Individual cookies - frozen dough

There are any number of reasons why you might want to stash some cookie dough in the freezer. Maybe you like having treats on hand in case company stops by. Maybe the first day of spring kick-started your baking gene. Maybe you want a special treat to give your son or daughter at college or a friend who just had a baby. Frozen cookie dough and a new cookie sheet make a wonderful hostess gift. Frozen cookie dough is also great to have in the freezer of a vacation or weekend home. (Side note: Give new parents frozen cookie dough and you will be a favorite. Forever.)

But we’re friends here, so let’s be honest. Frozen cookie dough in our freezer means warm, gooey, fresh-baked cookies any time we want one. Or three. No judgment. Here are the best ways to freeze your favorite cookies for later.

Very Good Reasons (Excuses) to Freeze Cookie Dough:

  • Instant cookies, any time of the day
  • Come through for forgotten bake sale, upcoming holiday or any busy time
  • Bake only a few at a time
  • Produce tea and cookies for drop in guests – complete with welcoming warm cookie aroma
  • Gifts for students, new parents, anyone you love

While you can just scoop the cookie balls with a spoon and roll them with your hands, here are some tools that will help you.

Three piece Stainless Steel Ice Cream Scoop Set – Small, Middle, Large $19.89.

frozen cookie dough scoops

This Baby Food Freezer Tray with it’s lid is just the right size. $15.47.

frozen cookie dough tray

Silicone ice cube trays, $18.87.

silicone-ice-cube-tray

If you put the dough in these in the freezer, cover them with plastic wrap.

Freezing Drop Cookies

You can freeze unbaked mounds of cookie dough on baking sheets, then transfer to re-sealable freezer bags or airtight containers – or in the trays with a cover – for up to one month.

(Note: If you need to keep the dough frozen for many months, freeze the entire mound of dough wrapped very well in plastic wrap and scoop the dough into balls when it defrosts.)

 

Cooking drop cookies

There’s no need to defrost; just bake as directed in the recipe, adding a couple minutes to the baking time.


peanut-butter-choc-chunk-cookiesPeanut Butter-Chocolate Chunk Cookies, From Martha Stewart

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, (spooned and leveled)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup peanut butter (smooth or chunky)
  • 4 tablespoons ( 1/2 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup packed dark-brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 8 ounces semisweet chocolate, cut into chunks

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 350°. In a bowl, whisk together flour and baking soda; set aside. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat peanut butter, butter, and sugars until light and fluffy. Add eggs and vanilla, and beat until smooth. With mixer on low, gradually add flour mixture, beating just until combined. Stir in chocolate chunks.
  2. Drop dough by heaping tablespoons, 1 inch apart, onto two large baking sheets. Bake until golden, 13 to 15 minutes, rotating sheets halfway through. Transfer cookies to wire racks to cool.


ina-gartens-ginger-cookiesIna Garten’s Ultimate Ginger cookies

Ingredients
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup dark brown sugar, lightly packed
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/3 cup unsulfured molasses
1 extra-large egg, at room temperature
1 1/4 cups chopped crystallized ginger (6 ounces)
Granulated sugar, for rolling the cookies

Directions
Preheat the oven to 350° F. Line 2 sheet pans with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, ginger, and salt and then combine the mixture with your hands. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the brown sugar, oil, and molasses on medium speed for 5 minutes. Turn the mixer to low speed, add the egg, and beat for 1 minute. Scrape the bowl with a rubber spatula and beat for 1 more minute. With the mixer still on low, slowly add the dry ingredients to the bowl and mix on medium speed for 2 minutes. Add the crystallized ginger and mix until combined.

Scoop the dough with 2 spoons or a small ice cream scoop. With your hands, roll each cookie into a 1 3/4-inch ball and then flatten them lightly with your fingers. Press both sides of each cookie in granulated sugar and place them on the sheet pans. Bake for exactly 13 minutes. The cookies will be crackled on the top and soft inside. Let the cookies cool on the sheets for 1 to 2 minutes, then transfer to wire racks to cool completely.

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Make ahead dough for an upcoming party is a great idea. Here are some tips for throwing a great Sip n See,

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