Listen, I know that Christmas cookies are a crucial step in getting ready for the holidays, but they take so much time to make!
It's hard to find the right time to actually get through all the recipes you need to in one day, so many of us try to spread it out over a couple of weeks. The only problem is that by the time we make it to Christmas we are completely out of cookies.
Well, people who have much more self-control and foresight have figured out that freezing them is the best way to guarantee that at least some cookies make it to the 25th.
But here's the thing, if you want to keep them tasting good when you eventually thaw them out, you've got to put them away carefully.
There's a technique to freezing your cookies, and once you learn it, you'll save yourself from having that pressure of making all the baked goods in one day.
Here's what you need to do:
Step 1: Let your cookies cool completely
I know this is my biggest issue when it comes to packing up baked goods because I have absolutely no patience. But there's a very good reason why you should always let your cookies cool completely before you pack them up.
If you don't let them cool, they are going to end up causing condensation to form in the container. So while it's tricky to be patient or avoid eating them all, let your cookies cool on a rack before you put them in the airtight container.
Step 2: Make sure your container is ready
An airtight container is obviously a requirement, but one thing you may not have realized is that even though your cookies are cooled, you should still separate the layers.
Line the bottom of your container with parchment paper or aluminum foil, and then put your single layer of cookies on it, and then repeat by placing another barrier layer before each cookie layer.
It'll help keep the cookies from squishing together, and gives them a little extra protection from freezer burn.
If you have a little more patience, you will see even more success if you freeze all your cookies on a flat surface (for example on a cookie sheet, before you stack them in a container. Once each cookie is frozen solid, you can stack them together. Just in case you want to be extra cautious.
Step 3: Do not freeze cookies with icing or filing
While you may think that frosting the cookies in advance is your best bet, you're actually going to regret it later on. Sure, they may still taste fine, but you'll notice that the frosting will give you some other headaches including causing your cookies to stick together.
Another big issue people see when they freeze frosted cookies is that when they thaw them out, the icing or filling won't look as good as it once did. Also, any colors in the decorations will likely bleed into the cookie.
So your best bet for those elegant sugar cookies or jam-filled treats is to prepare them early, but then wait until you thaw them out to decorate.
Step 4:Take them out of the container to thaw
A big mistake people often make is letting their cookies thaw in the container they were frozen in. You can't just pull that tub of cookies out of the freezer and leave it on the counter, not if you want your cookies to turn out as good as they can.
The trick to the perfectly thawed cookie is actually pull them out of that container and either law them on a paper-towel lined plate or better yet, a cooling rack.
As the cookies thaw they will have a bit of condensation, so if you want to avoid soggy cookies you've got to get them up and out of any liquid.
Step 5: Try to control yourself so you don't eat them all before your guests arrive...