9 Things to Know About Freezing Cookies
So you're planning ahead, intending to get a head start on all of this year's cookie-baking—kudos to you! The freezer is your new best friend. We'll explain what kinds of cookies freeze best, how to store your cookies or dough in the freezer, and much more!
Not all cookies freeze well
Cookies that are already decorated with frosting or coated in chocolate or powdered sugar are a no-go, as are delicate cookies like these peppermint meringues and these chocolate almond pizzelles. Just about anything else is a possibility! If they lose some of their character in the freezer, you can usually restore them to life with a short stint in a moderate oven (or even a dusting of powdered sugar).
Shutterstock/ Sarah Marchant
Some doughs aren’t freezer-friendly either
While thick, robust doughs like that of drop, cutout and icebox cookies freeze like a charm (this holiday cookie dough is a prime example!), thinner batters don’t hold up so well. If you’re making cookies with a thin batter, it’s best to go ahead and bake them off and freeze the cookies afterward.
Freezing baked cookies is simple
To freeze cookies you’ve already baked, place the completely cooled treats in a single layer on a sheet pan or something else large and flat. Once the individual cookies are completely frozen, you can store them in a flat-bottomed airtight container with the layers separated by parchment paper or waxed paper.
Cookie dough is even easier to freeze
Depending on the type of dough, it can be frozen in a variety of ways. Drop cookie dough can be frozen in a solid lump or portioned out into balls. The latter makes it extremely easy to bake them off at a moment’s notice. Icebox cookie dough should be rolled into a log, covered with plastic wrap or wax paper, and sealed into a zipped bag.
Cutout cookie dough gives you options
Similarly, dough for cutout cookies can be flattened into a disc and wrapped tightly and bagged before freezing. Alternatively, you can go ahead and cut out the shapes you desire and freeze them on a baking sheet before securing them in an airtight container to bake later.
Get way ahead of the game
You can store cookies and dough in the freezer for up to six months if they’re handled properly and wrapped well. That means you can start your Christmas cookie preparation very early—yes, you can literally have Christmas in July!
Keep things straight
Handy tip: Label your doughs, especially if you’re dealing with several! Some look very similar but require different treatments in the oven, so you don’t want to accidentally mix them up.
Shutterstock/marla dawn studio
Thaw your dough correctly
Your best bet in thawing balls, logs, and discs of dough is to let them hang out in the fridge overnight. (Yep, more planning ahead!) If you’ve frozen drop cookie dough balls or pre-cut cutout cookies, simply place them on the baking sheet and let them stand at room temperature for 15 minutes or so before baking as the recipe instructs.
Handle your frozen cookies properly too
To thaw frozen cookies, take them out of the container in which they were stored and spread them out until they come to room temperature. From there, you can decorate them as needed, serve them, or, if necessary, refresh them in a 325º oven for 5 to 10 minutes.