Road trip food: Make cookies from frozen dough

Who doesn’t love a road trip?

Food, however, is always a problem on long drives. There’s either not enough or too much. And although I usually pack healthy snacks, such as fruit and nuts, it’s hard not to pick up candy or potato chips at the first rest stop.

So, in preparation for a recent road trip, I decided to make a tasty, portable snack that I hoped could stave off a junk food binge. I also wanted to make dessert for lunch guests coming before the trip.

frozen cookie dough balls
This is what frozen cookie dough looks like after spending several hours in the freezer. (Sheryl Jean)

I realized I could bake some cookies and freeze the rest of the dough to make a fresh batch later.

I dug through my clipped recipe file and found a favorite: chocolate chip oatmeal walnut cookies (recipe below). Yum!

On the eve of the lunch, I made the dough, rolling it into little balls. I baked a dozen balls into cookies that night and froze the rest.

To freeze, I lined two baking sheets with parchment paper and placed as many balls of dough as I could without touching each other. I stuck them in the freezer until the dough hardened — a few hours or overnight. (It’s a slightly different process to freeze slice-and-bake or cut-out cookie dough.)

After removing the frozen dough balls, I placed them in a large plastic freezer bag, squeezing out excess air before zipping it closed. Cookie dough can keep in the freezer for up to three months.

When you’re ready to use the frozen dough, simply take as many individual balls as you want out of the bag and place them on a cookie sheet. Add an extra minute or two to the baking directions in the recipe.

Continue reading for the recipe.

Chocolate Chip-Oatmeal-Walnut Cookies

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. In the bowl of a mixer, cream together:

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup butter, softened

Add:

  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tsp. vanilla

In a separate large bowl, mix together:

  • 2 cups flour
  • 2.5 cups oatmeal
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. baking soda

Gradually add the dry mixture to the wet mixture. By hand, stir in:

  • 9-12 oz. of chocolate chips (or white chocolate chips)
  • 1.5 cups of chopped walnuts (or pecans)

Arrange balls of dough on an ungreased cookie sheet about two inches apart. Bake for about 10 minutes. Serve warm.

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