I am so excited about this Creative Cookie Exchange! Possibly because I am perennially so excited for the holidays, and especially holiday cookies. Now before anyone wants to smack me for humming Christmas carols before Thanksgiving or anything like that, let me clarify. I don’t have my holiday cookies out (yet); the theme for the November #CreativeCookieExchange is Make Ahead Freezer Cookies for the Holidays. So these are cookies to get you organized for your holiday baking, cookies that you can make partially, and then freeze and then finish baking when you need them.
Sounds simple, right? It should have been! Heck it was my idea, and I can think of 2 other cookies already on this site that qualify perfectly (the Clove Snaps and the Cardamom Pistachio Icebox Cookies). But alas I did hit some bumps in the making of these cookies. First I chose a lousy recipe that never came together (not this one). I finally scrapped that. Then I made the dough for these cookies, which I found in Elinor Klivan’s Slice & Bake Cookies: Fast Recipes from your Refrigerator or Freezer (a perfect cookbook for this theme for obvious reasons).
The dough came together easily and I was optimistic. Then I realized that Ms. Klivans (normally really reliable) called for baking these for 20 minutes at 350 F. She also wanted them sliced 1/2-inch thick, and in her pictures they stayed thick, did not spread, and were completely crackled.
Suffice to say mine were not. They spread completely thin, and while many people loved them, I just did not. Their texture was wonderfully sandy and crisp, but the chocolate just tasted dull and overbaked. Many people
may have totally scoffed at my pickiness. After several test batches, they all stopped scoffing. I sliced them 1/4-inch thick instead and baked them for 12 minutes instead. On the surface of it they just looked smaller and had the same texture. But the flavor! Vividly chocolate and sweet and salty, they were perfect, albeit still nothing like the picture in the cookbook. Side by side taste tests convinced everyone I knew what I was talking about! Hey after 40 years of considering chocolate a separate and necessary food group, you would think they would have a little more faith in my taste buds!
To join in the fun, just complete the steps below:
1. Write a blog post with recipe and original photo. The theme this month is make ahead freezer cookies for the holidays. The post should describe how to freeze the dough and also how to bake the dough when you are ready. We would like the recipe to be one you’re making for the first time, and photos must be original.
2. Post the Cookie Exchange badge somewhere on your blog so others can join in the fun:
3. Make a good faith effort to visit and comment on the other cookies in the Linky party. We all love cookies so that should be easy!
4. LIKE the Creative Cookie Exchange Facebook Page
5. FOLLOW the Creative Cookie Exchange Pinterest Board:
6. LINK your blog post below using the Linky tool (the linky tool will be live by lunchtime Tuesday)
You can also just use us as a great resource for cookie recipes–be sure to check out our Facebook page, our Pinterest Board, and our monthly posts. You will be able to find them the first Tuesday after the 15th of each month! Also, if you are looking for inspiration for this month’s theme, check out what all of the hosting bloggers have made so far:
- 2 cups (252 g) AP flour
- ½ cup (60 g) cake flour
- ⅔ cup (60 g) Dutched cocoa powder (I used Valrhona)
- 1 t baking soda
- ½ t fine sea salt
- 1½ cups (340 g) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 2 cups (400 g) sugar
- 2 egg yolks
- 2 t vanilla
- ⅔ cup miniature chocolate chips (I used Ghiradelli)
- good quality coarse grey sea salt for sprinkling
- Sift the flours, cocoa and baking soda into a medium sized bowl. Whisk in the salt. Set aside.
- Beat the butter with a mixer until creamy. Add the sugar and beat on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed (for example, if you see clumps of sugar not getting mixed in at the top of the bowl).
- Beat in the egg yolks one at a time on medium low speed. Beat in the vanilla. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl.
- Add in the flour mixture and mix on low speed until the dough is mostly incorporated. Add the chocolate chips and then mix on low speed until completely incorporated.
- Divide the dough into 4 roughly equal-sized pieces (do not stress over this much). Shape each piece into a log on a piece of plastic wrap and then roll up in the plastic. If you are baking later that day or the next day, place in the fridge for at least 3 hours. If you are baking a few weeks later, wrap the log in a layer of foil as well, and then place in the freezer.
- When you are ready to bake, if you are using frozen logs be sure to give them 3 hours in the fridge to thaw.
- Preheat the oven to 350 F.
- Line a baking sheet with silicone or parchment paper (if you are baking a lot at once, line 2 baking sheets).
- Using a sharp knife, slice your log into ¼-inch thin rounds and place on the cookie sheet, 12 to a sheet. Sprinkle some coarse grey sea salt on each cookie.
- Bake for 12 minutes, until the cookies have spread a little and look dry.
- Let cool at least 10 minutes on the baking sheets--they will crisp up while cooling.
- Store in airtight tins.