Freezing your cookie dough can save you lots of time which you can use for other activities during the holidays. Freezing also allows you to have ready-to-bake goodies in the event that unexpected guests show up at your door. It’s also a handy way to prevent your baked cookies from going stale in case the family didn’t finish all of them in one go. The freezer can be one’s trusted friend in the making of scrumptious and lip-smacking home-baked cookies. But, as handy as it is, there are still big no-nos when it comes to freezing cookies. Here are 7 mistakes you have to avoid when freezing your homemade cookies.
Freezing the Wrong Type of Cookie Dough
If you want to have cookies that freeze well after baking, then you need to start with cookie dough that freezes well, too. In general, cookie dough that uses a lot of fat or butter will freeze well. This can include shortbreads, drop cookies, icebox cookies, and gingerbread cookies to name a few.
Cookie dough that is more on the liquid side tends to not freeze very well. Examples of these include tuiles, pizzelles, lace, and Florentines. If you’re making these kinds of pastries, it is often best that you bake them at once, right after making the dough.
Not Adhering to the Proper Method of Freezing Cookie Dough
Different types of cookie dough require different freezing methods. For example, if you’re making drop cookies like oatmeal or chocolate chip cookies, it is best to form them into balls first. You can then freeze the cookie balls in individual baking sheets until they are firm. You can then transfer them into your container for freezing.
If you’re making slice-and-bake cookie dough, you can wrap them like a log before putting in the freezer. These logs of cookie dough are a lot easier to slice when it comes to baking. For cut-out dough like gingerbread and sugar cookies, you can first shape them into discs. Afterwards, wrap them in plastic before transferring to an airtight container.
Can you freeze no bake cookies? Yes, it is possible to freeze no bake cookies. You can place them on a cookie sheet to chill for 2 hours. Once they are firm enough, you can transfer these cookies into a freezer-safe container.
Freezing Cookie Dough with Powdered or Granulated Sugar
One of the most common mistakes that newbie home-bakers make is freezing their cookie dough that’s already rolled in powdered or granulated sugar. The problem with this is that sugar can clump onto the surface of the dough. When it’s time to bake, you won’t get that crinkly appearance you want on your cookies.
It is for this reason that such cookie dough should be frozen without the sugar. When you’re ready to put them in the oven, that’s the only time you can roll the dough on a bed of granulated sugar. This should give you a cookie that looks and tastes fresh.
Not Adding a Couple of Minutes to the Overall Baking Time
Some cookie dough can go straight into the oven from the freezer. Examples of these are drop cookies. However, if you’re working with cut-out and slice-and-bake cookie dough, it’s best to thaw them first on the counter before you put them in the oven.
Keep in mind, however, that frozen cookie dough is cold. As such, it is often a wise idea to add 1 to 2 minutes to the overall cooking or baking time. For example, if the recipe calls for a 30-minute stay in the oven, then you can extend the baking time to 31 or 32 minutes. This will give your cookie additional time to cook through to the center.
Freezing Baked Cookies with Icing or Other Decorations
Some home cooks make the mistake of freezing decorated sugar cookies. These come with icing, filling, or any other cookie decorations. On paper, you can freeze these types of cookies. However, they will not freeze that well. The ingredients in these cookie decorations don’t hold out well during freezing.
If you wish to create scrumptious cookie sandwiches with your choice jam or jelly, it is best to put the filling after thawing the frozen cookie. The same is true when applying icings and other cookie decorations. It’s best to thaw the baked frozen cookie first.
Not Freezing Baked Cookies on Baking Sheets First before Putting them in a Container
Some people think that it is okay to freeze freshly-baked cookies. While this is true, there’s a crucial first step to freezing baked cookies before you store them in a container. It is important to freeze your baked cookies on baking sheets first. You can use a baking sheet and line this with parchment or wax paper. You can then arrange your cookies on the baking sheet. Pop this inside the freezer for 2 to 3 hours. Only then can you put these cookies in an airtight container for long-term freezing.
If you put your freshly-baked cookies straight into the container, there’s a tendency for them to clump together. When it’s time to eat these baked goodies, you’ll have a large block of clumped cookies.
Not Removing Frozen Cookies from their Container before Thawing
It is important to freeze freshly-baked cookies in baking sheets first before storing them in an airtight container. In like manner, it is also important to remove these frozen baked cookies from the container before you thaw them. In other words, you don’t thaw your cookies while they are inside the container. You remove them from the container and put them on a dish lined with paper towel to thaw.
If you allow the cookies to thaw in the container, you are risking your cookies to becoming soggy. This is because of condensation that will form on the container during the thawing process. Instead of having crisp cookies, you’ll get a soggy treat.
Freezing cookies is one of the best ways you can ensure you will always have a great-tasting treat on hand. Keep in mind these 7 common mistakes in freezing cookies and you’ll have the best cookies any time.