Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Works for Me Wednesday: Freezing Cookie Dough - for You and for Others!

It's Wednesday - time for another "Works for Me!" tip, inspired by the blog carnival/series at We are THAT Family. This week's carnival features folks' best gift tips, so check it out!

If you're like me, cocooning indoors on icy cold winter nights conjures an urge for a hot drink...and a fresh-from-the-oven cookie!

Unfortunately for me, making a huge bowl of cookie dough when this craving strikes can be disastrous - sampling (ahem) suddenly snowballs into just plain snarfing cookie dough while I wait for multiple batches to bake. Even worse: I'm 'tied' to the oven all evening if I plan on baking it all.

So I freeze cookie dough. Though I commonly make double or triple batches, I bake just enough for whatever immediate purposes I have - and freeze the rest. Unlike other baked goods, like muffins, which do better baked then frozen, freezing then baking is generally best for cookies. This saves me calories (from sampling and overbaking), time (from not being tied to the oven all evening), and future hassle (say, if I suddenly need to attend an event requiring a dessert).

Here are some tips to get started if you want to freeze cookie dough:

If your cookie recipe calls for balled up cookie dough, freeze it in the ball shapes. If it calls for "flattened" pieces (as with the fork-indented peanut butter cookie recipes), freeze it already flattened. To prevent the cookie dough pieces from sticking to each other, you can do some or all of the following to reduce stickiness:
  • Coat the cookie dough in a layer of granulated sugar (this works well for molasses crinkles)
  • Set cookie dough balls in ice cube slots of an ice cube tray. Freeze for at least half an hour before consolidating the frozen dough balls into a container together.
  • Use wax paper to separate layers of cookie dough pieces - this works well with "flattened" dough pieces, which you can then store in a gallon zip bag with extra air squeezed out.
  • For storage in the freezer, use a gallon storage bag (see above), or an airtight container. If you make lots of cookie dough to freeze, consider labeling the container with the type and date of dough involved.
Having a variety of cookie dough at the ready is also a quick and easy gift source. Who doesn't love to receive an assortment of cookies? It can work for hosts/hostesses, teachers, extended family, hairdressers, mail carriers, etc. (just don't let cookies take the place of a nice extra tip for those whose services keep you going all year...)

Finally, one last tip: if you get struck by a "cookie craving" on one of those cold nights, having a frozen stash of dough and a toaster oven can be just the ticket! Frozen dough is less appetizing (so less sampling temptation), and your mini batch can be fresh out of the oven in less than 15 minutes. Way to streamline the process!

What works for you in terms of cookie dough storage?
Works for Me Wednesday: Freezing Cookie Dough - for You and for Others!SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend
Ebates and Swagbucks are both easy ways to earn rewards while doing what you normally do - web-searching through Google and shopping for bargains online!


Heather said...

I have been thinking about trying this since I bought a tub of frozen Otis Spunkmeyer cookie dough from a school fundraiser. My family loves having fresh cookies for dessert but the dough was really expensive. Thanks for the tips!

Yours hopefully thriving said...

I bookmarked this page when I first read it and am now looking forward heartily to trying it out with my girls.
Especially love your tip about using ice cube trays