This cookbook changed my life – I know that sounds ridiculous and overdramatic, but I have never had a cookbook which influenced how I prepared food as much as this one did. Meet Not Your Mother’s Make-Ahead and Freeze Cookbook.
I’ve always been a fan of having a few homemade meals frozen away in the freezer – primarily for nights when Beardy Boyfriend is home alone, in order to limit his takeaways. But this book was really interesting and explained how to move from just freezing a few meals to being able to work to better bulk buy and freeze food.
A mum of six, Jessica Fisher worked out that it was both expensive and time-consuming to do weekly shops and prepare fresh dinners every night. It also increased the temptation to rely on take-out dinners and eat in restaurants. As a result, with an extra freezer, you can buy staples (beef, chicken, vegetables) in bulk when on sale. They can be frozen either as meals or as ingredients for meals (chicken can be cut up and frozen in a marinade to prepare it for a stir fry). There’s also recipes for casseroles, soups, stews, all of which can be frozen, as well as suggestions for freezing food components (pizza dough, sauce and cheese can be frozen into pizza kits, as can taco meat, shells and cheese into taco kits).
But what I hadn’t even thought of was freezing vegetables (this will come in useful once our order starts from the organic farm) and cookie dough. As I’m known to be a baking lover, I’m often called on to make cookies at the last minute – so it would definitely be worth it to put a couple of bags of sugar cookie and chocolate chip cookie dough.
But I absolutely loved this recipe, which I found in the cookie section. I’d been looking for a delicious cookie to use with these amazing Mint Crème Hershey Kisses (so addictive, pretty sure that I ate half a bag just sitting there. I couldn’t help myself!
Chocolate Mint Sandwich Cookies (from Not Your Mother’s Make-Ahead and Freeze Cookbook)
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter
6 tablespoons brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon peppermint extract
1 1/2 cups plain flour
1/2 cups cocoa powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 bag of Mint Truffle Hershey Kisses
At this point, you have a choice: you can either sandwich the Mint Kisses in the cookie or bake the cookie and place the kiss in afterwards…. After trying both, I preferred the sandwich cookie!
(This is a tray of the sandwich cookies ready to head into the oven). Bake at 170F for about ten minutes.
These are the baked cookies with the kisses pressed in after baking. Allow the cookies to cool for about an hour. It’s worth noting that this cookie dough can be frozen for up to several months before baking – so very easy to whip up some dough and store for last minute!
Overall, this is probably the cookbook I’ve found to have the most effect on my day to day life – would definitely recommend it to anyone who’s interested in saving time and money when feeding people.
I received a free copy of this book from Harvard Common Press, but all opinions are my own.