Saturday, December 05, 2015

Living the Pantry Lifestyle - Musings on chocolate chip cookies


It may be the freezing fog outside my window but I think I have lost my ponder and misplaced my "muse".   I really can't come up with anything much to write about today.  Even Rudolph must have his off days when his nose cannot shine bright enough to edge out the fog!

All I could think of to write about were the chocolate chip cookies I made and how wonderful it was to have them in the freezer.  It is brilliant having the dough ready because it can be baked at the last minute for nice, warm, gooey cookies.   When I freeze them already baked, their siren song woos me to the freezer for "just one".  Right...  More about them later.

With Christmas squeezing a tight budget, I haven't taken advantage of the sales on baking goods.  Except last week when Kroger had their bags of sugar 99 cents each if you bought four.  I don't need white sugar, there is more in the pantry.  But at that price four bags hopped into my grocery cart!  When stored carefully, it lasts for a long time.

I've done a lot of reading about food shortages in WWII and one item that was definitely missed was plain old sugar.  We don't need very much but by baking "sugar goodies" ourselves, we are staying away from high fructose corn syrup.  Not to mention using real food like butter.  Okay, I admit to having Crisco sticks in the pantry for a couple of recipes.  ;)

You may remember I froze cookie dough ahead of time a couple weeks ago.  This was the first time I formed chocolate chip cookies on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet and then flash froze them in the deep freeze about an hour.  (Set the timer so you don't forget them!)

After they were firm enough, I slipped a dozen in each quart size Ziploc bag.  Then I slipped those bags in a gallon size Ziploc bag for double protection against freezer burn.  If you are going to that much expense and trouble to make something, you certainly don't want freezer burn!

Well, on the day after Thanksgiving, when I was going to take some of the cookies to my friend's house, I didn't feel well at all.  It was wonderful to pull out two bags of the frozen (and already formed) cookies.  All I had to do was place them frozen on the cookie sheet and bake an extra minute or two.

I told Stephanie, that this is the way I'm making chocolate chip cookies from now on.  She thought it would be a great idea to have these in the freezer for last minute cocoa nights with their family.

Did I tell you these cookies get ravings?  I tweaked two different cookie recipes to form this one.  If you are interested in making them, the recipe can be found... here.  This is a big recipe, it puts a bit of a strain on my professional size stand mixer.  If you need to cut the recipe in half, go ahead.  Although... if you don't have a large mixer and you do have a very strong person in the family to stir it... that would work, too.  ;)

NOTE:  I was asked if I used semi sweet or milk chocolate chips.  I use both in this cookie recipe.  I like to mix them in a lot of recipes calling for chocolate chips.

So... I need another cup of coffee and hopefully the frozen fog will lift outside soon.  For those outside of Northern climates... frozen fog is different than regular fog.  It can cause frozen condensation on the roads. Which is not a good time to be out!

Image:  Fresh Bread by Loren Entz

7 comments:

Deanna Rabe said...

I love the idea of shaping them and flash freezing them! I have made and frozen the dough before, kind of like a roll of Pillsbury cookie dough. Then you just have to let them thaw a little bit and slice them up. But already formed and just adding a few minutes cook time. Genius!

I may give it a try. I'll have all afternoon to myself today. I think I'll be cranking up the Christmas tunes and doing some fun baking!

Deanna

Kristi in the Western Reserve said...

I don't think you've lost your inspiration at all! This is a great idea. Be well, Brenda! Rest all you need to. And enjoy the season as I know you will.

Michele @ The Nest at Finch Rest said...

We have a ton of fog this morning - not quite frozen fog but very very close. Yesterday I made a Dutch Butter Bars - perfect for a hot cuppa tea. As I sit here wondering about your post, and how you said you couldn't think of anything to post about - you DID - you write beautifully and conjured up images for me, AND provided inspiration and ideas and comfort.

So, even your off days and good ones, eh?

Have a cozy warm and wonderful day, my friend. Hugs. ♥

Vee said...

Well now...I very much like this idea of flash freezing cookies. Sounds as if you will be creating a very cozy day in the foggy mists.

Shan said...

Brenda,

I always learn something from you! What a wonderful idea! I am adding this recipe to my binder and freezing a batch when I make it. So many times I am just too tired to make cookies, but want to take something to a friend or relative as a little gift. Now, that won't be an issue.

Wishing you a lovely day, sweet lady!

Kindredly,
Shan

Anonymous said...

Brenda,

I've been freezing our favorite cookie dough's for several years now. I use to do it the same as you, shaping in to cookies and flash freezing. But I found it was quicker for me to press the dough evenly into a lined 9 x 13 inch pan and freeze until firm. Then I tip the dough out on a cutting board and with a sharp knife cut the dough into portions before proceeding as you do for freezing for storage. Its so nice to be able to bake just the number of cookies we want..and fresh always tastes so good. It also makes something I can quickly bake if company stops by unexpectedly.

God's blessings to you, Marsha

tealady said...

You have been a good muse for me. I will be having a major surgery soon so I am trying to get ready for my down time. My hubby is not fond of chocolate chip but make a batch of peanut butter and he melts.