The Cookie Freezing Trick You Should Know Before Baking Another Batch

Unless you have iron-clad self control, how do you walk away from an afternoon of cookie baking without feeling like quite the cookie monster? First, you licked the spoon. Then, once those cookies emerged from the oven, hot and oozing melted chocolate, you ate at least one of them before it had a chance to cool and settle, because we all know that gooey, melty stage is when cookies taste the best, even if it does burn the roof of your mouth. Once your batch did have time to firm into properly shaped, room temperature treats, you wanted to make sure that they turned out okay. Which, they did. And so, you had more, to double-check your work. And now, your stomach hurts!

Here to throw a wrench into this gluttonous cookie baking routine is Penny Stankiewicz, chef instructor at the Institute of Culinary Education, who actually has a tip for baking cookies that will look and taste better — while inadvertently enforcing some portion control. "Almost all cookies benefit from a bit of aging in the freezer," she told Mashed. "Some can be baked right after mixing, but many have to chill first." That means, you'll need to take a breather between when you lick the bowl and when you put the cookies in the oven. Who knows? Maybe you can even use that time to take a brisk walk.

Why freezing cookie dough produces better cookies

If you freeze your cookie dough before you bake your cookies, the cookies actually will turn out better, according to Stankiewicz. "This helps the cookies keep their shape and not spread so much, and the time in the freezer helps to develop and mingle flavors," she explained. If you're baking cookies for an event, you can make the dough the night before, and bake them the day you need them, so they'll have that fresh-from-the oven appeal.

Once you're ready to bake your frozen dough, preheat your oven and prep your baking sheet. "[I]t's best to scoop the cookies with an ice cream scoop to portion them out," Stankiewicz advised. And if you really are struggling to find a way to enjoy a fresh-baked cookie without eating half the batch, Stankiewicz's trick helps with portion control by keeping your batch perfectly sized for you, "You can also bake them straight from frozen, so you have cookies on hand whenever you want them."