I have my first large order of 180 cookies for a wedding. I'm not sure where to start with orchestrating this project. I know I can do it, but any advice would be appreciated. I'm not even sure how many batches of NFSC this is going to take, let alone Antonia's RI. How far in advance to start?? This wedding is in July, so I have time to do some planning.
Thanks for your help!
The NFSC makes about 5 dozen 3in cookies, so that would be about 60 cookies. So I guess 3 recipes would be enough. (But I guess it would depend on how big or small your cookies are... and having extras for your to enjoy )
THe RI part,I don't know. I know you can freeze cookies decorated with RI, if that helps. Sorry I can't be of any more help!
GOod luck and congrats on your order!
Hi! Congrats on that order!!! I haven't done that large an order, but here is a posting that might be of help in which someone asked about doing a large cookie order:
It talked a lot about fondant though as I recall. I would do a test run and see how many cookies you can get out of 1/2 batch of dough. Same idea with the RI. This way you can narrow it down for your particular design. You can also use these cookies to practice on to figure out to do your steps to make it more 'assembly line'. I find that really, really helps me and will take some of the stress off of you when you actually do the order. Making any tags or cutting your ribbon well in advance will also help. Again... congrats!!!
I agree do a test. I just made a batch of NFSC and got 49 cookies varying from 3-4" in size, I cut them pretty thick 3/8 to almost half as they were for bouquets. But for bagging you could do them thinner and get more. 1 batch of antonias icing iced all of them with about 3/4c leftover. But again it depends on how thick you apply it and how much detail you do.
Thanks for the advice. I think I will do a test batch. The bride wants perwinkle as one of the colors, so I really only want to make one batch of that color, otherwise I'm sure I wouldn't be able to match the color perfectly a second time.
P.S. For some reason I'm not being notified of any posted replies, so I don't mean to ignore any responses. I'm grateful for any help!
Julie, I hope you see this ... if you go to "My Profile" check your preferences and make sure you checked "yes" for notify me of comments, posts, etc. Congrats on the big cookie order.
I did 200 NFSC for a wedding. What I did was mix up all the dough (I thin 3 batches) and put it into the fridge. The next night I rolled and cut the cookies out, baked and froze them on sheets. Next night I decorated and boxed them. I put them in the garage where it's cold. It worked well for me & hope this helps some.
I had an order that was for 150 cookies. I baked one batch of NFSC at a time and froze them.I kept doing this over a period of time until I had all the cookies I needed (I made extras just in case). Rolling out the dough gets exhausting, that's why I did it over a period of time and not all in one day. Then I started decorating them - first I took them out of the freezer and let them thaw at room temperature. I decoratated them with Antonia74 royal icing. I did all the base colors at once. Let them dry and then added the details. After they dried sufficiently, I bagged them individually (since they were being used for favors), stacked them carefully - the bags actually acted like cushions, and refroze them until I needed them. They were perfectly fresh!
For those that have frozen, how did you do that exactly? I froze some as a test in a freezer ziploc bag and that taste was definitely affected. Had to toss them all. Any thoughts on how to do it properly would be sincerely appreciated!
I freeze mine wrapped in press n seal, aluminum foil and placed in the ziplock bag.
There is no change in taste when I seal them this way.
I'd also like to know how to successfully freeze already decorated cookies. Thanks!
I'd love to hear how all of you advertise your cookies to get the large orders. Do you send out samples? Do you have sites? Any advice is appreciated.
Gosh Tracy.....I freeze my cookies all the time (for personal use) and simply cannot tell the difference between a frozen and a fresh cookie.
(I have to say though, that I rarely ever freeze a customer's order simply out of principle of giving the customer the freshest possible product. Sometimes when I freeze cookies I've had the icing sort of discolor with white-ish splotches...usually darker colors...which doesn't affect the taste but I wouldn't want it ever to happen to a customer's order.) You're using the nfsc recipe right? I've frozen mine individually bagged, or between layers of wax paper in an airtight container. I'm just surprised the taste is affected when you freeze them.
Schmulie - CONGRATS on your big order!!! When I have a lot of cookies to do I'll mix up 3-4 batches of dough first, then roll, cut, bake it all, then freeze the unfrosted cookies in plastic tubs. (I do all these steps over again as many times as I can handle in one day!) Then take out of the freezer however many you think you can decorate in one day and go for it!!! You can do it! Just have a good plan thought out. I totally agree with Tracy about having your bags labeled and ribbons/tags ready to go before you do the cookies because the decorating is the hardest part. You don't want to be stuck doing those little details after a long day of decorating. GOOD LUCK TO YOU!!!!
Thanks Tammy and Bakinccc! I think it was the freezer bag I used. Sometimes the plastic in the bag or container can impart a taste. What brand of plastic containers do you use, Bakinccc? Ovbiously those work!
I always have NFSC dough ready to go in the freezer. I have never frozed already baked cookies. I make up a couple of batches, refrigerate for about 20 minutes then roll out the dough between parchment paper and stack about 3 or 4 sheets of dough on top of each other using 2 pieces of parchment per sheet of dough. (lately I have been buying sandwich sheets from costco)Then I freeze the sheets for a couple of hours and take them out and vacuum seal 4 sheet together and put them back in the freezer. Then when I want to make cookies I just take them out and they are ready to be cut with the cutter. I did 72 this morning in about 1 hour.
I never noticed a difference in the taste cause they are baked fresh.
I will stack the baked "naked" cookies in Rubbermaid containers and freeze. I've also put them in ziplock freezer bags and stuck them in the freezer if I don't have the size container available. I've never been able to taste a difference in the frozen or fresh cookies, though they usually aren't in the freezer all that long. As bakinccc said, the glace doesn't take to freezing well, so I will only freeze naked cookies.
As for doing 180 cookies for one order....determine how to decorate them assembly line fashion! I agree with Tracy about having tags and such ready to go before you decorate. Planning will make the job much less stressful for you! Good luck, and don't forget to post pictures!
One tip I have that I actually got off of CC (sorry, I don't remember who suggested it ) is to let your cookies dry in pizza boxes. I went to the pizza shop down the road and bought some new, unused boxes from them. It works wonders for me when I get large orders because I'm able to stack my boxes and not worry about my cookies while they're drying.
It is great that this order is due on July... you have plenty of time to plan ahead and practice the actual COOKIE... most of my work is for weddings in Cancun and Riviera Maya, so I'm used to large orders... We are always learning from others, and this is what works for me...
- DAY 1 - Make enough COOKIE dough for the entire order + 10% more (for broken COOKIES)... Wrap in film and shape as flat rectangle/circle. Refrigerate if you are baking the next day, or freeze if not...
DAY 2 - Bake COOKIES (all the order + 10 %): this will help reduce oven heating cost. What works for me is to roll and cut dough, refrigerate 5 min. and bake, and roll, cut and refrigerate another batch while baking the first... (my oven has 4 racks so I can bake 4 sheets at a time) Cool and store in airtight containers...
DAY 3 - This depends on how many COOKIES you can finish decorating in one day... Prepare enough RI for the COOKIES you will make this day... work in series/assembly line: first outline all the COOKIES, then flood all, and finish detailing them... let them dry overnight
DAY 4 - Bag and tie. Store in box.
The number of DAY 3 & DAY 4 you will need depends on how fast you are icing and also in how much space you have to let COOKIES dry... So if you make 100 COOKIES per day, you will finish in 5 days... if you make 60 COOKIES per day, you will have the work done in 6 days...
I don't freeze the COOKIES, as they keep their freshness because they are bagged and kept in a dry place...
Hope this helps, and congratulations & good luck with your order!!
Thanks all the info everyone
I agree, get as much work done ahead of time as possible. Cut ribbon for bags, put labels on bags and cut cookies, bake and freeze, undecorated. A week before, set up an assembly line and decorate, dry and bag. I think 3 RI would not be enough, make extra, it is cheap enough and you will never get the exact same color as the last batch.
As far as advertising, I have a website and also use all the free sites, Craig's List, ilist etc. Good luck.
How do you ship your cookies pattycakesncookies?
luv2bake6, I put each cookie in its own bag tied with ribbon, then wrap each one with a small piece of bubble wrap and tape . I put them in a box that exactly fits the cookies, no movement allowed. Then that box goes into a larger box that has crumbled paper or peanuts around it so again there is no movement. Hope that answers your questions.
Thanks for your quick reply. Wow, that's a lot of boxes and handling. Do you charge a lot for shipping and handling? Have there ever been cookies that broke or decos that fell off in transit?
Luv2bake 6, I don't ship a lot of cookies, most of my orders are local. I charge exactly what the post office charges me, I make my money on the cookies. I always include extra cookies in the order in case of breakage, but so far, so good. (or at least no one has called to complain of breakage.)
(I do most of my paperwork and answering emails in the beginning of the week, hence the quick response. Baking is later in the week because most of my orders are for the weekend)
So you don't charge for the boxes, bubble wrap, crumbled newsprint, just for the postage, right? Just trying to get an idea for whenever i decide to try shipping.
When I decorate cookies I use the recipe from Wilton because it does not have to be refrigerated or I use Betty Crocker sugar cookies.
By using rolled fondant to cover the cookie and air brush accents, it moves along faster. The foodwriters are excellent for decorating cookies. The icing needs to dry first then color away.
Happy Baking and Decorating,
what are airbrush accents?
luv2bake6, Correct, I don't charge for packing as the only thing I buy is bubble wrap. I recycle packing peanuts that come with stuff I buy, same for boxes. I rarely have to buy boxes, I keep old boxes in my basement and reuse them. Newspaper is just what I would put out to recycle anyway. I feel that doing this builds good customer goodwill which is more important than getting an extra few bucks out of people. Plus, since I am reusing boxes, newspaper and packing peanuts, it is good for the enviroment.
Sounds good pattycakesncookies. Thanks for your advice.
I use my airbrush for detail, highlights, and to accent the cookies.
The shimmer colors are gorgeous on cookies covered with rolled fondant, color flow, and royal icing. I get my shimmer colors from LUCKS.
Happy Baking and Decorating,
This is a very timely discussion, I hope you don't mind me tapping in with my questions. I ws approached about doing a large order of cookies (around 300) for a college graduation reception. They want a symbol on the cookies. ( I have LIMITED experience with cookies but don't want to miss a great opportunity.) I am thinking of doing a cookie with the symbol done as an edible image (hoping this is relatively easy) Since this is a reception is a 3" cookie a suitable size? What is the best icing to use to adhere the image to the cookie? What should I pay particular attention to to ensure the cookie image looks smooth? OR, I am open to any advice you cookie experts have.