Gadget Or Gimmick: The Casabella Cookie Dough Tray

Photo: Courtesy of Casabella.
Of all the weird, random products that come across our food team's desk, the Casabella cookie dough tray at first seemed destined to go down as one of the most absurd. Basically an ice tray for your cookies, it allows you to freeze pre-portioned cookie dough scoops. Ah yes, the essential item every kitchen needs! I took it home to give to my roommate mostly as a joke. Then, we started using it. And we kept using it. As a concept, it's incredibly simple: the silicon material allows you to remove just about any frozen filling with ease, and one at a time. The lid allows you to stack. On the other hand, the concept is a little nutty: who makes and freezes cookie dough? Do you need an item dedicated to that purpose? Let me make the argument that yes, you do. Freshly-baked cookies are one of life's great joys. Sure, you can buy pre-made cookie dough at the store (and trust me, I've done that plenty), but, in my opinion, nothing rivals the original Nestle Tollhouse recipe, printed right there on the semisweet chocolate chip bag. My roommate and I make them at least once a month, and, afterwards, freeze extra dough. You, of course, don't need a cookie tray to do it: place it on a cookie sheet, freeze, then transfer to a Ziploc bag once it's set. Or, at least, that's what we always did before the cookie tray came into our lives. Now, we scoop directly into the tray and freeze immediately. The lid makes it great for stacking, and it takes up a lot less space than a bag. After we've stocked both trays, we have 30 cookies ready to go at a moment's notice. Preheat the oven to 375° F, pop the desired amount of cookies onto a non-greased sheet, and bake. No defrosting necessary — and, if you bake on tin foil, absolutely no cleanup, either. There's no freezing-then-bagging step, and it makes our freezer a lot more organized. (Of course, you could do this with whatever cookie recipe you wanted but... why eat other kinds when you could be eating chocolate chip???) If they're ever getting a rest from cookie duty, the trays can also work with other frozen food, like pesto or even chocolate (or, of course, ice). But my love of this item has nothing to do with that. I love it simply because it allows me to create a no-fuss, low-clutter (and yes, even elegant) way to keep homemade, fresh-baked cookies on hand. Cookie lovers, I urge you to try it — there may be no going back.
Illustrated by Louisa Cannell.

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