Freezing and Unfreezing Cookie Dough

Sometimes, you just make too much cookie dough. Or you make enough because you know you’ll bake it later. Whichever the case, freezing cookie dough is bound to be a necessity eventually. But how do you properly freeze cookie dough? And more importantly: how do you bake frozen cookie dough? Don’t worry: we’ve got the answers for you.

Freezing cookie dough does not mean putting a bowl in the freezer until you’re ready to use it. Instead, you’re going to treat it as if you were baking the cookies. And that means treating all types of cookies in different ways.

Freezing Drop Cookies

For your usual chocolate chip and other drop cookies, take a cookie scoop (we recommend this one from our friends at Toque Blanche) and place the balls on a parchment-paper-lined sheet. Put them in the freezer uncovered until they’re firm, then switch them into an airtight container or Ziploc bag. You can freeze them for up to six weeks—but let’s be honest, you’ll probably bake them before then (I certainly do!).

If you’re freezing cookies that are usually coated in sugar, like snickerdoodles, don’t freeze after you’ve rolled them! Instead, freeze the dough like you would normally. When it comes time to coat in sugar, let them thaw and soften overnight so the sugar sticks.

Freezing Slice-and-Bakes

Slice-and-bake cookies have a different texture than drop cookies, which means you’ll have to freeze them differently, too. Rather than scooping into balls, work your dough into thick logs and wrap them tightly in plastic wrap or wax paper. Because of its flakey texture, it may crumble if you slice into them right after taking out of the freezer. Let them thaw first in the fridge, then cut.

Freezing Cut-Out Cookies

It doesn’t get easier than freezing cut-out cookies. Simply roll out the dough (we love this rolling pin, also from Toque Blanche!), then place the flattened dough in the freezer. When you’re ready to bake, simply take them out and bake them as per usual.

Freezing Already-Baked Cookies

If you’ve made cookies and can’t devour them in one sitting, you can freeze cookies that have already been baked. Just place them in airtight containers and freeze for up to a month. When you’re ready to devour, remove them and let them thaw. Drop cookies can be warmed up in the oven at 300°F for five-to-seven minutes.

How to Bake Frozen Cookie Dough

Generally, you can let frozen dough thaw overnight and then work with it as the recipe details. But if you just can’t wait to eat it (no judgement!) or are invited to a last-minute potluck, preheat the oven to about 20°F less than the recipe says. This way, the dough will melt and spread out as you’d like, allowing for an even bake instead of crisp edges and undercooked middles. To summarize: any type of cookie can be frozen and thawed, leaving you with delicious treats whenever you want them. Happy eating!

Alternatives to Dairy

Dairy can hit the system hard, causing stomachaches galore. Be it a sensitivity or full-blown lactose intolerance, it may seem like cookies are no longer an option. But we’re here with good news: you can still bite into a cookie without the pain! All it takes are some substitutions in your fridge and a little creativity. We’re here to start you off.

Flaxseed ≠ Eggs

If eggs are your biggest worry, try flaxseed instead. This ingredient mimics the gelatinous texture that eggs have, so you don’t need that dairy-filled yolk in there. Fun fact: this substitution also allows you to eat your cookie dough raw, a dream we’ve always had yet never tried thanks to salmonella.

Alternative Milks ≠ Dairy Milks

There are so many new types of milk to use instead of your usual dairy milk: oat milk, almost milk, cashew milk… the list goes on. The classics: soy milk and coconut milk. Soy milk has just as much protein as dairy milk and is the most common suggestion, while coconut milk has the same creamy texture as cow’s milk. Ultimately, it comes down to preference—both work.

Oil ≠ Butter

You can use plant-based margarine, but if you’re looking for something more natural, oil should be your go-to. Coconut oil is a 1:1 substitution, though you might want to add a dash of salt to cut out the sweetness. And avocado oil is perfect for baking, because it’s filled with the fat a cookie may be missing from the removal of butter.

Blended Fruits ≠ Yogurt

A popular replacement for dairy-based yogurt is coconut-based yogurt, made by blending coconut milk with a sweetener, like powdered sugar or maple syrup (we wrote about some substitutions for sugar, if you’re looking for an alternative). The creamy texture mimics that of yogurt, creating a silky-smooth consistency to mix into your dry ingredients.

Just because you can’t have milk doesn’t mean you can’t indulge in cookies! What do you use in place of dairy? Let us know below.

Alternatives to Gluten

Whether you have a gluten allergy or are simply trying to avoid eating it, it can be hard to find gluten-free goods, especially cookies. One of the best solutions: making them yourself! We’ve given you guides on the top tips new bakers should know, as well as the most important tools you should have on hand. But what ingredients can you use in place of gluten? We’ve got the 411 for you.

Alternative Flours ≠ All-Purpose Flour

Thankfully, there are other flours available that aren’t all-purpose. Almond flour and coconut flour are great replacements that mimic the texture of your gluten-filled wheat flour, and you can find them in every store. If you prefer to DIY it and make sure there’s really no gluten, you can take quinoa (filled with protein and fiber), toast it, and throw it in a food processor.

Chopped Nuts ≠ Granola

Looking for the crunch you’d get from granola? Chopped nuts are the perfect substitute for that texture—try cashews and almonds for the closest taste to your usual granola, then use honey or molasses (we discussed these as sugar substitutes!)  to complement them. If you’re looking for extra sweetness, add in dried fruit. And bam: you have the dream minus the gluten.

Rum ≠ Beer

Sorry, but snickerbrewdles and soft stout cookies aren’t options when you go gluten-free. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy boozy batches of cookies! Instead of beer, go with rum or a fruit-based drink (like brandy or cognac). Some recipes we recommend are gluten-free rum-raisin cookies and  gluten-free bourbon caramel samosa.

Chia Seeds ≠ Breadcrumbs

Breadcrumbs are out for those who are gluten-free. The good news: chia seeds are in. Breadcrumbs are a great binder, and you can replicate the texture by using chia seeds. They’re especially good in cookies using dried fruit and/or chocolate, because their slight nutty flavor pairs perfectly with saccharine tastes.

We hope these ideas for substitutes helped out – and there are many more where they came from! What do you use to keep your diet gluten-free? Let us know in the comments.

Happy National Small Business Day!

We love celebrating Santa Cruz-based companies, so in honor of National Small Business Day, we thought we’d share our favorite products from Toque Blanche. They sell some of the best cooking and baking products in Santa Cruz!

Filled with goodies to make every chef a pro, Toque has carried on despite the struggle COVID brought to our local businesses. The least we can do is lift them up! These are our favorite items that will up your baking game.

Wood Handle Whisk

While many people love metal whisks, we know that for some, nothing can replace a wood handle. This whisk uses lacquered birch hardwood for the handle and stainless steel wires. Best part: it’s dishwasher safe.

Wood Handle Whisk, $9.99
Bread Loaf Baker

Bread-making doesn’t have to be stressful with this bread loaf baker! Throw your dough into this loaf pan and then place it in the oven. It will crisp up the edges while keeping your insides soft thanks to the refractory ceramic and domed lid managing humidity; holes on the bottom and top guarantee the perfect crust.

Emile Henry Bread Loaf Baker, Linen, $99.99
Cookie Sheet

What makes this cookie sheet so unique: it’s topped with a nonstick Americoat, a type of silicone coating that makes it easier to peel cookies off – minus the middles sticking to the sheet. Clean-up is also easy: just wash gently with a sponge and dish soap.

Cookie Sheet, $18.99
Stainless Steel Scoop

We’ve written about why cookie scoops are so important (like, a bunch of times), and Toque Blanche sells the perfectly-sized scoop for your perfect cookies. You’ll no longer have to worry about uneven burning and mushy insides.

Norpro Stainless Steel Scoop, $19.99
Digital Scale

Scales are better than measuring cups and spoons because they’re the most accurate. And, with baking, accuracy is crucial – too much flour and you’ll have crumbly dough, too little and it will be runny. (We wrote about these issues before!) This scale is highly rated and will measure your ingredients to the gram, so you’ll never have issues with dough again.

Escali Primo Digital Scale, $34.99
Springform Pan

If you’re baking a cake of any sort, a springform pan should be your best friend. This one is made of carbon steel and can withstand 390ªF. Its nonstick coating is perfect for cakes that require a light touch. The spring opens with a simple flip of a latch, but it’s tight enough to avoid seeping out while in the oven.

Mrs. Anderson’s Nonstick Springform Pan, $13.99
White Marble Rolling Pin

Marble is porous, meaning it withstands the cold better by absorbing heat: perfect when you’re mixing cold ingredients into a recipe, like cold butter into flour. It’s simple to clean – just wipe it down and stick it on its stand, making it a fab décor item in your kitchen.

Endurance White Marble Rolling Pin, $24.99
Mix-n-Measure 2-Cup

We love this mix-in-measure cup. Sure, you can use a scale for grams, then translate it to ounces; teaspoons into tablespoons; or tablespoons into cups. But this cup makes it way easier by having marks for every measurement, taking the guesswork out of baking. No more googling like a mad chef – it’s all in this two-cup glass.

Kolder Glass Mix-in-Measure, 2 Cup, $7.99

Toque Blanche doesn’t just sell amazing bakeware – they also sell amazing kitchen tools, like cutting boards, crepe makers, herb strippers, and more. But we had to rave about the tools that will make your baking life easier.

Have you shopped at Toque Blanche? What’s your favorite cookware and bakeware? Let us know below!