I want to get a head start on Christmas baking, which is better, freezing cookie dough, or baking the cookies and then freezing. How far in advance can I do this.
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Definitely freeze the dough, not the cookies! I'd imagine that a month or more ahead would be fine, depending on the cookies.
Susan is a Recipe Tester for Food52
I've frozen cookie dough two months in advance. Just make sure that you use good-quality freezer bags. I like to scoop the dough into mounds with an ice cream scoop, freeze them on a sheet tray, and once they are solid pop the mounds into a freezer bag.
This would be a great idea for me, someone that doesn't need a full batch of their favourite cookie recipe. Sometimes, especially with baking, you just can't get the same end result when you cut the recipe in half.
Nothing worse than a frozen or stale cookie:)
Monita is a Recipe Tester for Food52
Freezing cookie dough rather than made cookies is best, though both work, depending on the cookies. Dough can be frozen for up to a month ahead. Baked cookies can be frozen for a week at most. If you have a large enough freezer you can make the cookie dough and cut out the cookies, then put them on baking sheets and freeze that way. Then you just have to pop them into the oven
Freeze the dough. Nothing like hot cookies baked to order whenever you want them.
deglazeordie has it right. Last month we had fresh cookies every night. Now we're paying for it with a diet, but whatever. You only live once.
Sarah is a trusted source on General Cooking.
Just don't freeze too far in advance - besides freezer burn potential, the dough does start to break down and they won't be quite as nice. A month in the freezer, tops, for maximum convenience and results.
Honestly, either works just fine. Either way, you'll want to be 100% sure you have well sealed your package so that it doesn't dry out in the freezer (removing as much air as possible from your packaging). I agree that few things compare with taking dough out and making cookies on the spot, on demand (totally sympathize and understand darkside!). I"m particularly fond of slicing and baking off frozen "logs" of dough (which can be done with just about any dough, BTW, even if it isn't intended as a slice and bake in its unfrozen form. For example, chocolate chip cookies freshly made would be a drop cookie, but if you roll it in a log and freeze that way, you can slice and bake straight from the freezer without thawing. Works for just about any dough). If tightly sealed in a reliable freezer, you can freeze either dough or baked cookies for several weeks without problems. In other words, you could make either dough or baked cookies right now and freeze and they'll be wonderful for your New Year's Eve party or anything before then. FWIW: one of my higher end cooking magazines that I received earlier this month was touting exactly this -- make it now, freeze it, and have it ready for the holidays. They went well beyond cookies in their use of the "freeze it now" approach.
I agree with everyone: freeze the dough. But, here is my tip: freeze the dough in ready-to-bake slices or scoops. You can bake as many or as few cookies at time as you like.
thank you all!!!!!! I always get such good comments and ideas
I roll the dough into a log shape and wrap tightly with cling wrap and then bag. Air is your enemy in the freezer. The nice thing about the log shape is that you can cut it, frozen, with a sharp sturdy knife and put it directly into the oven (without thawing).