During this time of year, my kids usually bring home sign up lists for parties. The sign up lists usually consist of candy (the fav), drinks, cupcakes, chips, etc. I normally ask the child what would they like to bring and go from there. If it’s an item that can be purchased and sent, then no problem. If it is a baked good, then more time and planning is involved.
This year I am doing things a little differently. I am mixing cookie dough and freezing it for later use. This way, it is simply a matter of defrosting the dough and baking the night before.
Recommended Reading: Get started with baking by reading our Ultimate Guide to the Best Baking Equipment for Beginners!
Even if you do not have children, this is still a good way to quickly prepare items for bake sales, office parties or for any event that you know will be coming up. It doesn’t even have to be an event it could simply be the desire to have fresh baked cookies anytime! With the exception of thin cookie batter, most cookie dough freezes well and can be kept in the freezer for four to six weeks. One of the most important things you’ll want to avoid is the absorption of orders in the freezer.
The next most important is preventing freezer burn. To prevent this, I like to wrap the dough or frozen cookies with plastic wrap before placing them in freezer bags or placing them in “doubled” freezer bags. If plastic wrap is not available aluminum foil works well also. (I have been known to wrap in both…better safe than sorry!).
The easiest method that I have found for freezing cookie dough is to line a cookie or baking sheet with waxed or parchment paper and using either a cookie scoop or ice cream scoop, scoop dough onto the paper, cover with additional waxed paper and put the cookie sheet into the freezer for thirty to forty-five minutes (depending on the temp setting of your freezer). Remove from the freezer and place in freezer bags. I would recommend placing the dough into “doubled” freezer bags. It is a good idea to write the contents on the bag along with the date you placed it into the freezer and a “use by” date. The “use by” date is the date of the maximum time the dough can be frozen.
For cookie recipes that require the dough to be refrigerated and then sliced, I usually freeze as a “log”. Simply shape the uncooked dough into a log, wrap in aluminum foil and/or plastic wrap, put into a freezer bag or freezable container and place in the chest freezer. Better yet, seal it with a vacuum sealer to better preserve it.
When you are ready to bake the cookies, remove the frozen dough from the freezer and let defrost in the refrigerator for several hours. If you’ve frozen the dough into balls, you can place them on a cookie sheet, allowing them to reach room temperature (approximately thirty minutes) and add a few minutes to the baking time.
I especially like to free mixed dough for sugar cookies and chocolate chip cookies. You can find the “Original Nestle’ Toll House Chocolate Chip Cookie” Recipe.
One reason I like to make sugar cookie dough and freeze is because I can thaw it completely out and modify it to make other types of cookies. Take for example the following sugar cookie recipe. This is one of my favorites because it is so versatile.
* Once thawed roll the dough into balls and dip in a sugar- cinnamon mixture.
* Add oats and raisins to the thawed dough.
Tip: Use a glass to flatten the balls of dough will ensure that the cookies are round and uniform in size and shape by simply rubbing a little butter or margarine on the bottom of the glass and dipping it in sugar (plain or colored) then gently press down on the ball of dough flattening it out. Be sure to use a sturdy glass and not a wine type glass as the stem may snap when pressure is applied. Also, check for chips or cracks on the glass. As always, SAFETY FIRST.
Simple Sugar Cookies
- ½ cup butter
- ¾ cup sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 ¼ cups all purpose flour
- ¼ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon cream of tartar
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- Colored or plain sugar (for decorating, optional)
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- Cream the butter and sugar. Add egg. Blend in vanilla extract.
- Combine dry ingredients.
- Add the dry ingredients to the creamed mixture until well blended.
- If you are going to cut the dough into shapes, you’ll want to shape the dough into a ball and flatten it out. This way, it’ll be much easier to roll out. Wrap in waxed paper and chill at least thirty minutes.
- Once chilled, remove about a tablespoon of dough and roll into a ball; using the bottom of a glass that has been dipped in sugar gently flatten the dough. (All of your cookies will be uniform in shape and nice and round.)
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