Everyone loves homemade cookies but fewer people take the time to bake them. Knowing this, members of the Ocean County (New Jersey) Women’s Connection in Tom’s River bake hundreds of cookies to prepare for their annual Christmas Cookie fundraiser. Stonecroft Regional Administrator Roxanne Kamichoff shared on the 2017 Fall Fundraiser call how they do this successful event. Here’s the information:
Purchase ingredients early and in bulk. In preparation for the baking, purchase butter in October and November when it’s on sale; then freeze it until time to bake. Buy flour and sugar from warehouse clubs like Costco and divide it among the bakers to keep down costs. Also, collect containers for the cookies (trays, cups, bowls, etc.) throughout the year.
Makin’ a list. Prepare a list of favorite Christmas cookies. All cookies must go through a taste test. One woman tried three different gingerbread cookie recipes before finding the best one. No burnt cookies are allowed. Tip: When putting cookies on trays, do not mix soft cookies with crunchy cookies like gingersnaps, as soft cookies make other cookies soft.
A sample cookie selection includes frosted cutouts, seven-layer bars, shortbread, gingerbread snowflakes, Russian tea cakes, spritz, cream cheese and lemon spritz (variety of shapes and decorated), chocolate chip, oatmeal raisin, oatmeal lace, chocolate sandwich, fruit spice, coconut macaroons dipped in chocolate (bottom only), lemon, chocolate/chocolate chip, and meringues.
Tips: Avoid peanut butter and peppermint, unless you package them separately. The flavor will permeate all the other cookies included with them. Start baking in November, freeze some undecorated and then decorate at a later date.
Bakers bake. Have each woman sign up to make what she is able to do. If participants know other good bakers, ask them to help. Tip: Don’t forget to invite the guest bakers to the event, maybe even treat them, especially if they don’t know Jesus.
The assembly begins. Get together with the multiple batches, three to six batches of each kind. Set up an assembly line. Wash the containers first. Open the batches of all the cookies to see the varieties. Then fill each tray or package entirely with cookies using no fillers except for chocolate-kiss candies in Christmas colors. Wrap each tray, cup, or bowl in clear cellophane and tie with beautiful ribbon and an ornament. The Group charges by the pound and weighs each item ($7-$8 a pound is reasonable). Mix several varieties of cookies and put the colorful ones on top.
Eye-catching display. The sales display is important. Go for eye appeal. Tablecloths in red and gold are attractive. Use height for different levels and mix in Christmas decorations. (The Group collects different items at garage and estate sales in the fall to add to its display). These decorations are also sold for a little more than the purchase price. These items add more interest to the tables. Tip: Angels are a big seller, along with cute snowmen, candles, etc.
Remind your Group that these are great gifts that everyone will love, especially the neighbors, postal carriers, and UPS drivers. Tips: Pray and play Christmas music while you bake! Enjoy the time and don’t forget the most important ingredient is love.