Friday, January 25, 2013
How to Always Have Warm Cookies
Sometimes, you just need a cookie. Just one, maybe two, but definitely warm and fresh from the oven. Or sometimes, the heat in your apartment is broken and you need a legitimate reason to turn on the oven and stand in front of it, and the peanut butter chocolate chip cookie dough in the freezer is as good a reason as any. No? Just me?
Having ready-to-go cookie dough in the freezer at all times is one of my favorite hostess tricks. It's sort of like magic, to have homemade cookies ready in the time it takes to preheat the oven. It's also a great housewarming present, to bake a dozen or so cookies and take the rest frozen so your friends can have more whenever they want. So, how to do it? Easy peasy.
When you make up a batch of cookie dough, set aside a little bit (half the dough, or as few as three or four cookies) for freezing. Scoop out the dough according to the recipe. Meaning, if the dough is dropped onto the cookie sheet in blobs, do that. If it's rolled into balls and rolled in sugar, do that. In the case of my peanut butter cookies, they're dropped by rounded teaspoon then flattened a bit before baking. Set your formed cookie dough onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment or wax paper (or a small plate, if you aren't freezing that many) making sure they're not touching each other. Freeze for at least three hours and up to 24.
Then, take your frozen cookie dough and transfer it to a freezer bag labeled with the type of cookie dough and cooking instructions. Sometimes, if a cookie is better a little undercooked, or when it's browned on top, I'll write myself a note on the bag so I don't forget.
That's it! The frozen dough can go directly from freezer to cookie sheet the next time you have an unexpected guest, or just need to stand in front of a warm oven. Here's the recipe for the peanut butter chocolate chip cookies in this post, they're dreamy.
Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies
Adapted from The Magnolia Bakery Cookbook
1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup peanut butter (at room temperature)
3/4 cup sugar (plus more for dusting)
1/2 brown sugar, tightly packed
1 large egg
1 tablespoon milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
3/4 cup chocolate chips
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Mix together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
In a large bowl, beat the butter and peanut butter until smooth and fluffy (about three minutes). Add the sugars and mix until incorporated. Add the egg, milk and vanilla and beat thoroughly. Add the flour mixture and stir just until combined. Add the chocolate chips and carefully fold them into the batter.
Fill a small bowl with 2-3 tablespoons of sugar (I used raw sugar, but plain white sugar is fine). Drop rounded teaspoons of dough into the sugar, then transfer to an ungreased baking sheet. Press the dough down slightly with a fork or offset spatula.
Bake for 10-12 minutes, being careful not to over bake them. Allow to cool on the cookie sheet for a minute or two, then transfer to a wire rack to cool.