Do It Now to Start Your Holiday Baking.

During the average month you eat cookies, it makes sense to keep a few pre-cooked cookies in the freezer for when you feel like a quick snack of freshly baked chocolate. But December is no ordinary cookie month. With a lot of cookies on the list and a short delivery window, you’ll need a strategy. To get the most out of this baking season, you should knead and freeze your cookie dough right now.

Between party prep, cookie delivery, and a bite to eat during Hallmark’s deliciously awful movie, you’ll end up eating a lot more cookies than you expected this month. Not all raw cookie dough freezes and thaws perfectly (usually such dough can be frozen after baking), but doughs with a high butter content are ideal. Gingerbread cookies, spritz cookies, sugar cookies, shortbread cookies and cuts are all game.

Calculate roughly how many games you need per month. Take a look at the cookie recipes you plan to use and find your way out. In most recipes, this is at the very top or at the very bottom. Then consider how you plan to shape the cookies versus how the recipe calls for them. They are rolled and cut with a two inch cutter, do you use a five inch one? Take this into account when deciding if one batch is enough or if four batches are better. Once you’ve completed your calculations, make your cookie dough three or four times the size you need. It’s easier and faster to make the bulky dough once than to start with the “softening the butter” step each time.

Once you’ve kneaded the dough, divide it into single or half batch portions and shape them into flat balls on waxed paper, plastic wrap, or parchment paper. (You should always flatten the dough into the shape you want to roll it into later; however, if you’re making drip cookies, it doesn’t really matter.) A flat shape will freeze faster and, more importantly, thaw faster. . Make sure the pastry is well wrapped and put it on a baking sheet in the freezer for half an hour. Once they have hardened, put them in a plastic bag and close it tightly. Store it in the freezer for up to three months (or longer, depending on several factors like how well it was wrapped, the type of dough, and who you’re talking to).

If you are making cookie dough with different flavors, mix and freeze in individual flat disc bags. I usually make ten different types of cookies over the next few weeks, and while some of them are made from the same magical cookie base , I like to have a little bit of each flavor ready on a particular day. My freezer usually contains three batches of cookie dough, a double batch of gingerbread dough, and four batches of regular shortcrust pastry.

To thaw the dough, dig into the freezer and transfer as many batches as you need to the refrigerator. Let it melt the night. If you don’t have that time, you can thaw the dough on the counter in about an hour, just remember that the outer edge can become very soft depending on the type of dough you’re working with. If this happens, place it in the refrigerator for a few minutes to make it harden evenly. Form the dough and bake as usual. At this point, you can even freeze freshly baked cookies for next week’s party or harden them for extra strength before packing and shipping. Freeze the dough today and enjoy the rest of the holiday cookie season without starting in a frenzy every time.


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