Have you ever noticed in movies or on TV, whenever a family has guests over, cookies (or another form of dessert) is always at the ready? I have my own picture in my head of a Norman Rockwell-like painting with everyone gathered in the living room talking and laughing and mom appears from the kitchen with a platter of cookies. She is dressed to the hilt and fresh as a daisy. No sweat or worry showing. I myself love to visit a friend when even on the spur of the moment, she has something to offer me to eat or drink. It's probably just a quirk of mine, but I've always wanted to be this woman but never seem to measure up. Oh, I've thought about it and dreamed about it, but I can never seem to be prepared for an unexpected guest in the right way (at least in my mind!) - until now.
We were given a used chest freezer years ago. I didn't really know how to use it then, but over time, I have most of it figured out. And a freezer is one key to being prepared! Recently our freezer had a slow death and we had to purchase a new one. Because of covid, we had to wait two weeks for it to be delivered. It's amazing the things we take for granted! I really had to plan what NOT to make to put in the freezer during those two weeks, and was so relieved when our sweet delivery man showed up with our new freezer.
I've made cookies and frozen them on and off for years, but also have been slowing refining the process. The second key to being prepared for guests is to plan - meaning MAKE THE COOKIES!! Now we can all claim that we are too busy and what not, but the truth of the matter is, it will take about 1 hour of your time - at the most!
Here's my plan - I make a double batch of cookies, scoop them into the correct size I want and put them on a baking sheet. Then it goes into the freezer for about 20 minutes. And note, you can put A LOT of cookies on your cookie sheet this way when you are not actually baking them. Usually it will only take two trays for two batches. After 20 minutes, I retrieve them from the freezer and take the little cookie balls and put them in a ziploc bag. I do put a sheet of wax paper between layers, but you don't necessarily need to. I write with a Sharpie maker what kind of cookies they are on the bag along with any special cooking instructions and put the bag of cookies back into the freezer.
Whenever I need cookies for guests, or a friend who is feeling under the weather, or if I need just ONE cookie for myself, I pull out how many cookie balls I need and bake them. It's like magic. No clean up. This may be a silly blog post to some, but for me it was a time saver and worry reliver, so I thought I'd share it.
Here is my simple chocolate chip cookie recipe I use:
1 C. butter, softened 1 C. Sugar 1/2 C brown Sugar
2 eggs 2 t. vanilla (I use my homemade vanilla!)
2 1/2 C. flour 1/2 t. salt 1 t. baking soda
1/2 of a 12 oz. pkg of chocolate chips (you can use milk choc, white choc, dark choc. or a mix of all of them.
Sometimes I add in 1 small jar of macademia nuts cut into halves.
Mix butter, sugar, eggs, brown sugar, and vanilla. Add in dry ingredients. Mix. Bake at 350 degrees for 8-10 minutes.
Try making and freezing your cookie balls before baking them and let me know what you think. Here's to being prepared!