Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Christmas Cookie Exchange Dough Ideas

Last year, I wrote a post on unique and different cookie exchange ideas. One of which included giving people frozen cookie dough balls in lieu of already baked goods. Jairica inspired me during our last visit with repeating that idea as something she would "love, because sometimes I only want one or two cookies".


So, today I am going to share how to best freeze the dough, and what types of dough do the best in this type of cookie sharing.

Freezing Cookie Dough

Most cookie doughs freeze extremely well and can be kept frozen for up to 4 or 6 weeks. Use these tips for freezing:

*Double-wrap dough in plastic wrap to prevent freezer burn and absorption of odors from your freezer

*Write the type of cookie dough and the date it was frozen on the outside of the package or leave the type to chance like a mixed box of chocolates!

*When you are ready to bake, simply let the dough defrost in the refrigerator. This will take several hours so be sure to plan ahead. NOTE: If you individually portion your dough you can bake from froze, just at about 25% more time. If you freeze as a log then you need to thaw it all first.

5 Recipes for Frozen Dough

1. Chocolate Chip from Marthastewart.com


Ingredients

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 cup packed light-brown sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 large eggs
2 cups (about 12 ounces) semisweet and/or milk chocolate chips

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour and baking soda; set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the butter with both sugars; beat on medium speed until light and fluffy. Reduce speed to low; add the salt, vanilla, and eggs. Beat until well mixed, about 1 minute. Add flour mixture; mix until just combined. Stir in the chocolate chips.
  2. Drop heaping tablespoon-size balls of dough about 2 inches apart on baking sheets lined with parchment paper. *This step will be preparing to freeze the dough.
  3. Bake until cookies are golden around the edges, but still soft in the center, 8 to 10 minutes.**Remember, slightly longer because it will be frozen** Remove from oven, and let cool on baking sheet 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack, and let cool completely. Store cookies in an airtight container at room temperature up to 1 week.


2. Sugar Cookies from foodnetwork.com- Linda McClure



Ingredients

2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup softened butter
1 1/2 cups white sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 to 4 tablespoons buttermilk
Sprinkles or colored sugar, for decorating

Directions

  1.  Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. In a small bowl, stir together flour, baking soda, and baking powder. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until smooth. Beat in the egg and vanilla. Gradually blend in dry ingredients. Add enough of the buttermilk to moisten the dough and make it soft, not wet.
  4. Roll rounded teaspoons of dough into balls and place on a ungreased cookie sheet. With a brush or fingers, moisten the top of each cookie with the remaining buttermilk and slightly flatten the top of each cookie. Sprinkle with raw sugar or colored sprinkles. *After preparing them to this point freeze the dough. You can freeze them with the sprinkles in the dough. You can also cut them into shapes if desired before freezing-if you have them in rolled shapes they can be baked straight from frozen.
  5. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes or until slightly golden. Let stand for 2 minutes before removing to cool on a rack. *add extra time if baking from frozen balls but not rolled pre-cut shapes

3. Peanut Butter from Simplerecipies.com

 
Ingredients
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
1/2 cup peanut butter
1 egg
1 1/4 cup flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
peanut-butter-cookie-2.jpg

Directions

1 Beat the butter until creamy, 2 minutes. Add the sugars, beat for 2 more minutes. Mix in the peanut butter and egg. Mix together the dry ingredients - flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Stir the dry ingredients into the sugar butter mixture.

*2 Wrap dough in plastic and refrigerate at least 3 hours. *the next step will be shaping them then freezing them!


peanut-butter-cookie-3.jpg*3 Preheat oven to 375°F. Shape dough into 1 1/4 inch balls. Place about 3 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheet. Flatten in crisscross pattern with a fork. Bake until light brown, 9 to 10 minutes. Cool on baking sheets for a minute; transfer to rack to cool completely.
For chewier cookies, bake at 300°F for 15 minutes. *this time will increase because it was frozen

4. Oatmeal Raisin from food.com



Whisk together and set aside
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt


Cream wet ingredients

1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 cup dark brown sugar, firmly packed
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla



Then stir in

3 cups oats (not instant)
1 1/2 cups raisins


Directions:


  1. Preheat oven to 350°.
  2. Whisk dry ingredients; set aside.
  3. Combine wet ingredients with a hand mixer on low.
  4. To cream, increase speed to high and beat until fluffy and the color lightens.
  5. Stir the flour mixture into the creamed mixture until no flour is visible.
  6. (Over mixing develops the gluten, making a tough cookie.) Now add the oats and raisins; stir to incorporate.
  7. Fill a #40 cookie scoop and press against side of bowl, pulling up to level dough (to measure 2 tablespoons of dough).
  8. Drop 2-inches apart onto baking sheet sprayed with nonstick spray. *Prepare to freeze dough at this step of the process.
  9. Bake 11-13 minutes (on center rack), until golden, but still moist beneath cracks on top. *add extra bake time as necessary when baking from frozen
  10. Remove from oven; let cookies sit on baking sheet for 2 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool.


5. Shortbread from tablespoon.com

Ingredients

1 cup butter or margarine, softened
3/4 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 1/2 cups Gold Medal® all-purpose flour

Directions

  1. Heat oven to 350°F. In large bowl, beat butter, powdered sugar and vanilla with spoon. Stir in flour. (If dough is crumbly, mix in 1 to 2 tablespoons butter or margarine, softened.)
  2. Roll dough 1/2 inch thick on lightly floured surface. Cut into small shapes by hand or use cookie cutters. Place 1/2 inch apart on ungreased cookie sheet.
  3.  Bake 14 to 16 minutes or until set and bottoms are light golden brown. Immediately remove from cookie sheet to wire rack. Cool completely, about 30 minutes.

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