Reader Questions Answered: Freezing Cookie Dough

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When I wrote about one of my baking days several weeks ago, I had quite a few people ask about freezing cookies and cookie dough. I meant to answer that question much sooner, but it slipped my mind for some reason. (I’ll blame it on pregnancy brain for now, at least while I still can!)

I successfully freeze both cookie dough and baked cookies. However, my preference would definitely be for freezing the cookie dough. This has nothing to do with quality and everything to do with personality. Frozen cookies can be thawed in about 10 seconds. In fact, they can even be eaten frozen. So needless to say, they don’t last very long in our house.

Here are the two methods I use for freezing cookie dough.

  1. The log (aka slice-and-bake) method. I form the cookie dough into a log, wrap in waxed paper (if available) and then place in a plastic freezer bag. To bake the cookies, I slice the desired size off the frozen log, if the dough is workable when frozen. If it is too hard to cut through the frozen dough, I let it thaw for about an hour in refrigerator first. Then I slice and bake.
  2. The ball method. I roll the cookies into a ball by hand or with a cookie scoop. Then I place on a foil-lined baking sheet or large plate and flash freeze until firm, about 30 minutes. I then transfer the frozen balls of dough to a plastic freezer bag. To bake the cookies, I remove as many as needed, place on a cookie sheet and bake from frozen. I find that frozen cookie dough usually only needs an extra minute or two of bake time.

To freeze baked cookies, I start with completely cooled cookies. Then I follow the same flash freeze method as above and freeze in a plastic freezer bag or container. I thaw the cookies on the counter in about 15-30 minutes (certain cookies will thaw faster than others) or in the microwave for about 10 seconds. Cookies that are supposed to be very soft and chewy, like sugar or molasses cookies, will have the best texture if they are wrapped in cheese cloth or paper towel before thawing.

One last tip – hide that frozen dough or those frozen cookies, especially if you are saving them for a certain occasion!

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Bulk Processing Potatoes for the Freezer

Potatoes are one of those things that have always been hit or miss for me when it comes to freezing them. I’ve had success with freezing mashed potatoes, twice baked potatoes (and twice baked potato casserole), cheesy potato bites and taco potato skins. Beyond that though, I’m usually not too successful with freezing potatoes. Yet potatoes are a favorite side dish around here, so I’m always looking for ways to incorporate potato sides into my bulk cooking plans.

When Nikki emailed the following tip to me, I was beyond excited. Honestly, it’s pure genius. I can’t wait to implement this idea in my kitchen! Just like I could not wait to share the brilliance with all of you. Thanks for the permission to copy and paste your idea Nikki.

I hit the produce market or outlet once a month for longer shelf life items like potatoes and carrots. When I do, I bake off 10 lbs (or however many I can cram in my oven.  I have 3 shelves) of potatoes in one shot.

Don’t look at me like that. I am not crazy, just hear me out.

I let the taters cool enough to handle, cut them in half and scoop out the middles.

I prep the middles for mashed potatoes (riced) , baked potato soup (some riced some in chunks) and smashed potato salad (same as the soup).  If I plan on making home fries, I let refrigerate them overnight and dice them with the jackets on.

I then spray/drizzle oil on my jackets and season them and broil/roast them until they start to brown.

I place each of these on trays in my freezer over the course of the day until they are just frozen enough that they won’t freeze into a solid mess.  I do this with the now empty jackets too.

Then, when we want potato skins: I take out my jackets and crisp them a bit in a hot oven/broiler. Then I dump (yes dump, we have cheese issues) some shredded cheddar and bacon bits (which I also cook up ahead and freeze in bulk) and pop them in to bake.

In a matter of about 2 hrs, I can easily have enough potatoes prepped for two weeks worth of menus AND have tater skins on hand for a snack or an “I don’t feel like cooking, let’s have crap for dinner” night.

Genius, right? I love it!

Make sure you check out Nikki’s blog, Frugal Green Living for more tips and information.

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Cupcake Tips from Hoosier Homemade

Shortly before the school ended for the year, I took birthday treats in for our son’s summer birthday celebration. I really wanted to make cupcakes. But I didn’t want just any cupcakes. I wanted something special like Liz makes. I debated doing it on my own, wishing the whole time that I had Liz there to guide me every step of the way. In the end, I chickened out and opted for dirt cups instead.

Thankfully, Liz agreed to share some of her top cupcake making tips with all of us. These just might give me the courage I need to go for it next time!

Hello, Cooking During Stolen Moments fans! I’m Liz, the Hoosier Momma from Hoosier Homemade. I’m a SAHM of 3 teenage boys, that keep me running with their sports and school activities. I’ve been blogging a little over a year, I share lots of baked goods, Budget Friendly Meals, and decorating tips and tricks, all to help you “Make Your House a Home.” You can also find me on Twitter and Facebook.

Kate has asked me to share with you some of my tips for baking and decorating cupcakes. While I have been baking for a very, VERY long time, it’s just been the last year or so that I’ve been baking and decorating lots and lots of cupcakes.

First…Baking:

When I use a box mix, I simply change the ingredients a little to make it taste more like homemade.

  • Box Cake Mix
  • 1 cup of Buttermilk (you can use 1 tablespoon vinegar in a 1 cup measuring cup and fill the rest of the way with milk, set aside for a few minutes)
  • 1/3 cup Oil (or amount shown on box)
  • 4 large eggs

Mix and bake as usual
I also bake from scratch quite often and have several recipes on my Cupcake Heaven page. In fact, I have Kate’s White Cake on it, along with over 70 cupcake creations.
Now for the decorating:
I think using the right tools makes all the difference in the world. You can easily just use a ziploc baggie with the corner snipped off, but if you want your cupcakes to look really nice, spend a little (it’s not really very much, less than $10) and buy the right tools.

  1. 90% of the time I use Buttercream Frosting and this Cupcake Decorating set that was a Christmas gift
  2. Tips from the Decorating tip make these designs
  3. Using a Wilton Disposable bag, I insert the plastic coupler and make a mark on the bag at the first thread, and cut the tip off to that mark
  4. Add the Decorating tip and the ring, fill the bag with frosting and you are ready to decorate

Now, if you want to get a little fancier and decorate your cupcakes with designs or a theme. I have lots to choose from. I have several videos on Hoosier Homemade as well, that show you step by step how to decorate cupcakes. I also host Cupcake Tuesday every week, where you can link up your cupcake creations and get inspired by others too.
The most popular cupcakes during the month of May were my Memorial Day Cupcakes…they were so much fun to make! I think they would even be great for Fourth of July or any summertime picnic.

And in June, the favorite seems to be my Snow Cone Cupcakes

I also bake a lot for the Holidays, my most recent holiday favorite, are the Easter Chicks. Very easy, with just a little added frosting.

One of my readers favorites, were the Nuggets and Fries that I created for my son’s birthday…he’s a HUGE McDonald’s fan!

I also enjoy creating many different cupcakes with special flavors and toppings, the Black Forest, are my favorite.

Come join in our cupcake conversation in my Hoosier Homemade BlogFrog Community!

Thanks so much Kate for having me!

Do you have any tip or tricks for cupcake decorating you would like to share? I’d love to hear them!

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