My friends call me the Cookie Lady. I pretty much have orders to fill around the holidays, so many people want me to bring cookies to holiday parties! So, how do I make so many cookies for every holiday event you ask? I cheat, that’s how! No, I don’t use store-bought or bakery cookies, I make my dough from scratch ahead of time and I freeze it. This is how I am able to make 6-10 batches of 4-5 types of cookies each holiday without taking off work or going bananas.
Step 1: Make your dough.
Make your favorite cookie dough in great big batches. I make around 3 batches at a time of each cookie type around the holidays.
Step 2: Prepare to Freeze your cookies.
Line a baking sheet with parchment (or wax) paper and drop your cookies onto the sheet – place them super-duper close together. Pop that whole sheet right in the freezer!
Step 3: Make yourself notes for baking.
While the first sheet is firming up in your freezer, use the down-time to write your baking time, type of cookies, and temperature on some freezer bags. Then go prepare another baking sheet and get more cookies dropped on there, your first batch is nearly firm by now.
Step 4: Prep and store your frozen cookies.
After about 10 minutes for drop cookies and 15 for cut-outs go check and see if they are firm to the touch. They are? Good! Pop those suckers off the frozen tray and into the bag you just wrote on. For roll or cut out cookies I use one long wax paper sheet and zigzag after every three cookies. When a bag is filled, get all the air you can outta that bad boy and put the bag into your freezer. Technically, you are all set for you your own baking assembly line now! Or, as you can see from the eggs in my photo, you can keep making more dough.
Step 5: Its go-time!
When you are ready to bake, preheat your oven and take what you need out of each freezer bag – you’ll be done in no time! And your big mess from making the dough is long gone, leaving you more time to decorate your cookies or get ready for that holiday party.
Here are some more tips and tools I like that you, too, may find useful while baking:Cookie Scoops:
I use a cookie scoop for my drop cookies – it makes it go faster at ts his stage. I really like this one, a small cookie scoop, by OXO. The small one is about 2 tsp – my drop cookies come about 2″ in diameter using this. It is good if you are giving these cookie to little ones or you are making a huge variety of cookies, this way your friends can sample them all without too much guilt – LOL!
When you are done filling each bag, consider how long you will be storing these. If it is more than a week, you may want to put a thick layer of plastic wrap or double-bag them to be sure other food doesn’t ‘transfer’ rogue flavor into your cookies.
I find that my drop cookies take about 5 or so extra minutes to bake if I bake them frozen right out of the freezer. For 1/4 inch cut outs you will need only 1-2 minutes extra when using frozen cut outs to bake. For 1/8 inch cut outs they are so thin I d not need to increase baking time. If this freaks you out – the watching and waiting – just take out what you need and lay out on wax paper. Then let the tray thaw before baking.
I use cooling racks for my cookies when it’s go-time. I have a small kitchen right now and I love this stackable set by Mainstays. I got mine at Boscov’s for 6$, but the box says Walmart.com. Go figure.
Don’t get greedy with all the time you save using these tips. You need to set time aside to decorate cookies AFTER you bake. Icing and other decorations will not freeze right and you will end up with garbage cookies that even the Cookie Monster would not touch. LOL.
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