It'd probably be smart to have a less labor-intensive cookie included in our holiday gift boxes, but part of the holidays is about being festive and putting even more effort into activities that show appreciation and gratitude. With that in mind, 7 of us ventured off to Artisan Kitchen in Richmond, CA to bake enough cookies for our holiday gift boxes.  Here's what was on the shopping list...

17 lbs of butter

22 lbs of flour

8 lbs of sugar

34 eggs

1 bottle of vanilla

EVERY bottle of red, green and blue sugar crystal that you can get your hands on!

Those sugar crystals turned out to be the real kicker.  In an effort to save time, I bulk ordered the colored sugar online and had it shipped.  Of course winter storms delayed the shipment but I checked with my partner and he confirmed I got a shipment on Friday, the day before the cookie baking.  At 9:30pm, when I got home, I realized that it wasn't the sugar crystals that arrived, but a few errant bags of the hard candy we ordered.

T-minus 12 hours to cookie baking and decorating and we didn't have any decorations.  I went into crisis problem solving mode and figured out what stores were open late.  Then, while looking at Target's website, I remembered that Michael's carries sugar crystals.  Their website indicated the closest store to me closed in 17 minutes.  I grabbed the car keys and made a dash for it. Racing through pouring rain, I watched the minutes on the clock tick by.  When I arrived at the store I told the manager exactly what I wanted - "every red, green or blue colored sugar crystal in the building!".

Like the best supermarket sweep, I cleared the shelves into a basket. Then, I went to Target next door and bought out what they had.  You can never be too sure.

The next morning, I walked through how to make a batch of cookies with the Ignite 360 elves and showed them how to decorate. What happened next was impressive.  By getting out of the way, they were able to make the production even more efficient, figuring out how to fill the tubes with cookie dough in a fraction of the time, and even how to apply icing quickly.  In the end, we made 3,291 cookies in 6.5 hours.  A new record!

I hope you enjoy the results.

-Rob