Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Getting Ready for Christmas Part 2

Photo Courtesy of SouthernLiving.com

Did you know we are down to 61 days before Christmas?  Did you shudder at that thought or did you think, no problem? 

Well, I'm thinking of Christmas.  In fact, I celebrate Christmas with my side of the family at Thanksgiving and Mike's side at Christmas.  This means, I have to have half of my Christmas planning done in something like 30 days!  (I'll have to go and count but it is something like that).  Then in between Thanksgiving and Christmas we host a big employee Christmas party in our home for Mike's work and I also give small gifts to neighbors, friends, and some in my church family.  In preparation, my sewing machine has been whirring and creating a couple of hours each day.  (I can't wait to show you what I've been working on!)

I wrote about my frozen cookie dough gift plans HERE.  This is quick, easy and fits in my budget.  These will be gifts to neighbors and friends.  My plan is that my girls will help me with this and we will make enough for them to give to their friends as well.  There's going to be a lot of cookie dough baking going on around here.  Another reason I'm doing the dough is because people get so many sweets at Christmas time, they can save the dough in their freezer and get it out when they've eaten all their other goodies.

Several of you asked what recipe I was going to use.  There are certain types of cookies that work well for frozen cookie dough.  They include:  short breads, chocolate chip, oatmeal, peanut butter, refrigerator and sugar cookie recipes.  After thinking about it, most of my neighbors and friends have children and kids seem to go for chocolate chip so that is what I decided to make.  My intent is that the dough can remain in their freezer and their kids can simply slice off a bit of dough and make a few cookies as they want them.  (Since my own children are older, most of my friends have older children as well who can cook and run the oven without supervision.) 

You could probably use your favorite chocolate chip recipe in making the freezer dough, but in case you are looking, here is the recipe I'm going to use, it is my favorite tried and true recipe that I've made a hundred times.  Nestle even says in their recipe that the dough can be stored in the freezer up to 8 weeks.  My plan is to make all the dough December 9th and 10th and then start delivering it on the 11th.

If you are doing freezer cookie dough for gifts this year, I'd love to hear what type you are making.
Happy Homemaking and Blessings,
Nancy

ps.  To get you going, here is a link to a coupon for Nestle's Chocolate Chips!

Photo and Recipe courtesy of Nestle's Very Best Baking

Nestle Toll House Cookies

Ingredients
  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 cups (12-oz. pkg.) Nestle Toll House Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
  • 1 cup chopped nuts

Directions

PREHEAT oven to 375° F.

COMBINE flour, baking soda and salt in small bowl. Beat butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar and vanilla extract in large mixer bowl until creamy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Gradually beat in flour mixture. Stir in morsels and nuts. Drop by rounded tablespoon onto ungreased baking sheets.

BAKE for 9 to 11 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely.

PAN COOKIE VARIATION: Grease 15 x 10-inch jelly-roll pan. Prepare dough as above. Spread into prepared pan. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown. Cool in pan on wire rack. Makes 4 dozen bars.

SLICE AND BAKE COOKIE VARIATION:
PREPARE
dough as above. Divide in half; wrap in waxed paper. Refrigerate for 1 hour or until firm. Shape each half into 15-inch log; wrap in wax paper. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.* Preheat oven to 375° F. Cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices; place on ungreased baking sheets. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely. Makes about 5 dozen cookies.

* May be stored in refrigerator for up to 1 week or in freezer for up to 8 weeks.

FOR HIGH ALTITUDE BAKING (5,200 feet): Increase flour to 2 1/2 cups. Add 2 teaspoons water with flour and reduce both granulated sugar and brown sugar to 2/3 cup each. Bake drop cookies for 8 to 10 minutes and pan cookie for 17 to 19 minutes

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