well THAT was more difficult then I expected!

One of my orders this week was for 6 dozen assorted farm cookies....trayed. 

how cute is the hay?

I need to work on icing tires. 
They never look quite right?

The cookies were really fun to make, as usual.  Along with the farm animals I also added in some barns and tractors.  I was so happy with this collection not only because all of the baking and decorating went so smoothly, but the final designs coordinated so well and it all just came together nicely. 

this is my favorite tray at home to use for cookies. It was a wedding gift from our registry at Pottery Barn. But there's only 29 cookies on this tray and look at how full it looks!  I needed to fit 72 on one plastic tray! 

And then it was time to tray them.
I had purchased these disposable trays at Sam's Club awhile back and that was really all I could come up with for traying these cookies.  I hate that they look so generic but are there any better options out there?  Anyway, I left myself about an hour to tray the cookies before I had to make the delivery.  How hard could it be?  I started arranging them on the tray and it was seriously driving me crazy that they weren't a perfect fit.  I was turning the cookies every which way, stacking them in various patterns, and hoping that it would like nice from every angle.  Then I realized after stacking the third layer that some of the second layer cookies were cracking because too much pressure was on them from the third layer and not enough support from the first layer.  Does that make sense?  It made sense as I was typing it....I think.
So I took ALL of the cookies off the tray, placed the broken ones aside (thank goodness I had a whole dozen extra cookies to work with!), and started again.  Now I got to the third layer and everything was looking good and then I needed a fourth layer and then a fifth layer and then a sixth layer....and then I tried to put the lid on.  Nope.  The cookies were stacked too high.  omg.
So I took all of the cookies off again (this story is getting boring, no?) and widened each layer and stacked four layers high all the way to the edge of the tray.  I very carefully placed the lid on them and some of the cookies got broken on the sides where the lid hit them.  I used up all of my extra cookies to replace the broken ones and I had one last shot (and like 5 minutes until I had to leave) to get it right. 
Now originally I planned so that there would be at least one of each cookie design right on top,  that there wouldn't be 2 of the same cookie next to each other, etc.  And then in the last five minutes, I literally stacked the damn cookies whichever which way that they fit on the tray, closed it up and tied a 3-second bow on top.  And I think it looked really nice!

I'm so bothered by the little cluster of barns on the bottom left.  Ugh...I should have spread those out.

Lesson learned about cookie-traying.  It ain't easy....until you don't make it too difficult...and then it's easy.  Make sense?