Saturday, 19 January 2013

Fresh Baked Cookies Anytime

Most people will agree, cookies are best eaten within a few hours of being baked. Cookie recipes will make at least a couple of dozen. I'm thinking there are a few of us that have, at least once, suddenly realized we've eaten the whole batch in one day. 

Yes, you can freeze most of the batch and have cookies left for future cravings. However, you lose that fresh baked flavour and consistency. I began to wonder how you could get that fresh baked taste any time the craving hit or visitors drop in and resist the temptation to eat the whole batch. After a bit of Googling, I found the idea of freezing the raw cookie dough. Eureka! Why hadn't I thought of that?  

It's quite simple. Make your favourite cookie dough recipe, divide into cookie size balls, place them on a cookie sheet and set in the freezer for about 30 minutes. Place the frozen balls of dough in a freezer bag and into the freezer.  

When you are ready for some fresh baked yumminess, take a few out and place on a cookie sheet. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. By the time the oven is at temperature, the cookies are probably thawed enough to cook. I usually press the cookies a little or a lot, depending on the type of cookie, a little for a drop cookie, a lot for a pressed cookie. 

Bake for 10 - 12 minutes until done to recipe instructions. I find it may take a little longer because they are so cold out of the freezer. Cool on the pan for a couple minutes before moving to cooling racks.

Not all doughs lend themselves to this procedure so you may have to try some of your favourites to see what works best. I have 3 different types of cookies in the freezer just so I can mix and match if I choose. I found these three work great; from top to bottom there is oatmeal molasses, chocolate chip and peanut butter chocolate chip.

Something I've recently learned after all these years of baking is that the white sugar gives cookies the crispiness, the brown sugar the chewiness.  So if you're making chocolate chip cookies and you're out of brown sugar, forget it, you're not going to get that nice chewy interior with the crispy exterior.

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