The Baker Upstairs: How To Freeze Cookie Dough

4.22.2019

How To Freeze Cookie Dough

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Want freshly baked, perfectly delicious cookies whenever the craving strikes? Follow these simple step by step instructions to freeze cookie dough, for the best results every time!

Want freshly baked, perfectly delicious cookies whenever the craving strikes? Follow these simple step by step instructions to freeze cookie dough, for the best results every time!

Is there anything better than a warm, freshly-baked cookie? They are one of my greatest joys in life, and life just feels sadder when there are no cookies to be had. Since I definitely need a warm cookie several nights a week, the best solution that I've come up with is to freeze big batches of cookie dough, so I can pull out a few balls of dough and bake some cookies whenever the cravings strike. Through lots of trial and error, over years of cookie baking, I've developed a foolproof method for making perfect cookies using frozen dough. They're just as delicious as freshly made cookies (or maybe even more so!), but they're so quick and convenient to make. I keep cookie dough on hand in the freezer at all times, and it makes life sweeter!

5 Tips for the Best Frozen Cookie Dough

1. Start with a great recipe

I may be a little biased, but I do think my chocolate chip cookie recipe (listed below) makes the best cookies I've ever had! Of all the recipes I make, I think it's the one that I have made the most times. I made them about twice a week when I was in nursing school (as a way to process all of that nursing school stress), and they never disappoint. I don't even need to check the recipe any more, and I could probably make it in my sleep. It produces consistent, delicious results every time. As great as the recipe is when you make it and bake it, something magical happens to it in the freezer. The texture gets even better, the flavors meld a little more, and the resulting cookies are just fantastic!

Want freshly baked, perfectly delicious cookies whenever the craving strikes? Follow these simple step by step instructions to freeze cookie dough, for the best results every time!

2. Use a cookie scoop for uniformly-sized cookies

It's important to make sure all of your cookies are the same size, so they will cook evenly. I am totally addicted to using scoops for measuring cookies and cupcakes! They keep everything neat and tidy and make it really easy to measure out portions. For these cookies, I like to use a 1.5 tablespoon (#40) scoop. I have this one from Oxo and it has held up well over several years and thousands of cookies scooped. The finished cookies are about 2 inches in diameter, which is the perfect size for me!

Want freshly baked, perfectly delicious cookies whenever the craving strikes? Follow these simple step by step instructions to freeze cookie dough, for the best results every time!

3. Flash-freeze the cookie dough

Flash-freezing the cookie dough after it's scooped prevents the dough balls from sticking to each other, so it's easy to portion out just the amount of cookie dough you need when you're ready to bake. I like to scoop the dough onto a parchment lined baking sheet, then freeze for about 30 minutes. Since you're not baking on it, you can reuse the parchment sheet after you move the cookies to an airtight storage container.

* Bonus tip: Did you know that after you use a sheet or parchment paper, you can turn it over and use the other side to bake with? I learned that tip from Orson Gygi on Instagram a while ago, and it has blown my mind. I don't reuse my parchment sheets if I've cooked something super messy on them, like roasted vegetables or breaded chicken, but I always reuse them after baking cookies. It's a great money saving tip!

Want freshly baked, perfectly delicious cookies whenever the craving strikes? Follow these simple step by step instructions to freeze cookie dough, for the best results every time!

4. Store the cookie dough in an airtight container

This one's a no-brainer, since the cookie dough is going in the freezer and you definitely don't want it to be freezer burned. I've always used zipper top bags to store cookie dough in the past (labeled with the type and date), but I'm trying to reduce my plastic waste lately, so I bought these freezer-safe containers from Ikea, and I love them so far!  

Want freshly baked, perfectly delicious cookies whenever the craving strikes? Follow these simple step by step instructions to freeze cookie dough, for the best results every time!

5. Don't preheat the oven before baking

I know this sounds counter-intuitive, but I've tried it both ways, and the cookies turn out much better if you start them in a cold oven. If you're putting them into a hot oven, the outsides burn before the insides cook all the way through, and the cookies stay in their little domed shapes and don't spread nicely. It does take a little longer to bake them, but I always just set the timer on my watch or phone, and go watch a movie (or an episode of The Office) until they're done. They come out of the oven perfectly crisp on the edges, soft and gooey on the inside, and totally delicious! 

Best Cookie Dough Recipes to Freeze

The recipe below is my very favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe, but the same techniques will work for other types of cookie dough too. Here are some of my other favorite cookies to freeze:


Happy Baking!

Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookies

12 tablespoons butter, melted
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg + 1 egg yolk
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 1/4 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 350. In a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, mix together the butter, brown sugar, and sugar. Add the egg, egg yolk, and vanilla, and mix until combined. Add the flour, baking powder, and salt, and mix to form a soft dough. Gently fold in the chocolate chips. Roll the cookie dough into golf ball sized balls. Using your fingers, pinch each ball of dough into two halves. Place one half, rough side down, on the prepared baking sheet, then place the other half, rough side up, on top, to form a double stack. Bake 10-12 minutes, or until the bottoms are light golden brown.

*To freeze the cookie dough for later, roll or scoop the dough into one inch balls. Place on a parchment lined baking sheet, and freeze 30-60 minutes, or until firm. Place in a zipper bag or airtight container and freeze up to 6 months. When ready to bake, place the cookie dough on a parchment lined baking sheet in a cold oven. Turn the oven on to 325. Bake 25 minutes.

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