Monday, July 18, 2005

Baking for a Crowd

So I'm responsible for desserts for over 100 people now. Cookies are a popular choice for lunch, since I can bake lots off during the morning. But we wind up going through lots and lots of cookies. Thankfully, Chef Maurice, my advanced instructor at PICA, gave everyone a booklet of his own recipes to take out into the world with us upon graduation. I am so grateful for this, because many of them are suitable for commercial operations, such as the one I'm currently employed at. Here is a cookie recipe I've been using. It makes approximately 16lbs of cookie dough, which usually yeilds 300+ cookies for me. Don't try these at home! You'll need a huge mixer and a scale. I just thought I'd post this to give you an idea of what a professional, commercial-sized recipe looks like. It's kind of amusing, when you think about it.

Cookies for a Crowd (approx. 16lbs dough; 300+ small cookies made with #100 cookie scoop)

3 lbs white fat (use margarine, butter, Crisco shortening)
4 lbs brown sugar
8 eggs
2 oz baking powder
2 lbs oatmeal
4 lbs soft flour (all purpose or cake & pastry)
2 lbs raisins
pinch of salt

I have been dividing the dough in half and making half oatmeal raisin and half oatmeal chocolate chip. I have also added coconut and craisins and these were very popular, too.

The last couple of Sundays, I've served brownies for dessert. Who doesn't love brownies with their roast beef dinner? This recipe makes a large sheet tray measuring 16"x24", and I usually double it to feed over 100 people. I have iced these with a few things: strawberry icing, and last night I used a mocha buttercream.

Brownies for a Crowd (yield 1 large sheet, or 2 half sheets)

1 lb butter, softened
2 1/2 lbs brown sugar
12 eggs
6 oz pastry flour
6 oz all purpose flour
6 oz cocoa powder
1 lb roasted pecans

This is actually the most fudgey brownie recipe I've ever made. They are fairly thin brownies, unlike the thick cakey ones you usually see in bakeries and at the grocery store. Through trial and error, I've discovered that baking these at a lower temperature for longer yeilds a much moister product in the end. 325F for 40 - 45 minutes is usually just fine. You want them a bit underbaked when you take them out so they remain nice and fudgey.

Nice, eh? Such quantities are mind-boggling to the eye, I know. But trust me: I have been saved by these recipes! Thank you Chef Maurice!

1 comment:

jenna said...

Your blog is great! It's hard to find blogs with good content and people talking about culinary school these days! I have a secret culinary school blog if you want to come check it out!

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