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When I wrote about one of my baking days several weeks ago, I had quite a few people ask about freezing cookies and cookie dough. I meant to answer that question much sooner, but it slipped my mind for some reason. (I’ll blame it on pregnancy brain for now, at least while I still can!)
I successfully freeze both cookie dough and baked cookies. However, my preference would definitely be for freezing the cookie dough. This has nothing to do with quality and everything to do with personality. Frozen cookies can be thawed in about 10 seconds. In fact, they can even be eaten frozen. So needless to say, they don’t last very long in our house.
Here are the two methods I use for freezing cookie dough.
- The log (aka slice-and-bake) method. I form the cookie dough into a log, wrap in waxed paper (if available) and then place in a plastic freezer bag. To bake the cookies, I slice the desired size off the frozen log, if the dough is workable when frozen. If it is too hard to cut through the frozen dough, I let it thaw for about an hour in refrigerator first. Then I slice and bake.
- The ball method. I roll the cookies into a ball by hand or with a cookie scoop. Then I place on a foil-lined baking sheet or large plate and flash freeze until firm, about 30 minutes. I then transfer the frozen balls of dough to a plastic freezer bag. To bake the cookies, I remove as many as needed, place on a cookie sheet and bake from frozen. I find that frozen cookie dough usually only needs an extra minute or two of bake time.
To freeze baked cookies, I start with completely cooled cookies. Then I follow the same flash freeze method as above and freeze in a plastic freezer bag or container. I thaw the cookies on the counter in about 15-30 minutes (certain cookies will thaw faster than others) or in the microwave for about 10 seconds. Cookies that are supposed to be very soft and chewy, like sugar or molasses cookies, will have the best texture if they are wrapped in cheese cloth or paper towel before thawing.
One last tip – hide that frozen dough or those frozen cookies, especially if you are saving them for a certain occasion!