Sometimes you make sugar cookie dough without even thinking how many cookies it will yield. And you end up with more cookies than you can eat. So, how do you store baked sugar cookies?
Can you freeze sugar cookies? Yes, you can freeze sugar cookies, be they plain or decorated. The key is to let the cookies cool completely before storing them in the freezer. You should also package them securely so that they don’t stick to each other or get freezer burn.
Continue reading to learn the step-by-step instructions for freezing sugar cookies, and how long they last in the freezer.
You will also learn if you can freeze sugar cookie dough and why it may be a better idea than freezing the already baked cookies. So read on!
What Are Sugar Cookies?
There many different types of cookies – chocolate chip cookies, shortbread cookies, gingerbread cookies, oatmeal cookies, etc. But one of the most beloved ones is sugar cookies.
Originating in the US, these easy cookies are made with just a few ingredients you have at home at all times. You need flour, butter, eggs, vanilla, some baking powder, and of course, sugar to make these cookies.
The dough for sugar cookies has the consistency of Play-Doh. It is easy to work with and doesn’t stick to your hands. You roll it out into a layer that is around 1/4 inches thick. You can use a cookie cutter or a glass to cut out the cookies.
If you don’t want all that rolling-pin-and-cookie-cutter hassle, you can make drop sugar cookies. This is when you make the dough a little thinner and drop spoonfuls of it on the baking sheet instead of cutting out the cookies. Doing this yields softer and crinklier sugar cookies.
The flavor of sugar cookies is not overwhelming. These cookies are buttery, soft, and have a classic sugary flavor. The texture of the sugar cookies may vary depending on how much flour, butter, and sugar you use. In any case, there is little chance of messing up these easy cookies.
If you love decorating cookies, classic sugar cookies might be your favorite type of cookies to bake. With Christmas and the New Year’s Day around the corner, it is certainly a good idea to learn how to make and store sugar cookies, including the decorated and frosted ones.
Freezing Sugar Cookies
Most simple cookies freeze well, and sugar cookies are not an exception. If you have ended up with a larger batch of sugar cookies than you expected, freezing them is a great idea.
How to freeze sugar cookies:
- First off, let the cookies cool completely if you have just baked them. If you try to freeze the cookies while they are still hot or warm, condensation will form in the freezer bag or container which will then cause the cookies to turn soggy.
- Once the cookies have cooled, arrange a layer of them in an airtight container.
- Place a piece of parchment paper over the first layer of the cookies and arrange the second layer on top. Do as many layers as the depth of your container allows. The parchment paper placed in between the cookie layers will prevent them from sticking to each other.
- Cover the container with the lid, making sure that is airtight. If the lid doesn’t sit well on the container and you don’t have an airtight one, wrap the container with a layer of cling wrap.
- Label the cookies with the date and store in the freezer.
How Long Do Sugar Cookies Last in the Freezer?
Sugar cookies will keep well in the freezer for 3-6 months depending on how well you have wrapped them.
But like any other food you store in the freezer, the sooner you eat the cookies, the better. While the cookies may remain safe for consumption after 6 months, they would have undergone certain texture and flavor changes.
Can You Freeze Decorated Sugar Cookies?
Sugar cookies intricately decorated with royal icing are another form of art. Royal icing is a type of frosting most commonly used to decorate cookies.
What makes this frosting different is that it is made with confectioner’s sugar, meringue powder (or egg whites), and some flavoring or coloring.
When the royal icing sets, it hardens. You should start preparing the iced cookies for the freezer only when the royal frosting has completely solidified. Otherwise, you will mess up the design.
When freezing decorated sugar cookies, be they royal iced or covered in a different frosting, the best thing you can do is to wrap and freeze each cookie individually. This is the most secure way to preserve cookie decorations.
Keep in mind that it’s also possible to freeze the icing separately for later decorating.
How to freeze decorated sugar cookies:
- Let the icing dry completely.
- Put each decorated cookie into a freezer bag.
- Seal the bag with a heat sealer, if you have one.
- Transfer the bagged cookies into an airtight container for extra protection.
- Label the container with the date and freeze for up to 3 months.
To thaw decorated sugar cookies, you will only need to keep them at room temperature for a couple of hours.
Can You Freeze Sugar Cookies With Frosting?
Frosting sugar cookies is another way of decorating them. If you know you will be freezing the cookies, it is best to skip the frosting part.
It is easier to freeze plain sugar cookies. You can cover them in frosting whenever you will be serving the cookies.
Simply freeze the cookies following the instructions above, and when you need them, take them out to thaw and decorate with frosting.
Freezing plain cookies is a good trick. You never know what occasion you will need the cookies for. You can decorate them to fit any event or party theme. And having the cookies ready in the freezer will make your job so much easier.
If you have decorated your cookies with frosting that doesn’t solidify like royal icing and remains sticky, freezing the cookies is not a good idea. You may try freezing them in a single layer in an airtight container just for a test.
If you have too many frosted cookies that you need to freeze, freeze the uncovered first and only then layer them in a container using parchment paper in between the cookie rows.
Can You Freeze Chocolate Covered Sugar Cookies?
Dipping sugar cookies in chocolate is another way of decorating them. It also adds a nice chocolaty flavor to the buttery cookies.
Freezing chocolate-covered sugar cookies might not be the best idea. When the chocolate freezes and thaws, white haze forms on it. This is called fat bloom. It happens when chocolate is exposed to cold temperatures and undergoes texture changes.
While chocolate with a white film on it is perfectly safe for consumption, you may not find it appetizing or visually attractive.
On the flip side, if you have baked too many chocolate-covered sugar cookies and don’t want them to go to waste, you can try freezing a batch. You may be perfectly fine with eating these cookies when you defrost them.
How To Defrost Sugar Cookies
Defrosting sugar cookies is very easy. All you need to do is remove the cookies from the freezer and let them thaw at room temperature.
You can microwave the cookies to thaw them faster if you are in a hurry. To do so, microwave each cookie for no longer than 30 seconds.
Keep in mind that microwaving the cookies yields a chewier texture. If this is what you like, then this defrosting method is for you.
If you enjoy eating your sugar cookies a little warm, you can pop them in the oven for 10-15 minutes. The oven should be preheated to 275°F.
Can You Freeze Sugar Cookie Dough?
Freezing sugar cookie dough is a great idea as it freezes very well. If you want to save time on making cookies but don’t like frozen and defrosted sugar cookies, freezing the dough is your best bet.
To speed up the thawing process of the cut-out sugar cookie dough, roll it out flat into a disc, or cut into your desired shapes before freezing.
If you do this, make sure to separate the discs or the cut-out shapes with parchment paper so that they don’t stick to each other when frozen.
Whether you are freezing the sugar cookie dough rolled out into discs, or in the shape of a ball or log, make sure to wrap it tightly with food wrap or transfer it into a zip-top bag or airtight container.
The key is to prevent the dough from coming into contact with the cold air of the freezer. If this happens, the dough may get freezer burn or absorb odors from the fridge.
The dough for drop-style sugar cookies can be frozen too. In fact, you can freeze it portioned out into balls so that thawing the dough takes less time. You will also save time on portioning the dough when making the cookies with the pre-made dough.