When the holidays are upon you, it can seem daunting to make all those cookie recipes you have in mind! But that’s where you freezer is your best friend. Learn how to freeze cookie dough in this post, and bring some sanity to your holidays! And you can bake them while still frozen!
I hate to admit this, but if you were to sneak a peak into my freezer right now there would be more cookie dough then real food. Yes I could survive a few months just on cookie dough in my freezer.
And when it comes to the holidays, seriously the freezer is my best friend. No really. We are besties. Seriously I made an entire guide on freezing desserts – baked or unbaked. I’m not messing around.
If you’re not using your freezer during the holidays, you are adding some gray hairs to your life. And frankly, nobody needs more gray hairs. AmIright?! So let’s get to baking…err I mean freezing.
Can You Freeze Cookie Dough From Scratch?
Ok I think we established this. But just to be clear…YES! And you should. Every time I make a batch of cookies, I think I just want one or two. And I used to make them all. At once. And then sit there with way too many cookies staring at me.
Until I learned how to freeze my cookies.
Why Freeze Cookie Dough?
Well as I said above, I hate making an entire batch of cookies all at once when all I want is one. Ok two. Maybe three. Don’t judge me. But you know. And I love being able to a week, or even months after making those cookies being able to have hot fresh cookies whenever I want. Here are a few more reasons…
- Holidays are stressful. All of my cookie doughs are now done. Ahead of time. Boom. Mic drop.
- Company pops over. Mother in law stops by. You get it. Fresh hot cookies and a clean kitchen. Don’t you look like a rock star?
- Bad day. I need a cookie. Like now.
- Last minute party or kids bake sale at school. No need to stop at the bakery now!
Game on. Let’s go.
Have I convinced you yet to freeze your cookie dough yet?
Do I Need To Thaw Cookie Dough Before Baking?
Here’s the best part. Nope. I got your attention now didn’t I? Just simply bake frozen and add on a few extra minutes of bake time.
How Long Does Cookie Dough Last In The Freezer?
I recommend freezing your cookies for up to 3 months. As long as they are properly wrapped, they will be fine.
How To Freeze Cookie Dough – Step By Step
The steps may vary a bit but here is a step by step photo tutorial for most basic cookie recipes.
Start by scooping your dough
You can keep them close together because you aren’t baking them on this cookie sheet. I love these small half sheets because they fit in my normal small sized refrigerator freezer.
Freeze And Label
Then once frozen you can place the cookie dough into a sealable plastic bag and bake when needed.
How To Freeze Specific Type Of Cookies
So different cookies require different freezing instructions. Don’t worry I got you. Here is how you freeze 3 different types of cookies
Classic Scoop and bake (chocolate chip or oatmeal):
1. Prepare your recipe as usual.
2. Scoop your cookies and place on a parchment lined cookie sheet.
3. Freeze until firm (about an hour) uncovered.
4. Place the cookie dough into a zip-loc bag. Label.
5. When ready to bake, do not thaw. Simply place frozen cookies on to your cookie sheet. Add a few minutes of baking time.
Slice-and bake cookies:
1. For these cookies, roll your dough into the log.
2. And then wrap in wax or parchment paper and freeze.
3. Wrap in plastic wrap and keep inside a sealable plastic bag.
4. When ready to bake, it is recommended you do thaw for a few minutes before slicing them and baking them.
Cut-out cookies (such a sugar cookies)
1. Prepare the cookie dough as the recipe directed, and shape the dough into a disc.
2. Freeze the disc of dough wrapped in several layers of plastic wrap. I like to then also place this plastic wrapped disc into a sealable plastic bag for extra protection.
3. Thaw the dough in your fridge overnight and roll out and bake as usual.
Tips For Freezing Cookie Dough
1.Make sure you have room in the freezer. I know it sounds so simple, but there has been many times that after I assembled the dessert, I realized I had no room in the freezer to put it! So double check, re-arrange, do what you have to do before you start baking.
2. Freeze on a level surface. Some desserts before they are frozen can leak (think fruit pies) and so it’s best to make sure you have a flat surface to prevent this.
3. Do not freeze in glass dishes. Most desserts you can take straight from freezer to oven. But glass dishes may shatter in the oven when doing so. Save yourself the trouble, freeze in metal or ceramic dishes.
4. Don’t freeze next to stinky foods (aka that bag of fish you had planned for later in the week). Those odors could potentially transfer to your dessert. And nobody wants Salmon Cookies for dessert. At least I don’t.
5. Be sure to wrap your desserts well. I said it earlier but it’s worth saying again. At least 3 layers of plastic wrap and tin-foil or plastic zip-loc bags.
6. Get as much air as possible out of the zip-loc bags. You want to prevent freezer burn. So less air that can get to your dessert the better.
Cookies Recipes To Try Freezing:
So I hope I have convinced you to use your freezer this holiday season! Here are a few of my favorites to try:
- M&M Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Easy Sprinkle Sugar Cookies
- Double Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Chocolate Mint Crinkle Kiss Cookies
- Best Ever Oatmeal Cookies
- Cut Out Sugar Cookies
- Chocolate M&M Cookies
Want To Freeze More Than Just Cookies? Check Out My Freezer Guide and learn how to bake any kind of dessert – baked or unbaked!
No-Chill Sugar Cookies
- 3 cups (360 grams) Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup (226 grams, 2 sticks) unsalted butter
- 1 1/4 cups (248 grams) granulated white sugar
- 1/4 cup (57 grams) cream cheese softened
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 large egg room temperature
- 3/4 cup sprinkles for rolling in optional
- Preheat the oven to 375°F/190oC. Line two cookies with parchment.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, cream together the butter, sugar, and cream cheese (if you’re using it) until light and fluffy- about 2 to 3 minutes.
- Beat in the vanilla extract, and the egg; scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl.
- Add the flour mixture, and mix at low to medium speed until the mixture is evenly moistened.
- Place the 3/4 cup of sprinkles in a large plastic bag, or in a shallow pan. Scoop the dough by tablespoonfuls into the sprinkles, rolling them in the pan or gently shaking them in the bag to coat them with the sprinkles.
- Place on the prepared baking sheets, leaving 2″ between them. Using a flat-bottomed glass, or the palm of your hand flatten the cookies to about 1/4″ thick.
- Bake for 10 to 12 minutes — 10 minutes for softer cookies, 12 minutes for crunchier. The edges of the cookies will just barely begin to brown.
- Remove from the oven and cool on the pan for 5 minutes, before transferring to a rack to finish cooling completely.
- Make sure to not overmeasure your flour. You want to scoop the flour with a spoon and level off with a flat edge. For a complete tutorial, read this post.
- You want to make sure your ingredients are all at room temperature so they incorporate into a nice smooth dough. For your eggs, I place mine in a small bowl of warm water for 10 minutes prior to baking. To soften your butter, I like to cube mine and leave at room temperature for at least 30 minutes. For 3 more ways to soften your butter, you can read this post.
- Make sure to use a cookie scoop so you get cookies that are all the same size. This way they will bake evenly.
- Rotate the cookies halfway through baking so they bake evenly. Your oven will hot spots so by rotating the cookie sheet will ensure even baking.
- If using one cookie sheet, then make sure to allow the cookie sheet to cool before baking your second batch.
- If you like a slightly chewier cookie, add 2 tablespoons (1 3/8 ounces) corn syrup to the dough. The cookies will spread out a little more.
- For rollout cookies, include the cream cheese, and make the dough with 3 1/2 cups flour; place the dough in a plastic bag, flatten it into a disk, and chill for 1 hour before rolling it out and cutting. Bake the cookies for 8 minutes, until golden brown at the edges. The recipe will make 6 dozen 2″ cookies.
- Adding cream cheese will yield a puffy, cake-like cookie; for flatter/crunchier cookies, leave it out.