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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
- Double Chocolate Crinkle 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!
Cream Cheese Sugar Cookies
- 3 cups (360 grams) all-purpose flour *spooned and leveled
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup (226 grams, 2 sticks) unsalted butter softened to room temperatuer
- 1 1/4 cups (250 grams) granulated white sugar
- 1/4 cup (2 ounces, 57 grams) cream cheese softened
- 1 large egg room temperature
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 3/4 cup sprinkles for rolling in optional
- Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 375°F/190oC. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
- In a stand mixer with paddle attachment, beat together on medium-high speed the softened butter, granulated sugar, and cream cheese until light and fluffy, about 2 to 3 minutes.
- Add in egg and beat to combine. Scrap down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed. Beat in vanilla extract.
- On low speed, beat in the flour mixture, until a soft cookie dough forms. Do not overmix.
- With a small cookie scoop, or two spoons, scoop cookie dough into about 1 tablespoon portions. Roll each cookie dough in your hands, then roll in sprinkles.
- Place on the prepared baking sheets, spaced 2 inches apart. Gently flatten each cookie with the palm of your hand to about 1/4" thickness.
- Bake in the preheated oven for 10 to 12 minutes, until edges are set, and barely beginning to brown. Remove from the oven and allow cookies to cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes, before transferring to a wire rack to finish cooling completely.
- Storage: Store cookies in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
- Freezing: Freeze cookies, baked or unbaked, for up to 3 months. Bake cookies frozen, do no thaw and add on a few additional minutes of baking time.
- Cut-out sugar cookies: Add an additional 1/2 cup of flour (60 g). Wrap dough in plastic, and chill for 1 hour before rolling and cutting out cookies. Bake for 8 minutes, until golden brown at the edges.
- Cream cheese: You can always omit the cream cheese if you want a thinner, crispier sugar cookie.