Since the beginning of the new semester, I’ve been busy preparing to open our booth at the school festival.
But it’s the first time I’m selling my own cookies, and it’s becoming a lot of fun.
I spent my busy but fulfilling days getting some advice from Mom, going on meetings with the people helping us with the booth, improving upon the recipes, and walking around looking for cheap and good ingredients.
After all, Mizuhara’s taking this seriously, so I have to do the same too.
「It’s the first time I’ve had to spend so much time and effort to earn 100,000 yen.」
Mizuhara complains while making the cards.
He’s cutting the cards methodically and putting on ribbons with skill.
As he said in the beginning, he’s preparing everything from top to bottom except for the cookies.
All I’m doing is making the cookies.
The ones I’m making are shaped.
I used the cookie molds at Mizuhara’s place, and many of those are interesting ones I’ve never seen before.
I put 5 cookies into each bag, each priced at 250 yen. Our goal is to sell 60,000 in a day, so we have to sell them at 250 yen for each bag.
[1. TL Note: 250 yen = $2.24 USD] I’ll be working desperately baking 1,250 cookies, but I’m looking forward to using their large oven.
I can bake 50 cookies each time, so that makes it 25 times.
There’s bound to be a few cookies that will be overcooked though, so I’ll have to prepare myself to bake extra ones.
I picked out 5 types of cookie molds.
It’s an autumn festival, so shapes associated with autumn would be the obvious choice.
The first is apples.
The main point is adding the sugar-boiled apple slices.
The taste of apple and cinnamon will stand out, but the moisture of the apples will soften the cookies, so the problem is the time it will take to shape them.
The skin of the apples are thin, so shaping the apples themselves will be prone to failure as well.
I’m making the cookies the day before the festival, so I need to improve on the taste and make it easy to shape the cookies.
The second is acorn.
I’m making cocoa cookies for the caps. I had trouble deciding between cocoa and coffee in order to make it brown, but I decided on the basic cocoa.
「How about mixing some acorn powder? I hear they sell them in stores.」
「Hmm. I guess people do make acorn cookies from the real thing.」
「Yeah. They also have Jômon cookies excavated from ruins of the Jômon Period.」
「Jômon?! But that’s the Stone Age. No way I’m making that.」
「Why are you getting angry?」
Mizuhara gave me a slightly puzzled look, but I decide to make cocoa cookies shaped as acorns.
The third is mushroom.
I was stuck on what to do for the mushroom caps.
I could mix chocolate chips or raisins, or simply coat the cookies with melted chocolate.
「What comes to my mind is poisonous mushrooms.」
Strangely, Mizuhara designed a poisonous mushroom.
Even an amateur on mushrooms would never eat a poisonous looking one.
In the end, we decided to add pink coloring to the cap. The bottom would be white chocolate chip cookies in the shape of a crystal.
It will take some effort to shape the cap and body separately.
「That’s a pretty good elven toadstool!」
Mizuhara looks satisfied with the finished poisonous mushroom.
The fourth is a leaf.
I mix some tea leaves to make the cookies look like fallen leaves.
I only have to thin out the Earl Grey leaves in the mixer, mix it with cookie dough, and bake the mixture, so it’s the easiest one to make.
There are no thin parts on the leaf-shaped cookies, so I can proceed efficiently.
The main point is to buy good tasting black tea at a cheap price.
The fifth is an elf.
Mizuhara annoyed me a lot when it came to this part.
He had a ridiculous number of molds.
I was surprised that there were so many elf-shaped molds. Mizuhara showed me his research on the internet.
What a waste of computer skills and foreign language comprehension.
I chose an elf-shaped mold made in Germany.
「This one, huh? That’s a good choice. It’s the birthplace of the Grimm fairy tales.」
I chose it because it looked easy to use, not because of any connection to the Grimm fairy tales.
It takes a lot of time and effort to make an elf cookie.
I’ve been making improvements such as simplifying the design and changing the procedure in order to save as much time as I can.
It’s the elf cookie that made me practice multiple times in order to get used to making it.
I add icing to the cookies that have been shaped as elves.
I draw the outlines of clothes on top with a chocolate pen.
Then I decorate them with colored dragees.
I went through some trial and error to make clothing patterns that look attractive yet easy to draw.
Our plans are taking shape. Mizuhara’s place gets piled with mountains of food and snack wrapping bags as well as finished elf cards, and we get excited.
Just a little while before the school festival, Arioka-senpai summons me.
I’ve been so occupied with the preparations lately, I haven’t been to the clubroom at all.
Since I can spare some time, I head to the clubroom. I’m greeted by dead silence.
I can always hear rampaging sounds and arguing voices from outside every other time. I almost wonder if no one’s here.
I open the door violently, shouting 「What have you summoned me for?!」 But for some reason, the members are gathered and sitting quietly as if it was a funeral.
Michel’s there looking sad, and the members have strained faces as well.
Only Arioka-senpai acts normal as he notices me and beckons me inside.
What the hell happened?!