Most recipes recommend chilling cookie dough for several hours in the refrigerator, but the good news is that you can use your freezer in a pinch. … The taste and texture won’t be harmed at all, and in fact, most doughs, from pie crust to cookies of all kinds, freeze quite well.
Cool down your dough for a tastier, chewier cookie.
As little as 30 minutes in your fridge or freezer can help your cookie brown better, spread less, and develop a richer chewy texture. There’s a few reasons why, but one important part is it gives the butter in your dough a chance to firm up before baking.
Freezing Cookie Dough
™ cookie dough can be frozen up to 2 months in advance. You’ll need to defrost the rolls of cookie dough before slicing and baking, but our Ready to Bake!
When baking frozen cookie dough, you do not have to thaw the cookie dough. Simply place the frozen, pre-scooped cookie dough onto a baking sheet and bake for 2-3 minutes longer than the original recipe recommends. That’s it!
“When your dough is refrigerated, the butter hardens. So when you bake them, they spread less and hold their shape better,” adds Epperson. “Which means a better likelihood of a soft, chewy cookie in the center.” So chilling the dough before baking means fluffier cookies with better consistency.
Refrigerating the dough allows the flour to fully hydrate, which (in addition to chilling the butter) helps to make the cookie dough firmer, says baker and food stylist Jason Schreiber, who recently published Fruit Cake: Recipes for the Curious Baker ($21.85, amazon.com).
After baking, allow cookies to cool completely. Place them in a single layer on a parchment-lined baking sheet to freeze them, then store them in a freezer-safe zip-top storage bag labeled with the name and date. Squeeze out extra air and place flat in the freezer. To save space, you can flat-stack freezer bags.
Typically, drop cookies (including oatmeal cookies and chocolate chip cookies) and cut-out cookies (such as sugar cookies and gingerbread cookies) freeze well. Delicate cookies, on the other hand, such as wafers and meringues, will not freeze well—so we recommend making those just before serving.
With proper storage, most cookies can be kept in the freezer for up to three months. As long as you follow the above Test Kitchen tips on freezing your dough, you should be all set to enjoy those delicious cookies whenever a craving strikes. It’s time to start planning your Christmas cookie lineup.
Bakery or homemade cookies can be stored at room temperature two to three weeks or two months in the refrigerator. Cookies retain their quality when stored in the freezer for eight to 12 months.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees Line baking sheet with parchment or silpat. Place frozen cookie dough balls on sheet about 2 inches apart. Bake for 15 minutes.
You can either let the dough completely defrost overnight in the fridge or for a couple hours at room temperature and bake just as the recipe originally instructed.