Friday, May 11, 2012

Freezer Friday - Desserts & Casseroles

This week I loaded up the freezer with some yummy desserts and casseroles.  My 8x8 pans are my go-to for freezing things like bars and casseroles because I can freeze them in the pan, then remove them and they fit nicely in my vacuum seal bags or a gallon freezer bag.  It was a small investment that has paid for itself over and over!  When it's time to bake the frozen items, I put them back in an 8x8 pan (usually my glass one), thaw and cook or heat.  Easy peasy!

Here's the rundown of this week's freezer cooking:

Fudge Oat Bars 
I found this recipe for Chocolate Oat Squares a while ago and they are fantastic!  I doubled the recipe to make 4- 8x8 pans of these great little treats.  One for the oven (it was a rainy grey afternoon that required something warm and yummy) and three for the freezer.   These bars like an oatmeal chocolate chip cookie - only better!  The only modification I made was to substitute part white-whole-wheat flour for some of the all purpose flour (2 cup WWW for 2-1/2 cups All Purpose on the doubled recipe).

I found that having a bit of flour in a measuring cup to dip  my fingers in make pressing the cookie crust in the pans much easier.  Also, for the top pieces, I pressed the dough out on wax paper and then used a small spatula to pick up as large of pieces as I could.  I dipped the small spatula in the flour as well when I was doing the top "crumble" pieces.

Tips for Freezing: 
  • Line your pans with wax paper before pressing the crust in.  You may leave the paper or remove it to transfer the "block" to a freezer bag".   DO make sure to remove it before thawing and baking!
  • Spread chocolate layer just to the edge of the crust, but try not to hit the wax paper as it sticks pretty bad once frozen.
  • Let "block" thaw in the fridge before baking for best results.
To the Freezer this Week: 
:: 3 pans of Oat Fudge Bars
:: 1 round Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
:: 2 pans Beef Salsa Casserole (inspired by this recipe- I was tired and cooking on the fly so I only loosely followed the recipe)

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