Monday, November 4, 2013
JEAN'S - FREEZING CHRISTMAS COOKIES
Make sure you use plastic containers (Rubbermaid or Tupperware, etc.) or freezer bags that are air tight.
Use wax paper, aluminum foil, saran wrap, or parchment paper between layers to keep them fresh.
Put similar types of cookies together - chocolate cookies, butter cookies, sugar cookies, etc.
Keep hard cookies and soft cookies in separate containers.
Cool cookies completely before you start packing them for the freezer.
Most places I see say to decorate cookies after your defrost them. It is easier that way, but you can frost cookies and freeze them. Put them in the refrigerator for a few minutes until the frosting is hardened and pack them for freezing. When you take them out of the freezer, remove the covering (wax paper, aluminum foil, saran wrap or parchment) before they defrost.
After you have the cookies out of the freezer, should you notice they are starting to harden - add either a slice of bread or a piece of apple to the cookie container. Change it daily.
I have heard of some people using Christmas Cookie tins to freeze cookies in, I have never done that. I have packed cookie tins with cookies to give to people as presents, but never frozen cookies in them. Really, I would rather use those tins to store my fudge in after I make it. I do not freeze the fudge, I put it in the refrigerator,
Make sure when you put the cookies in the freezer, you label them what kind they are and the date you put them in. I learned the hard way, when we first got married. Nothing is worse than standing there looking at a bunch of cookie containers and trying to figure out what cookies are in what container.
Most articles say (I have read a lot of cookie articles, cook books, etc.) you can freeze them for 2 to 4 months. My freezer now is an upright, but when I had the old long one and I couldn't reach in the bottom, David found a box of cookies down there I made a year ago, when we defrosted the freezer. We let them defrost and tasted them to see if they were any good and they were just fine. I am not telling you to keep the cookies frozen a year, just telling you what happened to us, once. I usually keep my cookies in the freezer no longer than a month or two at the longest.
Some of the best cookies to freeze are: chocolate chip, oat oatmeal, peanut butter. and sugar cookies. If you never froze cookies before, these would be the best to start with, but most other cookies can be frozen, too. I also freeze pies, too.
I am putting on a couple of recipes for you to start with. Maybe you can bake some extra cookies, as gifts, for those who are unable to bake. Hope you have fun baking.
Be With God,
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 cup margarine or butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
2 1/2 cups all-purpose or whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cream of tartar
Mix powdered sugar, margarine, egg, vanilla and almond extract. Mix in flour, baking soda and cream of tartar. Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours. Heat oven to 375 degrees. Divide dough into halves. Roll each half 3/16 inch thick on lightly floured covered board. Cut into shapes.
Sprinkle with granulated sugar; place on lightly greased sheet. Bake until edges are light brown, 7 to 8 minutes. Makes about 5 dozen.
2/3 c. shortening
3/4 c. molasses
3 c. sifted all-purpose flour
1 t. ginger
1 t. salt
1 1/4 t. soda
Heat oven to 375 degrees. Cream shortening, add molasses and beat until creamy. Sift dry ingredients together and add to first mixture. Chill if very soft. Roll out 1/4 inch thick on lightly floured pastry sheet. Cut with fancy cutters. Place on cookie sheet. Bake in preheated oven for 8 to 10 minutes. You can use this dough for Gingerbread Men, if you have the cutter.