Last time, you may remember that I had more than half a batch of dough leftover when I made my cookies. The leftover dough was frozen, waiting for the occasion when I needed to make some cookies in a pinch. This past Sunday was just such an occasion: my sister had planned to have a family potluck dinner at my mother’s house in New Jersey that afternoon. So I took my dough out of the freezer and left it to thaw for about 2 hours, and then I was ready to bake cookies!
With enough dough left to make about 3 dozen cookies, I would have 2 rounds of baking: 2 dozen the first round, then the third dozen by itself for the second round. Figuring 10 minutes to lay out the first round of dough, 9 minutes for each round to bake, 2 minutes of cooling before removing to the cooling rack, 10 minutes (maybe less) to put dough onto sheet for the second round of baking, and maybe 10 minutes of cooling before packing, thewhole process from start to finish could run about 45 minutes, maybe 50 minutes to be on the safe side. So I started by laying out the dough for the first round of baking.
I used a regular soup spoon to measure out the dough for the cookies. Being in the freezer had dried out the dough just a little bit, to the point where it was still moist, but not really sticky. Using the spoon creates scoops that are not completely cookie shaped – they are shaped more like footballs. So being fussy about the shape of my cookies, I wet my hands with a little water, and I go around and shape each cookie so that they will bake into perfect round cookies.
Now it’s into a preheated 375 degree oven for 9 minutes, sheets side by side just like in the photo above. When they come out after 9 minutes, they are a bit puffy. Don’t worry: after a couple of minutes, they will shrink and you’ll have that nice bumpy oatmeal cookie shape that you want.
Now the cookies are ready for moving to the cooling rack. I use a dough scraper to lift them from the parchment paper – carefully, because the cookies are still very delicate. Luckily, they don’t stick on the parchment paper, but they may slide when you try to pick them up. If the cookies persist in sliding, I may just pick them up with my fingers. They are still hot at this point, but with a little care, I can get them to the cooling rack without having deformed cookies or burned fingers.
Now it’s time to lay out the second round of cookies and finish up the dough. It doesn’t look like it is enough to make a full dozen, but if I make the cookies smaller, I may get close to twelve. I made 11, not bad. My Chinese leftovers container is now empty, how sad! Next time I want cookies, I will have to start from scratch again. Oh well.
After 9 minutes is up, then 2 minutes for cooling, I can move the second round of cookies to the cooling rack. While they are cooling, I can move my first round of 2 dozen to my Snapware container, to store them safely away for transport to New Jersey. I lay a piece of paper towel in the container, then place 6 cookies, 2 by 3, to form the first layer. Then another piece of paper towel and 6 more cookies. Then two more times like that, and the Snapware is full, with 2 dozen cookies. I have shipped these cookies like this across country and they got there looking just fine – the only difference being that for shipping, I would use parchment paper, because it is nonreactive. Paper towels might draw the moisture out of the cookies during a long trip.
I packed up the third dozen cookies in a second container, put the two containers in a shopping bag, and we were ready to head to the train station and out to New Jersey for the family party. In my next blog, I will tell you how that party went, and what kind of reception the cookies received.