Christmas means lots of things to lots of people. We have several family traditions and one of them involves baking gobs of cookies. The lineup varies from year to year but a few staples remain: Oatmeal Scotchies, Sugar Cookies and Gingerbread Cookies. (We don’t eat them all; many are given as gifts. But… we eat plenty.) In November of this year I had a brilliant idea: Wouldn’t it be cool if I whipped up some cookie dough during this I’m-not-crazy-busy-with-holiday-things-to-do time, stick it in the freezer and then (viola!) pull it out just in time to make hassle-free cookies with Christmas carols blaring in the background?
It was a brilliant idea!
I didn’t do it.
But I haven’t given up on the idea. And since pretty much any time of the year is a good time for freshly baked cookies, I’ve decided to make double batches during Christmas baking and save some for the rest of the winter. (You know, because I need extra hurdles to my diet-related New Year’s resolutions…)
I’ve personally never frozen cookie dough before. Just in case you haven’t either, here are tips I found on how to freeze both drop (chunky) cookies, such as chocolate chip, and for cut out cookies, like gingerbread and sugar cookies. I’ve also included links to my favorite recipes. Enjoy!
Freezing Cut-Out Cookie Dough
Recipe: Christmas Sugar Cookies
Recipe: Easy Gingerbread Cookies
1. Mix dough per recipe.
2. On a lightly floured surface, divide the dough into three roughly-equal sized sections. (Note: Refrigerating the dough for 15-20 minutes will make it easier to work with.)
3. On the floured surface, shape each section of dough into a disc about one inch thick.
4. Place the disc on top of a sheet of wax or parchment paper. Fold the paper around the disc. (Optional: Use a piece of tape to secure the paper.)
5. Place each disc into a freezer bag. Remove as much air as possible from the bag before sealing. Label the bag with the contents, date, proper oven temperature and number of minutes to bake.
6. Dough can be stored up to three months.
7. To bake with frozen dough, remove the disc from the freezer and allow it to warm at room temperature for 10 minutes (or until pliable). Roll the dough out per recipe directions and cut cookies.
Want even faster cookies the next time you have a craving? Try this:
- Create cookie dough per recipe.
- Roll dough out to desired thickness and cut cookies.
- Transfer cookies to a room-temperate cookie sheet lined with wax or parchment paper.
- Place cookie sheet into freezer until… wait for it… frozen. (Could take 1 to 6 hours depending on your freezer’s temperature and the thickness of your cookies.)
- Once cookies are frozen, transfer them (quickly, to avoid a thawed, sticky situation) to a pre-labeled freezer bag and return to the freezer. Label information should include the contents, the date, proper oven temperature and number of minutes to bake.
- To bake the frozen cookies add an extra minute or two to the recommended baking time.
Freezing Drop (Chunky) Cookie Dough
Recipe: Oatmeal Scotchies
- Create dough per recipe.
- Place portioned scoops of dough onto a lined (wax or parchment paper) cookie sheet as you normally would. Since the cookies will not be immediately baked (and thus won’t spread out) you can place them close together.
- Place the cookie sheet full of portioned dough into the freezer until frozen solid. (This process will take at least six hours; you could also freeze them overnight.)
- Label a freezer bag with the contents, date, proper oven temperature and number of minutes to bake.
- Place completely-frozen cookie “balls” into freezer bag. Squeeze out as much air as possible before closing the bag. Cookies can be frozen for up to three months.
- To bake with frozen dough, add an extra minute or two to the recommended baking time.
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