Freeze or not to freeze cookies?

lazycookApril 21, 2012

Today I baked oatmeal pecan white chocolate chip drop cookies. They're made with butter. I made them to serve at a party which will be held one week from today. I will be taking them on a flight with me. Should I just keep them in an airtight container until the party or should I package them up and freeze them so they'll be ready to go?

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I definitely would freeze them. If we could start this conversation all over again and you asked the question without having already made the cookies, I would have suggested you make the dough when you had the time and freeze it in dollops. Bake the cookies as close to the time of departure as possible and not freeze the baked cookies. But unfortunately my time machine is in the shop getting repaired.... ;-)


    Bookmark   April 21, 2012 at 6:35AM
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Have to agree completely with Grainlady. On freezing dough for later baking... freeze in a "log", rolled tightly in several layers of plastic wrap & then maybe foil. Back when I was making holiday cookies, froze a mini-log (maybe 6-8" long) of each type I was making... CC, peanut butter, gingerbread, oatmeal, etc. When I wanted cookies, would thaw in fridge over night. Could just slice & bake once thawed.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2012 at 10:01AM
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I have four cups of frozen persimmon puree I am turning into cookies for this coming Friday night, so your advice is COMPLETELY timely for me!

    Bookmark   April 21, 2012 at 10:51AM
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Thanks for your advice. I don't know why I didn't think of freezing the dough and baking later. Hopefully I'll remember to do that next time.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2012 at 2:14AM
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No, you don't want to freeze them. Cookies, properly stored, will last at least a month at room temperature. I used to work at a VERY expensive bakery. The Christmas cookies were baked the Monday after Thanksgiving, put in cardboard box bottoms (only one flavor to a box), the boxes were slid into plastic bags and twist-tied shut. They were stored on shelves in a storeroom. They were still perfectly fresh Christmas week.

Besides it not being necessary to freeze cookies to keep them nice for a week, freezing makes the fat in chocolate separate--the cookies will actually be of better quality if you don't put them through freezing.

Just store them in an air-tight container, at cool room temperature.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2012 at 3:58PM
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I agree with Azzalea, and I also used to bake professionally, but at a very cheap, hippy restaurant in San Francisco in the mid 1970s. I mostly made coffee cakes and brownies but also cookies from time to time, and we were only allowed to use butter - never shortening. I would keep samples at home for up to a week at room temp (which in SF was admittedly a bit cool), and they were fine. To me, freezing is worse than putting them in the fridge.


    Bookmark   April 24, 2012 at 11:44AM
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Hmmmm. I guess that's why I never had a bakery cookie that I liked. Do bakeries add preservatives of some type to the dough? Most cookies I bake taste stale to me after about 3 days.

The exceptions, of course, are things like biscotti and that 3 layer Neopolitan type that's supposed to sit and age for a month. I can think of a couple of others that improve with age, but only a few.

I also freeze cookie dough for baking when I want. Any cookies in my house more than 3 or 4 days become crumbs for pie crust, no one in my family will eat them after that.


    Bookmark   April 24, 2012 at 2:00PM
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If cookies are left out and are not sealed in an air-tight container, they will become stale faster, as they will absorb humidity from the ambient air. If you can keep them sealed in a container with no air, they will stay fresh longer. Of course they are better the fresher they are, and if you bake cookies on a regular basis, you will be more aware of the difference between a cookie that is three days old and one that is a week old. People who are not used to having freshly baked cookies will be less likely to notice the difference. The lacy cookies will go stale much faster than other types unless they are stored without air. If you freeze cookies, however, they tend to absorb more moisture during the defrosting period, which is why it is better not to freeze them. It is similar to the reason you do not freeze coffee beans. Ideally, she should have frozen the dough, but that option as past!


    Bookmark   April 24, 2012 at 3:12PM
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Yeah I guess I know now why I seldom like bakery cookies if that's true! Though I do occasionally buy from some local bakeries and I know they don't leave them sitting around for a month. In fairness, many good bakeries will be selling Christmas cookies a month before, but they're not month old cookies! LOL I do see some bakeries leaving their cookies sitting in the cases for a few days and even cake donuts are sometimes kept a couple days but usually they're starting with an inferior product anyway, in my book. Many have a "best if used by" date on them too. There's good bakeries and bad and this is proof that "expensive" does not mean "good" to say nothing of "better"!

I too can tell cookies are getting stale after a few days to a week depending on the type. Fresh is definitely better. And no way is a month old cookie perfectly fresh in either definition or in taste, at least in my book. I understand how they get away with it. People don't know what they're supposed to taste like so they don't know what they are. But I'd venture a guess that few people would compare (side by side) a freshly baked one and a month old cookie and say they taste the same. Although what many of these "bakeries" call Christmas cookies... (shudder). Then you leave them sitting around another couple weeks? I think I'd rather have slice or break-n-bake!

I tend to freeze some cookies and take out in batches unless they'll be consumed in a couple days, which usually they are. Again, frozen is not the same as fresh but certainly better than sit-arounds. Hard cookies will sit out better than soft cookies though, but even the crumbly peanut butter cookies are affected after 4 or 5 days.

I would freeze them but they'd be edible if left out. Might just taste more like a bakery cookie than homemade! LOL

    Bookmark   April 26, 2012 at 4:10PM
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I know the option to freeze the dough is past, Lars, but I'd freeze the cookies themselves. Like Cynic, I'd rather have one that had been frozen and thawed than one that's been sitting around for several days.

I guess I didn't make that clear.


    Bookmark   April 26, 2012 at 4:24PM
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I freeze cookies in freezer bags all the time with no problem. As long as you get all of the air out of bag (who did I learn the 'suck the air out' trick from here?) the texture and taste is like fresh.

And then there are some cookies that need to be refrigerated to be at their best - French Macarons - which are infinitely better after a day or two aged in the refrigerator in an airtight container.


    Bookmark   April 27, 2012 at 10:01AM
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