Monday, April 16, 2012

Freezer-friendly chocolate chip cookies

     I love chocolate chip cookies.  I especially enjoy them when they are fresh out of the oven.

     Every month I make a double batch of cookies.  I bake about 6 of them and then I prepare the rest for the freezer.  Here is my process:

1.  Prepare the dough and bake the amount of cookies that you want now.  I usually bake 6.  1 for daughter, 2 for me during naptime, 2 for my husband, and another 1 for me to enjoy with my husband while he is eating his.  

2.  Make balls from the rest of the dough and place them on a plate.  Leave a little space between each one so they don't stick together.  Try not to eat all of them before you put them in the freezer.

3.  Place the plate in the freezer for 1-2 hours.

4.  Remove the plate and place the cookies in a freezer bag.  I label the bag with chocolate chip cookies and the date. (Not that mine will ever be in the freezer long enough to be thrown out!)   I have a HUGE sweet tooth and no self-control. For me, it helps to have to bake the cookies and  have a small amount in the upstairs freezer.  I keep the rest of the bag in our deep freeze (2 levels below our kitchen).  By cooking a small amount it keeps them out of sight of the children so they don't beg me for them all day.

5.  When you are craving cookies or having company, turn on the oven to 325 degrees, (I usually bake at 350 because I forget the recipe I use calls for 325 degrees), pull out your silicone baking cover (or spray the pan), baking pan, take 2-6 frozen balls out of the freezer, place them on the pan, and bake for about 20-22 minutes. 

     This method is great for unexpected company, you can easily bake fresh homemade cookies and your guests will have no idea that they were pulled out the freezer and popped in the oven right before they walked in the door.
Right now here is my favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe:
Thick and Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies
2 cups plus 2 tbsp. all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
12 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted and cooled until warm
1 cup brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg plus 1 egg yolk
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips ( I have also used chocolate chunks)

Adjust oven racks to upper and lower-middle positions. Preheat oven 325°. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper.
Whisk dry ingredients together in a medium bowl; set aside. With electric mixer, or by hand, mix butter and sugars until thoroughly combined. Beat in egg, yolk, and vanilla until combined. Add dry ingredients and beat at low-speed just until combined. Stir in chocolate chips.
Roll a scant half-cup of dough into a ball. Holding dough ball in fingertips of both hands, pull apart into two equal halves. Rotate halves 90 degrees and, with jagged surfaces facing up, place formed dough onto cookie sheet, leaving ample room between each ball. Bake, reversing position of cookie sheets halfway through baking, until cookies are light golden brown and outer edges start to harden yet centers are still soft and puffy (approximately 11-14 minutes). Do not overbake. 
Please note 11-14 minutes is for unfrozen cookies.  20-22 minutes is the amount of time for frozen cookies. 

Cool cookies on sheets until able to lift without breaking. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

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