Taste of Tribeca Tip #1: Bake Beforehand

rachel-thebault-2-by-tribeca-citizenIn anticipation of Taste of Tribeca, the benefit for P.S. 234 and P.S. 150 on May 15 (tickets are on sale now via the website), I’m asking the neighborhood chefs who are participating in the event for cooking tips that mere culinary mortals might use at home. Here’s one from Rachel Thebault, owner and head confectioner at Tribeca Treats—who, it bears mentioning, has a cookbook, Sweet Chic, coming out in October, with a foreword by Isaac Mizrahi.)

When planning a dinner party, do you often skip a homemade dessert because it’s too time-consuming? You may not know it, but many desserts freeze remarkably well, so you can do most of the work one or two weeks in advance. Cookie dough is one of my favorite things to freeze, because you can make it all beforehand, portion it out, and then freeze it. (I use a small ice-cream scooper to form little balls of dough; after letting them freeze a bit on a tray—so they don’t stick—I stack them in an air-tight container. The key to freezing desserts is to make sure that whatever you freeze is wrapped as air-tight as possible—it keeps the flavors more fresh.) When it comes time to serve, pop the frozen dough straight in the oven. You’ll then have a plate of warm, fresh-baked cookies to offer your guests.

For something even more decadent, cheesecake also freezes really well. Spend a Sunday baking a cheesecake (or several mini ones), let it set in the refrigerator overnight, then wrap it and freeze it for a week or two. Let it thaw in the fridge one day before your party. Your guests will be very impressed. If you forget to plan ahead, of course, you can always visit your local bakery….

Tribeca Treats is at 94 Reade, between Church and West Broadway; 212-571-0500, tribecatreats.com.


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