Make-ahead homemade treat?
March 21, 2018 12:42 PM   Subscribe

An elderly couple from my church has requested company since the wife is on palliative care and not able to leave the house much. I'm trying to arrange a visit with them, but it's up in the air whether they are able to receive visitors on a day-to-day basis, depending on how her condition is. What is something I could have on hand to bring over, that could be made ahead or with a couple hours' notice?

It is easiest for them if I just call in the morning on a date when I'm able to visit, and the husband can let me know if his wife is up for a visit that afternoon. Normally I would make a loaf of bread or some scones, but those take a little planning or a run to the store. So I'm looking for good recipes I could maybe make ahead and freeze to pop in the oven, or that I could make at short notice with shelf-stable ingredients?

I would like to make something homemade, sweet or savory is fine - they don't need freezer casseroles or anything like that (we have asked), I just want to bring over a little something. They don't have any dietary restrictions. I am pretty good cook and have all the usual baking ingredients and equipment on hand.

In addition to this particular case, I attend a lot of playdates with my kid and have friends over occasionally, so I'd love to have a few easy or freezable treat recipes in my pocket. Thanks in advance!
posted by cpatterson to Food & Drink (17 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
I make wontons by the bag, freeze them, and pop them in the oven whenever I need them. They don't have to be eaten with soup, although a clear broth is lovely. You could find a recipe for an easy dipping sauce that you can make right before you head over. My two year old son loves these when I make them with chicken.
posted by Everydayville at 12:45 PM on March 21, 2018 [1 favorite]

Oatmeal raisin cookie dough, rolled into balls and frozen in advance. Then they take 13 or so minutes to bake from frozen. Here are tips from the Kitchn on how to do it.
posted by kimberussell at 12:47 PM on March 21, 2018 [5 favorites]

Icebox cookies exist exactly for this reason! I really like this grapefruit version, but that may not be a great choice for your elderly neighbors (given all the bad medicine - grapefruit interactions), though I imagine any other citrus would be a great substitute.
posted by snaw at 12:57 PM on March 21, 2018 [5 favorites]

Rice Krispie treats? Chocolate chow mein noodle cookies (aka chocolate haystacks)?
posted by WCityMike at 12:59 PM on March 21, 2018 [3 favorites]

Scone dough freezes really well in my experience. I've done it with these.
posted by woodvine at 1:09 PM on March 21, 2018 [1 favorite]

This is what brownies *exist* for.
posted by Secret Sparrow at 1:12 PM on March 21, 2018 [2 favorites]

I see your brownies and raise you a blondie.
posted by mmascolino at 1:14 PM on March 21, 2018 [2 favorites]

I keep cranberries in the freezer specifically to make these orange cranberry muffins. I subbed chocolate chips for the nuts once because of a friend's allergies, and now I don't make them any other way. The muffins will freeze (as will any muffins).
posted by FencingGal at 1:17 PM on March 21, 2018 [5 favorites]

I've had success making scones ahead and freezing before baking them. Same recipe I would use normally, just put 'em on the cookie sheet and into the freezer instead of the oven (once they're frozen individually, you can put them all in a big zipper bag and bake as few or as many as needed). They take something like 10 minutes longer to bake from frozen; keep an eye on them.
posted by Homeboy Trouble at 1:38 PM on March 21, 2018 [2 favorites]

Make and freeze a pound cake ahead of time. You can make a simple icing of powdered sugar+water (or milk or lemon juice) to drizzle on top if you’d like
posted by raccoon409 at 2:31 PM on March 21, 2018 [1 favorite]

I can vouch for the cranberry orange muffins FencingGal linked to - they are delicious (and also work as a loaf).
posted by snaw at 2:53 PM on March 21, 2018 [1 favorite]

posted by exceptinsects at 3:03 PM on March 21, 2018 [1 favorite]

Preacher Cookies! They go by many names - we called them Raggedy Robins growing up - but here in the South these no-bake oat-cocoa treats are called Preacher Cookies because when you saw the preacher coming up the lane, you could mix them up right quick and have them ready by the time he arrived at your door. Make these and you'll have a distracting little story to go along with the treats. And on the kid front, they're a great first recipe to master. (Also the link is home to a lovely southern blog.)
posted by headnsouth at 4:21 PM on March 21, 2018 [4 favorites]

In the icebox cookie vein, I LOVE these rosemary butter cookies and make them for just about every occasion. (Edit: double the rosemary. Martha doesn’t use enough.)
posted by Weeping_angel at 5:06 PM on March 21, 2018 [1 favorite]

I think simple butter cookies when still fresh and warm from the oven are about as good as it gets, so that's my freezer standard. They take well to prettification and you could even take them over and bake them there for the scent as well as the treat.
posted by clew at 5:15 PM on March 21, 2018 [1 favorite]

Do you live in a part of the country where it would be normal enough to take biscuits? Maybe with sausage and/or gravy?
posted by dilettante at 5:51 PM on March 21, 2018 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Thanks everyone! I'm going to make up some of the cranberry orange muffins and freeze them for my old folks visit, and I'll experiment with some of the other ideas over the next few weeks. Just got a chest freezer that I have been excited to fill up...
posted by cpatterson at 12:15 PM on March 23, 2018

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