Saturday, October 3, 2009

Guest Post: Jane Doiron author of Make-Ahead Meals for Busy Moms

Jane Doiron, author of the book Make-Ahead Meals for Busy Moms, stopped by to share with us a piece she wrote.



How to Freeze Cookie Dough

Home baked cookies are a perfect dessert for holiday gatherings, birthday parties and your children’s school functions, but having to make them on the same day you need to do one million other things, like working a full time job, or cleaning your house, can be a major challenge for a busy mom! Fortunately, many cookie recipes can be frozen for later use. With cookie dough that you’ve made ahead and frozen, you spend less time in the kitchen, which stays clean, and you have some delicious homemade cookies to offer your guests (or to send off to school) in a snap. Here are some guidelines for freezing cookie dough.

Flash Freezing

Yes, there is a method to freezing cookie dough! Simply putting your cookie dough in a plastic container and throwing it in the freezer will work, but I don’t recommend it. What happens when you are ready to cook, but your cookie dough is a solid chunk of ice? You will be waiting hours for that huge mass to thaw! There is a better way, and it’s called flash freezing. For flash freezing, you will need a cookie tray, plastic wrap, parchment paper, a small cookie scoop, and a gallon size freezer bag.

Once you’ve assembled and mixed your cookie dough, use a tablespoon cookie scoop, to scoop out the dough into balls and then place them onto your cookie sheet very close together. A cookie scoop will save time and produce perfect balls of dough for perfectly shaped cookies. Your fingers will stay clean, and you won’t have to deal with sticky tablespoons! Once you’ve filled your tray, cover it with plastic wrap and place it in the freezer for two to three hours, until partially frozen.



Label Your Freezer Bags

While your cookie dough is freezing, label your freezer bag. Most freezer bags have a white area for labeling. If you prefer, you may use freezer tape, available at most grocery stores. Using a permanent marker, label your freezer bag with the name of the cookies, the date they were frozen, the oven temperature and cooking time, and any other specific cooking directions, so that you don’t have to search for the recipe, when you’re ready to cook.

Once your dough is partially frozen and no longer sticky to the touch, place your dough into the freezer bag and put it back in the freezer. By flash freezing, your pre-formed cookie dough won’t stick together, and will be ready for the oven when you are.

On the day you are ready to cook, take the dough out and place the balls of dough on your parchment lined cookie sheet. The dough should thaw for at least 30 to 45 minutes and then you are ready to bake according to the instructions on your freezer bag.

Make Ahead Cookies

I have used the flash freezing method for many cookie recipes and have had fantastic results. Some of my cookie recipes include: big ginger cookies; brownie cookies; macadamia nut cookies; oatmeal cookies; peanut butter chocolate chip crackles; peanut butter kiss cookies; snickerdoodles; and everyone’s favorite, chocolate chip cookies.


You can find these great make-ahead cookie recipes, as well as specific flash freezing instructions, in my cookbook Make-Ahead Meals for Busy Moms, now available at amazon.com and barnesandnoble.com.

For homemade cookies in a flash, I highly recommend flash freezing. Enjoy!




About the book:

Your busy mom lifestyle dictates quick get-on-the table meals, but how do you prepare and cook a delicious meal at the end of your busy day when you are simply out of time
and energy?

It’s simple! Here's how: Make-Ahead Meals for Busy Moms Cookbook. This is Jane Doiron’s cookbook of savory, family- favorite recipes that were individually home-tested and selected. Make Ahead Meals are:

• Simple to prepare.
• Simple to assemble ahead of schedule.
• Simple to freeze ahead.
• Simple for the whole family to enjoy.

Jane Doiron helps you, a very busy mom like herself, to put a fabulous dinner on the table every night for friends, or just for the family, with a minimum of fuss and a maximum of flavor.

Jane's goal was to seek out main dish, family-favorite recipes that could be make ahead meals without sacrificing the food’s taste and texture by freezing. After years of home-testing recipes, Jane has compiled this must-have cookbook with specific make-ahead directions. In addition, Jane includes her best recipes for clever side dishes, flavorful appetizers and luscious desserts. Imagine opening your freezer to pick out a family-favorite appetizer, main dish, or dessert, and all you have to do is thaw and heat it!

Make-ahead meals are a healthy and economical alternative to take-out and preservative filled, pre-packaged foods. With make ahead meal planning, you are making fewer trips to the grocery store, and saving money otherwise spent on unhealthy, take-out and fast foods. It’s simple. Give yourself a break during the hectic weeknights with Jane’s make-ahead meal recipes. Spend the time that you save outside of the kitchen doing something that you enjoy.



About Jane:

Jane Doiron is a busy working mom of two boys. She is an Elementary School teacher with a passion for cooking and experimenting with recipes. With her busy schedule, Jane has found that make-ahead meals (meals prepared in advance) are time-savers, money-savers and are the best alternatives to eating "take-out."













If you'd like to pick up a copy of Jane's book Make-Ahead Meals for Busy Moms click on the cover image below.



5 comments:

bookjourney said...

Greta post Beth! I too have this book and loved how Jane taught great freezing tips. I need to get organized one of these days and do that. I would love a freezer full of prepped meals and treats instead of my daily groan as to now whats for dinner?

Jane inspired me.

Mary said...

This is going to make a great Christmas gift for a couple of people on my list. Thanks!!

Bridget said...

Great tips for freezing cookies! No need to enter me; just posted on Win A Book.

BevE said...

Great baking ideas, now I'm hungry: D

BevE

Jane Doiron said...

Hi Beth,
Thanks for taking part in my book tour! Sorry to hear about the muffins you made. I wonder if my mini muffin tins are deeper than yours. I hope you find many tasty and helpful recipes in my cookbook.

Jane Doiron

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