How to Flash Freeze Make Ahead Cookies
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Posted: Monday, April 13, 2009
by Jane Doiron
Home baked cookies are a perfect dessert for holiday gatherings, birthday parties and your children's school functions, but having to make them on the same day you need to do one million other things, like working a full time job, or cleaning your house, can be a major challenge for a busy mom! Fortunately, many cookie recipes can be considered "make ahead", meaning, make the dough ahead and freeze all of it, or a portion, for later use. With cookie dough that you've made ahead and frozen, you spend less time in the kitchen, which stays clean, and you have some delicious homemade cookies to offer your guests (or to send off to school) in a snap. Here are some guidelines for freezing make ahead cookies.
Yes, there is a method to freezing cookie dough! Simply putting your cookie dough in a plastic container and throwing it in the freezer will work, but I don't recommend it. What happens when you are ready to cook, but your cookie dough is a solid chunk of ice? You will be waiting hours for that huge mass to thaw! There is a better way, and it's called flash freezing. For flash freezing, you will need a cookie tray, saran wrap, parchment paper, a tablespoon cookie scoop and a gallon sized, labeled freezer bag.
Once you've assembled and mixed your cookie dough, use a tablespoon cookie scoop, to scoop out the dough into balls and then place them onto your cookie sheet very close together. A cookie scoop will save time and produce perfect balls of dough for perfectly shaped cookies. Your fingers will stay clean, and you won't have to deal with sticky tablespoons! Once you've filled your tray, cover it in saran wrap and place it in the freezer for two to three hours, until partially frozen.
Label Your Freezer Bags
While your cookie dough is freezing, label your freezer bag. Most freezer bags have a white area for labeling. If you prefer, you may use freezer tape, available at most grocery stores. Using a permanent marker, label your freezer bag with the name of the cookies, the date they were frozen, the cooking time, and any other specific cooking directions, so that you don't have to search for the recipe, when you are ready to cook.
Once your dough is partially frozen and no longer sticky to the touch, place your dough into the freezer bag and put it back in the freezer. By flash freezing, your pre-formed cookie dough won't stick together, and will be ready for the oven when you are.
On the day you are ready to cook, take the dough out and place the balls of dough on your parchment lined cookie tray. Preheat the oven. The dough should thaw for at least 30 to 45 minutes and then you are ready to bake according to the instructions on your freezer bag.
Make Ahead Cookies
I have used the flash freezing method for many cookie recipes and have had fantastic results. These cookie recipes include: big ginger cookies; brownie cookies; macadamia nut cookies; oatmeal cookies; peanut butter chocolate chip crackles; peanut butter kiss cookies; snickerdoodles; and everyone's favorite, chocolate chip cookies.
You can find these great make ahead cookie recipes, as well as specific flash freezing instructions, in my Make Ahead Meals for Busy Moms Cookbook, to be published in the summer of 2009.
For homemade cookies in a flash, I highly recommend flash freezing. Enjoy!
This Article has been viewed 1,378 times. (Not updated in real-time.)Top-level comments on this article: (1 total)
Great information, Jane! Although, I opt for the sticky fingers...yum, cookie dough. What a great way to have a fresh, homemade dessert in minutes.» left by Jane Doiron from Massachusetts 4 years 37 days ago.
Thanks for your comment!