In general, any cookie dough containing fat, like butter or shortening, tends to freeze well. But cookie doughs that rely on whipped egg whites for volume and texture will be tough to freeze. For example, meringues and macarons will not freeze well.
When freezing the dough, shape it in disks or logs, wrapping it tightly with plastic wrap or parchment paper to prevent freezer burn and odor absorption. Place your wrapped cookie dough in a freezer bag for extra protection.
For cookies like slice-and-bake or shortbread-style, there’s no need to thaw. Removing them from the freezer and baking immediately will work fine and produce a fresh cookie. In fact, they often work even better baked directly from frozen because the spread of the cookie is more consistent. Next time you bake short-bread style cookies, consider freezing half the batch
Cookie doughs like snickerdoodle and chocolate chip work a little differently. Generally, it’s okay to bake these types of cookies directly from the freezer, but they will not turn out exactly like those that are baked fresh. The taste will remain, but the cookies will not spread as large. If you want the spread to be the same, we recommend thawing the dough for 24 hours in the fridge.
Some cookie doughs just don’t freeze well. These are doughs that rely on egg whites rather than butter for volume and texture in the cookie. Examples to avoid freezing include macarons and meringues. For these types of cookie doughs, you must bake them all first, then wrap the finished cookies well and freeze.
The most important thing to remember when thawing your cookie dough, whether shortbread-style or drop cookies, is to place it in the fridge. Do not thaw at room temperature, as this will encourage bacteria growth from the eggs in the cookie dough. However, if you don’t have the time or patience to wait a full 24 hours, thaw the dough at room temperature for as long as it takes the oven to preheat. Then bake as usual, but add an extra minute or two to the baking time. The spread may be different than freshly baked cookies, but the taste will remain. Keep an eye on the oven, especially in the last few minutes, to ensure a perfect golden cookie!