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Cookie (or Biscuit) Brigade East

2456

Posts

  • HypatiaHypatia Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    rachie wrote: »
    Also how do you usually package the cookies for distribution? And how big do you make them? the ones in your pic look bigger then normal sized! This is my first PAX so I haven't seen the cookie ppl before :-)

    I'm not sure of how other people package them (although I vaguely remember VT carrying a really enormous tupperware box all over), but since I've been baking mine on Wednesday before I leave on Thursday and I know that they're going to have to keep until the weekend, I did a bunch of looking up how to store cookies and ended up doing the following:

    1) Wrap cookie in a small square of aluminum foil
    2) Drop cookie into shipping tube
    3) After stacking about 5 cookies tall drop in a cardboard circle cut-out to even out weight distribution
    4) Drop in another 5 cookies
    5) Put a piece of bread in a plastic shopping bag and crumple the bag up loosely, then use it to pad the loose cookies on that level and the level below
    6) Repeat until tube is full

    This is kind of elaborate but it worked really well, the cookies stayed really fresh and I didn't get a single crushed cookie despite hauling them on a plane. I also packed the extra cookies in a shoebox by doing the same foil-wrap and adding a piece of bread in a bag to stabilize humidity. There's probably an easier way to do it but having each cookie wrapped individually in foil also made it a lot easier to distribute :)

    Hypatia on
  • LewieP's MummyLewieP's Mummy Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    I'll make some biscuits, and I'm going to try making the cake balls cos they sound and look fab, but I won't be able to distribute, as I won't have any hands free - I'm now walking with a stick and a crutch, so can't work out how to juggle biscuits as well!

    LewieP's Mummy on
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  • VThornheartVThornheart Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    No worries LPM, I'd be honored to take up the distribution of your biscuits! =) I'm psyched you'll be bringing them, that's awesome! =)

    EDIT: Also, as far as toting around the cookies for those wondering, I've tried two things so far:

    The first year, I tried a giant plastic box affixed to my back with strapping and industrial velcro. That worked extremely well from the perspective of having free hands to actually hand out cookies and accept donations, but it was a bit... overt.

    The second year, I went covert by cosplaying as a TF2 Engineer and using my Engineer's toolbox to distribute cookies. This was less overt, but was more inconvenient from a distribution perspective: I found that, to be useful, I generally had to find a table to actually situate myself well enough to give cookies and get donations: which was too limiting.

    The ideal situation in both cases was probably when JonXP and DJBreslin tag-teamed with me. DJ passed out buttons, JonXP took donations, and I handed out cookies... this was highly effective, but of course uses three people as resources.

    This year I'm going to try finding a balance between covert and free hands, but it's going to take some thought.

    I know some people use a backpack or pouch and put the cookies in there, which definitely works as well: but you'll have to go back for refills more often with a smaller satchel. I prefer to set out in bulk. =)

    VThornheart on
    3DS Friend Code: 1950-8938-9095
  • rachierachie Registered User
    edited February 2010
    A few more questions! HOw many cookies do you package together? (not for travel but for distribution, I live about 20 mins from Boston so there wont be any long traveling.) Also I am going to make cake balls, how many do you think I should put in a package? I was thinking 4 or 6? Also this is my first PAX, but I was just gonna bring the cookies and things in a backpack, I am going with 3 other ppl so they can help hand stuff out, just wondering if there is a better way or what? Sorry about all the questions, I just want to be prepared :-)

    rachie on
  • VThornheartVThornheart Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    For distribution, it depends... I've seen some people put 2 small cookies in a single package and one large cookie in a single package.

    Up to now, the majority of our baked goods have come to us in one giant bag that we basically just open up and let people grab cookies from, but admittedly that's less sanitary than having them individually wrapped or wrapped in groups of 2: so if you're willing to wrap them, that'd be awesome!

    For the cake balls, I can picture giving them one at a time: it looks like they take a lot of time to make, and they are extra special in deliciousness: packaging them individually will probably be good because of that... but that's just my take on it.

    Thank you so much for your baking efforts! You rock! =)

    VThornheart on
    3DS Friend Code: 1950-8938-9095
  • LewieP's MummyLewieP's Mummy Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    I've made some cake balls as a trial, my family loved them, so I guess I'll be making a batch for PAX.

    LewieP's Mummy on
    For all the top UK Gaming Bargains, check out SavyGamer

    For paintings in progress, check out canvas and paints

    "The power of the weirdness compels me."
  • CoctopusCoctopus Registered User
    edited February 2010
    I second the thought for chewy snickerdoodles. I haven't had a homemade one of those in years. They are cookie copulation in my mouth and yes I like to alliterate.

    Coctopus on
  • VThornheartVThornheart Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    Yay on both counts! <3 Snickerdoodles and cake balls! =) =)

    VThornheart on
    3DS Friend Code: 1950-8938-9095
  • kitties_on_acidkitties_on_acid Registered User
    edited February 2010
    Ohhh... I like baking! I like cookies! I'd definitely like to make something. I'm also not really going with anyone :? ... so distributing might be a good idea to force me to say hello to some people.

    kitties_on_acid on
  • Postal KittyPostal Kitty Registered User
    edited February 2010
    Sign me up as well! Regardless of the fact that I am already doing something at the event, I want to give out cookies. I will probably bake some as well since I LOVE to bake. Hmm. I may throw a bake party beforehand. heh.

    Postal Kitty on
  • joshuadavid21joshuadavid21 Registered User
    edited February 2010
    The cookie brigade adds more meaning to giving. Even if you can easily give out money to the people, the effort you are doing makes the difference. As a new mother, I want to learn baking cookies for my child, I wish to have my own signature cookie. Giant fortune cookies

    joshuadavid21 on
  • VThornheartVThornheart Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    Ah, looking for baking advice you mean? What particular aspects of baking might you need help with? I bet you that there's a bunch of great bakers in the threads here that can dispense some wisdom! =)

    VThornheart on
    3DS Friend Code: 1950-8938-9095
  • Postal KittyPostal Kitty Registered User
    edited February 2010
    Advice: Be very precise with your measurements and have a strong arm.

    Aside from choco chip cookies, sugar cookies and snickerdoodies, any other suggestions of well liked/popular cookies? Should we all kind of make our own weird batches or should we leave certain types to certain people to make huge amounts?

    Postal Kitty on
  • ravemongerravemonger [E] Silicon ValleyRegistered User regular
    edited February 2010
    Aside from choco chip cookies, sugar cookies and snickerdoodies, any other suggestions of well liked/popular cookies? Should we all kind of make our own weird batches or should we leave certain types to certain people to make huge amounts?

    Peanut butter
    Peanut butter w/ choco chip
    Ginger snaps
    Oatmeal
    White choco chip
    Macaroons (Love these and would shower whomever brings them with money)
    Choc/Oatmeal no bake cookies (Love these too and would shower more money upon anybody who has these)

    ravemonger on
  • JillersJillers Registered User
    edited February 2010
    This. Is awesome. I was actually thinking of doing something just like this anyway (baking cookies and giving them to people for no toher reason than to give cookies to people), so it's great to see not only other like-minded people, but a kind of central organization about it! :)
    I will see all you other awesomes there!

    <3
    -Jillers

    Jillers on
    ~End Transmission~
  • HypatiaHypatia Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    Last year the peanut butter cup and butterscotch chocolate rice krispy treats were really popular too -- although, the chocolate chip were the first ones to run out for me.

    Hypatia on
  • heroofkvatchheroofkvatch Registered User
    edited February 2010
    I am so in! I am a caterer with an exceptional love of baking. I am tempted to try out something a little more elaborate, like mini-Portal Cakes in cupcake form or Health Pack cookies to go with my L4D costume. Would that be okay?

    Also, is just writing here a sign-up? Do we have to meet up at PAX to check in/sign something?

    heroofkvatch on
  • VThornheartVThornheart Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    Writing here is definitely a signup if you're interested: we're going to have meetings at PAX itself to make sure that the Child's Play money is centralized, and to make sure that distributors are restocked on cookies. The details of this, however, we've not figured out quite yet... but at PAX Prime we tended to meet in the morning and then we had someone who had a "stash" of cookies that bakers could add to and distributors could pull from. We're still working on how we're going to make that part happen at PAX East.

    VThornheart on
    3DS Friend Code: 1950-8938-9095
  • shrapnelshrapnel Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    Did you see the What should I bring? thread? People there advised not selling or giving away outside food while inside the convention center... Something about competition with the center's own food vendor(s).

    shrapnel on
  • PoisynPoisyn Registered User
    edited February 2010
    So very very excited! Couldn't bring cookies to PAX 2009 cause we were flying and it was our honeymoon. We're driving down to Pax East so as long as boarder patrol doesn't eat all the cookies I bake, or the van full of hungry gamer men for that matter then i'll be there with baked good for all! Including my famous blueberry flavored voidwalker cookies for the WoW geeks in our midst.

    Poisyn on
  • FacelesscogFacelesscog Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    shrapnel wrote: »
    Did you see the What should I bring? thread? People there advised not selling or giving away outside food while inside the convention center... Something about competition with the center's own food vendor(s).

    My wife and I have talked about it and, in a worst case scenario (if we aren't allowed to distribute cookies IN the convention center for Child's Play donations), she'll be willing to just distribute the cookies outside the convention center. Not quite as convenient, but at least the cookies still get out and some money still gets raised.

    Facelesscog on
  • Moe FwackyMoe Fwacky Moderator mod
    edited March 2010
    The cookie brigade has a history of ninja cookie distribution. Ask some of the veterans for pointers

    Moe Fwacky on
    E6LkoFK.png

  • FacelesscogFacelesscog Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    Moe Fwacky wrote: »
    The cookie brigade has a history of ninja cookie distribution. Ask some of the veterans for pointers

    I'll be sure to bring a black t-shirt. :)

    Facelesscog on
  • ValantineValantine Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    I could maybe throw in a few doz. white chocolate macadamia, do they have to be individualy sammich bagied or anything? YAY for Cookies! YAY for Charity! YAY for Cavities!!!

    Valantine on
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]I would love to change the world, but they won't give me the source code.
  • Lord JezoLord Jezo Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    I have heard legends of this whole cookie thing from PAXs past but I still don't understand it.

    Can someone really explain what is happening? I get that there are people baking cookies, people handing out cookies, and people keeping cookies? There are secret cookie people walking around with cookies? But you need to hunt them down and find them based on badges? With 30,000 people at the convention how long do the cookies last? Are the gone before the convention is even started?

    I read the stuff on the Cookie Brigade webpage but still dont get it.

    Lord Jezo on
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  • gilby123gilby123 Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    Should I expect to see lots of Dickerdoodles?

    gilby123 on
    "Where would we be without the agitators of the
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  • DragonKittyDragonKitty Registered User
    edited March 2010
    ...can I bake Funfetti Cupcakes? If not, sign me up for baking some homemade chocolate chip cookies if I still can =)

    DragonKitty on
  • aerynkellyaerynkelly nothing to see here, move along Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    I have to put in my cookie two cents... I <3 chewy snickerdoodles, but I also really like white chocolate macadamia nut cookies.

    aerynkelly on
    fss_overall.png
  • VThornheartVThornheart Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    Hi everyone! Yes, to answer the questions:

    We like to keep it stealthy... feel free to distribute outside if you wish, but if you can keep it stealthy you should be okay inside. Just keep your eyes peeled. =)

    As far as how it works, Lord Jezo, the basic gist of it is that there's people who bake cookies and people who distribute in exchange for donations to Child's Play. The bakers provide the cookies for the distributors, and the distributors go out, ninja-style, into the crowds at PAX and give out the cookies to whoever wants them. The level of "ninja-ness" required depends a lot on the disposition of the convention center and its employees, how crowded the area is, etc... in the past we've used buttons, roll-up banners, and cosplay to disguise our true cookie brigadeering cause.

    As far as how long it lasts, that depends entirely on how many bakers and distributors we get, and whether we can successfully make sure that the former can get in contact with the latter for the purposes of distribution. Whether THAT is successful depends on if we have someone willing to step forward and help with the management of this cause... as I believe all of our usual leaders are going to be absent for PAX East.

    I'm willing to step forward for this cause if we have no other veterans who can make it to PAX East, but I must confess here and now that my management skills leave much to be desired. I will fill the gap as best I can if no one else who usually does so is able to, but I feel strongly that it won't be as well run of an operation under my leadership. I'm more of a workhorse than a general. =)

    VThornheart on
    3DS Friend Code: 1950-8938-9095
  • ValantineValantine Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    gah.. my management skills are null. I'm also way to shy to bootleg baked goods. I was kinda just hoping to donate my Mad PHAT Macadamiaz. need a good recipe for the good cause? click the spoiler.
    1 pound (2 cups) butter, room temperature
    1 2/3 cup brown sugar, packed 1 cup granulated sugar
    3 large eggs, room temperature
    1 1/2 Tablespoons vanilla (split and use a whole bean if you can. )
    4 ¼ cup all purpose unbleached white flour
    2 teaspoons baking soda
    1 teaspoon salt
    2 cups (12 ounce bag) white chocolate chips or chunks
    1 ¼ cup (4 ounces) macadamia nuts, roughly chopped
    ***a pinch each of ginger and saffron *** you can omit these but they really do make the diff.

    1. This recipe makes a large batch of 48 full size cookies. The full batch will fit in a 5 quart mixer. Divide the recipe in half if needed.
    2. Make sure the oven keeps the right temperature. The cookies may need a minute or two more or less than stated. but DO NOT OVERBAKE.
    3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
    4. Line baking sheets with parchment paper (no need to grease).
    5. Measure flour, baking soda and salt in a large bowl and blend together. Set aside.
    6. In a large mixing bowl, preferably a heavy-duty mixer, and using the paddle or beater attachment, beat butter until creamy.
    7. Add brown sugar and beat again. Scrape down the bowl and add the granulated sugar. Beat until fluffy.
    8. Add eggs one at a time, beating after each addition.
    9. Add vanilla, beat and scrape again.
    10. On low speed, add flour mixture 2 cups at a time, and mix well.
    11. Mix in white chocolate and macadamia nuts. Mix only until blended.
    12. Using a cookie scoop, place dough on prepared baking sheets, spacing evenly to allow for spreading.
    13. Bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes or until lightly browned. AGAIN Do NOT over bake these cookies. They continue to bake for a few minutes after they are removed from the oven.
    14. Transfer to cooling racks. Store in air tight container or plastic bag to stay soft and moist.
    15. Makes 48 warm and gooey cookies.

    Valantine on
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]I would love to change the world, but they won't give me the source code.
  • VThornheartVThornheart Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    Aye, the other thing is that preferably whoever leads this shindig should be someone who's been here before so that they know the ropes of it... which is why I'm hoping one of the old vets will step forward and say "I've been doing it for X years, I can help lead this!" I'm an old vet, but I also have precious little managerial skills. ;)

    Hey, not that I'm thinking about it... Hypatia had PM'd me about this a while back... let me send her a message, I've not heard from her in a while... together I think we can make sure it all gets done. =)

    I definitely, totally, would be 100% stoked to see you make those delicious sounding cookies for the brigade! That'd be awesome, they sound fantastic! =)

    VThornheart on
    3DS Friend Code: 1950-8938-9095
  • aerynkellyaerynkelly nothing to see here, move along Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    Aye, I don't doubt that there were some occasional slip-ups... my two things I usually say are either "Cookies for Child's Play!" (if I don't have time to give a longer statement, which I hope implies optional donations) or the much longer and more explained "I'm with the Cookie brigade. Take a cookie! We also accept donations to child's play if you have the funds to spare!" or some variant of that.

    Inevitably several dozen times each day I have to explain what Child's Play is, which is good because more people know: though I'm not sure how they were on the site long enough to find out about PAX without knowing about Child's Play. =) Maybe they came to the PA site at the wrong time of the year?

    Anyways, I digress. Indeed it's donations optional. I probably gave away at least half of my cookies without even a cent donated in exchange, which was 100% okay! (I had to convince some people that it was okay, because people were very hesitant... but I'm not going to deny anyone the right to cookies =) )

    Just about the only thing that I do get upset about is when someone takes a whole bag, which happened to me on two occasions this PAX (and only once in PAX '08). (Needless to say, on both of those occasions they didn't donate =) ) I consider even up to five cookies per person to be fair play, but beyond that kind of feels like stealing from Child's Play... those were dozens and dozens of cookies that someone could've given a donation in exchange for. (now, if you were to donate very generously to Child's Play, I wouldn't mind if you took a whole bag... but I digress again =) )

    I have never been to PAX before, so bear that in mind - I assume the cookies are packaged in some way, so couldn't we put a sticker on the packaging saying "donations go to Child's Play"?

    aerynkelly on
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  • Lord JezoLord Jezo Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    How much of a minimum donation is expected per cookie bag?

    Lord Jezo on
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  • FacelesscogFacelesscog Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    My wife and I will be on Cookie Brigade duty pretty much until out supplies run out. We're almost always together, and I'm easy to pick out. I'll be the guy in the red wheelchair with the tall back. My wife will be the awesome geek chick next to me. :)

    My wife, Rebecca, is making a variety of cookies. She's focusing on having something for the people with special needs; gluten free, sugar free, vegan, etc. As for myself, I'm a simple man. I'll be providing regular ol' chocolate chip and triple chocolate brownies that are referred to as Warstoppers among my LARPer friends. (The brownies have been known to stop combats so that both sides can chow down on 'em!)

    Maybe we (the Cookie Brigade in general) should wear some sort of button or ribbon to identify us? I'm open to suggestion.

    Lord Zero: It's my understanding that there is no minimum donation. It's whatever people can give. If they're truly strapped for cash, they just get a free cookie. If they've got a bit to spare, then some money goes to a good cause.

    Oh, and VThornheart, let me know if there's anything we can do to help, other than what we're already doing.

    Facelesscog on
  • VThornheartVThornheart Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    Aye, Facelessscog is right (also, thank you guys so much for helping to distribute! Awesome! =) ), there's no minimum donation. I've had donations range from someone giving Child's Play 20$ without even taking a cookie to someone grabbing an entire bag of cookies and not giving anything at all to Child's Play. (Admittedly, in the latter scenario I wasn't too pleased with his decision... taking even a handful of cookies without donating is one thing, but taking a whole large bag was... well...)

    I definitely think identification could be good, as long as it's subtle and hideable should the need arise. In prior years, we've used big cookie brigade buttons to identify ourselves... but with buttons not being done at PAX East, they're a bit less easy to disguise. With the buttoneering being done at PAX Prime, our Cookie Brigade buttons could "hide in plain sight" as it were.

    I'm in the process (today in fact!) of making cookie brigade trading cards to go with the trading theme at PAX East, but if we want to use those as identifiers we'd need a way to pin it on/get it on ourselves without it being too suspicious. The alternative would be to just wear buttons anyways, except that I think the window of time that we'd have had to get buttons created has passed. =(

    Okay... I've not heard back from Hypatia yet, hopefully she'll get back to me soon. Until I hear from her, I'm going to try my best and help out with some pre-organizing.

    I'm going to send PMs right now to people who have already expressed interest in helping so that we can organize: please respond to the PM via the E-Mail address I'll be sending you so that we can get ourselves organized!

    If you want to volunteer, post here and I'll PM you as well!

    When Hypatia comes back on the forum, hopefully we can talk more about where to go from there... but I think no matter what a good first step is to start making a contact list using the method above. =)

    VThornheart on
    3DS Friend Code: 1950-8938-9095
  • VThornheartVThornheart Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    Oh also, to answer the other questions:

    aerynkelly, we could definitely put a sticker like that on them, that's a brilliant idea! I don't know if we have enough time to make them for PAX East (our usual sticker/button making company has kind of a long turnaround =( ), but I think it would be a great idea for PAX Prime! That way people would see it even if they grab a cookie and run with it... I know I always wear my voice out at PAX explaining the donating over and over. =)

    Also, dragonkitty, it's definitely not too late! I'm about to start PMing people, respond to the E-Mail address included in the PM I'll be sending so you can get on the list!

    Our biggest management problem is making sure that people who have cookies but don't want to distribute can find a way to pass their cookies to people who want to distribute but have run out of cookies, so hopefully this list will help.

    The other management problem is making sure everyone gets their Child's Play donations back to a central source so that we don't lose it/forget about it/walk away with it. By the time PAX is over, we need to have all that money given to Child's Play! Again, the contact list should help with that cause. =)

    EDIT: Okay, messages have been sent out! I also sent out an E-Mail to the Google Groups list! Let's get this party started! =)

    VThornheart on
    3DS Friend Code: 1950-8938-9095
  • aerynkellyaerynkelly nothing to see here, move along Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    I had signed up through the website, but not sure if that's being monitored, so you can count me in as a distributor.

    Also, I could probably make some stickers - any idea how many cookies we'll have for this?

    aerynkelly on
    fss_overall.png
  • VThornheartVThornheart Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    Ah, aye, that was one of the problems... I just got an E-Mail from the lady who set up the website, she said she could forward me all that info for the purpose.

    However, if possible, still give me the other info (Twitter account etc...) so we can get as much contact info as possible to people so we can all meet up! =)

    As far as # of cookies go... there's no way to tell really. =( Sometimes we get loose boxes full of hundreds of cookies, sometimes they're packaged... ideally, it'd be awesome if they were all packaged though. =) But as far as the # of cookies, I can't even begin to speculate on an estimate... maybe 5,000 cookies last year? I'm not certain. =( There were a lot, and I'm sure a great portion of them I didn't even see. =)

    VThornheart on
    3DS Friend Code: 1950-8938-9095
  • VThornheartVThornheart Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    What do you guys think of this card? Any revisions you'd want to see in there?

    cookiebrigade_card_front_2010east.jpgcookiebrigade_card_back_2010east.jpg

    VThornheart on
    3DS Friend Code: 1950-8938-9095
  • aerynkellyaerynkelly nothing to see here, move along Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    I think it looks great :D

    aerynkelly on
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This discussion has been closed.