Can you believe Thanksgiving is next week? I’ll be sure to share some good entertaining recipes next Tuesday for you (perhaps even a whole menu? We will see). They will come in just enough time to head to the grocery store, buy ingredients, bring said ingredients home, and whip them into delicious good things.
Today, though, I wanted to give a quick post on something I’d promised to share with you a few weeks ago. When I wrote a post on Ricotta Cheese Cookies, I’d mentioned the process of flash freezing. I then realized that, while it’s a no-brainer process, many people might not know what I mean by flash freezing. I know when I first heard about it, I had no idea WHAT it was, HOW to do it, and WHY it was beneficial
In short, flash freezing means taking something and freezing it just enough so that it is hard, wherein you can then place it in a freezer-safe container for safe keeping.
Like I said, no-brainer.
That is the “what” of flash freezing. Before I go onto the simple “how” of flash freezing, I thought I’d take a minute to explain the WHY.
I have mainly used flash freezing for cookies. I know you can flash freeze a lot of other things, but flash freezing cookies is the quickest and easiest. I also find that cookies are one of the few things I like having on hand. Flash freezing allows me to have pre-made cookie dough balls sitting pretty in my freezer, ready to be pulled out at a moments notice and baked.
No thawing required.
Yes. This is why I have taken up flash freezing my cookie dough. It also helps to cut back on the amount of unnecessary cookie eating I do when I bake a recipe that yields, say, 5 dozen cookies. Even I have to admit that no one ever realllllllllly needs 5 dozen cookies. So now, when I make a batch of cookie dough, I will bake 1 or 2 dozen cookies (enough for my family to enjoy over the course of a few days), and I flash freeze the rest.
I also wanted to get this process out to you BEFORE the holidays hit. I know between Thanksgiving and the December holidays, there is a huge need for things like cookies, quick breads, and other sweet desserts. You have unexpected guests stop in, a brunch you are invited to, or don’t want to deal with the hassle of baking dessert the day OF a big event or holiday. This is when flash freezing your desserts comes in REALLY handy. If you plan ahead, and spend a night whipping up cookie dough (or quick bread dough, etc), you can have a freezer stocked with goodies that just need to be thrown into the oven and baked in a moments notice.
Ok, so now that I’ve convinced you that flash freezing is the WAY of the FUTURE, let me quickly explain to you the “How.”
It’s really as simple as this (I will use cookie dough for my example, as it is the easiest):
1) Mix together cookie dough.
2) Form dough into balls, as you would if you were baking.
3) Place dough balls into a cookie sheet that will FIT INTO YOUR FREEZER (I have a side-by-side fridge, so the larger cookie sheets will NOT fit. I have to use a jelly roll pan).
4) Note: Since you are not BAKING them on the sheet, you can have the dough balls close together (but not touching). That way, you can fit a lot more dough balls onto the sheet and freeze more at a time.
5) Place stocked baking sheet in freezer and freeze for 15-20 minutes (until hardened).
6) Take baking sheet out of freezer. Place cookie dough balls into a freezer-safe container (whether it be Tupperware containers or double-bagged Ziplock freezer bags). Mark the date – keeps for 1-2 months.
Easy, right? When you are ready to bake, there is no need to thaw the dough. Just place the dough onto a cookie sheet as you normally would to bake straight out of the freezer. You may have to adjust the cooking time, adding 3-5 minutes (note: this varies for each cookie due to the ingredients. Some cookies may take the same amount of time, others may take up to an additional 7 or more minutes to bake). Keep an eye on them the first time you bake out of the freezer. When they are done, make a note of the adjusted cooking time on the freezer container housing the remaining dough.
This process has been a real life saver to me. When we’ve had people stop over or a dinner to get to, we are never empty handed. I can just pop a few dough balls in the oven, and I’m ready to share! And, there is never the waste of cookies going bad – I only take out as many as I need.
I hope this helps you with your holiday preparations. If you google “flash freezing,” you can find out how to freeze more items for future use.
Looking forward to sharing some holiday recipes with you over the next few weeks. So be sure to check back!
You can read more about Steph’s life and recipes at her blog, Confessions of a Stay-At-Home Mom.