The Surprising Hack That Makes Baking Cookies A Breeze

We're all too familiar with that craving for something soft and sugary that hits right around 3 pm every day. It's like fourth meal hunger except you're hankering for a mini dessert, smack dab in the middle of your afternoon. Or, maybe your inner clock sounds an alarm after dinner every night, letting you know the day is not complete without something sweet. Often, a cookie is just the thing to quell your craving — just one soft and chewy chocolate chip cookie to appease the longing for carbs and sugar. But, if you're after the homemade variety (what's better than a fresh, homemade cookie, really?), you might not have the time or patience to make a big batch. Nor do you need to open the door to that precarious situation of dozens of cookies tempting you to eat them all, lest they go stale.

This hack will show you how to have a convenient supply of single-serving cookies in your freezer, ready to bake up fresh, at all times. The trick, according to Taste of Home, is to make your cookie dough in advance, fill an ice cube tray with it, and freeze it. When your sweet tooth calls, just pop out a square (or two) of dough and bake it! Once the convenience and ease of single-serving cookie dough enters your life, you'll never go back to your old ways.

Freeze your cookie dough in an ice cube tray for convenience

Single-serving snack happiness aside, this ice cube tray hack addresses another issue we encounter when trying to store cookie dough in the freezer. Traditional instructions for freezing cookie dough (like these from Betty Crocker) will tell you to place balls of cookie dough onto your baking sheets, freeze the sheets, then transfer the dough balls to freezer bags. Is there anyone else out there not interested in rearranging the entire contents of their freezer in order to squeeze bulky trays of cookie dough in there? The conveniently compact size of the ice cube tray eliminates that dilemma for you.

To start, make a batch of cookie dough as you normally would, then use a scoop or a spoon to fill the cavities of an ice cube tray with your dough. The next step, according to Fooducate, is to freeze the cookie dough in the ice cube tray for about five hours. At that point, you can pop the individual portions of dough loose from the tray and store them in a freezer-safe zip-top bag. When you're ready for a treat, bake as many or as few cookies as you like!

Adjust the baking instructions and choose the right kind of dough

We know you're curious, and, no — there's no need to thaw your frozen cubes of cookie dough before baking. Let's be real, though, the fewer delays on your path to cookie enjoyment, the better. However, you should adjust the baking temperature and time a bit to ensure a delicious result. 

Handle the Heat's tips for baking frozen cookie dough are to preheat the oven to about 20 degrees lower than your original recipe recommends, place your cube(s) of dough onto a parchment-lined baking sheet, and bake for two to five minutes longer than the original recipe instructions. When your cookie is golden around the edges and slightly wet in the center, it's done. As for what kind of cookie dough works well for this hack, Food Network says chunky drop cookies like chocolate chip and oatmeal raisin are the easiest and best for freezing. 

With this ice cube tray cookie hack in your back pocket, a freshly baked, single-serving snack is always just moments away.