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Christmas Cookies to Make Now and Freeze for Later

Created September 9, 2019
Labeled plastic containers with cookies
Christmas is practically right around the corner, and let’s face it: You’ve got cookies on the brain.
The question isn’t if you’ll be baking cookies, but when—and how you can freeze them so they taste just as good on Christmas as they did the day they were baked (it’s OK; we won’t judge if you took a bite for quality control). We lay out all of our best tips and tricks for freezing cookies and share recipes of our best Christmas cookies to freeze now so you can make the most of the holiday cookie baking season.

Christmas may still be a ways away, but that doesn’t mean we can’t get in the spirit—and in the kitchen—sooner. Maximum cookie-baking success is all about planning ahead, and when it comes to freezing cookies (or cookie dough) now to enjoy later, we know all about how it’s done best (spoiler alert: It’s easy!).

How to Freeze Cookies

The truth is: Freezing cookies is simple, but you have to know how to do it right. Typically, drop cookies (including oatmeal cookies and chocolate chip cookies) and cut-out cookies (such as sugar cookies and gingerbread cookies) freeze well. Delicate cookies, on the other hand, such as wafers and meringues, will not freeze well—so we recommend making those just before serving. Frosted and unfrosted cookies are both freezer-friendly, though we always recommend freezing unfrosted cookies and waiting to frost until just before serving, if possible.

Here are our three easy, foolproof steps to freezing cookies:

Step 1: Freeze Cookies Individually

Peanut Butter Blossoms on a baking sheet

All cookies need to freeze individually so they don’t stick together when stored. To do so, place baked, completely cooled cookies in a single layer on a parchment paper-lined cookie sheet (so they have a little bit of friction). Place the cookie sheet in the freezer for about one hour.

Step 2: Store Cookies in Layers

Peanut Butter Blossoms on a baking sheet and in a plastic container

Once they’ve been individually frozen, place the cookies in single layers in an airtight container with wax paper between each layer.

Expert tip: If you can wait to frost cut-outs until later, it’s best to freeze sugar cookies and gingerbread men unfrosted or undecorated.

Step 3: Keep Cookies Separate

Labeled plastic containers with cookies

Be sure to separate types of cookies into individual containers to avoid mingling flavors (because nobody likes a minty gingerbread cookie!). Label all containers with the date you froze them and cookie names so you can easily keep track of all your baked goods.

How Long to Freeze Cookies

Generally speaking, if properly frozen, you can freeze unfrosted cookies up to 12 months. If cookies are frosted, they can be stored frozen up to three months.

How to Freeze Cookie Dough

Want to stock up on Pillsbury™ refrigerated cookie dough before the holiday rush? We don’t blame you. The good news: You can freeze cookie dough rolls and Ready to Bake!™ cookies up to two months in advance! For place-and-bake cookies, you can bake straight from frozen; just be sure to add 2 to 3 minutes to the bake time. For the cookie dough rolls, we recommend thawing in the refrigerator before using for recipes.

How to Thaw Frozen Cookies

Now that you know all there is to know about freezing cookies, here’s how to defrost them when it’s time to serve! Most cookies can be thawed, covered, in their container at room temperature one to 2 hours. For crisp cookies, it’s best to remove them from their container to thaw.

Cookies to Freeze Up to 12 Months

Here are some of our favorite cookies to make and freeze up to a year in advance!

Cookies to Freeze Up to 3 Months

Here are some of our most-loved cookie recipes that can be frozen up to three months ahead: