Hello Cookie Lovers!

What’s your favorite summer activity? Mine is being at a remote beach, whether to sunbath, swim, or just simply enjoy the refreshingly salted air. There is another fun activity, however, that everyone can do all year round. It involves baking cookies for fund raising.

Homemade cookies to a bake sale are just like hamburgers, hot dogs, and apple pies to a picnic. Snickerdoodles, hermits, chocolate chip cookies, brownies, blondies, many bar cookies, even shortbread have repeatedly proven to be best sellers at bake sales.

A common mistake at organizing these events is trying to do it all yourself. Here are a few fund raising basics:

  • Be passionate about your cause, and use multiple media to advertise it.

  • Emphasize clearly where the proceed will go because people are likely to participate when they understand the goals.

  • Encourage homemade because it is easy to sell.

  • Give prospective participants at least 2 or 3 weeks notice.

  • Solicit 25% more products than you need to accommodate people who sign up but can not follow through.

  • Select a busy, well-populated, heavy-traffic location.

  • Have the right food for the right audience.

  • Be prepared to accept alternative contributions of paper napkins, cups, plates, etc. Let’s face it, not everyone is eager about baking like you and me.

If you ever decide to bake butter or spritz cookies for a bake sale, I invite you to explore the following analysis of two recipes for butter cookies.

1 cup = 8oz = 16 Tbsp = 48 tsp
1 whole egg is approximately 2 oz., yolk is about 0.5 oz. and the white 1.5 oz.

Amount Baker’s %
R1 R2 R1 R2
All purpose flour 2 c. 2½ c. 100% 100%
Egg 0 oz 2 oz 0% 10%
Butter 1 c. 1 c. 50% 40%
Sugar ¾ c. ¾ c. 37.50% 30%

Without egg and having more sugar, butter cookies from R1 are sweeter with perhaps a shorter shelf life, but in terms of texture these cookies are comparatively similar.

  • R1 dough is weaker because it has less flour and no egg. Proteins in egg white and flour are structure builder. Therefore, R1 is not ideal for piping.

  • Butter cookies from R1 are likely to spread more due to weak dough.

  • Egg yolk in R2, along with butter, is a shortener that prevents gluten formation. R1 has more butter and sugar to compensate for the missing yolk. Consequently, both R1 and R2 yield equally tender butter cookies.

  • R2 calls for baking powder. It also has an egg which helps in leavening the dough during baking. On the other hand, R1 has more butter and sugar which also have some leavening effect when they are creamed together. As a result, cookies from these two recipes have sufficient ingredients for a good rise.

Additional comments are welcome. Please use contact to add your thoughts. Remember! Experimenting makes baking exciting. Don’t be shy about substituting ingredients, adjusting quantities, even making up your own recipe.

Until next time…….

Published date: July 7, 2008

Copyright 2008 by Trinh Lieu. All right reserved