Rainy Day Dessert-a-thon
April showers bring May flowers…and many occasions to enjoy dessert! Make the most of a rainy April day by preparing (and then freezing) delicious treats for celebrations happening in May—and beyond. With the impending arrival of Mother’s Day (May 11!), graduations and wedding showers, late spring can be party central.
From cupcakes to whipped cream, berry pie to cheesecake, you could easily spend a whole drizzly weekend preparing yummy foods to enjoy over the next month or two. Stored carefully, they will look and taste as fresh as the day they were made. So, forget about store-bought and make room for delish homemade desserts.
FROZEN IN TIME
Choose your recipe carefully, as not all desserts are up for the challenge. The freeze-factor can vary by recipe, so check before you start baking. Some will specifically list whether it’s safe to store in the freezer, and for how long. But if it doesn’t specify, here’s a rule-of-thumb list:
- Up to 2 months: Whipped cream and pie crusts
- 2 to 3 months: Frosted cakes, cupcakes and cookies
- Up to 3 months: Cookie dough
- 3 to 4 months: Cakes and cookies (not frosted)
- Up to 4 months: Fruit-filled pies (baked or unbaked)
- 4 to 5 months: Baked cheesecakes
- Up to 1 year: Baked cookies (not frosted)
BABY, IT’S COLD INSIDE
If the process of safely freezing foods still has you scratching your head, you’re not alone. Here are some common questions on keeping your freezer desserts cool, yet fresh.
Q: Whenever I put a dessert in the freezer, it ends up getting freezer-burned. What am I doing wrong?
A: Frosty food is frustrating! Freezer burn happens when food is exposed to the cold air. Store foods in a freezer-grade, airtight container to prevent this unsightly and taste-robbing phenomenon. We like SNAPWARE® TOTAL SOLUTION containers or SNAPWARE® AIRTIGHT STORAGE COLLECTION containers. Doubling your efforts by using plastic wrap and a storage container will keep the air out and the moisture in.
Q: Can I freeze frosting?
A: Yes and no. While frosted cakes or cupcakes can withstand frigid temps, a bowlful of frosting doesn’t maintain the same consistency when thawed. To avoid a batch of runny frosting, frost and then freeze your cakes and cupcakes.
Q: Meringue is such a time-consuming topping to make. Can I make and freeze it?
A: Sadly, no. The magic of meringue doesn’t hold up when frozen, so fresh is best in this case. The same goes for custard and cream pies. But pie crust can be made in advance and then frozen, and fillings like prepared fruits and berries are perfectly happy going from deep-freeze to thaw, bake and eat, please.
Q: I want to freeze a few big batches of cookies. Do I freeze the batter in a bowl, or is there a better way?
A: Portion out each cookie like you would to bake them, but instead of putting the cookie sheets in the oven, put them in the freezer. After the cookies are frozen, transfer them to an airtight container like the SNAPWARE® 6 CUP GLASS RECTANGLE W/ TOTAL SOLUTION™ LIDfor up to 6 months. When you’re ready to bake them, just keep them in the oven a little longer than recommended.
Q: My freezer is overflowing with containers, and labels don’t seem to help me remember to use up my frozen items. What can I do?
A: While safely packing and labeling your foods is important, here are a few steps to help solve your problem:
- Label your containers (go ahead, write on the lid of your Snapware containers with any marker!) with a “use by date.” It’s much easier to follow this date than figure out how many months it’s been since you packed it in the icebox.
- After foods are stored in the freezer, go straight to your calendar and schedule an “eat by date.” That way, even if it gets shoved to the back of the freezer, you’ll know it’s there.
Q: Does it matter what kind of storage container I use in the freezer?
A: Yes, because even though a container is closed, if it doesn’t have an airtight seal, air can enter and create freezer burn. We recommend using Snapware® Total Solution containers because their four-latch plastic lids have an airtight seal that won’t release or let in the cold, dry air. Guaranteed! Your foods will retain moisture, freshness and flavor, and you’ll break the cook-freeze-toss cycle.
Whether your spring treats last until the designated celebration or get pilfered by midnight sugar raids, pep up a gray and rainy day with some sweet prep time. You’ll be thankful when you’re not spending a sunny day in the kitchen!
What kind of desserts do you make and freeze ahead?