With the holiday season fast approaching, we’re already preparing ourselves for the most beautiful (and delicious) time of the year, filled with joy and sweet treats. If you’re one of the avid cookie bakers wondering how to make your baking job easier, you can consider a freezer as your reliable little helper this year.
Freezing cookies and cookie dough is a great way to manage both the use of ingredients and your precious time during this holiday season.
Not only can you preserve the freshness of your leftover homemade goodies by freezing them, but you can also free up more of your time to enjoy the festive season by preparing cookies and cookie dough ahead of the holidays.
Read our guide and learn how to freeze your baked goods safely and how long you can keep them frozen so you can always have a stash of ready-to-bake cookies at hand.
What Types of Cookie Dough Can You Freeze?
Freezing cookie dough is not only a fantastic way to save time during holidays but also to satisfy your sudden cravings for something sweet. After all, having warm, fresh-baked cookies within reach any time you want sounds like a dream come true, doesn’t it?
There are many types of cookies in which dough may come in different forms and consistencies. Although most cookie doughs go well frozen, you need to know that not all of them are suitable for freezing. These exceptions include delicate and thin cookies that are made with a liquidy batter, such as lace, tuile, or florentine cookies. These types of sweet treats don’t freeze well, unbaked or baked.
The best type of cookie dough for freezing is thick, dense, and chunky, which can be formed into balls for drop cookies, like chocolate chip, oatmeal, or peanut butter. The heavy dough can also be used for cut-out cookies, such as sugar cookies, and slice-and-bake cookies, like pinwheels or shortbread.
If stored properly, cookie dough can be kept in the freezer for up to 3 months.
How to Freeze Cookie Dough for Drop Cookies
First, you need to prepare the dough as you would normally do. Next, shape the dough into balls and place them on parchment or wax paper. Make sure the dough balls don’t touch, as this can cause them to stick together in the freezer.
Then, transfer the baking sheet with your dough balls to the freezer and let them freeze until completely solid. Once they are frozen, place them in a large freezer bag or airtight container. Make sure to label the date on the outside of the storage container.
How to Freeze Cookie Dough for Slice-and-Bake Cookies
Although their form is different compared to dough balls, cookies like shortbread or pinwheels also freeze exceptionally well.
To start, you will need to prepare the dough of your choice and shape it into logs. If your recipe requires rolling the logs in sugar, roll them later prior baking, as the sugar can clump in the thawing process.
Next, wrap the dough logs tightly in plastic wrap or wax paper, place them in a freezer bag or airtight container, and freeze.
When it’s baking time, transfer the dough to the refrigerator and let it thaw overnight. The next day, unwrap the logs, slice them, and bake.
How to Freeze Cookie Dough for Cut-Out Cookies
If you’re planning to save time on baking gingerbread men or frosted sugar cookies for holidays, you can do so by preparing the dough ahead of time and freezing it.
First, prepare the dough according to your favorite recipe. Form it into one or two disks, and wrap them tightly in plastic wrap. Next, transfer the disks to a freezer bag or airtight container and put them in the freezer.
When you’re ready to prepare your cookies, take the dough out of the freezer and let it thaw in the refrigerator overnight. Once thawed, unwrap it and roll it out on a flat surface.
Using a cookie cutter, cut the dough into fun and festive shapes. Your cut-out dough is ready for baking!
How to Freeze Baked Cookies
Whether you’ve gone a bit overboard with your holiday baking and you’ve found yourself with a stash of leftover baked cookies, or you’re planning to save time and bake the goods ahead of time for the holidays, freezing baked cookies is your go-to option this season.
To freeze baked cookies, you need to make sure they are kept at room temperature. So, if you’ve just taken your cookies straight from the oven, allow them to cool down completely first. Next, place them on a parchment-lined baking sheet in a single layer to freeze them. Then, store the cookies in a freezer-safe storage bag.
Make sure to squeeze out all the excess air from the bags and place them flat in the freezer. You can flat-stack the storage bags to save space in your freezer.
Most cookies can be frozen as-is. However, if you’re freezing decorated cookies, you may need to wrap them individually or separate them with parchment or waxed paper.
If stored appropriately, baked cookies can keep in the freezer for up to 3 or 4 weeks. When you’re ready to eat them, take them out of the freezer and let them thaw at room temperature or warm them in the oven for several minutes.
Alternatively, if you need your cookies ready immediately, you can heat them in the microwave in 10-second intervals. Avoid heating or microwaving decorated cookies, as the decoration can melt, which will change the quality of your baked goods.
The Bottom Line
If you’re looking for ways to speed up your holiday cookie-making process, freezing your cookies and cookie dough ahead of time is a fantastic solution.
It will also work well if you’re left with any excess homemade goods after the festive season. You can keep your baked cookies frozen for up to 3 to 4 weeks, while your cookie dough can be stored in the freezer for up to 3 weeks.
Before freezing your cookies and cookie dough, make sure they are properly secured in plastic wrap or airtight containers. Follow our tips and enjoy a delicious festive season this year!
Can you freeze cookie dough?
Yes. Freezing cookie dough is a great way to save time during holiday preparations and guarantees that your cookies are still fresh and soft after taking them out of the oven and ready to be served any time you want.
Can you freeze baked cookies?
Yes. Just make sure your cookies have cooled down completely before freezing them.
Can you freeze cookies in a zip-loc bag?
Yes, zip-loc bags are great storage containers suitable for freezing cookies. Alternatively, you can place your cookies in an airtight container and freeze them.
How to freeze cookie dough?
The best way to freeze cookies and cookie dough is to first place them on a parchment-lined baking sheet to freeze them and then store them in an airtight container or a freezer-safe zip-top storage bag.
It is best to wrap fresh cookie dough in plastic wrap to ensure it doesn’t absorb odours from the freezer, and then transfer it to a zip-top freezer bag or an airtight container.
How long can you freeze fresh baked cookies?
You can store your homemade baked cookies in the freezer for up to 3 or 4 weeks.
How long can you freeze cookie dough?
You can keep unbaked cookie dough in the freezer for up to 3 months.
Is it better to freeze cookie dough or baked cookies?
In most cases, it is better to freeze cookie dough over baked cookies. This way, you will still get nice-smelling homemade cookies, keeping their freshness and softness as they come out of the oven.
However, if you want to accelerate the process of cookie preparation, you can bake your cookies and freeze them later.