How do I freeze cookie dough to bake later?
Dough for cutout, drop and slice-and-bake cookies works best for freezing and baking later. Here's how to get the best results.
Cutout Cookies: Cutout cookie dough can be frozen two ways. To freeze uncut dough, shape dough into two or three flattened disks, about one-inch thick. 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.
To freeze cutouts, place them 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. Portion balls of the raw dough on a wax-paper lined cookie sheet. Don't worry about crowding them, but try not to let them touch. Cover and freeze until solid, anywhere from six hours to overnight. Once solid, transfer frozen balls to an airtight container.
Slice-and-Bake Cookies: Freeze icebox-cookie dough in two stages. First roll the dough into a log-like form, 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 three months if stored correctly. Make sure you label each package of frozen dough with cookie type and date frozen. (Use our free printable freezer labels to help you keep track of what's what.)
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.
Cutout Cookie Dough: 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 Cookie Dough: For raw drop cookies, immediately transfer frozen balls to a baking sheet. Let stand 15 minutes to thaw. Then bake as the recipe directs.
Slice-and-Bake 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 five minutes, then bake.
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.
Get a head-start on your holiday baking by freezing up a batch of these irresistible holiday favorites.