Happy New Year everyone! Here’s hoping that you and yours had a fun time celebrating. Here at Needs Baked headquarters, we kept it pretty low-key. I did do some baking which I’ll share when I catch up to it.
In the meantime, let’s pick up where we left off. As you may recall, I had entered a cookie contest and decided to make mini peppermint Oreos. That last post was the test batch where I decided to make them and did the final experimentation to make sure they would work.
The next step was to make the mountain of cookies I needed for the contest. They said I needed about 200 cookies. Yup, 200. I was making cookie sandwiches, so that meant twice as many. The test batch had made just under 100 cookie sandwiches (200 cookies), so I figured I needed three batches. Two would almost be enough, but three would definitely be enough and would allow room in case some broke or didn’t look right or whatever.
I went through the ingredient list and figured out how much I needed of everything, subtracting what I already had on hand. I went to get the ingredients on the Friday night before. (The contest was on a Sunday). I had to get soft mint candies at the drug store. This store only had a big tub of them. It was more than I needed, but ended up being cheaper than the individual packages, and I figured I could always find a use for the rest of them later. I figured I would get the rest of the ingredients at Trader Joe’s, but they were out of unsalted butter and cocoa powder. I got everything else there, but went to my favorite little neighborhood shop for the rest.
I decided I would do one batch of cookies Friday night and the other two Saturday afternoon. This would then be followed by making the filling and then filling them all. I made one batch pretty quickly and easily. It’s an easy recipe, and I’ve done it a few times at this point, so it was very quick. (There are not a lot of pictures of this because I wanted to do it quickly, plus it wouldn’t have looked any different than the last post.)
I used a rounded 1/4 teaspoon for the cookies, baked 3 minutes, then rotated and baked 3 more minutes. I fit 30 cookies on the bigger trays and 25 on the smaller one. I made the cookies, put them on the tray, and flattened them. My wife helped by doing much of the rest (putting them in the oven, taking them out, etc.). She was a tremendous help again, and it made things go so much quicker. (Thanks hon!) We were all done with this batch in about 2 hours.
I figured we would get about 200 cookies (100 cookie sandwiches) out of this first batch. We got 266 cookies! That’s 133 sandwiches, which meant if we could do that again, we would only need 2 batches.
I tasted a couple to see how they were. They were excellent. There were just a handful that looked a little small/overcooked or otherwise unacceptable. Mostly they looked amazing. Some were bigger and some were smaller due to the vagaries of sizing. I was doing my best to keep them the same size, but I was also trying to do them quickly so that once one sheet was done, the next one could go in. (We had three trays working in rotation.) They looked like a lot all lined up, but they didn’t take up much space once we put them in containers (to store them overnight).
We made the second batch the next day, and it was 284 cookies for 142 sandwiches. Add that to the 133 from the first batch and we ended up with 275. The target number was 200, so that was plenty. It took a little over 2 hours for the first batch and a little under 2 hours for the second. We got better at it. We also added a fourth tray to the rotation, which helped.
Since we didn’t need to do a third batch, we didn’t end up needing all of the ingredients I got. I guess that just leaves more for next time. 🙂 While cleaning up, my wife also ground up the soft mint candies. I figured we only needed 25 per batch, as 30 was too much the previous time.
I made the filling. It was a better consistency because of using fewer candies, and it still had a great peppermint taste. We made the cookie sandwiches like last time. Again, I had to go back afterwards and put more filling into the ones we had done first because they didn’t get enough filling. There was some filling leftover like the test round. (I think because adding in all the candies added some volume.)
I took a few pictures then finished packing them up. My wife got the decorations together. Because it worked well, we used the same table wrap she had put together last year. She also had the idea to use a Lazy Susan to serve the cookies on, so we grabbed that as well. (It turns out Susan’s not lazy at all. I don’t know where she got that reputation.) I grabbed my mini business cards (which I had printed up for last year’s competition). After they were packed up, the cookies took up much less space than the cookies did last year.
I didn’t print out any signs for the cookies this time because I didn’t think we needed them. (Everyone asks you what they are anyway.) Plus, we were still trying to decide what the name should be: minties, peppermint crisps, mint buttons, etc.
So with all the cookies made and packed up, and all the other accoutrements collected, we were all done. We were all ready for the next day’s competition. Thank you again to my wife. (You were a huge help, and I couldn’t have done it without you!)
This adventure now nears its completion. Tune in next week for the stunning conclusion! And in the meantime, feel free to comment below and guess how I did. (No cheating if you already know!)
Original Oreo recipe courtesy of smitten kitchen.
Peppermint flavoring courtesy of The Kitchn.