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How to Freeze Cookie Dough (and Cookies)

Updated March 31, 2020
Grab your oven mitts, cookie sheets, hand mixers and measuring cups because these helpful tips for storing and freezing cookies and dough will inspire you to whip up a batch (or two) of your favorite cookies!
We’re firm believers that you can never have too many cookies or too much cookie dough for that matter. A warm-from-the-oven cookie is comfort food at its best, and the baking process itself can also offer a great deal of comfort. Soothe your mind with a kitchen project that not only rewards you with tender, sweet confections, but also lets your mind focus on one thing and one thing only: baking the perfect cookie. Call on any little bakers with idle hands and let them in on the cookie-making fun. Experiment with a recipe you’ve been meaning to try, bake up a batch of classic chocolate chip cookies or stash away cutout sugar cookies for impromptu decorating on rainy days.

Reasons to Always Keep Cookie Dough in the Freezer

There are certain things you should always have stocked in your pantry, like pasta, rice and beans, and the same goes for your freezer. Number one on our list is cookie dough! Knowing you can make any day a little sweeter with the ready-to-bake cookies in your freezer brings a sense of comfort. Prep a batch today for freshly baked comfort at a moment’s notice—hello, instant cookies! Our Ultimate Chocolate Chip Cookies recipe makes enough dough for 48 servings so you can bake half now and save the other half for later or bake off a few at time—as circumstances demand.

How to Freeze Cookie Dough

Freeze cookie dough to bake later on; it’s easier than you might think. Freezing works best for cutout cookies, drop cookies and slice-and-bake cookies because the dough has a firm texture and can withstand more time in the freezer. Store it correctly and it’ll keep for up to three months. Just make sure to label each package of frozen dough with cookie type and date frozen.

Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

Cutout Cookie Dough:

Cutout cookie dough can be frozen two ways. Both work equally well, so pick the one that you have time for.

  1. To freeze uncut dough, shape it into two or three flattened disks, about one-inch thick. Cover each disk in plastic wrap, then place in a resealable gallon freezer bag. Freeze the wrapped dough on a flat surface to help hold its shape (this makes it easier to roll out later). To thaw 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 dough in refrigerator until ready to use.
  2. To freeze dough 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 to an airtight container and line each layer of raw cookies with waxed paper. To thaw cookie dough cutouts, immediately transfer frozen shapes to baking sheet. Let stand 15 minutes to thaw. Then, bake as the recipe directs.

Drop Cookie Dough:

Drop cookies and ball cookies can easily be shaped and frozen before being baked.

  1. Portion balls of the raw dough and place on a waxed paper-lined cookie sheet. Don’t worry about crowding but try not to let them touch.
  2. Cover and freeze for 20 or 30 minutes or until firm. 3. Once solid, transfer frozen balls to an airtight container and return to the freezer.

To thaw drop cookie dough, immediately transfer frozen balls to a baking sheet. Let stand 15 minutes to thaw. Then, bake as the recipe directs.

Slice-and-Bake Cookie Dough:

As the name suggests, icebox cookies freeze well—with the right method, that is!

  1. 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 with a slit cut down the side. This will help the dough keep its cylindrical shape. Freeze until firm.
  2. 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.

To bake slice-and-bake cookie dough, cut cookie dough into slices while frozen for best results in keeping a round edge. Place on cookie sheet 1- to 2-inches apart and let stand five minutes, then bake.

How to Freeze Baked Cookies

Once you’ve baked your cookies, learn how to safely store and freeze them to enjoy later on. Cookies can be frozen up to two months.

shortbread-cookies_hero

Step 1:

Transfer baked cookies to a cooling rack and allow to cool completely.

Step 2:

Once cool, place cookies in a single layer to avoid breakage. Store in flat-bottomed, square or rectangular plastic containers with airtight lids. (Round or shaped containers can cause cookies to bend and break.)

Step 3:

Line the bottom of each container with waxed paper or plastic wrap. Repeat between each layer of cookies, ending with the paper/wrap.

Step 4:

Label the container with cookie type and date frozen.

Tips for Freezing Decorated Cookies

Keep these tips in mind for best results when freezing decorated cookies.

  • Although freezing decorated cookies won’t change the way they taste, it could alter 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.
  • Beware of freezing cookies that are coated in chocolate; they’ll have a fine taste after thawing but may develop a white-colored haze (known as bloom.)
  • Wait until the cookies are completely thawed (meaning they have reached room temperature) to decorate. Otherwise, the difference in temperature between the cold cookie and the frosting may cause condensation and prevent the icing from sticking to the cookie.

Ready to test out these tips? Try our Cookies That’ll Keep in the Freezer.



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