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How To Defrost Cookie Dough

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Who doesn’t love a freshly baked cookie? These crispy, doughy, round little bits of goodness are so delicious, it is impossible to eat just one!

Many home bakers make large batches of cookie dough to keep in the freezer, ready and waiting for whenever they want to cook up a batch.

But how do you defrost cookie dough? The safest way to defrost cookie dough is in an airtight container in the refrigerator. If you are going to cook the cookie dough straight away, it can be partially defrosted in the microwave or at room temperature. Some types of cookie dough, such as shortbread cookies, can be cooked from frozen.

If you’re about to try freezing a batch of cookie dough for the first time, you’ll want to defrost it correctly to ensure your cookies turn out perfectly baked. Keep reading to find out everything you need to know about defrosting cookie dough!

Why Freeze Cookie Dough?

Cookies are quite a remarkable creation — how can just a few very plain ingredients turn into something as delicious as a freshly baked cookie?!

And as the saying goes, cooking is an art form, whereas baking is a science!

Mixing up a batch of cookie dough is a simple process that, once you’ve mastered it, will turn out delicious freshly baked cookies every time.

Making the perfect cookie dough is vital if you want to make amazing cookies.

Basic cookie dough is a mixture of flour, butter, white sugar, and eggs. If the cookie dough is to be used to bake cookies, then a leavening agent such as baking soda will also be added.

However, in our modern-day busy lifestyles, baking from scratch is not always easy.

Luckily, it turns out that raw cookie dough can be frozen for use at a later date! This means you can whip up a large batch for the freezer, and bake your cookies as and when you want them.

Plus, you can also freeze store-bought cookie dough! This means you can take advantage of any great deals at the grocery store and stock up on your favorite brand of cookie dough, storing the excess in the freezer.

Cookie dough can either be frozen as a whole log of dough or sliced into individual cookie-sized pieces.

Whichever method you use, choosing the perfect way to defrost the dough is vital to preserving the texture and flavor of the dough.

Get it wrong, and you’ll end up with cookie dough that is too dry or too sticky — either way, it won’t make good cookies!

Do You Need To Thaw Cookie Dough Before Baking?

Before we go on to the best way to thaw cookie dough, let’s get one other matter cleared up first. Do you actually need to thaw cookie dough before baking? Or can you bake your cookies straight from the freezer?

You may not realize it, but there are many different types of cookie dough. Some of these freeze well while others don’t. And some can be cooked from frozen, whilst others must be thawed first.

Cookie dough that contains high levels of fat such as butter or shortening tends to freeze really well, whereas cookie dough that relies on whipped egg whites for volume and texture, such as macarons, does not freeze well.

Shortbread-style cookie dough that has been cut into rounds can be baked from frozen and does not need to be thawed out first. In fact, many people maintain you get better results cooking this dough from frozen!

But if you are making drop cookies, where the ball of dough is supposed to spread out into a large round cookie, it is better to thaw the dough out first.

If you attempt to bake this kind of cookie from frozen, you will find that they turn out much smaller and denser than expected.

How To Defrost Cookie Dough In The Refrigerator

When it comes to defrosting cookie dough, it is vital to remember that this mixture contains raw eggs.

This, combined with the other raw ingredients, means that cookie dough is highly susceptible to bacterial contamination.

The safest and most surefire way to defrost cookie dough is overnight in the refrigerator. This will ensure that your dough remains chilled even when it has thawed, limiting the risk of bacterial contamination.

Here’s how to defrost cookie dough in the refrigerator:

  1. Take your cookie dough from the freezer and place it in an airtight container.
    • If you already cut your dough into rounds before freezing it, lay them in a single layer in the bottom of a food-safe plastic container.
    • Alternatively, you can place your cookie dough rounds directly onto a baking sheet, then place this inside a plastic bag to reduce the risk of contamination.
  2. Put the container or baking sheet in the refrigerator overnight, and your cookie dough will be perfectly thawed and ready to bake the following day.
  3. Keep the frozen cookie dough away from any foods in the fridge with a strong flavor or odor, such as fish or cheese, as these can taint the dough.

How To Defrost Cookie Dough In The Microwave

If you are in a rush, is it okay to defrost cookie dough in the microwave?

You can speed things up a bit using the microwave, but you should only ever use this method if you are intending to bake your cookies straight away.

And you need to pay really close attention to your cookie dough while it is defrosting in the microwave, as it can soon start to go wrong!

The reason for this is that microwaves don’t just defrost food, but also heat it. This means that the cookie dough will start to become warm very quickly, leading to the dough becoming sticky, oily, and difficult to work with.

This can also cause your cookies to turn out dry, crumbly, and generally very unpleasant.

Here’s how to defrost cookie dough in the microwave:

  1. Lay the cookie dough on a microwave-safe plate, and set the microwave on defrost mode for just 30 seconds.
  2. Check the cookie dough.
    • If it has started to become soft, this may be enough for you to continue defrosting the mix at room temperature.
    • If it is still frozen solid, repeat for another 30 seconds and check the dough again.

Remember that cookie dough sliced into rounds will defrost far faster than a log of dough in the microwave. If you are defrosting a log of dough, it is a good idea to slice it into rounds when it is partially defrosted to speed the process up.

How To Defrost Cookie Dough At Room Temperature

Fully defrosting cookie dough at room temperature is not advisable, as this can lead to a high risk of bacterial contamination.

However, it is possible to partially defrost the dough enough to begin baking it. This method only works if your cookie dough is the shortbread type, and is already cut into rounds.

If you’ve got a frozen log of cookie dough it may be possible to slice it into rounds, but you might need to partially defrost it in the microwave first.

Here’s how to defrost cookie dough at room temperature:

  1. Set your oven to preheat to the desired cooking temperature.
  2. While it is warming up, lay the cookie dough rounds out on a baking sheet in a warm area of the kitchen. It is a good idea to cover them with a paper towel or a clean kitchen cloth to keep flies at bay.
  3. By the time the oven has preheated, the cookie dough will be partially defrosted and ready to bake. Remember to add a minute or two to the baking time, and you’ll have perfectly golden cookies baked in no time at all!

Related Questions

So now we’ve got your cookie dough safely thawed out, let’s take a look at some other common questions relating to this topic!

Can you freeze uncooked cinnamon roll dough?

Freezing cinnamon roll dough is not a good idea, as freezing the dough can have an adverse effect on the leavening agents in the dough. This leavening agent is what makes the dough rise, giving them that light and fluffy texture we all adore.

Cooking frozen cinnamon roll dough will give you rolls that are perfectly safe to eat. The flavor will not be altered, but the dough may not rise and the texture could be denser than you would like.

Ideally, it is preferable to cook the cinnamon rolls and then freeze them — this will give you far better results than freezing the uncooked dough!

Can you fix dry cookies after baking?

It is so disappointing when your homemade cookies come out of the oven looking like little lumps of rock, not the delicious golden cookies you’d dreamed of. Don’t panic, all is not lost — you can fix these cookies!

Simply pop a slice of fresh bread on the bottom of an airtight container. Layer your cookies on top of the bread, close the lid firmly and leave them overnight.

Your cookies will absorb moisture from the bread and become soft and delicious, just the way we like them.

If you don’t have bread, then a slice of apple can do the same trick. Just bear in mind that the cookies may take on some of the apple flavors, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing!

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