Thursday, February 9, 2012

Bake a Batch of Cookies FAST!

We're always asking each other, "Do you think they know about this?" "Do you think they know about that?" "Do you think they'd be interested in the other?" If we come to the conclusion that even a handful of you would like to know about a certain something, then we go for it.

Such is the case with today's topic: A FAST Way to Bake a Batch of Cookies. While we understand that probably lots of you know about this, we're thinking there may be a few of you younger moms out there that don't know this. So here goes:

When you're in a pinch, time-wise, but you need or just want some fresh cookies, mix up your dough and spread it out on a well greased jelly roll pan (nothing more than a cookie sheet of sorts, with an edge all around). You end up with cookie BARS. Folks naturally do this with a BAR recipe, but fact is, it can be done with any cookie recipe.

Plop the entire glob of dough onto the middle of the sheet and use  wetted fingers to spread it evenly out to the edges. Then just bake for maybe 1 or 2 minutes longer than your recipe calls for, to compensate for the increased volume on the pan.

When you remove it from the oven, and the dough is still warm, use your pizza cutter or your large kitchen knife to cut it into desired sizes and shapes. Allow the cookies to cool slightly before removing from pan to avoid crumbling (don't let cookies completely cool or they'll stick to the pan--ask us how we know...).

And speaking of sizes and shapes, Alice cuts VERY small cookies when she's making treats for the nursery-aged children she teaches on Sunday. And that's one of the nice features about baking cookies this way--teeny tiny cookie balls would easily over-bake and end up like little rocks. This way you can have small portions that are moist and chewy all around.

She also likes to slice the dough at an angle to get diamond cookies. Then she drizzles some thinned chocolate icing over them, and oh my--fancy smancy--her family is delighted when they get this treat! And once she cut the baked dough with her biscuit cutter so she'd have evenly sized rounds. She put the little triangley pieces that were left over, in her blender and made cookie crumbs. She then put those in a zippered freezer bag and saved them for later use as toppings on ice cream, fruit crisps, etc. Alice says, "I"ll do this again--it worked well."

We figure if we use a cookie recipe that makes 3 dozen cookies, baking the dough all at once saves around 15 minutes--maybe more. (You figure 7-8 minutes per batch to bake, and we baked all three batches at once.) Sure, 15 minutes isn't a ton of time, but those little dibs and dabs of time add up throughout a day, so it's smart to save where we can. (Also, think of the energy saved as well.) Now do YOU have cookie-making time-saving tips you can share? Please pass on your wisdom and experience, and until next time, here's to family dinner made easy as we save a little time in the cookie-making department!

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