Cookie baking tips – try these

The cookie freezing trick you should know before baking another batch

By Jorie Mark/Nov. 23, 2020 4:24 pm EST

Unless you have iron-clad self control, how do you walk away from an afternoon of cookie baking without feeling like quite the cookie monster? First, you licked the spoon. Then, once those cookies emerged from the oven, hot and oozing melted chocolate, you ate at least one of them before it had a chance to cool and settle, because we all know that gooey, melty stage is when cookies taste the best, even if it does burn the roof of your mouth. Once your batch did have time to firm into properly shaped, room temperature treats, you wanted to make sure that they turned out okay. Which, they did. And so, you had more, to double-check your work. And now, your stomach hurts!

Here to throw a wrench into this gluttonous cookie baking routine is Penny Stankiewicz, chef instructor at the Institute of Culinary Education, who actually has a tip for baking cookies that will look and taste better — while inadvertently enforcing some portion control. “Almost all cookies benefit from a bit of aging in the freezer,” she told Mashed. “Some can be baked right after mixing, but many have to chill first.” That means, you’ll need to take a breather between when you lick the bowl and when you put the cookies in the oven. Who knows? Maybe you can even use that time to take a brisk walk.

Why freezing cookie dough produces better cookies
If you freeze your cookie dough before you bake your cookies, the cookies actually will turn out better, according to Stankiewicz. “This helps the cookies keep their shape and not spread so much, and the time in the freezer helps to develop and mingle flavors,” she explained. If you’re baking cookies for an event, you can make the dough the night before, and bake them the day you need them, so they’ll have that fresh-from-the oven appeal.

Once you’re ready to bake your frozen dough, preheat your oven and prep your baking sheet. “[I]t’s best to scoop the cookies with an ice cream scoop to portion them out,” Stankiewicz advised. And if you really are struggling to find a way to enjoy a fresh-baked cookie without eating half the batch, Stankiewicz’s trick helps with portion control by keeping your batch perfectly sized for you, “You can also bake them straight from frozen, so you have cookies on hand whenever you want them.”

The surprising hack that makes baking cookies a breeze

By Megan Scott/Aug. 5, 2020 9:36 am EST

We’re all too familiar with that craving for something soft and sugary that hits right around 3 pm every day. It’s like fourth meal hunger except you’re hankering for a mini dessert, smack dab in the middle of your afternoon. Or, maybe your inner clock sounds an alarm after dinner every night, letting you know the day is not complete without something sweet. Often, a cookie is just the thing to quell your craving — just one soft and chewy chocolate chip cookie to appease the longing for carbs and sugar. But, if you’re after the homemade variety (what’s better than a fresh, homemade cookie, really?), you might not have the time or patience to make a big batch. Nor do you need to open the door to that precarious situation of dozens of cookies tempting you to eat them all, lest they go stale.

This hack will show you how to have a convenient supply of single-serving cookies in your freezer, ready to bake up fresh, at all times. The trick, according to Taste of Home, is to make your cookie dough in advance, fill an ice cube tray with it, and freeze it. When your sweet tooth calls, just pop out a square (or two) of dough and bake it! Once the convenience and ease of single-serving cookie dough enters your life, you’ll never go back to your old ways.

Freeze your cookie dough in an ice cube tray for convenience
Single-serving snack happiness aside, this ice cube tray hack addresses another issue we encounter when trying to store cookie dough in the freezer. Traditional instructions for freezing cookie dough (like these from Betty Crocker) will tell you to place balls of cookie dough onto your baking sheets, freeze the sheets, then transfer the dough balls to freezer bags. Is there anyone else out there not interested in rearranging the entire contents of their freezer in order to squeeze bulky trays of cookie dough in there? The conveniently compact size of the ice cube tray eliminates that dilemma for you.

To start, make a batch of cookie dough as you normally would, then use a scoop or a spoon to fill the cavities of an ice cube tray with your dough. The next step, according to Fooducate, is to freeze the cookie dough in the ice cube tray for about five hours. At that point, you can pop the individual portions of dough loose from the tray and store them in a freezer-safe zip-top bag. When you’re ready for a treat, bake as many or as few cookies as you like!

Adjust the baking instructions and choose the right kind of dough
We know you’re curious, and, no — there’s no need to thaw your frozen cubes of cookie dough before baking. Let’s be real, though, the fewer delays on your path to cookie enjoyment, the better. However, you should adjust the baking temperature and time a bit to ensure a delicious result.

Handle the Heat’s tips for baking frozen cookie dough are to preheat the oven to about 20 degrees lower than your original recipe recommends, place your cube(s) of dough onto a parchment-lined baking sheet, and bake for two to five minutes longer than the original recipe instructions. When your cookie is golden around the edges and slightly wet in the center, it’s done. As for what kind of cookie dough works well for this hack, Food Network says chunky drop cookies like chocolate chip and oatmeal raisin are the easiest and best for freezing.

With this ice cube tray cookie hack in your back pocket, a freshly baked, single-serving snack is always just moments away.

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