Tips for Freezing Cookie Dough

If freezing cold temps don’t really work for you, we’ve got some great ideas to make them really work for you. For the next few weeks, we’ll be sharing some of our favorite freezer-friendly tips and recipes to get the most out of your freezer. Today, we begin with cookies, which are a perfectly suited for your freezer. You can put frozen cookie dough right into your preheated oven and have freshly baked cookies in a matter of minutes. But how you freeze and store the dough matters, so follow our tried-and-true tips.

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After making your favorite cookie dough (we recommend our Blue Ribbon Chocolate Chip recipe), allow dough to sit for a few minutes while you prepare a 9×13 casserole dish with a Silpat liner or a piece of parchment paper lining the bottom. Half of the liner should be hanging over the edge. Form dough into puck-like discs, about an inch thick with a flat top and line them along the bottom of the dish, leaving a little room around the edges.

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Once the bottom half has been filled, fold the liner back over the first layer of cookie dough and fill in another layer on top. Cover with plastic wrap and freeze for at least one hour to get them hard. (You could leave this in the freezer for longer, but the dough won’t last as long or stay as fresh with so much air surrounding it. Not to mention that a 9×13 dish takes up a lot of space!)

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Using two strips of plastic wrap per six dough discs, create a “tube” of cookie dough by using the first strip to weave accordion-style between each disc so that they won’t stick together. Wrap excess around the sides, then wrap the stack inside the second strip of plastic wrap to create a tube. When it’s time to bake, simply preheat your oven, unwrap a tube of dough, arrange them on a lined baking sheet, and bake until golden brown.

Frozen cookie dough will stay fresh in your freezer up to three months, so next time you’re making a batch of cookies, but don’t want to bake them all, pop some in the freezer as a gift to your future self. (Your future self sends thanks!)

 

Recipe: Red Velvet Chocolate Chip Cookies

Mrs. Fields Secrets Red Velvet Chocolate Chip Cookies

Listen up, valentines. Today’s recipe is love at first bite. It will make your heart skip a beat, send you over the moon, and every other romantic cliché in the book. These are velvety, cakey cookies with bits of chocolate and just the right amount of chew. That’s right, this is a cookie designed for love. Make a batch for someone you love (or someone you hope to love). They are more reliable than cupid’s arrow.

Red Velvet Chocolate Chip Cookies
adapted from Sally’s Baking Addiction

1 1/2 cups + 1 tablespoon flour
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 egg
1 tablespoon half-and-half
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 tablespoons red food coloring
1 cup semi-sweet mini chocolate chips
1/4 cup regular chocolate chips (for garnish)

Directions
In a medium bowl, stir the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt together, then set aside. In a stand mixer, whip the butter on high speed until creamy and light. Add both sugars to the butter and beat until well combined. Add the egg, milk and vanilla (scraping down the sides as needed), then stir in food coloring until well combined. Slowly add the flour mixture and mix on low until a soft dough with a cakey texture is formed. Stir in the mini chocolate chips, then cover and chill dough for at least one hour.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Roll dough into walnut-sized balls and place on a prepared baking sheet, then press the tops gently with your fingers to create a little bit of a flat top. (This will help them spread more evenly.) Bake for 8-10 minutes, or until the tops have even cracks across the surface. Remove and gently tap a few regular chocolate chips into the warm surface for garnish. Transfer to a cooling rack. Makes 18-24 cookies, depending on size.

Recipe: Chocolate Hazelnut Brioche Star

Mrs. Fields Hazlenut Brioche Star

Today’s recipe is a show stopper in every possible way, except for the fact that it’s super simple to create! (Don’t worry, we won’t tell.) If you can use a rolling pin, you can make this delectable dish. It’s perfect for a dessert or brunch, the soft sweet bread is broken up by thin layers of Nutella. It’s perfect with coffee, hot cocoa, or even a scoop of ice cream.

Chocolate Hazelnut Brioche Star

3-4 cups bread flour
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
zest of one lemon
2 1/4 teaspoons instant yeast
3 tablespoons butter
2 eggs
3/4 cups warm milk
3/4 cup chocolate hazelnut spread (such as Nutella)

{for glaze}
1 egg white
1 tablespoon water

Directions
In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine flour, salt, sugar, lemon zest and yeast. Add in eggs, butter, and warm milk and knead until dough is soft and springy to the touch (about 5-10 minutes). Transfer to a lightly greased bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Allow to sit in a warm area for 1-2 hours or until double in size.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Punch down dough and shape into an even ball, then divide into four equal pieces. Roll each piece into a ball and then roll the first ball flat into a 10-inch circle. Transfer the circle to a prepared baking sheet. Spread 1/4 cup of hazelnut spread over the first layer, leaving about 1/2-inch perimeter around the edge. Repeat with the next two layers, adding them to the top of the last. Finally, roll the fourth and final ball of dough and add it to the top. Place a 10-inch plate on top and trim around the edges so that you have a perfect circle. Remove plate, then place a round glass in the center of the circle that has a 3-inch diameter. Rest it there, then cut sixteen equal stripes out from the center circle. Next, take two adjacent strips and turn them in toward each other 2 1/2 times, then pinch the ends together to form a point. Continue with the remaining strips.

Mix the egg white and water to make a thin glaze, then brush a thin layer over the entire brioche. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Recipe: Snowball Popcorn Balls

Snowball Popcorn Balls

While some people are not too keen on snow (especially as January drags on), pretty much everybody is keen on popcorn balls! Our favorite fist-sized treat from childhood is the perfect dish to make on a cold, snowy January day. And this recipe is dressed up with shredded coconut to give it a snowy look that tastes like heaven. Try them out with a mug of something warm.

Snowball Popcorn Balls
via Season of Sweets

7 quarts popcorn, popped and cooled*
1 cup sugar
1 cup light corn syrup
¼ cup water
¼ teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 package shredded coconut

Directions
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside. Prepare another baking sheet with an even layer of shredded coconut. Place popcorn in an oversized bowl. In a saucepan, stir sugar, corn syrup, water and salt together, then cook over medium heat until a candy thermometer reads 235 degrees or “soft ball” stage. Remove from heat and stir in butter and vanilla until melted and completely combined. Pour the syrup evenly over the popcorn, then stir with a wooden spoon until you have an even coating. Allow the mixture to cool for a few minutes, then form popcorn into baseball-sized balls and roll in the coconut for an even coating, then place to cool completely on the parchment-lined sheet. Serve immediately or wrap each snowball in plastic wrap for best results.

*Two tablespoons of unpopped popcorn equals about 1 quart popped.

Recipe: Pinecone Treats

Mrs. Fields Secrets Pinecone Treats

It’s frigid and snowy outside, which means it’s a perfect time to stay inside and make some wintery sweet treats. These adorable, delicious pinecones are a no-bake, fun activity to do with the kids on a snow day. You might even have the ingredients in your pantry. They make a beautiful display and a yummy snack or dessert, especially with a fresh dusting of snowy powdered sugar.

Pinecone Treats

1/4 cup hazelnut spread
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
3 tablespoons butter
1 cup powdered sugar (plus more for dusting)
5 pretzel twists
3 cups chocolate Chex cereal

Directions
In a mixing bowl, combine the hazelnut spread, peanut butter, butter and powdered sugar until a play dough-like texture is reached. Divide into five equal portions, then wrap a portion around each pretzel twist, forming it into a conical shape. Place on a flat surface and begin sticking cereal pieces into the cone, wrapping around from bottom to top. Sprinkle with powdered sugar to create a snowy look. Serve at room temperature.

Our Top Ten Favorite Recipes of 2014

Mrs. Fields Secrets Top Ten 2014 Mrs. Fields Secrets Top Ten 2014 2

 

One of our favorite parts of social media is sharing a fresh new recipe with you each week, prepared in a real home kitchen just like yours. As 2014 draws to a close, we took a look back at our favorite recipes from the year, some of which have turned out to be your favorite recipes too. Thanks for re-pinning, sharing, and joining our community. You’re the best part of our job at Mrs. Fields, and we look forward to a sweet new 2015 with you!

So, without further ado, our favorites from 2014:

1. Banana Bread Bread Pudding
2. Breadstick Cones
3. Butterscotch Budino Pudding
4. Cinnamon Stuffed Scones
5. Drop Sugar Cookies
6. Giant Cinnamon Roll Cake
7. Rice Pudding
8. Almond Pizzelle Cookies
9. Chewy Maple Oatmeal Cookies
10. Watermelon Pie

Did we miss your favorite? Let us know!

6 Sweet Cookie Cocktails

Mrs. Fields Secrets Cookie Cocktails

 

We can’t think of a better way to toast the new year than with a delicious cookie cocktail—your favorite cookie flavors in grownup liquid form. Explore these six delicious, decadent cocktails and raise a glass to having your cookie and your cocktail too. (Follow links to original recipes.) Cheers!

3/4 oz Partida Blanco Tequila
1 oz Peppermint Schnapps
3/4 oz Godiva Liqueur
1-1/2 oz cream
chocolate syrup and candy canes for garnish
Rim martini glass with chocolate syrup and crushed candy canes. Shake ingredients in a shaker with ice and strain into martini glass.
 

1 oz Coconut Milk
1-1/2 oz Coconut Rum
1/4 oz Licor 43
1/2 oz Partida Blanco Tequila
1/2 oz Frangelico
Combine ingredients in a shaker and shake with ice. Strain into a glass filled with ice and garnish with toasted coconut shavings on top.

 

Cinnamon Sugar (I use 3 parts sugar to one part cinnamon)
Honey
3 oz. half and half
1 oz. RumChata
1 oz. Vanilla Vodka (such as Absolut Vanilla)
½ tsp powdered sugar
Dash Cinnamon
Dip the rim of each martini glass into honey and then the cinnamon sugar. In a cocktail shaker, pour half and half, RumChata, Vanilla vodka, powdered sugar and cinnamon over ice. Shake until chilled and mixed well. Divide evenly among cinnamon sugar rimmed martini glasses and enjoy!
 

4. Gingerbread Cookie Cocktail
2 oz spiced rum
a pinch each of ground nutmeg and cloves
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon organic unsulphured blackstrap Molasses
1 tablespoon maple syrup, honey or other liquid sweetener
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated ginger (optional)
Ginger beer
Ice
Cinnamon sugar (for the rim)
Add the rum, spices, molasses, maple syrup and freshly grated ginger to a shaker with 2 ice cubes. Shake it really really well. For the sugared rim, combine the ingredients in a small plate. Dip the rim of a glass in water, then in the spiced sugar mixture. Give the shaker another shake and strain into the sugar rimmed cup, add two cubes of ice and top with ginger beer. Give a quick stir and enjoy.

 

5. Sugar Cookie Martini
1 oz vanilla vodka
1 oz amaretto
2 oz Frosted Sugar Cookie or Vanilla International Delight Coffee Creamer

If desired, coat the rim of your glass with light corn syrup and then dip the rim in sugar.
Place ice in a martini shaker, along with all ingredients. Shake and strain into prepared glass. Serve immediately.
 
6. Liquid Oreo Cocktail
Ice cubes
1 1/2 oz vodka (3 tablespoons)
1 1/2 oz Kahlua (3 tablespoons)
1 1/2 oz white creme de cacao (3 tablespoons)
1 1/2 ounces Baileys Irish Cream (3 tablespoons)
Oreo cookies, for garnish
Fill a cocktail shaker halfway with ice cubes. Add the vodka, Kahlua, creme de cacao and Baileys and shake well. Strain into 2 martini glasses. Slip an Oreo onto the side of each glass.

Recipe: Drop Sugar Cookies

Mrs. Fields Secrets Sugar Cookies

These soft and sweet sugar cookies are perfectly crave-able and do not require rolling pins, cookie cutters, or any ounce of perfectionism. Gather the family and friends in the kitchen, whip up a batch and enjoy them on a cozy Christmas Eve. Add food coloring to the frosting, if you will, or leave them snowy white. In the spirit of the holidays, we substituted the milk in the frosting for egg nog and it was a good call. Merry Christmas and happy holidays from all of us at Mrs. Fields.

Drop Sugar Cookies

1 cup butter, softened
¾ cup vegetable oil
1¼ cup sugar (plus another ¼ cup reserved)
¾ cup powdered sugar
2 tablespoons water
2 eggs
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon cream of tarter
1 teaspsoon salt
5½ cups flour

for the frosting:
½ cup butter, softened
¾ cup sour cream
5 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon salt
¼ cup milk (or egg nog)
food coloring (optional)
sprinkles (optional)

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a mixing bowl, combine flour, baking soda, cream of tarter, and salt, then set aside. In a large mixing bowl, cream together butter, vegetable oil, sugar, powdered sugar, and water. Add in eggs, one at a time. Slowly add in flour mixture until combined. Roll the dough into golf sized balls and place onto a prepared cookie sheet. Dip the bottom of a flat glass into the reserved ¼ cup sugar and press onto the cookie ball to flatten the cookie to about 1/3 inch thickness. Bake for 8-10 minutes or until the bottom is barely brown. Do not over bake. Remove from oven and transfer to a cooling rack.
While the cookies are cooling, prepare the frosting by creaming together butter, sour cream, and salt. Add the powdered sugar, then drizzle in the milk to the desired consistency. Spread or pipe frosting over cooled cookies and scatter with sprinkles.

6 Christmas Morning Casseroles

Mrs. Fields Secrets Breakfast Casseroles

After working up an appetite from an unwrapping frenzy, you’ll need some sustenance on Christmas morning. We’ve gathered six mouth-watering make-ahead casseroles that will feel like a gift themselves: three savory recipes and three sweet for a decadent, delicious meal. Prepare your favorite the night before, and pop it in the oven Christmas morning. Breakfast practically takes care of itself!

1. California Breakfast Casserole
2. Eggs Benedict Casserole
3. Breakfast Enchiladas
4. Baked Oatmeal Casserole
5. Blushing Blueberry Croissant Casserole
6. Cinnamon Roll French Toast

Follow the links to the recipes.

Recipe: Almond Pizzelle Cookies

Mrs. Fields Secrets Almond Pizzelle Cokies
Today’s classic cookie recipe hearkens back generations and overseas. The Pizzelle cookie is an Italian favorite, a thin, wafer-like cookie pressed into a beautiful hot iron to create a delicate look and taste. They are absolutely perfect with a bowl of ice cream (or gelato), topping a mug of cocoa or coffee, or all on their own with a dusting of powdered sugar. The traditional Italian recipe calls for anise extract, which is a black licorice flavor, but you can substitute vanilla or (our favorite) almond extract.

Almond Pizzelle Cookies

3 large eggs
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 tablespoon almond extract (or anise or vanilla)
1 3/4 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder

Directions
In a large bowl of a stand mixer, beat the eggs and sugar together until thick and creamy. Slowly pour in the melted butter and almond extract. In a separate bowl, sift the flour and baking powder together and stir into the batter, blending until smooth. Preheat a Pizzelle iron, and spray with nonstick spray before placing a heaping tablespoon of batter onto each form and pressing closed. Wait approximately two minutes, or until steam from the iron ceases. When cookies are golden brown, remove from the iron and place on a cooling rack. Repeat with remaining batter.

HINT: You’ll need a Pizzelle iron to make them, which can be found in most kitchen stores or online.

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