One of the most frequently asked questions when baking cookies is: how do you cut down preparation time for parties or special events? The answer is simple; freeze your dough or cookies ahead of time.
Most cookie dough freezes extremely well and can be kept frozen for up to 4 or 6 weeks. The most important thing to keep in mind is that the dough will absorb any odd odors present in your freezer if it's not properly wrapped and sealed. To prevent odors from creeping into the dough, as well as preventing freezer burn, wrap the dough securely twice. Also make sure that the dough is placed away from fish or any other strong smelling items in the freezer. Oxygen is another leading cause of freezer burn. If you should decide to put the dough into a freezer bag instead of wrapping with plastic wrap then follow this tip: when closing the bag, leave a ¼-inch gap in one corner. Insert a drinking straw, suck out all excess air in the bag, and then close tightly.
When you are ready to bake, simply let the dough defrost in the refrigerator. It will take several hours to thaw the dough, so plan ahead. The types of cookie dough that freeze the best are shortbreads, chocolate chip, peanut butter, sugar, and brownies, just to name a few. The types of cookie dough that do not freeze well are those for cake-like cookies and cookies that have a very smooth, runny batter.
Freezing baked cookies is a great way to preserve their freshness. Baked cookies will keep in the freezer for up to 3 or 4 weeks. Follow the same steps as when freezing dough by double-wrapping the cookies. When you are ready to eat your frozen cookies, just let them come to room temperature. Or for you impatient types, pop them in the microwave on high for about 30 seconds. We still haven't come across a baked cookie that doesn't freeze well. So when planning your next special event, think about preparing and freezing ahead of time.
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