The Best Method To Freeze Slice-And-Bake Cookie Dough

With Christmas just around the corner, cookie baking is in session. Whether you're making chocolate chip cookies for Santa, cut-out sugar cookies to decorate with the kids, or Grandma's recipe for shortbread cookies, the merriest season is also the busiest. When in a pinch, it's best to make your go-to dough ahead of time and freeze it until you're ready to bake. In fact, this is one of Dorie Greenspan's major tips for entertaining around the holidays, as it will make serving a crowd stress-free. 

According to Sally's Baking Recipes, typically the best way to freeze cookie dough is by rolling the fresh dough into balls, chilling them in the refrigerator for at least an hour until they're firm. From there, you can then place them in resealable freezer bags and freeze for up to three months. If baking from frozen cookie dough, be sure to add one or two minutes onto your timer.

While this method is traditional, let's face it — whole sheet trays of cookie dough can take up quite a bit of refrigerator space. If you've never rolled your cookies into logs and sliced them for baking, now might be the time to try. Logs of dough take up much less space, leaving you room in the freezer for other make-ahead time-savers this holiday season.

Use aluminum foil

If you've never heard of slice-and-bake cookies, you may have heard them referred to as refrigerator cookies or icebox cookies. That's because they spend a lot of time chilling before being sliced and baked (per The Spruce Eats). According to Better Homes & Gardens, not only is this type of cookie delicious and convenient, but it's a real space-saver in the fridge or freezer. Logs of dough are much smaller in volume compared to sheet trays or bulky freezer bags of balled-up cookie dough. However, freezer burn can be a real Grinch, seeing that air tends to seep in if your log is rolled in plastic wrap. 

A true save is not skimping on plastic wrap, but covering the wrap with aluminum foil. Basically, you'll want to roll your log very tightly in plastic wrap, and add a second protective layer of aluminum foil on top. From there, you can freeze it up to three months. When you're ready to bake, thaw the log completely in the refrigerator, slice, and bake according to your recipe.