Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Cookie Dough Evening

Every year for the last 10 (and even before that with my mom) I have taken an entire day during he Christmas season and baked.  Mostly cookies but also quick breads, cupcakes, and candy.  I usually give these out to friends, family, and coworkers.  I always looked forward to my "baking day", that is until I had Grant.  Suddenly the idea of spending hours in my kitchen, more hours than before since I was interrupted by the needs of a child, no longer seemed like a fun tradition.  I pushed through for a couple years, making sure my husband didn't make plans for a specific Saturday, so I could at least have backup when needed. 

This year was a different story.  Now being pregnant and having a 3 year old, I had no desire, not one in my entire body, to spend a day baking from sun up to sun down.  Not to mention the fact that I didn't have a whole lot of people to give them out to since my mom also bakes and gives them to part of the people we know and I no longer have co-workers.  I decided I needed a new plan.  I still love baking and the idea of a Christmas season with no cookies and candy was unacceptable in my mind.

My solution for making this year easier and quicker for me was making and freezing the dough ahead of time.  I decided the best option for me was to take an evening or a couple and mix up all the cookie batters I planned on using, roll them into logs, and freeze them to bring out and bake whenever I wanted.  Genius right? 

So last night after Grant went to sleep I decided to get my butt in gear and at least make 1 batch of dough.  Turns out once I started I figured why stop?  I ended up making 3 batches of cookie dough, which is all the cookies I plan on making.  Since we are having my dad over for an early Christmas dinner, I went ahead and baked a handful of each kind before freezing the dough.

I usually stick to the same recipes I've made for years, I am after all a creature of routine and habit.  This year I wanted to try a different chocolate chip cookie recipe.  My mom's is more of a cakey cookie and I was in search of something a little crunchier.  I came across this Pioneer Woman recipe and decided to give it a whirl, after all she's never steered me wrong before.

Seeing this just makes me want to sit and eat cookie dough straight from the bowl.
The only thing I omitted from Ree's recipe was the flax seed.  I don't keep it in my pantry therefore I don't use it.
Golden brown to perfection!  When I first read the recipe and saw it called for instant coffee granules I was a little scared, I admit.  I love coffee but didn't think I wanted that flavor in my chocolate chip cookies.  However I decided to trust my friend Ree (oh how I wish she was actually my friend and would have me over for dinner, yum!) and add them to the batter.  I tasted the batter, because you can't have cookie batter without tasting it right? and I could taste the coffee.  I immediately thought, "crap! this is not what I wanted, what am I gonna do with all this cookie dough now?"  But I soldiered through and baked a few to at least let my husband and family try them, after all I figured I could pawn them off on someone if I didn't like the flavor.  When they baked up I tried one with the last hope that the flavor of coffee wasn't prevalent, and guess what?  No coffee flavor!
I was so excited.  It was just as Ree said, the coffee granules just give the cookies a little richer chocolate flavor and my oh my they are delish.  Crunchy and chocolatey and just what I was searching for in a new chocolate chip cookie recipe.  I had my husband try them just to be sure my taste buds weren't the only ones not tasting coffee. I didn't tell him why I wanted him to try them just that I tried a new recipe and wanted his opinion.  His comment was, "they taste like a chocolate chip cookie to me".  Translation, no coffee flavor!
When I found Pioneer Woman's chocolate chip cookie recipe I also came across this Brown Sugar Oatmeal cookie recipe.  Now, I'm not a huge fan of oatmeal cookies, but my mom and future brother-in-law love them.  My mom has complained in years past that she can't find a good recipe for them.  These looked divine, and I love me some brown sugar in anything so I figured I probably couldn't go wrong.

They come out looking almost, in my opinion, overcooked.  Trust me when I say they are not.  This is just the goodness of all that brown sugar.  It makes it crunchy, and gives it a really nice flavor that I think is lacking in a lot of oatmeal cookie recipes.  I plan on adding some raisins to the dough I already made and froze when I go to bake a large batch of them.
The last cookie I made was one I've been making for the last 4-5 years.  At some point I had a bag of Nestle chocolate chips, not sure why since no other cookie or candy I make calls for them.  On that bag there was this recipe:
White Chip Chocolate Cookies
2 1/4c flour
2/3c cocoa
1t baking soda
1/4t salt
1c butter
3/4c granulated sugar
2/3c packed brown sugar
1t vanilla
2 large eggs
2c white chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350.  Combine flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt in a bowl, mix.  In a separate bowl beat butter, sugar, brown sugar, and vanilla until creamy.  Add eggs 1 at a time beating well after each addition.  Gradually beat in flour mixture.  Stir in chips.  Drop by tablespoonful on baking sheet.  Bake 9-11 minutes.
A gave them a try on a whim way back then and have been making them ever since.  They are one of the few cookies that only I make so I get to take them to my mom and sister and give them away.  Pretty much every other cookie I bake, my mom bakes as well so I couldn't ever take her mine, cuz she already had so many of her own.
Try your darndest after you mix it up not to taste the chocolatey goodness that is this batter.  I know it's hard, but try.
These are 1 of my all time favorite cookies.  I love, love, love, white chocolate chips.  My only piece of advice is to watch while baking these because it's hard to tell if they are fully baked and you can burn them without realizing because they are already dark in color.  I have burned the bottoms of a few of my white chocolate chip cookies thinking they weren't done all the way and then it was too late.  It's a sad day when I have to throw out these favorites of mine.
Now for the freezing.  Some people freeze their cookie dough in already formed balls so all you have to do is take them from the freezer, place them on the baking pan, and bake.  I love this method however I only have a fridge freezer in our little apartment and spending hours freezing batch after batch of dough on 1 small cookie sheet doesn't sound like fun to me, or a the way I want to spend an entire day.
So instead here's how I do mine.  I take a long piece of plastic wrap and lay it out on the counter.  Spoon my dough on top of that.

 Roll it up in the plastic wrap and twist the ends.

 Place your roll on a piece of foil.
Roll the dough in the foil and twist the ends.
Write the kind of dough it is on the outside.  I do this with a regular ol' pen and it works just fine.
Now pop it in your freezer for when you get a hankering, yes I said hankering, for cookies.
When you are in the mood for some cookies just put it in the fridge for a couple hours or leave it on the counter to thaw, just don't leave it all day or overnight, there are raw eggs in there after all, and bake as you normally would.

No comments:

Post a Comment


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Total Pageviews