2004 was the inaugural hunting season at my Uncle’s farm in North Dakota and I was going up hunting with my dad, uncle, cousin and grandfather. Naturally, I baked something to bring as my contribution to duck camp. I brought up grasshopper bars and pumpkin bars. After a weekend of hunting when saying goodbye, my uncle told me that I wasn’t allowed to come back unless I brought more bars or cookies.
Since that time my selection has grown as has our hunting crew. I now bring three varieties of cookies and usually two pans of bars. All the baking happens the night before we leave, and since I’m not in college anymore I don’t get to start baking until after work. This used to make the nights before hunting trips exhausting as I often wouldn’t finish until 10 or 11 PM. That was until my husband came up with the idea to help me (and yes he actually helped) prep the ingredients the weekend before. Thus cookie kits were born. Now I can make a spread of cookies like this (plus some bars) and finish closer to 9 PM.
(Aunt ‘Thann would be proud of a spread like that!)
My cookie kits aren’t like those just add water mixes you buy in the store and they still get you a homemade cookie. What I do is break down my dry ingredients and group them together based on when they go into the recipe. This means the brown and white sugar go in one bag. The flour, salt, baking powder, etc go into another bag. Same thing with nuts, chocolate chips, etc. All the bags are labeled and numbered and go into a zip top gallon size bag to keep it all together. I know it sounds really simple but you would not believe the time it saves me when making cookie dough to just open a bag and dump the ingredients into the bowl instead of having to stop and measure everything.
If I really have my act together, I’ll make cookie kits for all four of our annual hunting trips at one time and keep them in my pantry until I need them. They’re also great to have around for whenever the mood strikes to mix up a batch of cookies.
The first thing I do is gather the ingredients along with a variety of sizes of zip top bags.
Label the bags. I write down the type of cookie, amount of ingredient that goes into each bag, and label them 1 of 2 and 2 of 2 etc.
Fill the bag with the appropriate ingredients and then put all the bags into a gallon bag. I also like to put a copy of the recipe into the bag with the ingredients. When you are ready to make cookies just grab the wet ingredients like butter, eggs, vanilla etc and you are ready to go.
Now, I know a lot of people like to freeze cookie dough, sometimes even in perfect cookie sized portions. It’s a great idea, but I NEVER have that much freezer space. I don’t know what it is but my freezer is always packed, so the cookie kits are a great substitute for me for ready-made cookie dough.
I made all these cookies before our first hunting trip of the season, and since this weekend I’ll be making the cookie kits for the next couple of trips I thought it would be a good time to share this process and the recipes I made for my first trip. I’ll be posting these recipes over the next couple of days:
If you find yourself having to make cookies at the last minute (for a bake sale or to bring to your kids classroom) but would rather have homemade this is a good time saving method. Enjoy!