Mommy, I want a cookie! Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to pull a few out of the freezer and serve them as a special treat for your little ones with a glass of milk? Here is a short treatise on how to do that the right way.
Cookies are an amazing part of the holiday season, for any holiday, any time of year. Making them is not always easy, so make them ahead and freeze whenever possible.
STORING COOKIES: Cool cookies thoroughly, then store in containers with tight-fitting lids. Coffee and shortening cans make good storage containers for cookies. Seal the lids tight with masking tape.
Store soft cookies and crisp cookies in separate containers with tight-fitting covers. Keep soft cookies moist by putting a slice of bread in their container.
If crisp cookies soften in storage, heat in 300 degree oven about 5 minutes before serving.
Store bar-type cookies right in their baking pans, tightly covered with aluminum foil.
Store frosted, fragile or large cookies in a flat pan covered with aluminum foil.
FREEZING COOKIES: Save precious time at holiday seasons… make cookies ahead of time and freeze them.
Bake them first, freeze unbaked cookies, or just freeze the dough. Well packed, baked cookies, cookie dough and unbaked cookies may be stored in the freezer 6 to 12 months.
To freeze Baked Cookies: Bake cookies, cool completely and place carefully in freezer containers, or wrap. (Pack very thin or fragile cookies in freezer containers to to prevent breakage.) Fill empty spaces in containers with crumpled paper to protect the cookies.
For freezer containers, use wide-mouthed screw-top glass jars, or canisters and coffee tins with tight covers, sealed with masking tape. Or use commercial freezer containers-plastic with tight-fitting covers, heavy waxed cardboard or aluminum foil sealed with masking tape.
To wrap bar cookies for freezing, place on cardboard covered with waxed paper (or in a cardboard box); wrap securely with heavy duty aluminum foil or self-sealing plastic film. Or place n plastic bags and seal with rubber bands.
Sturdy molded or drop cookies can be placed in plastic bags without cardboard and sealed.
To Thaw Baked Cookies: Frozen baked cookies may be placed on serving plates immediately or thawed in container 15 minutes. Large cookies or bars are better thawed in container for about one hour. (Thawing in the freezer container prevents moisture in the air from condensing on the cold cookies and making them soggy.)
To crisp pastry-type cookies, thaw in container for 15 minutes, then place on baking sheet and heat in 350 degree oven for about 5 minutes.
To Freeze Unbaked Cookies: Shape firm cookie dough according to recipe directions; arrange in a box in layers between aluminum foil or waxed paper. Wrap (or place in a plastic bag), seal and freeze.
Shape soft cookie dough according to recipe directions, place on baking sheets and freeze. When hard arrange in box, wrap, seal and store according to directions for firm unbaked cookies.
No thawing period is necessary before baking frozen cookies.
To Freeze Cookie Dough: Shape Refrigerator Cookie dough into rolls, wrap with heavy duty aluminum foil, seal and freeze. On baking day slice immediately or thaw slightly in the refrigerator until slicing is easy.
Pack other cookie doughs into freezer containers, seal and freeze.
On baking day thaw to room temperature (or to the temperature required for correct handling consistency) and proceed according to recipe directions.