Today I baked the last of the twelve types of cookies I'm making this year for the holidays. With the cookies baked, I was in distribution mode, whereby I decide who-gets-what and how-many-of-each, a process not unlike those analytical evaluation questions on the GRE exam:
Joe and Josh must not get any chocolate cookies.
Lynda must not get any cookies with nuts.
Mary Jo must get four times more date cookies than the person with the least number of date cookies.
Kay must get at least 20 Mexican Wedding Cakes, Spritz, and Sugar Cookies combined.
How many peanut butter cookies does Dad get?
To keep track of it all, I made a little low-tech spread sheet, with the cookie type along the top and the cookie recipient to the left, and jotted down the number of cookies I packed into each person's tin as I made my way down my list.
This is the first year I've made such a list, and I'm hoping that by doing so, I'll be able to better plan my baking schedule. While my default is always to bake 12 dozen each of the 12 types of cookies, the system breaks down when I suspect the only person who really likes the Date cookies is my sister, while on the other hand I always seem to run short on the frosted sugar cookies, because who doesn't like frosted sugar cookies?
When I'm done with the great Distribution Extravaganza, I'll just slip my list in the holiday cookie section of my new recipe notebook, and I'll have the data on hand when it's cookie-making season next year.
Project notes: As soon as I'm done baking and the cookies are cool, I store each type of cookie separately in a resealable bag.
Once all the cookies are baked and I'm ready to distribute the cookies into tins, I sequester the kittens, clear the table, and lay down sheets of foil, on which I arrange the cookies by type, a couple dozen per type at a time. This helps me see the variety and makes the allocation process easy and fun.