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Freezing Baked Cookies

Betty's Tips for Freezing Cookies and Cookie Dough: Use our helpful tips for storing and freezing cookies and dough to make your holiday-baking schedule as stress-free as possible.

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You know it and we know it: Freshly baked holiday cookies rock. But here's the thing. Just when we want to bake our buns off , we also want to buy, wrap, host, travel, and celebrate. That's when freezers come into play. By following our easy advice for freezing cookies or dough now, you can spread the baking love later when you're beyond busy. Here's how.

Freezing Baked Cookies

What types of cookies freeze well? 
You can freeze everything from cutouts and icebox cookies to drop cookies and biscotti. But try to avoid freezing cookies that are decorated, filled, or known for their delicate texture such as meringues. And beware of freezing cookies that are coated with chocolate. They'll taste fine after thawing, but they may have a white-color haze (known as bloom) that will make them seem not-so-great as gifts.

Cookie Cutter and Dough
Get a head start on your holiday baking with these easy, freezable favorites. 

How do I freeze baked cookies? 
Transfer baked cookies to a cooling rack to cool completely. Place them in a single layer to avoid breakage. Store them in flat-bottomed, square or rectangular plastic containers with airtight lids. (Round or shaped containers can cause the cookies to bend and break.) Line the bottom of each container with waxed paper or plastic wrap. Repeat between each layer of cookies, ending with the paper/wrap. Label with cookie type and date frozen.


Download our free printable freezer labels.

How long can I freeze baked cookies?
Cookies can be frozen up to 2 months if stored correctly.

Can I freeze decorated cookies? 
Although freezing decorated cookies won't change the way they taste, it will change the way they look. Frosting may cause cookies to stick together. And condensation while thawing will cause colored icings to bleed into each other and onto the cookies themselves.

Freezing Cookie Dough

How do I freeze cookie dough to bake later? 
Dough for cutout cookies, drop cookies, and icebox cookies works best for freezing and baking later. Follow these easy steps to get the best results.

Cutting Dough

Divide your bowl of dough into two or three batches for freezing. Shape each portion of dough into a flattened disk. Cover each disk in plastic wrap, then place it in a resealable gallon freezer bag. Freeze the wrapped dough on a flat surface to help it hold its shape, which makes it easier to roll out the dough later.

Cutout Cookies: Cutout cookies can be cut and frozen before being baked. Place the raw cutouts in a single layer on a waxed paper-lined cookie sheet. Cover and freeze for 20 to 30 minutes or until firm. Then quickly transfer frozen cutout dough to an airtight container and line each layer of raw cookies with waxed paper. 

Drop Cookies: Drop cookies and ball cookies can be shaped and frozen before being baked. Place the raw balls of dough in a single layer on a waxed paper-lined cookie sheet. Cover and freeze for 20 to 30 minutes or until firm. Then quickly transfer frozen balls to an airtight container and line each layer of dough balls with waxed paper. 

Icebox Cookies: Freeze icebox-cookie dough in two stages. First roll the dough, then wrap it in waxed paper. Place the wrapped dough inside an empty paper towel roll slit down the side. This will help the dough keep its cylindrical shape. Freeze until firm. Then remove the frozen roll of dough from the cardboard, twist the ends of the waxed paper, and wrap it in plastic wrap before placing back in the freezer.

How long can I freeze cookie dough? 
Cookie dough can be frozen up to 2 months if stored correctly. Make sure you label each package of frozen dough with cookie type and date frozen.

Download our free printable freezer labels.

How should I thaw frozen cookie dough? 
Disks: For cookie-dough disks, unwrap one and place on a lightly floured surface to start rolling out. Let stand 30 minutes to soften. Put remaining batches of the dough in the refrigerator until ready to use. 

Cutouts: For raw cookie cutouts, immediately transfer the frozen shapes to a baking sheet. Let stand 15 minutes to thaw. Then bake as the recipe directs. 

Drop Cookies: For raw drop cookies, immediately transfer frozen balls to a baking sheet. Let stand 15 minutes to thaw. Then bake as the recipe directs. 

Icebox Rolls: Cut these into cookie slices while frozen for best results in keeping a round edge. Place on the cookie sheet 1- to 2-inches apart and let stand 5 minutes, then bake.

Decorating Frozen Cookies

How long should I thaw frozen cookies before decorating? 

Wait until the cookies are completely thawed (meaning they have reached room temperature). Otherwise, the difference in temperature between the cold cookie and frosting may cause condensation and prevent the icing from staying on the cookie.

Powdered Dough

Learn more about:
glazing holiday cookies with colored icing

Learn more about:
decorating holiday cookies with decorative sugar and sprinkles

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