In the beginning (I can't even remember the first year - 10 years ago?) Andy and I made 50 dozen. Fifty dozen 1/4 cup sized dough balls. Luckily we had gotten a KitchenAid stand mixer as one of our wedding presents. Although that mixer didn't last more than a couple years as chocolate chips were very hard on our home edition model. By the time we had to retire our mixer everyone was hooked on my cookies so Rotary Lights replaced my mixer with a professional series one that has been used every since. We went from 50 dozen to 80 something growing each year until I capped it off at 300 (or try to anyway). As the number increased the size of the dough ball had no choice but to decrease down to a Pampered Chef medium scoop. The number got so large because at first the cookies were just for those doing traffic duty but then I thought that those volunteers who were out in the elements and working hard to set up deserved to be treated too. And then surely those taking down needed some too! Pat claims that my cookies bring them back year after year...true or not it's a sweet thought.
The recipe that I use did not have a familial legacy, until now. It is a recipe that I took out of a Betty Crocker book and modified, (another wedding present) but I have seen it printed on the back of a certain ingredient package. I think the fact that I keep this recipe a secret adds to the Rotary Lights magic. That, and who doesn't like a warm, gooey, melt in your mouth cookie on a cold day? Even after all of these years I still can't resist one or two when I am in the trailer.
These cookie dough balls had been made in my kitchen and dining room up until this year. At first it was Andy and I. Then Andy's mom, Ruth Wettstein along with Karla Martin and Pat Svec all took the cookie dough oath and carried on for years. We perfected our system and could make over 50 dozen in just a couple of hours from set up to last dish being dried.
This year we were able to use the kitchen at Roncalli Newman Center and I am very grateful! Our 2014 season also marked the 3rd year that I have allowed two volunteer groups to take the cookie dough oath and help. They are and will be the same two groups. What used to take us 6 mornings was able to get done in one weekend last year and just one day this year. I am very grateful for that because with the addition of two kids my time is not so much mine anymore.
I love making these cookies and knowing that so many people get to eat them is even better. Thanks for reading this and make sure you check out a couple of my dough facts below!
Some buttery thoughts: 1 year - 300 dozen cookies = 200 sticks of butter
at least 6 years @ 300 dozen cookies = 1,200 sticks of butter (that's 300 pounds!)
Chocolate chips: - 1 year - 300 dozen cookies = 1,200 ounces or 100 small bags
at least 6 years @ 300 dozen cookies = 7,200 ounces (that's 1,200 scoops of a 1 cup measuring cup!)