So my life in college was basically: go to class, eat raw cookie dough, bake cookies, study, repeat. Many years later, I didn’t have roommates to bake for, and I found myself making batches of cookies that I was throwing in the trash the next day. Why was I throwing perfectly good cookies in the garbage? Because NO ONE WANTS TO EAT COOKIES THAT AREN’T FRESH OUT OF THE OVEN!
I’m gonna tell it to you straight. Sometimes I bake cookies for people, and I made them a month ago. Sometimes I serve scones at brunch, and I made them with last season’s strawberries. And then there are times when it’s 11pm, I’m watching Bravo, and I need a molasses cookie as if my life depends on it.
So when I realized I could freeze unbaked treats…GAME. CHANGER.
I bet that most people have 30 minutes to spare this weekend. Use that time, and make cookie dough. Whatever recipe you fancy, but here’s a favorite: http://smittenkitchen.com/blog/2015/04/salted-chocolate-chunk-cookies/
We both know you’re gonna bake a few cookies right away, but here’s what you need to do with the rest of the dough:
- Scoop. Scoop cookie dough and place the round dough balls inside a large resealable plastic bag (I use the gallon size) in a single layer. One layer is key. If you don’t do this, then they’ll all stick together. Put that bag flat in the freezer. I’ve kept unbaked cookie dough for months in the freezer with no issues. If you aren’t using an ice cream scoop already, you need to be. Here’s what I use to scoop cookies (found on Amazon here), but I have a few different sizes depending on what mood I’m in.
- Label. Here’s a dorky tip, but it will save you time later. I write on the plastic bag with a Sharpie marker what type of cookies they are along with the oven temperature and baking time. You’ll need to increase the baking time 1-2 minutes since they’re frozen.
- Bake. When you have unprompted visitors, a need for a small gift, or generally just have a craving for cookies, pop these bad boys straight from the freezer to the oven. No need to thaw.
Cookie dough is probably the easiest and quickest thing for everyone to make, but you can totally do this with scones, biscuits, any type of unbaked good that holds itself together. Cake batter won’t work. More on making cakes in advance later. If you decide to freeze unbaked scones or biscuits, wrap each one individually in plastic wrap before it goes in the resealable plastic bag.
No one has time to bake from scratch on a whim. This tip has saved me dozens of times when I feel like I need to bring something homemade to a gathering, and I didn’t plan ahead. Stop buying store bought cookie dough. And if you buy it to just eat it raw (no judgment), well you should be eating homemade cookie dough because you don’t know where those Toll House eggs have been. Insert see-no-evil monkey emoji here. You have the 30 minutes to make it from scratch this weekend, and it will pay dividends. Your friends and family are going to love you!