Who doesn’t love cookies? When the holidays roll around, cookies are a staple in my kitchen. Whether I’m baking them for a party, in preparation for holiday celebrations, or just to enjoy them as a snack, they are a must. However, when the hustle and bustle of the holiday season really starts to kick in, it can be hard to find time to be in the kitchen. That’s why I try to freeze cookie dough and fully baked cookies too. When I need them, I just pop them out of the freezer and I’m good to go. Let me tell you a little bit more about how I do this.
Freezing Cookie Dough
Freezing dough is a great way to cut down on the prep time it takes to make freshly baked cookies. I love making double batches of cookie dough when I have the time, and then freeze the extra dough for when I need a hot, freshly baked cookie.
Some tips for freezing cookie dough:
- Portion the dough balls out onto an ungreased cookie sheet. Make sure there is some space between the cookies when you do this, and freeze them until they’re solid.
- Place the frozen balls in a freezer bag, and whenever you feel the urge to flood your house with that freshly baked cookie smell, you’re good to go.
- Write the bake time and temperature on the freezer bag so you’re never second guessing yourself as to how long to bake them.
- You can also roll the dough into one solid log and freeze it. When you know you’ll need to bake some cookies up, remove the log from the freezer and let it thaw in the refrigerator during the day. Then, you can just cut off slices and bake them.
As I mentioned above, sometimes baking cookies right before serving just isn’t realistic. That’s when I turn to freezing the already baked cookie. I just remove them from the freezer an hour or two before I need them, let them thaw and serve. Works like a charm.
Some tips for freezing cookies:
- Bake the cookies as you normally would (minus frosting or decorating—more on that in a bit), and let them cool completely. You don’t want to put warm cookies into a freezer.
- Protecting the cookies from the cold is a must. Freeze them in a plastic food freezer bag, with layers of parchment or waxed paper between the layers of cookies. If you’re freezing the cookies for longer than a week, it also helps to wrap each layer of cookies with plastic wrap for added protection.
- Back to the frosting and decorating: if you’re making frosted or decorated sugar cookies, it works best to decorate the cookies when you’re ready to serve them. Freeze the cookies undecorated, and once you remove them from the freezer and they are completely thawed, go ahead and frost and decorate. They’ll look (and taste) better this way.
Now that you're armed with plenty of tips about how to freeze cookies and cookie dough, you'll never be left in a situation where you don't have cookies this holiday season. Happy baking!
For even more tips on freezing cookies, read Mary Sue's article on Make-Ahead Cookie Baking Tips.