With Valentine’s day approaching, my calendar is filled to the brim with parties. School parties, friend parties, gal parties…oh my! I love to party so I’m definitely not complaining, but parties equal sweet treats which can be a nightmare when you have a preschooler that needs to steer clear of dairy. (Think = buttercream frosting, milk chocolate kisses and butter-laden sugar cookies, just to name a few.)
An adult avoiding dairy may be able to muster up the willpower to pass the cookie tray, but asking a preschooler with a sweet tooth to use self control around sweets is just cruel. During past holiday seasons, I’ve found myself running to the store to buy ingredients for dairy-free cookies and treats again…and again…and again.
Until I learned the one trick that changed everything: you can freeze dairy-free cookie dough in individual bake-and-take servings!
This tip changed my whole approach to shopping for and baking dairy-free treats. Now I make large batches of cookies and throw a couple on a tray to bake if I know a party or school function is coming up.
How To Freeze Dairy-Free Cookie Dough
First, find your favorite cookie recipe. I’ve never had a problem substituting almond milk and smart balance spread for the milk and butter elements in any recipe. For chocolate chip cookies, I use Enjoy Life’s dairy-free, soy-free and nut-free chocolate chips. Each bag is about $5.00 at most health and whole food stores, but if you use them sparingly in a recipe, you can make several full batches per bag. I know my daughter doesn’t care if a recipe has 1 cup of chocolate chips or 2, chocolate is chocolate!
Here are a few fun cookie recipes that I’ve frozen with great results:
Second, roll the dairy-free cookie dough into 1-inch balls and freeze on a cookie sheet for one hour. This “flash freeze” will let you store the dough in perfect portions to make just as many – or as few – cookies as you need at one time.
Third, freeze the dough balls in a Ziploc bag and bake the dairy-free cookies as needed. Remember to label the bag with instructions, such as bake at 350 for 20-22 minutes, and what type of cookies you made. For example, the oatmeal cookies below look dangerously close to frozen meatballs, which I also make at home and freeze. You would NOT want oatmeal raisin dough balls in a big batch of garden-fresh tomato marinara sauce! 🙂
Also, I do NOT defrost the cookie dough balls before baking them. I place frozen dough balls on a baking sheet and cook in a preheated oven. In my experience, you will need to increase the cooking time about two minutes when frozen, so check the cookies frequently the first time you bake them from the freezer.
Now I always have “emergency” treats that are dairy-free and delicious. You can also use this tip for any allergen – peanuts, gluten, eggs, etc.
Have you ever frozen a favorite cookie recipe? If so, please share below!