Imagine walking into your kitchen after a long day and knowing you were only ten minutes away from melty, gooey, homemade cookie goodness. That is the power of frozen cookie dough. It means on-demand treats anytime you need a last-minute potluck dessert, after-school snack, or serious craving satisfier. Need some cookie recipe? Try some of these cookie recipes your grandmother would approve of.
Can you freeze cookie dough?
You know how to freeze cookies, but can you freeze the dough, too? Yes, and it’s easier than you’d think. First, start thinking about what type of dough you’d like to freeze. Hearty, chunkier cookie dough freezes the best; think chocolate chip or oatmeal raisin. You can also freeze sliceable cookies like shortbread and even sugar cookies (here’s the secret to making the best sugar cookies ever). If you’re making a more delicate cookie like macarons, it’s best to bake (and inhale) them now. They won’t hold up in the freezer, and that’s a lot of work to waste.
How to freeze cookie dough
Start by preparing your cookie dough according to the recipe. If the recipe calls for chilling the dough, place it in the refrigerator while you prepare your freezing materials. Here’s why you should chill your cookie dough.
For chunky cookies like chocolate chip or oatmeal raisin, line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Once the dough is chilled, drop heaping tablespoons onto the baking sheet as if you were going to bake them. Place the baking sheet in the freezer for about an hour, until frozen. Once they’re set, place the individual dough balls into a freezer-safe plastic bag and write the date. Frozen cookie dough will keep for about three months.
If you’re freezing sliced cookies like shortbread, roll the dough into a tube, wrap the tube in wax paper and then place the cookie dough tube into a freezer-safe bag. Write the date, as well as any baking instructions you’ll want to remember.
To freeze sugar cookie dough, make sure the dough is fully chilled. Once it is, press it into a disk and wrap it tightly in plastic wrap. Place the wrapped disk into a freezer-safe plastic bag and label it.
Editor’s Tip: If you’re making cookies with candy toppings or rolled in cinnamon, save the extras for baking time. Freeze the dough and then allow it to thaw slightly before adding your toppings. Any extra candies or toppings will not freeze well.
Make room in the freezer
Cookie dough is one of those surprising foods that freeze well, so let’s make some room in the freezer this afternoon. First, make sure you have space in your freezer for an entire cookie sheet. It’s important that the cookie dough balls are frozen solid on a cookie sheet before you transfer them to the plastic bag. Otherwise, they’ll run together and turn into a weird cookie dough amoeba in your freezer. Sure, they’ll still taste amazing when it’s time to bake, but the presentation won’t be anything special.
Speaking of freezing foods, here are some foods you shouldn’t keep in the freezer.
How to bake frozen dough
Now comes the best part—enjoying all your hard work. For your chunky cookies, simply move them from the freezer bag to your baking sheet. There’s no need to thaw them ahead of time. This is great especially when you just want to bake a couple of cookies for a quick snack.
To bake a frozen tube of cookie dough, let the tube defrost on your kitchen counter for about 30 minutes. It should still be cold when you slice it so that the slices hold their shape. You could also let it defrost for an hour in the refrigerator.
For frozen sugar cookie dough, let the disk defrost on your kitchen counter or in the refrigerator for a few hours. This dough should also still be cold when you roll it out so that the cut-outs keep their shapes. Then bake them according to the recipe instructions.