If you want fresh-baked cookies on demand, this is the way to go.
Can You Freeze Cookie Dough?
The short answer as to whether you can freeze cookie dough is a qualified yes. Most standard, sturdy-type cookie doughs can stand up to the freezer for several months.
Many popular cookie doughs—including chocolate chip cookies, gingersnaps, peanut butter cookies, and sugar cookies—are among those that can easily be frozen.
Cookie Recipes That Can Easily Be Frozen
Try freezing some of these cookie doughs for future use:
Sugar cookie dough (great for freezing into a log or into pre-cut shapes)
Chocolate peppermint shortbread (freeze the dough and do the decorating after you bake)
Gingerbread cookies (shape these before freezing for faster gingerbread goodness)
Jam sandwich cookies (freeze the dough, then bake and add jam when you're ready to serve)
How to Freeze Cookie Dough
There are two methods you can use to freeze cookie dough—one that works great if you plan to use all of the frozen dough in one fell swoop, and another to use when you might want to bake just a few at a time when you want a quick fresh-baked cookie.
How to Freeze Cookie Dough for a Future Full Batch
If you plan to bake a full batch of cookies at a later date, freezing the dough as a log will be the fastest and easiest way to make that happen. Simply roll the dough into a log shape, wrap it in wax paper or plastic wrap, then place in a freezer-friendly container, and freeze.
You'll need to thaw the dough when you're ready to go—and then you can slice the log for uniform cookie shapes, or roll it out and use cookie cutters for shaped cookies.
How to Freeze Cookie Dough to Bake a Few Cookies at a Time
If you want to be able to have fresh cookies on demand (and frankly, who doesn't?), you'll want to take the time to get the cookies bake-ready, then freeze. So scoop the dough into individual cookie-sized servings (or roll and shape cookies), then freeze them on parchment on a cookie sheet. When they're fully frozen, transfer them to an airtight freezer bag or container.
What Types of Cookie Dough Don't Freeze Well?
There are a few cookie doughs that won't do well in the freezer. In some of these cases, you can bake the cookies now, and freeze them for later instead. Some of the cookie doughs you shouldn't freeze include:
Meringue-type cookies, like macarons
Anyone who's baked with meringue knows just how finicky and delicate it can be. Your best bet is to bake all your meringue or macarons and freeze the baked versions with parchment between pieces. (Be sure that the container is crush-proof, or make sure that the frozen meringues don't get crushed beneath a roast or other freezer goodies.)
Don't leave them in the packaging when you thaw
Condensation is the enemy of those crispy-chewy meringues, and can collect in a closed container as they thaw. So take them out of the container when you're ready to use.
Liquidy cookie batters, like tuiles or pizzelles
Liquid-type cookie batters—such as those for lace cookies, tuiles, florentines, or pizelles—don't do well in the freezer. And if the cookies themselves are super delicate, as in the case of tuiles, the cookies themselves are probably best enjoyed now, not frozen.
Related: Lace Cookies
Cake-style cookies, like madeleines or whoopie pies
The dry chill of the freezer can rob the cookie dough of that all-important moisture, so skip the deep freeze.
Cookies with jam filling
You can freeze the dough, but leave the jam off the cookies until you're ready to bake, as freezing can affect the consistency of the jam (and not in a good way!).
Should You Thaw Cookie Dough Before You Bake It?
If you still need to manipulate the dough before you bake (like a log of dough that you need to roll out and cut), you should thaw it for a few hours or overnight in the fridge before you bake.
For individually wrapped frozen cookie dough, you can place them on a cookie sheet for 15 minute before you bake—basically, just enough time for your oven to preheat.
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