Christmas cookie help


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Every Christmas I bake a large variety of cookies and treats and it's become quite the task.
I've decided that this year I'm going to try to bake less of a variety and more if each kind.
I'm gonna make sugar cookies, no bake cookies, hot cocoa cookies, snickerdoodles or chocolate chip cookies, and chocolate covered pretzel rods.
My question is this. I've thought about how to manage it all and I decided I want to freeze the cookie dough well ahead of time to save myself the stress. I can't fit a bunch of sheet trays in my freezer but I saw a hack about how you can use an ice cube tray to freeze the cookie dough. I wonder if that would work and for how long I can freeze it for before I have to use it.
Thanks!
Angie
 
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Hey Angie,

Cookie dough should last for up to six months in the freezer. But I preferred to use it within three months. For my holiday baking I usually start six weeks before the holiday.

You don't need a bunch of ice trays for cookie dough. That's more hassle than it's worth.

Ziploc bags and plastic wrap is all you need. Packing in Ziploc bags allows you to stack things nicely so you can fit more into your freezer.

How you freeze cookie dough depends on the type of dough.

Drop type cookies such as chocolate chip cookies should be frozen in balls. I find the ideal size is a #40 scoop. The #40 scoop will bake to a 2" cookie. If you want a larger cookie use a #30 scoop.

Below is a photo of a cookie using a #40 scoop. Cookies will bake to approximately 2". As you can see it really is an ideal size especially for a cookie tin. Once you get above a 2" cookie it makes packing them in a tin very difficult.

But if you prefer a larger cookie then use a #30 scoop. That Will produce the bakery size cookies. When I make cookies that size I normally pack them in clear cellophane bags as they are too large to place in a cookie tin.

For chocolate chip cookie dough make the dough, then chill it at least 24 hours before freezing. The reason is chocolate chip cookie dough tastes extremely flat if not given time to age. If the dough goes straight from the mixing bowl into the freezer it will not age.

Form the dough balls after aging the dough. Place dough balls on a tray in the freezer for about 10 minutes to harden enough so the dough does not stick together. Then transfer to a freezer Ziploc bag. Squeeze all the air out of the bag. I normally use a straw to suck the air out.

Cookies balls can go straight from the freezer into the oven.

For the sugar cookies, if you are going to roll and cut out cookies, then form the dough into a disk like you would pie crust dough. Double wrap it in plastic, then place in a freezer ziplock bag. Burp out the air. You will need to thaw the cookie dough before rolling it out. You cam take it out the night before baking and place it in the refrigerator to thaw out.

If you are going to make sliced cookies, then form a log. Double wrap in plastic, then place in freezer in ziplock bag. The log will need to warm up for about 15 to 20 minutes before you attempt to slice it.



Scoop on top #40
Scoop on bottom #30
IMG_8985.JPG



Scoop #40 makes 1 1/2" dough ball
Depending on your recipe should bake up to a 2" cookie
IMG_8953.JPG



Cookies size a #40 scoop produces
IMG_8872.JPG
 
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Thank you Norcalbaker59, that is so much more clear than anything I've found. I'll definitely do that. The holidays will definitely be less stressful.
I like that I won't have to use trays that take up a ton of space in my freezer.
And aging the dough. I had no idea about that. Thank you so much!
 
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Thank you Norcalbaker59, that is so much more clear than anything I've found. I'll definitely do that. The holidays will definitely be less stressful.
I like that I won't have to use trays that take up a ton of space in my freezer.
And aging the dough. I had no idea about that. Thank you so much!
You're welcome Angie. In commercial bakeries chocolate chip cookie dough is usually aged 36 hours. That pretty much the standard. But 24 hours will definitely work well too.

If you want a soft chewy center with a crunchy edge, then twice bake. I always twice bake. The edge gets such a nice little crunch on it; you just can't get that crunch with a single bake, even at a higher temperature.

To twice bake place dough balls on parchment lined baking sheet. Bake at 350° for 12 minutes, rotate sheet at the 6 minute mark. Cool on cookie sheet about 1 minute, then transfer cookies to a rack. I cool for 10 - 15 minutes then place the cookies back on a parchment lined sheet. Bake another 8 minutes, rotating at 4 minute mark.

Toy speak works best with the #40 scoop size (35 g) balls. I've done it with the #30 scoop, but the crunchy edge doesn't hold as long.
 
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Yes, I LOOOOVE my scoops!!! I use them for many baking and decorating things.


When I worked in a grocery store bakery, we got our cookies frozen. We could keep the cookie dough frozen for around 6 months. It all came in cut, flat "rounds" on waxed paper, several layers to a box. All we would do is open the box and transfer the frozen cookies to a baking sheet pan and stick it in the oven.

We also hand made gourmet cookies, but our standard cookies all came in frozen like that.
 
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Okay, Norcalbaker59 - you have blown my mind! Never knew that chocolate chip cookie dough needed to be aged! Now that being said, the majority of the time I do make my cookie doughs and then stick in the fridge for a few hours or overnight - but that was just because I'm usually power baking and juggling other things at the same time. Plus I've just always preferred working with chilled cookie dough - easier to scoop.

And the twice baking! That has got me intrigued! Will be trying that!

Final thought - I freeze cookie dough every year and not sure if it was mentioned or not but I freeze the uncooked dough (or even baked cookies sometimes) on wax paper lined cookie sheets until they are hard to touch. Then I can just toss them into a Ziplock bag and they won't stick to each other. Cut out cookies I take more care with when putting in the bag of course. I often use a shoebox or other small cardboard box to place the filled bags in before putting in freezer to protect them from breaking while in there too.
 
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