Few things are better than biting into a homemade chocolate chip cookie, still warm from the oven and with a sprinkling of sea salt on top.
What if we told you there’s a way to have that perfect pleasure more frequently, without having to whip up a fresh batch of dough every time you’re hit by a craving?
You can with one simple hack, that’s super obvious once it’s mentioned, but will change your life once you try it.
That trick is freezing your cookie dough.
Let us explain.
Established cookie-bakers will know that the key to a perfect cookie that’s soft and chewy in the middle and crisp on the end is allowing the dough to chill in the fridge before putting it in the oven.
If you didn’t know that, now you do – the longer you chill your dough, the softer and chewier it will be. 12 hours in the fridge is really the minimum, while 72 hours is best.
But freezing your cookie dough not only achieves the effect of chilling, but also allows you to pop a single cookie into the oven whenever you fancy it.
Here’s how it’s done. Make your favourite cookie dough from whichever recipe you trust. Then, once your dough is formed and ready to go into the oven, simply scoop out little balls and pop in a plastic or glass container, separating your layers with greaseproof paper so the individual cookies don’t get stuck together in a big frozen block.
That’s an important step, the scooping. Going ahead and freezing an entire bowl defeats the point of this exercise and will require a load of faff when it comes to defrosting and baking.
You can then keep the frozen cookie dough balls in the freezer for up to six months – and we’d recommend making a big batch, because once you know you have freshly baked cookies on tap, you’ll want to have enough to last a few months.
Then, when you decide to have a cookie, you simply grab one of the frozen balls, put it on a baking tray, and bake it straight away. There’s no need to thaw first.
Baking-wise, you just need to add two to four minutes to the cookies’ usual baking time and lower the temperature by 10 or 20 degrees – sounds counterintuitive, but you want them cooking slower and lower so there’s no frozen bits.
Typically this will take just 15 minutes, and then voila, you’ve got a fresh-from-the-oven cookie.
Another bonus of this method is you don’t have to cook a full batch each time, so there’s no waste. It’s as easy to bake just the one cookie as it is to bake 12 in one go, so you can do as many as you crave.
Our advice? Have one a night as a pre-bed treat, with some kind of delicious drink to go along with it.
When we say this hack is a life-changer, we really do mean it. For about 20 minutes of work (the mixing, the scooping of your dough balls), you have months of ready-to-bake cookies just hanging out in your freezer and your life feels infinitely more elegant.
After all, having a freshly baked cookie you’ve made yourself every evening is far more luxurious than your average biscuit from a pack.
Do you have a life-changing trick to share?
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