Why You Should Be Making Holiday Cookies Right Now

A few weeks ago we mentioned that the holiday season was rapidly approaching. No matter how much we think we're on top of the cooking, cleaning, entertaining, gift buying and so forth that happens around that time of year, we always seem to end up a little behind. Why not get a jump on one part of the holiday work — cookies! Make them now instead of at the 11th hour.

No, obviously, some special cookies are best made when the moment calls, but many varieties do well frozen. The key is to remove as much air as possible between the dough and its packaging, and to label it before putting it in your freezer. It's surprisingly difficult to tell the difference between chocolate chip and oatmeal raisin once things are frozen.

Why is this a benefit to your holiday season? Why can't you just make them as the moment materializes? For starters, cookies make your house smell amazing and can come out of the oven in less than 15 minutes — perfect for drop-in company. They're great hostess gifts for last minute invites, sleepovers, work gatherings, and to accompany any party table when you're entertaining.

The idea of having them done and frozen ahead of time (although it's not laborious to begin with), means less to clean up and just one pan in the oven to take care of after your party. You can freeze cookie dough in pre-scooped or balled shapes, in flat round compact discs ready to roll out, or even in long logs wrapped tightly in parchment paper for ice box style cookies.

Do you keep cookies in your freezer for the holidays? What are your favorites to make ahead of time? Share your must haves in the comments below!

Related: Tip: Freezing Cookie Dough

(Image: Martha Stewart)

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