If you love to bake cookies, you know that they are delicious treats that can be enjoyed any time of year. Whether you prefer chocolate chip, sugar, or oatmeal, there’s nothing quite like the aroma of fresh-baked cookies coming out of the oven. However, sometimes you might end up with more cookies than you can eat right away. That’s where the freezer comes in! Freezing cookies is a great way to extend their shelf life and ensure that you always have a sweet treat on hand. But how long do cookies last in the freezer? And what’s the best way to freeze them? In this post, we’ll explore the answers to these questions and more.
Can Cookies Be Frozen?
The good news is that most kinds of cookies can be frozen for a long period of time without losing their quality or taste. If stored properly, frozen cookies can last up to six months in the freezer. This is great news for anyone who wants to prepare cookies ahead of time or has leftover cookie dough that they don’t want to go to waste.
The Best Way To Freeze Cookies
The best way to freeze cookies is to make sure they are properly stored in an airtight container or freezer bag. This will help prevent freezer burn and keep your cookies fresh. Here’s how to do it:
- Let your cookies cool completely before freezing. Room temperature is the best temperature for cookies.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and place your cookies on the sheet in a single layer. Make sure the cookies aren’t touching each other.
- Put the baking sheet in the freezer for about 15-20 minutes, until the cookies are firm to the touch. This will help prevent them from sticking together when you store them.
- Once the cookies are firm, transfer them to an airtight container, plastic freezer bag, or wrap them in plastic wrap. Label the container or bag with the type of cookie and the date you froze them.
- If you’re freezing delicate cookies like cut-out or bar cookies, double wrap them in plastic wrap or aluminum foil before storing them in an airtight container or freezer bag.
How Long Do Cookies Last In The Freezer?
The shelf life of cookies in the freezer depends on the type of cookie and how they are stored. According the USDA, “Cookies retain their quality when stored in the freezer for eight to 12 months“
Drop cookies, like chocolate chip or oatmeal cookies, have a longer shelf life in the freezer because they have a soft texture and are less likely to become dry. These types of cookies can last up to six months in the freezer when stored properly.
On the other hand, delicate cookies, like cut-out or bar cookies, have a shorter shelf life in the freezer because they have a dry texture and are more likely to become dry or crumbly. These types of cookies can last up to three months in the freezer when stored properly.
Sugar cookies, gingerbread cookies, and shortbread cookies have a longer shelf life in the freezer because they have a dry texture and are less likely to become dry or crumbly. These types of cookies can last up to six months in the freezer when stored properly.
Peanut butter cookies and other cookies that contain cream cheese or other soft ingredients may not freeze as well as other types of cookies. These cookies may become dry or crumbly in the freezer and should be consumed within two to three months of freezing.
Different Ways To Freeze Cookies
There are different ways to freeze cookies, depending on the type of cookie you’re freezing. Here are some tips:
- For drop cookies, freeze them on a baking sheet and then transfer them to an airtight container or freezer bag.
- For delicate cookies like cut-out cookies, freeze them on a baking sheet and then double wrap them in plastic wrap or aluminum foil before storing them in an airtight container or freezer bag.
- For bar cookies, cut them into squares and then freeze them in an airtight container or freezer bag. You can also freeze the entire pan of baked cookies and then cut them into squares later.
- For cookie dough balls, freeze them on a baking sheet and then transfer them to an airtight container or freezer bag.
The Only Exceptions To Freezing Cookies
The only exceptions to the rule of freezing cookies are unfrosted cookies with a cream cheese filling and cookies with royal icing. These types of cookies don’t freeze well and may lose their texture and flavor. If you want to freeze cookies with a cream cheese filling, it’s best to freeze the baked cookies without the filling and then add the filling later when you’re ready to serve them.
How To Tell If Frozen Cookies Are Still Good
To check if your frozen cookies are still good to eat, you can perform the “perfect test”. Here’s how to do it:
- Take a frozen cookie out of the freezer and let it thaw on the kitchen counter for a few hours.
- Once the cookie is at room temperature, take a bite and check its texture and flavor. If the cookie has a stale taste, dry texture, or an off smell, then it’s likely not safe to eat.
These are common traits of stale cookies and could be a sign that the cookie has gone bad. If you notice any noticeable mold or signs of freezer burn on the cookie, it’s best to discard it immediately. Mold is a clear indication that the cookie has been contaminated and is no longer safe to consume. Freezer burn occurs when the cookie is not stored properly, and it can cause the cookie to have a dry and unpleasant texture.
Proper Storage For Frozen Cookies
To ensure that your cookies last for a long period of time in the freezer, it’s important to store them properly. Here are some simple steps to follow:
- Use an airtight container or freezer bag to store your cookies. Double wrapping the cookies with plastic wrap or aluminum foil can also help prevent freezer burn.
- Label the container or bag with the type of cookie, date of freezing, and expiration date. This will help you keep track of how long the cookies have been in the freezer.
- Store similar types of cookies together in a single layer to prevent them from sticking together.
- For delicate cookies, like cut-out or bar cookies, place a sheet of parchment paper between each layer to prevent them from breaking.
- Store the container or bag in the back of the freezer, away from the door, to ensure a consistent temperature.
- By following these simple steps, you can ensure that your cookies have a longer shelf life in the freezer, allowing you to enjoy delicious treats for a later time.
Are Cookies Good In The Freezer?
Freezing cookies is a great way to preserve the hard work and effort that goes into making dozens of cookies. By following the proper storage techniques and relying on reliable instruments to test their freshness, you can ensure that your cookies will have a long shelf life and taste just as good as the day you baked them. So, the next time you have a lot of cookie-baking to do, remember the easy way to extend the life of your baked cookies is by freezing them properly.