This make-ahead freezer method will be your new go-to for sweet treats, precisely when you want them. 
Credit: Photo: Justin Walker Styling: Thom Driver

Most cookies don't age well. They're most brilliant in their fleeting prime-time state. Unless you're feeding a crowd, making and baking an entire batch isn't necessary. 

Small-batching cookies is smart cooking and living. That's why I maintain a stash of frozen cookie dough and make small batches of cookies on demand. Store-bought dough pales by comparison, plus I can't get ones I really enjoy.

Good candidates for frozen cookie dough are unfussy. My choices include old-fashioned drop cookies such as oatmeal raisin and chocolate chip, elegant hand-molded Chinese almond cookies, and slice-and-bake ginger coins. I've been baking and tweaking the recipe since the mid-1990s; it comes from Barbara Tropp's China Moon Cookbook. She, too, was a proponent of freezing cookie dough, so I knew the recipe was a keeper. Three kinds of ginger define the zippy cookie recipe (though if you don't have the crystallized ginger at baking time, they'll still be tasty).

Quick cookie fixes shouldn't involve fancy cutouts, pastry bags, presses, or irons. They also shouldn't be overly healthy. Enjoy that butter, sugar, or salt. Make them fabulous. 

It typically goes like this: I thaw and finish readying the dough as part of dinner prep, bake the cookies while we're eating, and cool them as we're cleaning up. The timing usually works out for us to savor the cookies at peak perfection. The house smells wonderful, and eating a couple of perfect cookies is a remarkably satiating, over-the-top experience that always makes me happy.