Looking for a way to satisfy his cookie cravings without dragging out his mixer each time, radio listener Richard Northrup, of Medford, Massachusetts, wondered about the best way to prep them in advance. Is it better to freeze raw dough and bake them off as needed, or should he freeze baked cookies and thaw a few at a time?
The answer, it turns out, depends on the style of cookie.
We tested two varieties—oatmeal drop cookies and slice-and-bake sugar cookies. And in each case, we tried two approaches. First, we baked the cookies, then froze them and later thawed them. Second, we divided the raw doughs into individual portions, froze them, then baked them from frozen.
With the sugar cookies—which are made by rolling the dough into a log, then slicing it into rounds—we found that freezing already-baked cookies left them dry and crumbly when thawed. We had far better results when we froze raw slices of the log, then baked those direct from the freezer.
But with the drop cookies, we found the difference in freezing methods was negligible. Frozen portions of raw dough baked directly from the freezer and thawed fully cooked cookies were equally delicious.
Our suggestion: Since cookie recipes vary greatly in sugar and dairy content—the likely sources of the differences in our tests—we suggest freezing individual portions of raw dough and baking those as needed, the technique that gave us reliable results in both cases.
Now here are some cookie recipes to try: