Whether you have simply made too much, or you are trying to plan ahead a few days, you will inevitably need to store uncooked cookie dough at least once in your life. If you’re like me and you love cookies, it will be a lot more than once. Freezing cookie dough has a lot of reasons behind it and sometimes it can be even better than refrigerating it. So, let’s answer the question, “can I freeze cookie dough instead of refrigerating it?”
Table of Contents
- Freezing Cookie Dough
- Flash Freezing Cookie Dough
- Freezing Cookie Dough While Avoiding Freezer Burn
- Thawing Cookie Dough
- Frozen Cookie Dough Shelf Life
- Is It A Good Idea To Freeze Cookie Dough?
- Can I Freeze Cookie Dough Instead Of Refrigerating It – FAQs
Freezing Cookie Dough
Before discussing this any further, it is best to answer the main question that a lot of people will have.
Yes, it is completely fine to freeze cookie dough instead of putting it in the fridge. Both the texture and flavor will remain ultimately unaltered and you will still have some delicious cookies once you eventually decide to bake the dough.
However, it should be said that if you were to freeze the cookie dough and then thaw it, you should refrain from freezing it a second time as this would cause the texture to deteriorate.
If you are going to want to freeze all of your dough but only thaw it in batches, you should freeze it in smaller portions so that you only thaw what you need. More on that later!
Best Types Of Cookie Dough To Freeze
When it comes to actually freezing your cookie dough, you are going to need to know which types of cookie dough are the most compatible with being frozen. Cookies are a category of baked goods and there are a lot of different types of cookies, this means that some cookies will have a type of dough that reacts negatively to being frozen.
The best cookie doughs for freezing are the big hearty doughs that are chunky and chewy. The cookie doughs for sliced cookies, mostly shortbread and sugar cookies, are also great for freezing. Frozen cookie dough can be sort of brittle and hard, so it is best to avoid delicate doughs such as macarons. For something so difficult to make, it would be a shame to ruin them by turning them into a messy frozen dough.
For example, sugar cookies, oatmeal raisin cookies, and chunky chocolate chip cookies are the best for being frozen. Shortbread and similar cookies are also good for freezing. It really is the more delicate type of dough that risks losing its texture if they are frozen.
Flash Freezing Cookie Dough
When you are wanting to freeze your cookie dough, it is advisable not to do it all in one big chunk. By this, I mean that it is not a good idea to scoop your entire mass of cookie dough into an airtight container and call it a day. This is both bad for the dough and for storage, not to mention that it will also force you to thaw the entire batch at once instead of being able to only thaw what you need.
The best way to freeze your cookie dough is to initially flash freeze it. Once your cookie dough is all ready to be frozen, use a cookie scoop or a tablespoon and separate it into cookie dough balls. Place these little balls of chocolate chip cookies onto a cookie sheet or a baking tray lined with parchment paper/baking sheets. This is the same step you would take for baking cookies but instead of doing the baking process, place them in the freezer for an hour or two.
This method will freeze the cookie dough balls a fair bit so that they are firm and less sticky than raw dough. You can now take them out of the freezer and pour the cookie dough balls into an airtight container or a heavy-duty freezer bag. This can be repeated multiple times until your container or bag is full. When it comes to thawing your cookie dough, you can simply remove as many dough balls as you need instead of thawing the entire lot.
Freezing Cookie Dough While Avoiding Freezer Burn
Freezer burn is something that can scare a lot of people away from freezing their food, leading to more food wastage and money spent. Knowing how to properly freeze food without it being negatively impacted by the freezer is a useful skill.
When it comes to most foods, freezer burn strikes when there is a lot of surface area and some leftover moisture from the air. This is quite difficult to counter in rare cases but for the most part, you should be just fine.
As mentioned in the last steps, pouring your dough balls into a container or a bag is a great way to store them as it stops them from being exposed to the freezer. When you are storing the cookie balls in a freezer bag, use a straw or your mouth to suck out as much of the air as you can. It does not need to be a vacuum seal yet even removing some of the air is already a great start to countering freezer burn.
Additionally, if you are wanting to be extra cautious you can wrap the cookie balls in cling film or plastic wrap too just to completely remove any contact with air that they may have.
Another step similar to this, which is mostly done by just using an airtight storage method, is to make sure that the cookie balls are not right at the front of the freezer. Every time you open and shut the freezer door, you are letting air into the freezer. This is not a huge issue if your balls are in an airtight container yet if they are just sitting on a plate in the freezer, you want to minimize the amount of contact they get with fresh air.
Thawing Cookie Dough
Now that you know how to store cookie dough in the freezer, you will be wanting to know how to properly make your cookies go from being frozen solid to nice and soft like they initially were. T
he thawing process is very important and if you try to rush it, you can end up ruining the texture of your cookies, even when you decide to have your cookies baked this will be noticeable.
The best way to let frozen cookies thaw is to naturally let their temperature rise over a slightly longer period of time. Leaving your dough in the fridge overnight is a great way to do this as it is over the course of a few hours and is quite gradual. Chilling cookie dough after it has been frozen lets it slowly thaw without the texture being ruined.
After this, you just need to let it rest at room temperature for about 10 minutes before you decide to bake the dough. If they are still cold from the fridge, this can increase their baking time and cause them to bake unevenly.
Frozen Cookie Dough Shelf Life
Now you know how to freeze cookies to store them for longer, you might be wondering just how long you can freeze them before they start to decrease in quality.
The longest amount of time I would personally let them stay in the freezer is for about a month. They can survive longer than that without them being deemed safe to eat, yet after a month the texture really seems to take a hit and can be noticeably worse.
Is It A Good Idea To Freeze Cookie Dough?
There are many benefits to freezing cookie dough and as the texture can remain almost unchanged, there really is no reason to avoid doing this. For instance, if you have made a huge batch of cookie dough and you only want to bake a few cookies, you would normally refrigerate the cookie dough and then would be on a time limit before that dough is no longer good to bake. Freezing the dough gives you so much more time to play with so that you do not have to worry about using it as quickly as possible.
Can I Freeze Cookie Dough Instead Of Refrigerating It – FAQs
Is it better to refrigerate or freeze cookie dough?
Depending on your time limitations, both options are good but you will want to choose the option that is better suited to you. If you are definitely going to bake the dough within a week then refrigerate it. However, if you are not entirely sure and want to have more time before the dough is unusable, freeze it.
What happens if you put cookie dough in the freezer instead of the refrigerator?
Nothing bad will happen! The dough will freeze as it is meant to and then you can thaw it in the fridge overnight before use. Freezing cookie dough is a great way to increase its shelf life of it so that you do not end up wasting it.
Does freezing cookie dough ruin it?
Freezing cookie dough can be known to ruin the texture of the baked cookies. This is mostly caused by delicate dough for cookies such as macaroons being frozen. The thicker and more chunk doughs are much easier to freeze as there is little to no effect on their texture later on.
Can you freeze raw cookie dough for later?
You can! Cookie dough should be scooped into balls, partially frozen for a couple of hours, and then placed in an airtight container or freezer bag before being fully frozen. This will give you a month to safely store your dough before you need to use it.