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.

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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.

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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.

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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).