First off, cookie research is fun. You do it by discussing, baking and devouring cookies…lots and lots of cookies. We dove into recipe creation with the goal of making cookies that are tasty straight out of the package and that didn’t include preservatives. For our Before Dinner and After Dinner Cookie Collections, we combined elements of Le Sable (a French Shortbread) with flavors from all over America: Pecan, Chocolate, Sesame, Citrus, Chipotle, Ginger…and our killer version of a classic Nilla Wafer.
Katy, Shana and I sat in our backyard brainstorming unique cookie ideas and deciding what to call our cookie collections. Brainstorming got us this list:
The Sweet Collection
-A grown up cookie
-Cookies for adults & kids
-Cookies for milk
The Savory Collection
-A very grown up cookie
-Cookies for adults
-Cookies not for milk
We played with “Before 5 Cookies” and “After 5 Cookies”, but if you’ve ever dined with a Spaniard you know that distinction is meaningless.
Our tiny test batches of cookies were delicious but we knew our expansive cookie dreams meant we needed to make more than 20 cookies at a time (or ten if I am your baker). That’s when we found Seattle’s cookie cowboy, a man with one name and one purpose: Chiro, the cookie expert.
Chiro recommended a cookie depositor to quicken the process. This large piece of equipment automatically portions out our dough for each cookie and positions the dough balls in straight lines on sheet trays. From there, the cookie sheets go straight into the oven for baking.
It wasn’t easy to wrangle the cookie depositor but Chiro was definitely onto something and he enjoyed supervising our cookie machine’s maiden voyage. With all of the high fives and pride of chefs who have been wrestling a machine for over six hours, Chiro and Bob presented us with our first cookie: An Open Sesame cookie, roughly as large as my head.
I wanted to share in their triumph, but confidentially, I faked it. I faked my enthusiasm for the enormous cookie. I said, “This tastes great!” After some congratulatory cookie bites, I gently called out the elephant in the room. “What do you think of the size?” (This cookie might not fit through some doors.) It was a bit of a buzzkill, but Chiro assured me that getting the dough through the machine was step one. Check. Got it. I may not have slept that night.
In the end, why would I ever doubt a cookie cowboy? Bob and Chiro dialed in the size, of cookies. Shortly after, we quickly learned that a standard toolbox is actually a required part of the machine, and we were off and running. Commercial cookie making is a lot like cookie recipe creating. You test your batch by snacking on one and declaring it delicious and then it’s entirely focused on the “how”. How do you get people to fall in love with your cookies as opposed to someone else’s? At Bite Society, we use reusable packaging for our American Sables in American flash tattoo artwork. In 2021, that’s cookies for the cool kids.