Okay, so, you’ve signed up to bake “a batch” of cookies for your school/work/volunteer function. And you think you know what recipe you want to use. But…how many cookies are in a batch? And more importantly — how many cookies are enough?
Of course, the answer to that last question is: There’s no such thing as enough cookies. More cookies! Always more cookies!
But I’ve gone ahead and done a little digging to find out if there’s a real, numerical answer to what exactly constitutes a “batch” of cookies. And it turns out there’s not, not really.
How many cookies are in a batch? A “batch” is just the total amount a recipe makes at one time.
The term “batch” can be used fairly loosely, too. If you double or triple a cookie recipe but make the dough all at once in one mixing bowl, technically that’s one batch of dough. But if you told someone you made “three batches” of cookies, they’d probably know what you meant.
Taken literally, however, saying you made “three batches” of cookies means that you made one batch of cookie dough and cookies, then a second batch of cookie dough and cookies, then a third batch of cookie dough and cookies.
Because a “batch” is the amount a recipe makes at one time.
The average number of cookies in a batch can range from 24-36 (based on some light research I did into the cookbooks I happen to have on my shelves), but that’s just an average, so some recipes will make more than 36 and others will make fewer than 24.
The number of cookies in a batch will change depending on the recipe.
If you’re baking Nestle’s classic Toll House Cookie recipe, you’ll end up with approximately 60 cookies (5 dozen), that is, if you follow the recipe precisely, dropping the dough in perfectly equal rounded tablespoons. Of course, the recipe also says that one batch of that same cookie dough can make 48 cookie bars. And if you follow the slice-n-bake instructions, I’d guess you’d probably end up with around 60 cookies, but that would depend on how thin you make your slices.
On the other hand, if you make Deb’s “Two Thick, Chewy Oatmeal Raisin Chocolate Chip Mega-Cookies” recipe from the Smitten Kitchen Every Day book, the batch is right there in the title: one batch of dough makes two cookies. Although, if you read her intro in the book she says that she came up with the recipe when she got bored scooping cookie dough for her usual oatmeal raisin cookie recipe and decided to just make some big cookies instead. So again, one batch of dough can make a small batch or a large batch of cookies, depending on how big your cookies are.
So how can you make sure you make enough cookies?
If you’ve committed to bringing cookies to an event of some sort — first of all, instead of discussing the number of cookies you’re committing to in terms of batches, work in dozens. A dozen is 12 cookies. Most recipes make 3-5 dozen cookies. Easy!
Of course, the number of cookies you’ll need depends on the size of the cookies you’re making and what else will be served. Let’s use the rounded tablespoon Toll House drop cookies as an example though. And let’s say you’re bringing them to a potluck where at least one other person is also bringing a dessert. A good estimate is 3-5 cookies per person.
If there are 7 people at the potluck, that’s 21-35 cookies, and you’re more than covered by one “batch” of the Toll House recipe which makes 60 (5 dozen) cookies. If there are 10 people at the potluck, you’re still covered. Honestly, even if there are 12 or 13 people at the potluck, you’re probably fine! You’ll definitely run out of cookies, but you won’t not have enough, either. If it’s cookies for 15 people or more, then you might want to bake a second batch.
Just going on personal experience, the Toll House recipe makes more cookies than the average “batch” of dough. Most recipes make somewhere from 24-36 cookies. But if you do the math on number of people and estimate 3-5 cookies per person, you’ll be able to figure out if you need to double — or triple — your recipe.
My Favorite Chocolate Chunk Cookie Recipe
How to Bake Everything, the baking-centric companion to How to Cook Everything, is a dictionary-sized tome of baking tips and recipes. Mark Bittman doesn’t just provide basic recipes for everything from pie dough to chocolate chunk cookies to cakes, sauces, scones, breads, and more; the real hidden gems come at the end of almost every recipe, where Bittman includes some suggested variations.
It was in those notes that I found my favorite tiny-but-mighty additions to an otherwise standard chocolate chunk cookie recipe: cinnamon, freshly grated nutmeg, and yes, a little bit of cayenne. The first time I made them was for party I decided to attend at the almost-last-minute where I really only knew one other person attending. I wanted something quick and easy, with a little bit of flair. Something that said I want to impress you but don’t want to look like I’m trying too hard to impress you. As for whether or not my cookie plan worked, well, there were none left at the end of the night and I definitely formed at least one new friendship that night on the power of those cookies alone (also my personality is awesome and I’m a great friend, if I do say so myself, but I really don’t want to undersell how great these cookies are).
UPDATE 2/2/20 — The recipe originally said to make the cookies from a 1-2 TBSP scoop, but should actually be made using a 2 TEASPOON scoop.
Spiced Chocolate Chunk Cookies
The addition of cinnamon, nutmeg, and cayenne add a tiny bit of savory warmth to these cookies, which are thin and flat with crispy edges and chewy centers. The hand-chopped chocolate chunks marble oozy-gooey pockets of chocolate throughout the dough. If you’re worried about the heat of the cayenne, reduce the amount the recipe calls for by half, but know that the baking process reduces the spiciness and turns it into more of a lingering, tingly warmth that just tickles the back of your throat. Makes 2-3 dozen cookies.
2 cups flour (240g)
1 tsp salt
3/4 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp cayenne
1 cup (16 TBSP) of butter, at room temp (it should be soft and malleable but not melted)
3/4 cup granulated sugar (150g)
3/4 cup packed brown sugar (150g)
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract (get the good stuff!)
4-8 oz semi-sweet bakers chocolate, chopped
- Heat the oven to 375F. Mix the flour, salt, baking soda, cinnamon, cayenne, and nutmeg together in a bowl and set aside.
- Cream together the butter and sugars until light and fluffy (it’ll take a minute or two); add the eggs one at a time, allowing the first one to incorporate before adding the second, and beat until well blended, then mix in the vanilla.
- Add half of the dry ingredients to the bowl and stir a few times to incorporate, then add the rest of the dry ingredients. (Adding in two stages prevents you from getting a cloud of flour to the face when you start the mixer again.) Stir the mixture just until the dry ingredients are incorporated, then fold in the chocolate.
- Use a 1 or 2 teaspoon scoop to drop rounds of cookie dough on to lightly greased, parchment paper, or silpat lined baking sheets approx 2 inches apart. NOTE: To test how much the cookie dough will spread in the oven, bake just one or two cookies on a sheet before doing the whole batch.
- Bake for 8-10 minutes, until lightly browned. The centers of the cookies may seem bubbly or not fully set. That’s okay! They’ll set up when they cool. Remove from oven and let cool for 3-5 minutes on the tray before transferring to a wire rack to finish cooling completely.