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Christmas time is one of the busiest times of the year, especially if you’re the host of a lot of parties! Learning how to make cookies ahead of time can save you time and lower stress when planning your next holiday party.
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How to Make Cookies Ahead of Time
Freezing your cookie dough and planning ahead is a great way to take the stress out of party prep. You can pop your cookies in the oven for a few minutes, and your house will smell like freshly baked cookies all day.
First, you will need to decide if you want to store your baked cookies for a few days on the counter or in the freezer for a few months. Freezing cookie dough makes it easier when you’re ready to bake them.
Storing Baked Cookies in the Fridge
You can store your baked cookies in the refrigerator for up to a week or two on the counter at room temperature. Some cookies can last longer than others, so do the taste test before serving them.
If your cookies are hard, I would toss them and bake new ones. Be sure to store them in an airtight container or a ziplock bag.
Storing Baked Cookies in the Freezer
Learning how to make cookies ahead of time can save you time later. You can freeze raw or baked cookies for up to about three months. I like to put mine in a freezer bag mine to keep them fresh, but you could also use an airtight container.
How to Store Raw Cookie Dough in the Freezer:
Take spoonfuls of raw dough, place them onto a parchment paper-lined baking sheet, and then pop them in the freezer. Once completely frozen, remove them from the cookie sheet and place your frozen dough into a freezer-safe bag.
When you’re ready to bake, place the frozen dough onto a cookie sheet, just like you usually would. Bake as directed. You might need to bake them just a tad bit longer, so I would keep an eye on them. Once you see the edges turn golden brown, it’s time to take them out.
How to Store Baked Cookies in the Freezer:
Storing baked cookies is very similar to storing raw cookies. Go ahead and bake your cookies as directed, and then either place them on a cooling rack or let them cool completely on a cookie sheet.
Once they’re thoroughly cooled, place your baked cookies into an airtight container or freezer bag for up to two months. If you want to ensure freshness, you can individually wrap your cookies in plastic wrap.
You can also separate your baked holiday cookies with aluminum foil or plastic wrap in between layers. I don’t recommend frosting, glazing, or decorating your cookies before you put them in the freezer.
When you’re ready to eat them, thaw your cookies to room temperature. If you want them to be extra crispy, you can pop them in the oven for just a few minutes. Make sure you keep an eye on them, so they don’t burn.
Pro Tips on How to Make Cookies Ahead of Time:
- Bake now, and decorate later. I don’t recommend decorating your cookies before putting them in the freezer. Your frosting can get stuck when pulling them apart, or the colors may change slightly.
- When you put baked cookies into the freezer, I like to divide them into separate bags based on their flavor. You don’t want your sugar cookies to end up tasting like peanut butter.
- Baked cookies usually thaw within one to about three hours, based on shape and size. Keep this in mind when you’re thawing your cookies for your holiday party.
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- First published: 1/11/2023