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.
Chilling cookie dough before baking solidifies the fat in the cookies. As the cookies bake, the fat in the chilled cookie dough takes longer to melt than room-temperature fat. And the longer the fat remains solid, the less cookies spread.
To bake: What’s great about frozen cookie dough balls is they can be baked directly from the freezer. While the oven preheats, take out as many cookies as you’d like to make and place them on a parchment paper- or Silpat-lined baking sheet a few inches apart, or as far apart as the recipe instructs.
Let the dough freeze until it is completely solid — at least 4 hours and up to overnight. It’s crucial that the cookie dough freezes completely so the balls don’t fuse together when you store them.
Most cookie doughs freeze well for up to 3 months. Remember to write the date, type of cookie, and baking instructions on the outside of the package. Drop Cookies: Shape the cookie dough into balls as you would when preparing to bake them. Place them on a silicone- or parchment-lined sheet.
Place the solid and cold cookie dough balls into a labeled zipped-top bag– large or small depending on how much dough you have. Label the bag with the month and the baking temperature and place the bag in the freezer. Freeze cookie dough for up to 3 months.
Place the cookie dough in the freezer for one-quarter of the recommended refrigerator time. The dough can be wrapped in plastic wrap, scooped into balls for baking on a cookie sheet ($14, Target), or left in the mixing bowl, covered.
But cookie doughs that rely on whipped egg whites for volume and texture will be tough to freeze. For example, meringues and macarons will not freeze well. When freezing the dough, shape it in disks or logs, wrapping it tightly with plastic wrap or parchment paper to prevent freezer burn and odor absorption.
To use: Defrost the unrolled cookie dough in the refrigerator overnight. You can then roll out the dough, cut out the cookies, and bake them according to the recipe’s specifications. If you’ve already cut out and frozen the cookies, simply pop them in the oven.
Store frozen cookie dough pucks in an airtight container. When you are ready to bake the frozen dough pucks, preheat your oven to 375°. Bake the cookies for 12 minutes or until the edges are golden brown.
Freezing cookies is easy and they taste great after you thaw them.
Many cookie recipes call for long refrigeration times, but a finicky dough or a little extra chilling time can result in dough that’s as hard as a rock, and nearly impossible to work with. Merrill recommends putting dough near a warm stove, and pounding it with a rolling pin once it starts to soften.
Yes, like most cookies, cream cheese cookies freeze just fine. Make sure that the cookies are completely cooled and that they are sealed properly in a freezer-safe container.
If you plan on freezing the shortbread cookie dough, follow the recipe to the step of chilling the dough. Wrap it up tightly and chill it until the dough is firm and holds its shape. Place the logs of dough in an airtight container and freeze up to three months!
Storage, Freezing, and Reheating Instructions
Store any cooled, leftover raisin-filled cookies in an airtight container or plastic bag at room temperature for up to five days. Freeze the raw dough and raisin filling separately for up to a month, or cooked (and cooled) cookies for the same amount of time.