Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Stress-Free Cookies on Short Notice

Many people are shocked when they find out I have a daughter with severe allergies and I've had to make a lot of what we eat from scratch and have to bring food from home for my daughter 98% of the time. All this on top of the fact that I go to school part-time, I own and operate a growing business, and I'm the primary caretaker of my daughter. But food is important, so I've learned some survival tactics and I'm going to share some of them with you over this year. Maybe you don't have children with allergies, but this tip applies to any busy person out there who looks after food in the household.

Homemade cookies aren't hard. The secret is something my Aunt B. shared with me: most cookie recipes can be frozen. Take a cookie sheet, or sheets, and drop the cookies on the sheet and freeze for a few hours (or day if you forget like I often do) and then transfer into a freezer bag (we use washed out milk bags since they are free). The cookies don't have to be as far apart as when you're baking them, but they should be the same size. They just need to not touch each other on the cookie sheet while freezing. When you bake them, follow the oven temperature and time on the recipe and keep your eyes on them the first time cooking them from the freezer to get a feel for the right amount of additional time and note that on the upper corner of your recipe for next time. For example, my Betty Crocker oatmeal cookies take an extra two or so minutes.

My suggestion, is to pick a day or time when you have time to make cookies. I usually involve our two year old in the pouring and stirring process. Messy? Yes. But the look of pride on her face when we sit and have a cookie together is priceless. We bake 6 or so cookies for my family (more if we're planning on fattening the neighbours too), and then freeze the rest for next time. This works great because we really don't need a couple dozen cookies or whatever the recipe makes sitting around our house until we eat them up. If you are a parent of children with allergies, you can easily on short notice, without a lot of stress, whip up a few cookies your child can eat at what ever event you are going to. It's super easy to pop a couple frozen cookies in the oven while you're getting dressed and your house will smell great too!

No comments: