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I'm Kendra, and I'm here to help you be a genius about the things that matter and lazy about the things that don't. Welcome to your people.

A Baking Miniseries, Day Three: A Freezer Primer

A Baking Miniseries, Day Three: A Freezer Primer

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Two baking problems:

1. If you have too much around, you'll eat it all and feel like a turd.
2. When you do want something around, you don't always have time to make it and then end up eating stale animal crackers instead.

Both problems are unacceptable, and both can be solved with your freezer. When you have too much, freeze it. When you want something but don't have time for ovens and flour sifters? Look in the freezer.

Cookies

How to Freeze

Scoop out dough balls with a couple of spoons or a cookie scoop (I use mine constantly for everything), and freeze them in one layer on a sheet pan lined with parchment or wax paper. Once they're frozen, put the dough balls into a labeled freezer bag. Cookie dough will last for several months at least.

How to Eat

The easiest trick is to label your freezer bag with the type of cookie (duh) and the temperature and cooking time. That way you don't have to lug out a cookbook or surf Pinterest for the recipe you think you used. Then bake as many cookies as you want when you want them. 

P.S. This is the most obvious statement of all time, but the dough is fantastic straight from the freezer. 

Brownies and Bars

How to Freeze

You bake your brownies or blondies fully. Eat what you want, and freeze the rest. Wrap each piece in plastic wrap or wax paper (parchment is too thick and not as protective), and freeze in one layer on a sheet pan. Once the pieces are frozen, stack them in a labeled freezer bag.

How to Eat

A quick rest on the counter, and that sucker is ready before you can switch over a load of laundry. Or pop it in the microwave for a more gooey experience. 

Cake and Muffins

How to Freeze

Cakes, cupcakes, muffins, and quick breads should all be fully baked and cooled before they're frozen. Wrap larger items like cakes and quick breads tightly in plastic wrap. Muffins and un-frosted cupcakes can be placed on a sheet pan, frozen, and stored in a labeled freezer bag. 

And quick tip on quick bread: I slice the cooled loaf and freeze the slices. Every morning is like a coffee shop; the choices abound, and I love it. (Our freezer's current offering: banana bread, chocolate chip muffins, pumpkin chocolate chip muffins, raspberry oat muffins, and blueberry cornbread.)

How to Eat

A quick nuke in the microwave is all you need. 

Bread

How to Freeze

I love buying freshly baked loaves of bakery bread, but most aren't as good after a day or so. I slice the loaf and freeze the slices. No need to freeze individually and then put in a freezer bag; just go straight for the bag.

How to Eat

A toaster or a watchful run under the broiler, and you have fresh tasting bread anytime.

Pie

How to Freeze

Rumor has it you can freeze unbaked fruit pies, but here's the thing - if you're going to go through all the pie-making fuss, you want to that thing as soon as possible. The lesson? Don't freeze pie.

Previous posts in the baking miniseries:
Day One: Should You Sift Flour?
Day Two: Can You Soften Butter in the Microwave?

A Baking Miniseries, Day Four: Ingredient Speed Dating

A Baking Miniseries, Day Four: Ingredient Speed Dating

A Baking Miniseries, Day Two: Why Can't I Soften Butter In the Microwave?

A Baking Miniseries, Day Two: Why Can't I Soften Butter In the Microwave?