Who can really eat just one cookie? It may be the most difficult thing to do on the planet. I was thinking about this on Wednesday as I was making a batch of oatmeal raisin cookies. I only had enough time to bake 12 cookies before I had to head over to a friends house, but I still had half of the unbaked cookie dough left. Being a person who doesn’t like to eat raw cookie dough, I decided to freeze the dough for later use. I actually got the idea from a couple of my friends. One friend is a fabulous cook with a culinary education and told me that cookie dough freezes really well and can be saved for later use. It’s seriously a great idea because now when I want a freshly baked cookie, I don’t have to buy all the ingredients, get my mixer out, and do all that cleaning up. All I have to do is to thaw it and bake it! AMAZING!
But the game changing idea was given to me by another friend. Throughout the day, she eats very healthfully and at the end of the day, she allows herself one freshly baked cookie. It’s her cheat treat for the day. She takes out enough cookie dough for one cookie, pops it into the toaster oven/oven, and enjoys her small delight. There are a couple of reasons why I think this is such a great idea.
(1) She’s treating herself. So many of us cut out everything that we crave out of our diet. It can be a good thing, or it can result in our temptation building up to the point of binging. That’s not a healthy or sustainable way of living or eating! By treating yourself, you can hit that craving and prevent you from going stir-crazy from overwhelming cravings.
(2) She’s using portion control. One cookie. Not two or three or twenty-five. One. This is where you have to exercise your will power. You’ll get your fix without ruining your entire day of healthful eating. Bake one small cookie, not one giant one. I know what you were thinking…uh uh!
And as a budget conscious person, I love the idea of making a batch of cookie dough and saving half of it for later use. There are a couple of ways to freeze, thaw, and bake your cookies whenever you are ready.
(1) To bake a whole batch of cookies.
One way is to roll your dough into a log (approximately 2 inches in diameter) and wrap it with plastic wrap. The night before you need to bake cookies, just let it defrost in the refrigerator overnight. During the next day, slice the cookie dough into 1/4-1/3 inch thick rounds and bake them in the oven at 375F for 10-12 minutes.
(2) To bake one cookie.
Before you freeze the dough, you can slice the log into 1/4-1/3 inch thick rounds and place each one between 2 individual squares of parchment paper (kinda like how they separate hamburger patties with small squares of parchment paper). Put them into ziplock bags and freeze them for later use. This actually will be easier for you to pull out one piece and thaw it quickly before baking it (instead of thawing a whole log). If you find a great cookie dough recipe that freezes well and can be immediately transferred into the oven (without thawing it), then EVEN better. That way you don’t have to plan it or wait for the cookie to thaw before baking it.
For food safety reasons, after you thaw the cookie dough, try to use it within a few days. Otherwise, it can stay in the freezer up to a couple of months. There you have it! A money and time saving idea as well as a healthy way of controlling your cookie cravings.