As a time of generosity, most families celebrate Christmas by making large quantities of food. If you have a sweet tooth, you probably put extra attention on the cookies.
While that’s great and all, it becomes a problem when too many cookies are left behind after the holiday.
You start asking questions: Where will I put these cookies? Will my fridge take all this? Can you freeze Christmas cookies?
It’s a common problem that I’m here to address in this post. So let’s get started!
Freezing cookies is easier than you think. All you need to do is learn the proper freezing setup. However, that setup depends on whether you’re working with baked cookies or dough.
Let’s see the difference between both.
Yes, you can. Post-baking freezing is what most people imagine when they think of freezing cookies. Luckily, the setup is pretty straightforward.
So you’ve baked your cookies, ensuring they have a strong flavor and a rich texture. Now, you need to let them cool off completely.
I know what you’re thinking: “Won’t the freezer help them cool off quicker?” It’s not that simple.
While they’re warm, cookies contain a lot of moisture. Not only will freezing warm cookies cause a freezer burn, but they’ll also lose their flavor, texture, and shape when you thaw them.
Flash freezing prevents your cookies from sticking together when you store them in a container.
Once your cookies have cooled, put them on a lined baking sheet with parchment paper. Place them in a single layer and leave enough space between each cookie so they don’t stick.
Otherwise, this step would be useless. Throw the baking sheet in the fridge for about 1 hour.
Once the cookies have frozen, take them out and put them in an airtight container. They’re designed to keep air out and prevent freezer burns.
So you don’t have to worry about drying out quickly.
Since the cookies are frozen, you can put them in layers. However, make sure you put wax paper between each layer.
Store different types of cookies in separate containers so the flavors don’t affect each other. I don’t think chocolate chip cookies with a note of gingerbread would be a delicious combination.
The following step is optional, but I think it’s crucial. Stick a piece of paper with the type of cookies and freezing date on the container.
It helps you keep track of the content of each container, how long the cookies have been frozen, and how much time is left before they go bad.
We all want to eat Christmas cookies all year long. However, making the dough from scratch every time you crave cookies can be exhausting.
So, freezing old dough patches would be a quick and easy way to make cookies. Fortunately, a firm cookie dough can last in the freezer for about three months.
Here’s the thing, though: Each type of dough requires a different freezing method.
Once you’ve made the dough, scoop it onto a lined baking sheet with wax paper, ensuring to leave a space between each ball. Then, let it sit for an hour in the fridge to allow the flour to hydrate.
You don’t have to scoop it into balls. You can freeze the dough as a big lump, but turning them into balls makes it quicker to bake them when you take them out.
When the balls firm up, take them out and put them in a zip-top bag, squeezing the air out before putting the bag in the freezer.
Freezing slice-and-bake cookie dough is more straightforward. Once the dough is ready, roll it into a cylindrical log and double-wrap it in wax paper.
After some trial and error, I found that placing the wrapped dough in a cardboard paper roll helps it maintain its shape. Freeze the dough for an hour or two until it becomes firm.
Then, take it out, unwrap the wax paper, cover the dough with plastic wrap to prevent freezer burn, and put it back in the freezer.
Like slice-and-bake dough, you can roll it into two or three disks, double-wrap them in plastic wrap, put them in a resealable freezer bag, and freeze them.
I recommend freezing the disks in a flat tray to help them maintain their shape. That’s not the only way to freeze cut-out cookie dough, though.
You can cut it into any shape you like and put the slices on a lined baking sheet with wax paper.
Throw it in the freezer for an hour, take it out, then place the slices in an airtight container. Remember to put wax paper between each layer of dough.
That’s a tricky question. Each cookie type has a different freezing limit because each contains different ingredients.
However, if you follow the previous storing instructions, they should last for about 3-6 months without sacrificing quality.
They can last longer, maybe as long as 12 months, offering good flavors. However, don’t expect them to maintain the same quality.
Just because you learned the proper freezing method doesn’t mean all cookies freeze well. As we’ve already mentioned, the ingredients play a crucial role in determining a cookie’s freezing limits.
So let’s see what Christmas cookies freeze well.
Drop cookies are what you think of when I say cookies. These include chocolate chip, cowboy, and oatmeal cookies.
As classic Christmas treats, they combine sturdiness and soft texture. So they can last up to six months in the freezer without drying out.
Despite being light and crispy, icebox cookies are sturdier than you think. With its soft, buttery texture, it can last for up to six months in the freezer.
Shortbread cookies are some of the most freezer-friendly desserts on this list.
They don’t contain the same wet ingredients as regular cookies. So, they have a high fat and low moisture content, allowing them to last up to 6 months.
That said, shortbread cookies don’t handle refreezing well. If you want to take them out of the freezer, do it in small batches.
If you’ve ever tried madeleines, you know they’re lighter than air and have a delicate flavor. That’s why people might think they’re hard to freeze.
They’re not as durable as the other types of cookies on this list, but they can last in the freezer for a good while.
If you cover them tightly in plastic wrap before placing them in an airtight container, they can last about three weeks to three months.
As the name suggests, twice-baked cookies are baked twice. So they’re more durable than you think.
It’s no wonder they can last up to three months in the freezer.
Delicate cookies, like tuiles, pizzelles, florentines, and lace cookies, don’t freeze well. They usually contain liquid batters, which create delicate textures.
So they don’t hold up well in the freezer. When you take them out, the sudden temperature change will cause them to melt.
Yes, you can. Although Italian Christmas cookies are fluffy and soft, they can still hold up well in the freezer.
Here’s the fun part: You freeze them the same way you freeze regular Christmas cookies.
Just let them cool off, flash freeze them for an hour, then put them in an airtight container. They should last 2-3 months, maintaining their flavor and texture.
Yes, you can. Most people think it’s impossible because the icing would dry out in the freezer.
That’s not necessarily the case, though. The icing will only dry out if you don’t store your cookies properly.
Fun fact: Freezing Christmas cookies with icing is similar to regular cookies.
Let the cookies cool off, ensuring the icing has rested long enough. Place the cookies on a lined baking sheet with wax paper and keep some space between each one.
Freeze them for one hour, then take them out and put them in an airtight container, adding wax paper between each layer. If you follow these steps, expect your cookies to last 3-6 months in the freezer without losing their texture.
Yes, you can refreeze Christmas cookies several times without losing their texture or flavor. The key factor here is the method you follow to refreeze them.
Fortunately, the process is pretty straightforward, and it’s similar to freezing cookies for the first time with a few twists.
First, divide your cookies into several portions, then cover each one in plastic wrap, ensuring it’s wrapped tightly around the cookies. You don’t want to risk your cookies facing a freezer burn.
Now put them in a freezer-safe bag and squeeze the air out. Then, put the bag in another freezer-safe bag and remove all the air.
Place the bag in the freezer, and you’re good to go.
So the next time your friend panics after seeing all the leftover cookies from the holidays and asks: Can you freeze Christmas cookies? You know what to say.
Ultimately, yes, you can freeze Christmas cookies for 3-6 months, maybe even longer. However, all cookies aren’t equal, and some types are more freezer-friendly than others.
Sarah is the founder of Baking Kneads, LLC, a blog sharing guides, tips, and recipes for those learning how to bake. Growing up as the daughter of a baker, she spent much of her childhood learning the basics in a local bakery.