A Pastry Chef’s Brilliant Trick for Warm Homemade Cookies Whenever Your Heart Desires|Recipes Spots

Cookie dough on sheet pans

Cookie dough on sheet pans
Simply Recipes / Ciara Kehoe

If you look in my freezer at home, it’s almost always stocked with a bag of frozen chocolate chip cookie dough. A stash of frozen cookie dough balls ensures I’m only a few minutes away from a freshly baked cookie when the craving strikes.

Not only does this give me the option to bake cookies on a whim, but it also comes in handy for dinner parties. Among friends, I’m usually the one asked to bring a dessert to dinner parties. After all, making desserts is what I do professionally. One of my favorite things to bring is a bag of frozen chocolate chip cookie dough.

If traveling to someone’s house with frozen cookie dough, I stick it in the host’s refrigerator until it’s time for dessert. Then, I heat the oven and bake the cookies—no need to wait for the dough to fully thaw. As a bonus, I like to bring a few extra frozen cookie dough balls as a gift to the host to bake at a later date. 

Cookie Dough in zip top bag
Simply Recipes / Ciara Kehoe

This also doubles as a hosting tip for last-minute guests and you need a dessert on the fly. As simple as they are, chocolate chip cookies straight from the oven are one of the easiest and most crowd-pleasing desserts. There’s little-to-no cleanup involved when you bake them from frozen, and there’s nothing more that people love than a warm, freshly baked cookie.

How To Shape, Freeze, and Bake Cookies

Nearly any drop cookie—ginger cookies, oatmeal cookies, snickerdoodles, etc.—can be shaped and frozen.

Make a batch of cookie dough as directed in the recipe. If you’re planning to bake some immediately, it’s a good idea to double the batch so that you can have some of the cookie dough to freeze. 

Cookie Dough Scooped onto tray
Simply Recipes / Ciara Kehoe

When the dough is made, use a cookie scoop to portion it into rounds. Place them in a single layer on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Place the baking sheet in the freezer for at least an hour until the balls are solid—this is known as flash freezing.

Transfer the frozen dough into a zip top freezer bag or a freezer-safe lidded container and label it with today’s date. Once the bag is tightly sealed, it can be stored in the freezer for up to three months. 

Label zip top bag with Sharpie
Simply Recipes / Ciara Kehoe

When you’re ready to bake the cookies, you don’t need to defrost them—they can be baked directly from the freezer. Preheat the oven to about 20°F less than the recipe calls for. A lower temperature allows the cookie dough to spread evenly in the oven without burning the edges and ensures that the middle bakes through. 

Baking the dough from frozen requires a few extra minutes. Bake the cookies for two to five minutes longer than the recipe calls for. Each recipe will vary slightly. For extra insurance, bake one frozen cookie dough ball to test for the right baking time.

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