Delayed Gratification

Posted: 8 December 2009 in observations
Tags: , ,

A few months ago, I read that chocolate chip cookie dough was ten times better if left to sit in the refrigerator overnight before baking.  Chemically, I think the theory would hold true for any cookie with flour and butter.  Leaving the dough overnight allows the flour to break through the bonds of the butter just enough to turn out a cookie that is richer, has a sturdier texture and boasts a slight caramel flavor that swiftly bridges the chasm between homemade cookies and bakery wares.

A few weeks ago, I put together a batch of chocolate chip cookies.  I don’t really like chocolate chip cookies, but the chips had been sitting there, mocking me, and I was likely to try to eat them with a spoon and a handful of baby marshmallows at any second.  The marshmallows were rescued (you can breathe again) and cookies it was.  Here’s a secret.  I prefer raw cookie dough infinitely.  Baked, cookies have a flat, greasy flavor.  Recalling the overnight trick, I resisted eating more than a spoonful (yes, I’m aware of the egg terror) and shoved the bowl in the fridge.

After 12 hours, that dough tasted like some sort of keebler elf had snuck into my kitchen and substituted my regular cookie dough for sweet miracles.  It was a little darker and was more integrated than it had been the night before.  I couldn’t taste or feel the grains of sugar.  And in a blast of genius (and no small amount of loathing for hours spent scooping and baking trays of cookies), I rolled dozens of balls of dough and threw them into the freezer.  Not like that.  I wrapped them first.  We also baked a few and they were phenomenal.  Much better than any cookies I’d had recently.

A few hours ago, I came home and ate one small ball of raw, frozen dough.  After I finished lolling about in heaven, I baked six of the frozen cookies.  Between the overnight dough and the pre-made freezer balls, I am the happiest person alive.  Best. Idea. Ever.

  1. I’m about to embark on a marathon of cookie baking. This was a very timely post. My neighbors and other cookie recipients will thank you! Of course this means I now have to go make the dough right this second so it can sit in the fridge overnight.

    • backlist says:

      Jennifer, that is THE hardest part. Ususally I think to make them on the day I plan to eat them. If I can just figure out a fridge trick for mastering my procrastination.

  2. JohnSherck says:

    I just wandered over from Holidailies and love the tip! My mother always insisted that it was little more work to make a triple batch of cookies compared to making just one batch. Recently though, I had started making a big batch of cookie dough, making a handful of cookies, and then freezing the rest of the dough for later, and they ARE better than regular cookies, but I hadn’t thought of the fridge trick.

    Happy holidays!

    • backlist says:

      John – I’m sure the freezer is doing the same thing. I still haven’t figured out the right thaw/bake technique since I’m still getting gooey centers but then, that’s not all bad!

  3. JohnSherck says:

    The gooey centers aren’t a problem for us, since in our minds the point of having the dough in the freezer is so we can have fresh-baked cookies, right out of the oven, maybe just a little under-done, any time we want them.

    Well, sixteen minutes after we want them–6 to preheat and 10 to bake!

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