Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Freeze Ahead Cookies

The Dilemma: Lots of holiday baking to do, but not enough time to do it all on Christmas Weekend.  What's a baker to do?

The Answer: Bake your cookies ahead of time or make the dough ahead of time

What is the best way to freeze cookie dough? 
Most cookie doughs freeze beautifully!  They keep 4-6 weeks in the freezer when frozen properly.  The quality remains quite high when freezing dough.
-Scoop cookie size balls of dough onto a cookie sheet and freeze until the dough is solid.
-Put the frozen dough balls into a freezer bag and then double bag it!
-If freezing a log of cookie dough, freeze until solid .  Be sure to double wrap this as well - or put the wrapped log inside the freezer bag as well.

What are the best doughs to freeze?
Thick, doughs freeze the best  (don't even try to freeze delicate cake batter cookies)-- such as:
Shortbreads
Chocolate Chip doughs
Peanut Butter
Sugar Cookies
Brownies
Palmiers

How do I use the frozen dough when I am ready to bake?
Thaw the cookie dough at room temperature when ready to bake the cookies.  Cookie dough balls will thaw in a short time (20 +/- minutes).  Logs do not have to be thawed completely.  They are ready when you can slice with a knife.
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What do I need to know about freezing freshly baked cookies?
-First off, cool the baked cookies completely.  Unfrosted cookies freeze best.
-Then layer them in between layers of parchment paper or waxed paper. Then, place these into a freezer bag.
- You can freeze large cookies individually in small plastic bags.  Combine them by putting the individually wrapped cookies into a larger freezer bag.
- You can freeze bar cookies, as well.  Line the pan with parchment before you bake it and then remove the cookies by the parchment.  Freeze the parchment as well in the plastic freezer bag.
- Frozen Baked cookies will last in the freezer for 2 months.

Can I freeze cookies that are frosted?
Yes.  Again, take the cooled cookies and frost them.  Then, take the frosted cookies and lay them on a cookie sheet.  Freeze this until the cookies and frosting are solid.  This step must be done thoroughly or the results will be terrible.  Then, pack for freezing.  Thaw as directed above.

What are the best ways to thaw cookies?
Thaw cookies by letting them come to room temperature fully wrapped.
You can also microwave cookies (unwrapped) to thaw them as well.

Enjoy!

1 comment:

DamianC said...

Thanks for the ideas!