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Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Cookie Freezer Stash

Color plate from The American
Woman's Cookbook, 1944
I feel naked without dessert in the house.  Just gastronomically naked.  So I like having frozen cookie dough to make dessert fast when we find ourselves in a dessert emergency situation.  But when I want fast cookies, I don't want to have to roll, cut out, shape, drop, dust or engage in any verb other than "bake".  OK, maybe "slice", but that's my limit!  As it turns out, just about all drop, shape-into-balls, roll-in-sugar, slice and bar cookies freeze beautifully in their unbaked dropped, shaped-into-balls, rolled-in-sugar, sliced and barred states.  Yay!

The lime cookies are my signature cookie, although the recipe isn't mine.  It's from Herbst's The Joy of Cookies, but the author does NOT share the secret that these little gems can be prepared in vast batches, shaped, rolled in sugar, flattened and frozen for future cookie needs.  This recipe doubles very nicely.

The Molasses Softies are oldies but goodies too, from Natalie Haughton's Cookies.  I amend the recipe slightly to include my dad's trick of rolling "brown" cookies (like peanut butter drops or these molasses guys) in brown sugar instead of white sugar...it's a much richer flavor and more complementary to the "dark" sweetness of the cookies themselves. 

The coconut kisses are new to me though not new on the cookie block, again from my husband's grandma's 1944 home ec cookbook, The American Woman's Cookbook.  Only four ingredients and no mixer required...perfect!

Georgetown Lime Cookies
Makes about 48 cookies

3/4 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
zest and juice of 2 limes (about 3 tbsp juice)
2 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/3 cup sugar + 1/4 tsp nutmeg + 1/4 tsp cinnamon for rolling

Blend butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.  Mix in lime zest and juice.  Combine dry ingredients, and add in batches to the cookie dough. 

Roll dough in 1" balls, then roll the balls in the sugar mixture.  Flatten slightly.  Cookies may be frozen at this stage on baking sheets, then transferred to ziptop bags.  Do not thaw to bake.

Bake cookies on non-stick or greased cookie sheets at 350F for 13-16 minutes (slightly longer if baking from frozen), until bottoms are golden brown.

Molasses Softies
Makes about 36 cookies

1 cup butter, softened
1 1/3 cup white sugar
1 egg
1/3 cup molasses
3 tbsp dark honey or dark corn syrup
2 tbsp milk
4 cups flour
2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp cinnamon
1 1/2 tsp ginger
1 1/2 tsp ground cloves
Brown sugar for rolling

Blend together butter and sugar until light and fluffy.  Stir in egg, molasses honey and milk.  Mix dry ingredients together and add in batches to cookie dough. 

Roll dough into 2" balls, and roll balls in brown sugar.  Do not flatten.  Cookies may be frozen at this stage on baking sheets, then transferred to ziptop bags.  Do not thaw to bake.

Place cookies 3" apart on ungreased cookie sheets.  Bake 12-14 minutes at 350F (slightly longer if baking from frozen).  Do not overbake or they will not be soft.

Coconut Kisses
Makes about 30 cookies

1 14 oz. can sweetened condensed milk
1 tsp vanilla
12 oz. shredded coconut
pinch of salt

Combine all ingredients in a bowl.  Drop by the teaspoonful onto a parchment-paper lined cookie sheet.  Cookies may be frozen at this point, then transferred to a ziptop bag.  Do not thaw to bake.

Bake 10 minutes at 375F (slightly longer if baking from frozen).  Let cool 2-3 minutes before removing to a cooling rack.  Don't move them too soon or they'll fall apart, but don't wait too long or they'll stick. Pin It

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