How to Freeze Cookies and Cookie Dough

How to Freeze Cookies and Cookie Dough

Are you planning a Christmas cookie baking marathon or looking for ways to save time? Here are some tips and tricks for how to freeze cookies and cookie dough.

During the Christmas season, millions upon millions of holiday cookies are baked in homes across the country. Many busy home bakers have discovered how helpful it is to freeze already baked cookies or cookie dough.  This can help you cut down on the overall preparation time and ensures your cookies are fresh.

How to Freeze Cookie Dough

Cookie dough freezes well for four to six weeks which means you can have freshly baked cookies in no time.  As a rule of thumb, meringue-type cookie dough shouldn’t be frozen. Drop cookie or rolled cookie dough freezes beautifully. Some examples are peanut butter, chocolate chip, gingerbread, shortbread, spice, oatmeal, and sugar cookie dough.

You can prepare the dough for the freezer in several ways. Roll the dough into a log or cylinder shape using wax or parchment paper then seal it tightly in plastic wrap. Shape dough for cut out cookies into a flat disc and wrap in plastic wrap. Depending on the kind of dough you have made, drop cookie dough for example can be stored in a container with an airtight lid or seal. Another way to store cookie dough in the freezer is to place unbaked drop cookies onto a cookie sheet, place it in the freezer, and then transfer the cookies to a freezer bag once they become hard.

Also, before freezing the dough, don’t forget to put labels on the freezer bags or containers with the date, the kind of dough, and the baking time and temperature.

Cookie dough can be placed in the refrigerator for several hours or up to a week to allow the ingredients to defrost. Discs of frozen dough for cut out cookies need to be completely thawed but still cool for easy rolling. Cookie dough frozen in a cylinder can be sliced while still partly frozen and placed on a baking sheet. A cookie scoop works great for evenly sized drop cookies. Before baking frozen cookies, allow them to thaw and reach room temperature, which can take 10 to 30 minutes.

How to Freeze Baked Cookies

I love having baked cookies stored in the freezer because it means you can have fresh cookies in about the time it takes to make a pot of coffee or tea. If you bake more cookies than needed it’s easy to put the extra in the freezer. Almost any baked cookie will freeze well. Be sure to allow them to cool completely before freezing.

My favorite way to freeze baked cookies is in plastic food storage containers. (I have loads of Tupperware I’ve collected over the years.) Glass containers with tight sealing lids, zip lock freezer bags, and metal tins work well too. If you have any old coffee cans or holiday tins, or gallon jars you now have a use for them. I find cookies keep best when double or triple wrapped. The longer you plan to keep them the better they should be wrapped.

Sturdy cookies can be stacked on their sides, wrapped in plastic wrap, tin foil, or wax paper in cylinders then placed in freezer bags. Fragile cookies like buttery shortbread are best stored in hard containers to protect them from breaking.  Use wax paper between the layers of cookies to protect them from damage. Cookies can also be individually wrapped in plastic wrap or small bags and then placed into a container or freezer bag.  Cookies will last longer when individually wrapped and stored in a freezer bag or container.

When freezing frosted cookies, make sure the icing has dried and hardened before packaging so that the icing won’t get damaged. Once the frosting is hard enough, store them in an airtight container that is lined with plastic wrap or foil. Keep in mind that unfrosted cookies stay frozen for up to six to twelve months. When frosted, they keep for about three months.

In order to eat cookies that are frozen, thaw them in their container on the counter. If you just need a few, place them on a serving plate, and allow them to reach room temperature, which takes about ten minutes.

Cookie Storage Tips.

Here are a few simple tricks for storing cookies for optimum freshness, flavor, and texture. I might be a bit uptight about how I store my cookies.

  • Soft and crisp cookies should be stored separately to ensure they keep their texture.
  • Store different flavored cookies in separate, tightly sealed containers to prevent their flavors from mingling.
  • Restore crispness to cookies that have inadvertently gone soft by putting them on an ungreased baking sheet and heating them in a 300°F oven for 3 to 5 minutes.
  • For soft, chewy cookies, store in an airtight, completely-sealed container. If they start to dry out place a slice of bread in the container with them.
I hope you found these tips and tricks for freezing and storing cookies helpful. If you have a tip for freezing or storing cookies please let us know in the comments below.
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