Whether you pass them out as gifts, serve them at a party or trade them at a cookie exchange, the Christmas or Hanukkah treats you need to make seem to multiply each year. And it can be tricky finding time to do all that baking. To make it easier, do it in stages, says cookie pro Marc Haymon, assistant professor at the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York.
Make the dough ahead of time and roll it into a cylindrical log (picture slice-and-bake cookies at the grocery store). Wrap it in parchment paper and toss into the freezer for up to three weeks, or slip the whole thing in plastic wrap to make it last eight weeks. You can do this with many doughs, such as chocolate chip, biscotti, gingerbread and oatmeal. Ready? Put the log in the fridge for a day, then slice and bake.
Don’t store the cookies in the freezer or fridge—they won’t taste as good, says Haymon. “They dry out or get a little soggy.”