How To: Frozen Cookie Dough

>> Monday, May 24, 2010

If your family is anything like mine, they like cookies. Lots and lots of cookies. And, we prefer homemade cookies to pretty much any national brand cookie, so I end up making cookies pretty frequently. In an attempt to keep my sanity and cut down on my time in the kitchen, I've started freezing cookie dough. Now, freezing cookie dough isn't that big of a deal, right? Just throw the dough in a bowl and put it in the freezer, right? Well, the problem with that system is that it takes for a giant blob of cookie dough to thaw, and this is usually not practical. Not only that, but a bowl is difficult to seal tightly and takes up a ton of space in the freezer. Given these facts, I offer an alternative:

The Cookie Dough Log

This is a fast and efficient way to always have fresh cookies on-hand. And, the best part is, it really doesn't take any extra time. The next time you make cookies, all you have to do is double the recipe and you'll have everything you need to freeze a couple cookie dough logs. When the time comes, you can just take one out of the freezer, slice it up and bake fresh cookies! It's perfect. Here's how to do it:

1. Double your favorite cookie dough recipe. When I was a kid, my mother used to have "cookie" Saturdays. She'd make double batches of 3 or 4 different cookie recipes and we'd all help create the cookie dough logs for the deep freezer in the garage. If you have a large freezer, I'd recommend this; it only takes a couple hours and you'll have enough cookie dough for a whole year of brown bag lunches. If you're like me and only have a tiny freezer then one, doubled batch of cookie dough is plenty.

2. On a counter, lay out a length of aluminum foil (I use about 18-24 inches at a time). I use heavy duty foil and so I only use one layer; if you're using regular foil and plan to keep the cookies in the freezer for a while, you might want to consider using 2 layers. 

3. On top of the foil, lay out a layer of plastic wrap. I cut the plastic wrap to be a little longer than the foil. Spray the plastic wrap with cooking spray (this is really, really important! Don't forget this step or your cookie dough will be impossible to get off of the plastic wrap when it's time to bake the cookies!) My layers look like this:

4. Scoop a little of the dough onto the plastic wrap. I do this with a large wooden spoon and a plastic spatula. Do this only a little bit at a time or it'll get super messy. Continue dropping dough across the plastic wrap in a line, forming a cookie dough "log" about 2 inches wide and 2 inches thick. Don't worry about it being perfectly formed right now, just get the dough on the wrap. I start and stop about 3 inches from each end of the foil. A log this size will usually make about 1-2 dozen cookies, depending on how big you make the cookies. I chose this size because it freezes and thaws pretty quickly and makes just enough cookies for my husband and I. Bigger logs will take longer to freeze and thaw; rather than making larger logs, I'd simply plan to thaw more than one at a time (if you need more than 1-2 dozen cookies at a time). So, at this point it will look like this:

5. Use your spoon or spatula to even out the log. Fill in the gaps and try to make it a uniform thickness and width. Once it's pretty close to "perfect", wrap it in the plastic wrap. I fold the long sides over the top first, and then use my hands to re-shape the dough a little bit, just to make sure everything is even. Then, I twist the short ends tightly and tuck them under. Make sure the seal is tight and that you've squeezed as much of the air out as possible. Like this:

6. Wrap the dough log tightly in the foil. If you are making more than one kind of cookie dough, I'd recommend labeling the foil with the type of dough and the date. Again, make sure this wrap is pretty airtight:

7. Put the log on a flat surface in the freezer. Repeat steps 1-7 until you've wrapped up all of the dough you want to freeze.

To Use:

Thaw as many logs as you want to use in the refrigerator.  When the logs are thawed, unwrap one at a time. While the dough is still cold, slice of "cookie" sized chunks of dough and bake as usual. It should be cold enough that you can just pick up the slices and place them on the cookie tray. I loosely wrap the dough and put it back in the fridge while each batch is cooking because if the dough gets too warm and soft it becomes difficult to slice and just makes a mess. If the dough is really soft, even after being refrigerated, you can put it back in the freezer and slice it when it is mostly frozen. Let the slices thaw a bit on the tray before you bake them.

Happy cookie making!


Amber C May 24, 2010 at 6:09 AM  

I was just thinking about freezing dough so the kids and I can make cookies this summer without causing me a lot of anxiety. Now I can do this with confidence and be totally set for when this baby comes. Thanks!

Morgan -Ing May 24, 2010 at 6:37 AM  

MMMM, cookies. I should do this soon. Too bad raw eggs make me gag. :)

TJDKG May 24, 2010 at 7:44 AM  

ps.. and what no recipe?

Chelsea May 24, 2010 at 3:34 PM  

I was soo hoping you'd have a recipe as well. Just today, I was remembering how Jake's mom would BUY a pre-sliced, packaged-beyond-belief version of this fabulous idea (y'know, they are all sliced and cookie-shaped on little flimsy cardboard trays and you pick them off and bake them?). It drove me BONKERS! She spent TONS of money on those things, because the packaging means double the price of pre-made dough, which is already probably triple the price of the ingredients to make it, if not more. I was just thinking, "Why not just make the dough yourself and freeze it?"

Of course, The Diet Coke Diet bloggers would've already thought of that. Because, of course, you're fabulous.

~*~Eneida~*~ May 26, 2010 at 1:25 PM  

I love the layout of this blog! Nicely done! SITSgirl!!

Lindsay June 1, 2010 at 1:11 PM  

This is the best way to freeze cookie dough!!! I love it :)

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