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If you're looking ahead to the holiday season and wondering how you're going to get all your baking done, consider freezing your cookie dough or fresh baked cookies ahead of time. When the holidays get closer you can get that last bit of shopping done or last present made instead of spending all your time in the kitchen.
Cookie dough will freeze well for 4 to 6 weeks. Rolls of dough should be sealed tightly in plastic wrap (chill in refrigerator first before freezing). Other kinds of dough should be stored in airtight containers. Drop cookies (unbaked) may be frozen on cookie sheets and transferred to freezer bags. Let stand at room temperature for about 30 minutes before baking.
Don't try to freeze soft meringue-type cookie dough. Chocolate chip, brownies, peanut butter, and sugar cookie dough (or anything similar) freezes well. Let the dough defrost in the refrigerator (about 2-3 hours). Make sure to label the container with the date and type of cookie dough.
Almost any baked cookie freezes well. Let cookies completely cool before freezing. Wrap cookies individually in plastic wrap then store them in a ziploc freezer bag or storage tin (coffee cans or holiday tins work great). You can also just layer the cookies between layers of waxed paper in the container, but the individually wrapped ones will store longer.
Freeze frosted cookies uncovered first until they are firm. Then pack
them in airtight container lined with plastic wrap or foil. Make sure to
label the container with the date and type of cookies. Unfrosted cookies
can be frozen up to 6-12 months (frosted, about 3 months). Frozen
cookies thaw in about 10 minutes at room temperature (if you can wait
that long). If cookies should be crisp when thawed, remove them from the
container before thawing.
1 c. sugar
3/4 c. butter
3 c. flour
2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. ginger
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. cloves
1/2 c. molasses
In a large bowl, cream sugar and butter. Add eggs. Stir in flour, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon, and cloves. Add molasses, stirring well. Refrigerate dough for an hour or two to chill. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Roll dough into 1-inch balls. Roll each ball in a little sugar and place 2 inches apart on an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake for 10 minutes.
1 c. butter
1 1/2 c. sugar
2 3/4 c. flour
2 tsp. cream of tartar
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
In a large bowl, cream together butter, sugar, and eggs. Stir in flour, cream of tartar, baking soda, and salt. Refrigerate dough for an hour or two to chill. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Roll the dough into 1-inch balls. Roll each ball in a mixture of cinnamon and sugar. Place 2 inches apart on an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes.
Peanut Butter Crackles
1 3/4 c. flour
1/2 c. sugar
1/2 c. brown sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 c. butter, softened
1/2 c. peanut butter
Chocolate kisses or stars
Mix flour, baking soda, and salt. Mix together butter, peanut butter, and sugar. Beat in egg and vanilla. Stir in flour mixture. Shape dough into 1-inch balls. Roll in sugar and place on a greased cookie sheet. Bake at 375 degrees for 12 minutes. Remove from oven and press chocolate kisses firmly into cookie.
Copyright 2002. Rachel Paxton is a freelance writer and mom helping other moms to organize their families and their lives.