Revelations of the Kitchen Freezer (Or: Hot Homemade Cookies, Biscuits & Dinner Rolls Whenever You Want Them)

November 29, 2010 | By | COMMENTS

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Sometimes we think we know things, but we don’t really know them.

For example: for a long time I’ve known that you can put unbaked cookies, biscuits and/or dinner rolls in the freezer, instead of the oven, and that after letting them freeze on parchment paper-lined cookie sheets, you can put them in Ziplock bags and conserve them for later use. Even though I knew that, I didn’t really know that; if I’d really known that, I would’ve realized, in all caps: “HOLY CRAP! I CAN HAVE HOT HOMEMADE COOKIES, BISCUITS AND/OR DINNER ROLLS WHENEVER I WANT THEM!” And even though I knew it as a fact, I hadn’t lived it; but now that I’ve lived it–I’ve been there and smelled the hot biscuits–I can share with you what I saw at the top of the mountain, the revelations of the kitchen freezer.

It all started when I wanted biscuits on a Saturday morning and all I had on hand was butter, milk and flour. Normally when I make biscuits (like my standard Easy Biscuits), I use buttermilk. But Saturday mornings are all about being lazy and so, instead of sending Craig out for buttermilk (as I might have, ordinarily) I opened Dorie Greenspan’s “Around My French Table” and found her recipe for little onion biscuits (they have a name in French, but I don’t remember it.) I erased the onions from the recipe and went about making these simple biscuits: you cut cold butter into flour (with baking powder, salt and sugar) and then add cold milk, stirring it until it becomes a dough, flattening it on a floured board and then cutting out the biscuits.

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When I was done, I had more biscuits than we could possibly eat on a Saturday morning. The old me would’ve baked them anyway, let them sit around and get as hard as hockey pucks and then, in the later afternoon, I would’ve bitten into an uneaten one and said: “Blech!” and thrown all the remainders out.

Instead, I created a separate cookie sheet for biscuits I didn’t want to bake at that moment:

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One cookie sheet went into the oven, the other went into the freezer. 15 minutes later, we had hot biscuits which we devoured:

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An hour later, the biscuits in the freezer were as hard as hockey pucks but in a great way. See, cooked biscuits that are as hard as hockey pucks are garbage; uncooked frozen biscuits that are as hard as hockey pucks are gifts from heaven. They’re hot homemade biscuits from the future!

Into a freezer bag they went:

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And the next weekend, when I made breakfast (cheesy scrambled eggs, in case you were curious) all I had to do was open my freezer, grab a few biscuits out of that bag, plop them on a baking sheet and cook them at the exact same temperature for just a minute or two longer. Behold:

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Revelations of the Kitchen Freezer!

Ok, but let’s say you’re not a biscuit person. You prefer to clog your arteries with chocolate chip cookies. Hey, I hear that.

So remember when I made Eric Wolitzky’s Chocolate Chip Cookies?

Normally, when I make a recipe like that (one that yields 24 cookies) I cut it in half, but not that time. Instead, I made the full batch and froze half on cookie sheets just before baking. Into a freezer bag they went and weeks later, when Craig was craving chocolate chip cookies, all I had to do was line a cookie sheet with some parchment paper (foil would’ve worked too), plopped some of the frozen cookies on the sheet….

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…and into the oven it went. 17 minutes later, out they came looking as good as they did the first time I made them:

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In fact, they tasted better after their time in the freezer.

As David Leite learned when he went on his quest for the perfect chocolate chip cookie for The New York Times, chocolate chip cookies improve when you let the batter chill for a few days. The flour takes in more of the moisture and it results in a more caramel-like flavor. And such was the case with these cookies; out of the freezer, they were twice as good as they were the first time around.

Revelations of the Kitchen Freezer!

But these revelations aren’t limited to biscuits and cookies, the same is true for bready items like dinner rolls. Remember those butterhorns I wrote about last week? Well, when I made them, I naturally made way more than I needed and froze the rest:

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A week later, when I made one of my killer salads for dinner I thought to myself: “This would be even better with a hot butterhorn straight from the oven.”

So on to a cookie sheet, some frozen butterhorns went:

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Into a hot oven they journeyed and before I knew it, I had hot dinner rolls to serve with dinner:

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Revelations of the Kitchen Freezer!

So for those of you who see this post and are thinking to yourselves, “I already know that!” ask yourself: “Do I really know that?” Chances are, unless you’re freezing cookies, biscuits and dinner rolls on a regular basis, you don’t really know that. And I’m here to show you the light, to baptize you in the chilly frost that lines the underside of your freezer door. These are the Revelations of the Kitchen Freezer; I pray you heed their message now.

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