style cookie sheets. In the background is our heat-sealer and the roll of poly bags we use to bag all our cookies.
Here’s a close up of our heat sealer and the roll of bags. I used over 5,000 bags and we had at least a thousand cookies that we didn’t bag.
I have two other 8 foot tables in my dining room set up with racks to bring in all the trays after baking.
This is my dining room table laden down with all the baking goods. This doesn’t include everything we used because eggs, butter, cream cheese, etc., had to be refrigerated. Plus we had to purchase a whole lot more sugar, flour, nuts, and other stuff. But this gives you an idea of what goes into our Christmas Cookie Extravaganza every year. We go through a lot of supplies baking this much stuff.
Here, I’ve placed one of the Orange Creamsicle Cookies in a poly bag.
Here I’ve started to stack the bagged cookies on a tray.
Here the tray is loaded with Orange Creamsicle Cookies and ready for each one to be individually sealed.
I press the poly bag under the heat sealer and wait a few seconds until the light goes off indicating that the bag is sealed.
Here’s a sealed bag.
Here’s a large roaster pan filled with Orange Creamsicle Cookies.
This was packing day. I froze the first 15 of the 35 cookies I baked and then pulled them all out on this day to pack. These are Oatmeal Raisin Walnut Cookies.
Here’s a look at some of the cookies on one of my counters. Pumpkin Whoopie Pies are the closest.
Pack the popcorn tins. They can hold 80-100 cookies and brownies. I usually back brownies on the bottom because they absorb the weight best without cracking. The tins are filled with the 15 different kinds of cookies I baked for this part of our Christmas Cookie Extravaganza. You can see the Coconut Date Balls and Pumpkin Whoopie Pies on top. I took the whoopie pies to several parties. Everybody loved them.
Here’s a look at some of the buckets and trays. We put a copy of all our recipes in the buckets, tins, and cookie trays.
Here are some more of the cookie trays.
Here’s another look. I filled another 30 buckets for our prison ministry.
Here’s a look at the trays after John has added a strong cellophane wrap. We included the recipes for all the cookies so people with nut and food allergies could check the ingredients list.
My Dessert Tables at our church’s Fine Arts and Music Gala
Here’s a look at one of my dessert tables. My Chocolate Potato Chip Sandwiches were a real hit even though they were my “reject cookies!” When folks tasted the Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Whoopie Pies they started raving about how spectacular they were.
Everyone drooled over my Red Velvet Sandwich Cookies, Chocolate Layer Bars, and the Double Chocolate Oatmeal Sandwiches. In the background the Pecan Cheesecake Bars and Cranberry Lemon Sandwiches were also thought quite fantastic by those who stopped by my tables. Those who sampled the Chocolate Layer Bars had this huge smile come over their faces after tasting a bite of these amazing treats.
Everyone who tried one of the Potato Chip Cookies, Mimi’s Potato Chip Cookies or Black Forest Cookies thought they were amazing! All of the leftovers went out to John’s place of employment where he took a few more trays to offices and left the rest in the break room where he made quite a few people smile!
Here are the 35 lovely cookies we made this year:
I hope you’ll consider trying out some of these delicious cookies and bars for your holiday baking this year!
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