Cookies: Bake a Batch, Freeze the Rest

I came home a month or so ago after a night out with my girlfriends to an intoxicating smell coming from my kitchen. My favorite vintage tin was filled to the brim with chocolate chip cookies more gorgeous than I ever remember making, with a taste to match. Mr Mom’s Kitchen soon appeared, proud as a peacock, to let me know he and the girls had been up to some baking. The cookies tasted so good (aside from the excellent recipe from Smitten Kitchen) because upon discovering we were out of both unsalted butter and chocolate chips, my crew used the salty Irish butter I hide in the back of the fridge and a chopped up bar of fine bittersweet chocolate I save for special occasions. Aren’t they clever.There was nary a nut or sprout or whole grain in sight, a sign for sure that I had no hand in the matter. Even more telling, though, was that they cooked the entire batch in one fell swoop, rather than doing as I do, which is to bake a small batch and freeze the rest. I’m not complaining, I enjoyed the treat as much as anyone. But one of the upsides of cookies, especially decadent ones, is that the dough happily lends itself to freezing. Having a big batch of cookies around means eating more than you might want. By baking enough to tickle your sweet tooth, and freezing the rest for a rainy day, you get the best of both worlds.

There’s really no trick to the matter. I usually go the speedy route and simply pat the dough into a disc so it defrosts quickly, wrap it in parchment or plastic, and freeze. You can take things a step further by portioning out dough into balls, lay them on a baking sheet, and freeze. Once frozen, put dough balls into a sealable bag and put back into the freezer. If it’s a smooth dough, say ginger or sugar cookie, form it into a log that can be easily sliced once defrosted. To bake, pull the dough out about 30 minutes before you plan to use it, which is just enough time to get your oven good and hot.
Just today, I defrosted a batch of dough that the kids made last week and baked half a dozen cookies in the toaster oven. The toaster is ideal for small batch baking because it heats up quickly and uses less energy than a full-size oven. I’ll serve these beauties along with glasses of milk for an afternoon snack. It’s just enough cookies to feel like a treat, but not so many that I’ll be staring a tin full of temptation tomorrow when I’m supposed to be focusing on work, not chocolate. Plus, it makes the house smell nearly as intoxicating as cookies made with Irish butter and fancy chocolate.

 

Comments

01.09.2012 at3:34 PM #

meg hart

I love hearing bits that include Mr. Mom’s Kitchen – they make me giggle! Great tip regarding freezing the dough, thank you.

01.09.2012 at3:34 PM #

Katie Morford

I’d better be careful…he may start asking for royalties

01.09.2012 at3:37 PM #

mop prime

I agree, Katie. Freezing cookie dough is the way to go. I freeze much of my dough, often doing double batches so I have it handy. I oll it up and wrap in saran, slicing of cookies as I need them. With a husband with allergies, I use oat, nut and barley flours, and always use salted butter. I do find that if I let the frozen dough sit a bit, and warm up slightly, I get a better cookie.

Some of the best cookies I have ever made have been on the fly… using bits and pieces of dried fruits, even cocktail nuts, rum, all kinds of odd things from the pantry. Never made a bad cookie yet. I guess that’s either because I am just very lucky, or my taste buds are shot!

Your blog keeps getting better and better. Tons of solid advice and creative ideas for young and old moms!

01.09.2012 at3:37 PM #

Katie Morford

No…you are just a good cookie baker. The number one ingredient for that is lots of love going into the batter!

01.09.2012 at3:45 PM #

Pamela

Go Mr Mom’ s Kitchen and girls! I smiled as I read this knowing that they all delighted in finding the hidden treasures and baking the whole batch! Yum!!

01.09.2012 at9:27 PM #

Tami @Nutmeg Notebook

What a great story you shared. I love that your hubby was baking with the kids.

01.10.2012 at1:23 AM #

kim brady

Thanks Katie, I have a soft spot for fresh muffins in the morning-would muffin batter freeze/defrost well?. I tend to make a half batch and keep the batter in the fridge then make more when we are out. I have never tried freezing, which sounds lovely since I could have a few different kinds to switch it up.

01.10.2012 at1:23 AM #

Katie Morford

I’ve had good success freezing baked muffins but have never tried freezing batter. Here are some tips I found on The Kitchn about freezing cupcake batter. I imagine the same approach would work for muffins. I’m going to give it a try, too. Great idea. http://www.thekitchn.com/3-ways-to-freeze-cupcake-batte-126022

01.16.2012 at6:56 PM #

Holly (2 Kids and Tired)

I always freeze cookie dough. I love being able to have homemade cookies later, with only having to pull them out and bake them.

03.17.2013 at6:12 AM #

Sara @my less serious life

how long does the dough last in the freezer like this?

03.17.2013 at6:12 AM #

Katie Morford

Hi Sara

For best results, I find it’s best to use it within a month or so, although it can keep longer than that.

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