I love the holidays!!! I especially enjoy being able to bake all my favorite things, sample them, and then wrap up platefuls for friends and neighbors. There are way too many goodies to make in a single day, so I utilize my freezer space to its fullest potential. I’ve found that most treats can be frozen for short periods of time without making them taste funky. I’ve provided a few pointers and a few fun recipes that I hope will help you this holiday season.
Most candies, homemade or store bought, will freeze well. All you have to do is make sure they are wrapped properly in waxpaper and freezer bags or foil and freezer bags and keep them from thawing and refreezing. They tend to get a bit funky when this happens.
Fudge is an excellent holiday treat that freezes well. The quick fudge recipe I use only requires a few ingredients and takes about 10 minutes to make. You can make this well ahead of time and store it in the freezer until it’s time to make up holiday goody baskets.
- Melt 3 cups of semi-sweet chocolate in a heavy sauce pan with a 14 oz can of sweetened condensed milk.
- Once the chocolate has completely melted, stir in 1 ½ tsp of vanilla extract and spread in an 8” or 9” square pan that has been lined with waxed paper. You can stir in ½ to 1 cup chopped nuts in the mixture before spreading it in the pan, if you like nuts in your fudge.
- Chill the fudge for a couple of hours in the fridge, remove the wax paper and fudge from the pan, and place it all in a freezer baggie for storage. When it's time to serve the fudge, spread out the wax paper on a cutting board and cut the fudge into bite-sized squares.
I’ve had excellent results freezing cookies I’ve spent multiple days baking. My grandmother picks a week at the beginning of December and bakes all her batches of cookies within a few days. She then freezes them in a combination of wax paper and freezer baggies. I’ve found her method to be entirely successful.
If you want to have freshly baked cookies closer to Christmas time, you can always freeze cookie dough, instead of the actual cookies. When you freeze cookie dough, it’s best to freeze it in flattened discs in gallon-sized baggies. The dough will take about 30 minutes to thaw enough for you to shape or cut it into cookies for baking.
Using a bread recipe that can be stored in the fridge for a couple of weeks will save you a bit of time. While you’ll have to spend a moment baking the bread, at least already have it made and ready to bake.
Quick breads can easily be frozen without affecting their flavor. Bake your favorite quick bread recipe and make sure to cool it completely. Wrap each loaf or sections in wax paper, then in foil. I also put each foil packet inside a freezer baggie, just to be sure it doesn’t form ice crystals. I have an excellent muffin recipe that can be stored in the fridge for up to 2 weeks and they also freeze well, once they are baked.
- Pour 2 cups boiling water over 2 C all bran and 2 C oats and set aside.
- Mix ½ C oil, ½ C honey, and 2 egg whites.
- Stir in 1 ½ C flour, ½ C oat bran, ½ C wheat germ, ½ C flax meal, 2 ½ tsp baking soda, and 1 tsp salt.
- Stir in 2 C buttermilk and the cereal mixture that has been soaking in the hot water. You can also add raisins, dates, cranberries, nuts, or any other addition. I usually add ¼ C dried fruit and ¼ C nuts.
- When you decide to bake some muffins from this mix, cook them for 30 minutes at 350 degrees.
- This recipe is extremely easy to alter. For instance, if you don't have the same dry ingredients as mentioned above, simply use whatever you have. I've used Grape Nuts cereal in place of all bran, almond flour instead of oat bran, and maple syrup in place of honey. It's hard to mess this recipe up! I love it!
Freeze and Bake Rolls
Do you have any tips on freezing holiday goodies for later use?