Friday, December 30, 2011
Make-ahead Chocolate Chunk Cookies
Anyone who knows me well, knows there’s a 99 percent chance I’ve got cookie dough in the freezer, waiting there for “emergency purposes” and ready to pop in the oven whenever “needed.” I like cookies, but I LOVE warm cookies just out of the oven. Who doesn’t love ooey-gooey chocolate cookies that are just baked and still warm?!! That’s why I try to keep our freezer “well-stocked” with homemade cookie dough.
In the years before momhood, when I worked in an office, my husband and I lived about 5 minutes away from where we worked. We had an hour for lunch, and most of the time we went home then. Many times I’d come home and stick a few pans of cookies in the oven and race back to work after lunch and share freshly-baked cookies with my coworkers. If someone was having a rough day, suddenly they weren’t!
These days, I like to have cookie dough balls ready to bake, just in case we have teenagers or other company come over for impromptu get-togethers at our house. Cookies may not be a “fancy” dessert, but they always go over well.
Two of my favorite make-ahead cookie doughs are both chocolate chunk cookie recipes—one with a chocolate dough and one with a traditional light colored dough. Here they are:
WHITE CHOCOLATE CHUNK MACADAMIA NUT COOKIES
½ cup butter, softened
½ cup shortening
¾ cup dark brown sugar
¾ cup granulated sugar
1 ½ tsp. vanilla extract
3 large eggs
2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
½ cup “quick” oatmeal
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. salt
1 ¼ cups coconut, toasted
½ cup unsalted, raw macadamia nuts, coarsely chopped
12 oz. white chocolate, cut into ¼ to ½ inch chunks
Toast coconut by placing it on an ungreased cookie sheet, and bake in a 350 degree oven. Set aside. In a large bowl, cream together butter, shortening and sugars. Blend in vanilla and eggs, and blend well. Add flour, oatmeal, baking powder and soda, and salt. Mix well. Stir in coconut, nuts and white chocolate chunks. Using a scoop or large spoon, drop mounds of dough (each about 1 heaping tablespoon in size) onto a cookie sheet lined with waxed or parchment paper. Place in freezer about 2-3 hours—until cookie dough “balls” are frozen solid and firm. Then put dough balls in aheavy-duty siplock plastic freezer bag. Store in freezer up to 6 months. When you’re ready to bake, place frozen dough balls on a cookie sheet that has been lined with parchment paper. Let thaw 20 to 30 minutes at room temperature. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 12-15 minutes, or until cookies are lightly browned around the edges. Makes around 4 dozen cookies.
DARK AND WHITE CHOCOLATE CHUNK COOKIES
1 cup butter, softened
¾ cup dark brown sugar, packed
½ cup granulated sugar
1 ½ tsp. vanilla
1 large egg
1/3 cup cocoa
1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. salt
8 oz. semi-sweet chocolate squares, coarsely chopped
6 oz. white chocolate squares, coarsely chopped
Optional: ½ cup chopped walnuts, pecans or macadamia nuts
Cream butter and sugars together; beat until light and fluffy. Add vanilla and egg, and blend well. Add cocoa, flour, soda and salt; mix well. Stir in chocolate chunks and nuts. Use a large spoon or small ice cream scoop to make dough balls about the size of a ping pong ball. Drop onto a cookie sheet lined with plastic wrap or waxed paper and put in the freezer. After a couple hours dough balls will have firmed up and you can put them in a freezer bag. Store in the freezer up to 6 months. Thaw in fridge at least 4 hours before baking, or at room temperature 20-30 minutes. Bake at 375 degrees for 8 to 10 minutes. Cool 1 minute, and remove from cookie sheet. Makes 3dozen very large cookies.
Here’s a photo of my cookie dough ball freezer bags, which I just pulled out of the freezer this afternoon.
Now, I better get back to my baking!