I’m going to tell you one of my favorite cooking secrets. Cookie Logs. Better than sliced bread, the wheel, or individual packets of nutella. Cookie logs spell salvation for the home cook. The concept is beautifully simple – you take your favorite cookie recipe, mix it up, shape it into logs, and freeze (or refrigerate).
Kids forget to tell you they have to bring in dessert for the community supper tomorrow? No worries you’ve got cookie logs. Invited to a going away party for a neighbor but forgot to make something? You’re covered because you have cookie logs and can have fresh-baked cookies in less than 17 minutes. Stressed out with all the holiday stuff you still need to do including finding a ukulele for your husband who wants to learn to play the instrument at age 53? No sweat, Christmas cookies are covered due to a fridge full of cookie logs. I am telling you cookie logs make you feel you can handle whatever culinary curveballs life throws. If you make three or more doughs today and turn them all into logs, you’ve just taken more than half the stress out of baking. Tomorrow (or Sunday or Monday) you will be a slice and bake Queen or King! Guaranteed.
Martha Stewart puts her logs in empty paper towel tubes to keep them perfectly symmetrical. I’m down and dirty with mine. Plop some dough along a sheet of wax paper, fold over and use a dough scraper or ruler to push the wax paper around the dough and form into a log shape, then twist the ends and throw in the fridge or bag up for the freezer. It really doesn’t mater if they have a slightly flat side – they’ll sit on the counter and not roll when you go to slice them.
I usually give myself a clue as to what is in the log plus note what temperature the particular dough bakes at with a magic marker. Remember lower your baking times. My logs tend to be about the size of a quarter, which is usually smaller than a regular cookie. This means their cooking time is shorter. You’ll smell/see when they are done. Smaller cookies also means you’ll end up with a larger yield. I like this because often all I want is a nibble, not a cookie the size of my hand.
The other thing to know is not all doughs are able to be turned into logs. Anything which ultimately gets rolled out flat, such as sugar cookies, I don’t make into logs. In the past I haven’t “logged” dough that needs to be rolled into balls, but lately I’ve switched over to logging just about everything. With doughs that call for being rolled into a ball, I simply slice off bigger chunks and roll them into marble or walnut sizes depending on the recipe. You also may need to leave those doughs out to soften a bit before attempting to roll them, especially if they’ve been frozen.
Since my doughs don’t have preservatives I only keep them in the fridge for 5-7 days. When I pop logs into the freezer I place them in zip lock bags to guard against freezer burn.
So now you know one of my favorite culinary tricks. I hope you enjoy your cookie logs!