Most people know they should defrost meat before cooking, but what about cookie dough? If you've never used frozen cookie batter before, you may hesitate before popping these chilled snacks into a preheated oven. Does thawing cookie dough affect the taste or texture of these treats? If you're curious whether to defrost your cookie dough before baking, you've got to check out the research we've done on this topic.
You don't have to defrost cookie dough before baking. If you've separated your cookie dough into single-serve balls or shapes beforehand, you can put them in the oven from the freezer. However, frozen cookies need one to three extra minutes in the oven versus thawed dough. Also, if you've frozen your cookie dough in one giant log, you'll need to defrost it to make it more pliable.
Freezing cookie dough is a "sweet" way to have a snack on standby. However, you need to know how to handle your dough if you want perfect cookies. Please keep reading to learn the dos and don'ts of baking frozen cookie dough.
Do You Have To Defrost Cookie Dough Before Baking?
There's no need to defrost most cookies before baking. As long as you formed your cookies before putting them in the freezer, you could place them on a parchment-lined pan and bake as you would thawed dough.
However, you must add a few minutes to your baking time when using frozen cookie dough. Obviously, thawed batter is warmer than dough straight from the freezer. You'll probably need to tack on one, two, or three minutes to your recipe's suggested time till your frozen cookies are ready.
The only time you need to thaw your cookie dough beforehand is if you didn't create shapes ahead of time. Defrosting your cookie dough makes it easier to roll out and cut your favorite shapes.
If you're still skeptical about baking frozen cookie dough, check out this YouTube tutorial:
How Long Do You Bake Frozen Cookie Dough?
Every cookie recipe will have unique specifications. However, most standard drop cookies like chocolate chip take about eight to twelve minutes in a 350° F oven.
This average baking range will vary depending on what cookie you're baking, your oven's heating style, and whether you're using frozen dough. As mentioned above, frozen cookie dough usually needs an extra one to three minutes in the oven.
You should also consider whether your oven is convection or not. Convection ovens usually need less time than other units.
To learn more about how to bake in a convection oven, please read our post "Do Convection Ovens Bake Faster?"
Do You Need To Cook Frozen Cookie Dough At A Higher Temperature?
There's no need to change your recipe's suggested temp when using frozen cookie dough. Everyone who bakes frozen cookies agrees it's best to leave your frozen cookie dough in the oven for a few extra minutes. It's far easier to unexpectedly burn your cookies if you adjust the temp rather than the time.
What Happens If You Don't Thaw Cookie Dough?
There are only two significant differences between frozen and thawed cookie dough. First, thawed cookie dough is more pliable. Second, frozen cookie dough is, well, colder!
However, whichever cookie dough goes in the oven, the result should be the same. If you don't believe us, check out this interesting comparison video:
By the way, if you're wondering what's the best temp to bake cookies at, you've got to read our post, "At What Temperature Should You Bake Cookies?"
How Do You Defrost Frozen Cookie Dough?
The safest way to defrost frozen cookie dough is to place it in the refrigerator the night before you want to bake it. This should give your cookie dough enough time to become pliable without a significant risk of bacterial growth.
Most chefs don't recommend defrosting cookie dough on the countertop due to the risk of food poisoning. Please remember that raw eggs could contain salmonella.
While freezing stops the proliferation of this bacteria, it doesn't completely kill it. The longer you leave cookie dough on the countertop to thaw, the higher the risk of salmonella poisoning.
Does Freezing Cookie Dough Make It Better?
Some people may claim cookies that are baked from frozen dough taste "better," but there's no science to back up this claim. Arguably, these frozen cookies taste good because of the microscopic ice particles that melted and made them extra moist, but this is all sweet speculation!
While freezing may not make cookies "better," it certainly makes them more convenient to bake at a moment's notice. If you pre-scoop and arrange your cookie dough in the freezer, it's so easy to toss them on a parchment-lined tray to bake.
Anyone who needs an instant cookie fix will love having a few bags of frozen cookie dough scoops on hand.
To find out how to make super easy frozen chocolate chip cookies, be sure to check out this Tasty video:
Is It Better To Freeze Cookie Dough Or Baked Cookies?
Nothing beats the taste of fresh-baked anything—especially cookies. So, if you're debating whether to freeze baked cookies or cookie dough, most foodies agree it's better to go with the dough.
As an added perk, cookie dough tends to retain its freshness longer than frozen baked cookies. According to the baking experts at Bob's Red Mill, cookie dough will retain peak freshness for about nine to twelve months.
On the flip side, frozen baked cookies will significantly lose their flavor within just a few months. Plus, even if you take a frozen cookie out of the freezer before then, it will likely be soggier than a fresh-baked cookie.
While it's possible to preserve baked cookies in the freezer, it's way better to enjoy them while they're fresh. Please consider using an airtight container to protect your countertop cookies for as long as possible.
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You could find out more about how to keep your cookies fresh in our post, "How To Make A Cookie Jar Airtight?"
How Do You Freeze Cookies Without Freezer Burn?
Preventing freezer burn is all about reducing the risk of oxidation. The simplest way to do this is to stack your cookies in an airtight freezer-safe bag or container. However, you should also consider using layers of parchment paper or plastic wrap to create a buffer.
It's also important to avoid freezing warm cookies. If you place a hot cookie directly into the freezer, it will create excess moisture, which makes freezer burn more likely. Always ensure your cookies are cool to touch before putting them in the freezer.
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Please check out this video for tips on freezing your cookie dough:
What Types Of Cookies Freeze Well?
Generally speaking, the wetter your cookie batter is, the less likely it will freeze well. For instance, most cookie experts don't recommend freezing the dough for Italian delicacies like florentines or pizzelles. Also, baking madeleines with frozen batter will only create bad memories for poor Mr. Proust!
Other than that, most cookies hold up well in the freezer, especially if they have a ton of butter. Whether you enjoy sugar cookies, drop cookies, gingerbreads, or shortbreads, they should all survive in your freezer.
Bake Cookies Any Time With Your Frozen Dough
Usually, there's no need to defrost cookie dough before putting it in the oven. However, your cookies should be pre-shaped so you could transfer them to a parchment-lined pan and put them in the oven. If you didn't create your cookie shapes before freezing, you'll need to let the dough defrost so you can easily roll it out, scoop it, or cut it. Just remember to add about one to three minutes to the recommended baking time when using frozen cookie dough.
By the way, if you'd like to learn more tips on baking different cookies, be sure to read our fun review of the "15 Types of Chocolate Chip Cookies."