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Make-Ahead Freeze-and-Bake Cookies

Freeze-and-Bake Cookies recipe
Casey Barber / Casey Barber
Cook Time:
15 mins
Prep Time:
30 mins
Servings:
32
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(28)

Chef notes

When you’re looking for the ease of store-bought slice and bake cookies with the pleasure of making cookie dough from scratch, there’s this recipe. The cookie dough starts like any other cookie recipe — beat a combination of butter, shortening, brown sugar and granulated sugar together until light and fluffy. Add an egg and pure vanilla extract and continue mixing. In a separate bowl, mix together dry ingredients such as all-purpose flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Fold the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until the dough comes together. Simple, right?

At this point, you’d normally grab some dough and shape it into a ball to immediately bake on a cookie sheet. But that’s not what we’re doing here. Instead, wrap the cookie dough in plastic wrap and let it rest overnight or for up to 72 hours. The bad news is that this means you have to wait a little bit longer before sinking your teeth into a warm cookie. The good news is that it means your cookie will taste better than if you had baked it right away. Why? For starters, cookie dough that has chilled is less likely to spread, meaning you’ll achieve a soft, chewy cookie every time. If you happen to use a 1:1 swap of gluten-free flour, you’ll be better off too. That’s because gluten-free baked goods tend to be more tender and void of that grainy texture as the flour absorbs some of the moisture from the fat. 

Once the dough has rested completely, shape the dough into individual balls and freeze in a single layer. Whenever the craving strikes, pop a lined baking sheet with frozen cookie dough in the oven; 15 minutes later, a plate of freshly baked cookies will be ready to eat.

 

Ingredients

Cookie Dough
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes, room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons shortening
  • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups mix-ins of your choice such as chocolate chips, butterscotch chips, mini M&M's, mini Reese's cups, crushed pretzels, crushed potato chips, mini marshmallows, chopped nuts, and shredded sweetened coconut flakes
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      Preparation

      Make the cookie dough:

      1.

      In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.

      2.

      In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or in a bowl with handheld electric beaters), beat the butter, shortening, brown sugar and granulated sugar together on medium speed for 3 minutes, until light and fluffy.



      3.

      Add the egg and vanilla extract and beat on low speed until just incorporated.

      4.

      Add the flour mixture, about 1/4 cup at a time, on low speed until incorporated. Add in mix-ins, if using, stirring until just incorporated. (Add a lesser volume of smaller ingredients like mini chocolate chips, and more of larger ingredients like mini marshmallows)

.

      5.

      Cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight to let the dough rest for better texture and flavor.


      Make and freeze cookie dough balls:

      1.

      Line a small rimmed baking sheet with waxed paper.



      2.

      Roll the dough into 1 1/2-inch balls and place on the baking sheet. You don't need to spread them out on the sheet. Freeze the cookie dough balls for about 1 hour until rock-solid, then transfer to a large freezer bag, seal and place back in the freezer. The cookie dough balls will last in a sealed freezer bag for up to 6 months.


      Bake the cookies:

      1.

      Preheat the oven to 350 F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

      2.

      Place frozen cookie dough balls about 2 inches apart on the sheet and bake for about 15 minutes, until the cookies are golden brown.

      3.

       Cool for 1 to 2 minutes on the baking sheet before transferring to a rack to cool completely.