Mix all your cookies in one go

I started with the sugar cookies, then put the dough in a plastic bag and put it in the fridge, where it’s sitting ready to roll out and decorate, one small batch at a time. Then I made the chocolate and vanilla striped shortbread cookie—without even cleaning the mixing bowl first. I gave it a solid wipe down and rinse after the chocolate part of the second recipe was done, but did not sweat a deep clean before launching in to mix up ginger cookies. For ginger cookies, I let them sit overnight before rolling into balls, flattening those balls into thick disks and freezing. When I was done I had three batches of dough in the fridge, ready to bake at a moment’s notice.

Fridge or freezer?

Sugar cookie dough can be frozen, but I usually keep it in the fridge it takes forever for the dough to defrost for rolling out. Either way, flatten the dough into flat discs, like pie crust to refrigerate or freeze.

Cookies you roll into logs and slice, like shortbread or those transcendent World Peace cookies, can be easily frozen or refrigerated, but definitely do not slice them in advance. They can easily crumble and fall apart when cut into individual cookies. They can be sliced and baked straight from frozen.

For chunkier, butter-rich cookies like chocolate chip, oatmeal raisin, or those ginger-date cookies, portion them out and freeze them on a flat tray, then put them in a bag. Many guides to freezing cookies will tell you to roll them into balls and freeze. I roll them in balls and then flatten the balls into thick discs. They spread more evenly in the oven that way, and stack nicely in a plastic container.

These ginger cookies smell wonderful and taste even better.
These ginger cookies smell wonderful and taste even better.


The beauty of having cookie dough at the ready is that you can make cookies at the drop of a hat. Most cookies bake in under 20 minutes, and freezing might add a minute or two of baking time, but not any more. So you can have fresh-baked cookies in less than half an hour.

I like to make cookie bags for friends and neighbors in December, delivered in wire-closure coffee bags that I have my children decorate. With dough ready to go in the freezer, I can bake a custom pack for whoever I’m going to see.

Another cookie power move is to give a friend a bag of frozen cookie discs, with baking time and temperature written on the outside. Then, they will have the secret power of warm cookies on demand, too.

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