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Freezing baked cookies

joaniesl Jul 7, 2010 07:00 PM

I am in the process of baking several 100 cookies for a party that will take place in 2 weeks. Unfortunately, I will be very busy during this time and so need to bake and freeze. The cookies are shortbread that I dip in chocolate and decorate with sprinkles. Really very pretty and yummy too. How do I freeze these so that they stay pretty and edible?
Can I put the cookies in a cookie tin? I was told this would cause freezer burn.
Thanks so much for your help.

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  1. goodhealthgourmet RE: joaniesl Jul 7, 2010 07:21 PM

    freezing baked cookies isn't always ideal - sometimes it alters the texture and moisture level when you defrost them. your best bet would be to make the dough ahead of time, freeze the *unbaked* dough, and bake & decorate the cookies when you need them. but if that's really not an option, can you at least hold off on the decorating, and just freeze the baked cookies unadorned? if you freeze them after they've already been dipped, there's a chance the chocolate will bloom (develop a whitish film on the surface) when defrosted.

    if you do freeze the baked cookies, you can store them in a tin (with waxed paper between layers to prevent sticking), but be sure to *also* zip the entire tin into a heavy-duty freezer bag...you might even want to wrap it in a layer of foil first.

    hope that helps!

    2 Replies
    1. re: goodhealthgourmet
      joaniesl RE: goodhealthgourmet Jul 7, 2010 08:02 PM

      Thanks for the info.

      1. re: goodhealthgourmet
        rainey RE: goodhealthgourmet Jul 9, 2010 07:33 PM

        I so agree with this. When I'm baking cookies that I intend to bake and serve right away I still freeze some of the unbaked dough. This builds up in the freezer and before long I can bake a cookie tray with great variety with no notice at all.

        When i freeze unbaked dough (usually in logs), I wrap it first in plastic wrap and give it a quick freeze so it's easy to handle and holds its shape and then vacuum seal it. When I didn't have a vacuum sealer I wrapped it in plastic wrap first and froze it then wrapped it tightly in aluminum foil. Don't forget to write and instructions like time, temp and any special handling or tips on each log before they get their long term storage.

      2. pikawicca RE: joaniesl Jul 7, 2010 07:27 PM

        I just finished a marathon cookie baking effort for my next column. 5 percent went to the photo shoot (cookies left in the newsroom). Most went into the freezer, where they will keep very well.

        1 Reply
        1. re: pikawicca
          joaniesl RE: pikawicca Jul 7, 2010 07:52 PM

          How did you freeze the cookies?

        2. John E. RE: joaniesl Jul 7, 2010 07:55 PM

          Your cookies will be fine frozen for just 2 weeks. The freezing will not harm them at all. However, the jostling or handling could cause problems if they are delicate.

          2 Replies
          1. re: John E.
            joaniesl RE: John E. Jul 7, 2010 08:00 PM

            Can I freeze in a cookie tin?

            1. re: joaniesl
              John E. RE: joaniesl Jul 9, 2010 09:52 AM

              For just 2 weeks, sure. Longer than that, I'd bag them and then in a box, tin or plastic container to protect them.

          2. m
            meinNYC RE: joaniesl Jul 7, 2010 08:32 PM

            Wrap in foil then put batches in freezer bags. Agree with those below that cookies freeze best naked.

            3 Replies
            1. re: meinNYC
              joaniesl RE: meinNYC Jul 9, 2010 03:22 AM

              Thanks to all!

              1. re: joaniesl
                chowser RE: joaniesl Jul 9, 2010 03:49 AM

                If you haven't done it yet, use a straw to suck out the air in the freezer bags and then freeze. If you want to decorate before freezing, I'd put them single layer on a cookie sheet and freeze (20-30 minutes), Then take them out, wrap, put in zip loc bag. That way they will stay apart with the chocolate.

                1. re: chowser
                  rainey RE: chowser Jul 9, 2010 07:39 PM

                  Yes, a vacuum sealer makes even fragile cookies into a sturdy unit that fares much better. But my advise would be to give them a quick freeze unstacked. Then stack them up, pump the air out just 2 or 3 beats short of a vacuum so they don't get manhandled, and seal.

                  This is also very handy for shipping cookies. They do soooo much better as a tight unit than individually where they rub against one another and the packaging.

            2. Chocolatechipkt RE: joaniesl Jul 9, 2010 10:45 AM

              I freeze most of my cookies. Delicate ones or types like thumbprints don't work so well, but everything else I've frozen. If I know they'll be in the freezer for a while (more than a few weeks), I'll double-Ziploc freezer bag them -- less than a few weeks and I'll just put them in a single freezer bag. I tend to make softer cookies, so they don't seem to dry out or become too hard after being frozen. The peanut butter cookies I made recently unfortunately are *really* good even when frozen lol.

              3 Replies
              1. re: Chocolatechipkt
                chowser RE: Chocolatechipkt Jul 9, 2010 12:18 PM

                Sometimes I think cookies are better frozen,:-)

                1. re: chowser
                  Mag454 RE: chowser Jul 9, 2010 03:05 PM

                  I agree. It's kind of like cookie dough, but better. We also used to microwave the cookies so they were warm and soft.

                  My mom used to always freeze cookies and put them in my lunch frozen. By the time I ate, they would be thawed and soft.

                  I've never had a problem with freezer burn and I'm still working my way through some leftover Christmas cookies!

                  1. re: Mag454
                    chowser RE: Mag454 Jul 9, 2010 04:09 PM

                    We often bake cookies half undone so we get center cookie dough, outer edge crispy cookie--it's so good warm! Good idea w/ packing frozen cookies. Half the time my kids say the cookies will break. Thanks!

              2. k
                karykat RE: joaniesl Jul 9, 2010 12:34 PM

                I've had good luck storing shortbread type cookies in a tin without freezing. I make a brown butter shortbread like cookie that actually improves when it's stored for a bit. Two weeks is the outer limit of what I'd do that way, but might be worth thinking about.

                I agree with the thought that it would be better to decorate later, closer to the time you need them.

                1 Reply
                1. re: karykat
                  joaniesl RE: karykat Jul 9, 2010 01:50 PM

                  You guys are so helpful... I appreciate your input.
                  And.... A frozen cookie has never stopped me... Unfortunately!!

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