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How to Freeze Cookie Dough

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I start my holiday baking prep early in December to reduce the stress as Christmas draws near. I’m sharing How to Freeze Cookie Dough, one of the tricks for streamlining my holiday baking!

A bowl of cookie dough balls showing how to freeze cookie dough

How to Ease the Stress of Holiday Baking

I make tons of holiday goodies.  I bake the same cookies year after year plus a few candies. Truffles or caramels don’t always make the short list, but  fudge, toffee and peppermint bark are a given. Candies can be made weeks ahead of time, but I like the cookies I give away to be freshly baked. This can be a challenge! I found that making dough balls ahead of time and freezing them was a huge time saver.Chewy Butterscotch cookies on a white plate

How to Freeze Cookie Dough

A few years ago, I started a new process.  Instead of first baking the cookies and then freezing, I now form the dough into balls, place them on a parchment lined cookie sheet, slide the cookie sheet in the freezer. Once the dough balls are completely frozen, I put them in a Ziploc bag to store in the freezer until I’m ready to bake off all the varieties.

To defrost, put the Ziploc bags full of frozen dough balls in the refrigerator overnight and bake them ALL that next day.  You may need to add a minute or two to the baking time if the recipe doesn’t call for chilling the dough.

To reiterate, here are the steps for how to freeze cookie dough:

  • Make your cookie dough as usual. If it needs to be chilled before rolling into balls, place your covered cookie dough into the refrigerator.
  • Roll dough into balls as directed in your recipe.
  • Place on a parchment lined baking sheet (use one with a rim so dough balls don’t roll off) and place into the freezer until firm (about an hour).
  • Place frozen dough balls into a gallon sized, freezer quality Ziploc bag. If the dough balls are to be rolled in sugar before baking, wait to do this step right before baking.
  • Seal the bag most of the way, then insert a straw into the bag and suck out as much air as you can. Completely seal the bag.
  • Place bag of dough balls into the freezer for future use. I would bake within a month for the best results.
  • To bake, defrost the dough by placing the bag into the refrigerator overnight. Bake according to recipe instructions, adding a minute or more if the recipe is not based on baking chilled dough.

Here’s my chewy gingersnap recipe.
Here’s my butterscotch cookie recipe (pictured).
Here’s my cherry chocolate chunk cookie recipe.

And check out this fabulous list of 30 Best Freezable Cookie Recipes!

A bowl full of cookie dough balls ready for freezing
Happy Holidays!!!!How to Freeze Cookie Dough photo collage of cookie dough balls

Images circa 2010

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8 comments on “How to Freeze Cookie Dough”

  1. Liz, do you roll the balls (if the cookie calls for it) before freezing or after defrosting? Thanks.

  2. Carole, I roll the dough into balls, then place them on the cookie sheet to freeze. I’ll clarify above!!! Thanks~

  3. Oh, duh, you were very clear. I must have gotten distracted when I posted my question–what I meant to ask was, do you roll your cookie balls in sugar (if recipe calls for it) before freezing, or do you defrost and then roll in sugar mixture before baking?

    Sorry I caused confusion. Thx, Liz!

  4. No problem, Carole…I roll the cookies in sugar after they are defrosted.

  5. Beautiful sharing, dear! Have a great week! xoxo

  6. great idea liz!

  7. Hi Liz, great tips for cookie giving. I will definitely try freezing the dough and baking when needed. Happy holidays!

  8. Such a clever idea! i gotta start doing this! 🙂

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