Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Frozen Balls

So I have a bit of a sweet tooth. I start craving my grandma's pecan pie about three months before Thanksgiving. I think brownies are a perfectly acceptable breakfast food. I have justified going to one of those self-serve frozen yogurt places for dinner because it's yogurt, you guys, and yogurt is HEALTHY (even when it's covered in hot fudge). So curling up on the couch with a warm from the oven chocolate chip cookie and a glass of milk??... is pretty much my idea of perfection. Chocolate chip cookies are my favorite, and have been since I was very little; every time we walked by Mrs. Field's at the mall, I would beggggg my mom for a chocolate chip cookie. And I spent countless afternoons baking with my grandma--without fail, we always made chocolate chip cookies, and I always got scolded by my grandma for eating too much of the dough. Ha :)

Given this history and my 27 year love affair with the chocolate chip cookie, I know myself well enough to know that a dozen or so of them laying around my house will last about a day and a half under my watch. Even I, frozen-yogurt-for-dinner-girl, can't justify that too often. Enter these things: Frozen Balls. What the hell is a frozen ball you ask? Individual frozen cookie dough balls. In particular, chocolate chip cookie dough balls. A couple of years ago, I had some friends that had just had babies--when I was getting ready to go over to meet the new little ones, I wanted to bring them food, but figured they were up to eyeballs in frozen lasagna, crockpot meals, etc. I think I read about the idea of freezing individual cookie dough balls somewhere and figured that would be an easy treat that new parents could enjoy whenever they felt like it. So I gave it a try, and (for test-purposes sake ;)), saved a couple of the balls of dough for myself. The cookie dough balls were a huge hit with my friends and in my "testing", I discovered I loved the concept too. Since then, I've been hooked.

MMMM Dough. I may have eaten one of these just like this.
Frozen Balls.
So about once a month, I make a batch of chocolate chip cookie dough.  After I chill the dough in the fridge, I roll it into individual balls as if I were going to make cookies right then, but instead, I put the cookie sheet in the freezer until they're good and frozen, and then toss them in a gallon freezer bag and stash them back in the freezer. Whenever I want a warm chocolate chip cookie, I take out 1-2 balls and bake them up. (I try to limit myself to one at a time, but the concept of self-control is a work in progress around these parts) 15 minutes later, I am rewarded with a warm and fresh chocolate chip cookie AND there aren't 10 more of these bad boys laying around the house tempting me to eat them. Win.

The finished product. And my view from the couch. These babies were gone in about 30 seconds.
My favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe is Alton Brown's The Chewy. If you don't feel like busting out a kitchen scale to make cookies, go here for a converted version of the recipe. I also really really love this recipe. It's a little more work to make than your basic chocolate chip cookie, but how can you go wrong with warm Nutella in the middle of a cookie?

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