I posted earlier this week about my favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe, but I realized later that I forgot to tell you one of the best things about it.
Though the recipe works best when the dough is left to rest for a day (or three), a little advance planning means it’s possible to have fresh-from-the-oven chocolate chip cookies any time you feel like it and with hardly any effort.
All you do is make a big batch of dough, let it do its thing in the refrigerator and, when the dough is ready, scoop it into little mounds, just as though you were about to bake the cookies. Except you don’t bake them — you freeze them.
Freeze the unbaked cookies in a single-layer on a parchment lined cookie sheet. Once they are frozen, transfer them to a ziplock bag and stash them in the freezer until you start pining for warm, fresh-baked cookies. Then you just take out however many you want and bake them as directed.
No need to thaw, but they might need an extra minute or two in the oven.
With the chocolate chip cookies, I wait until just before baking to sprinkle on the sea salt. Otherwise, the cookies are ready to go from freezer to oven whenever the urge strikes.
Once I realized I could freeze cookies and bake them later, I started doing it all the time. I like being able to bake exactly the number of cookies I want instead of baking an entire batch (which inevitably leads to eating an entire batch).
The unbaked cookies will keep for at least a few months in the freezer. I find it helps to write baking instructions on the outside of the storage bag.
By the way, this works with other many other recipes too.
Try it with your favorite cookie recipe and you can impress last-minute dinner guests with impromptu ice cream sandwiches. Deliver a plate of warm cookies over to a friend having a bad day. Or bake up just one or two cookies when you need a little treat but don’t want to be tempted by a fully-stocked cookie jar.