How to Chill Dough in Your Freezer

Baking can be a calming and zen experience, but not when you're crunched for time and discover your chosen recipe requires a long chill time. So if you've asked yourself, "If I don't have time to chill cookie dough for four hours, can I freeze it?" We've got the answer.

Chilling cookie dough is required in many recipes. While it might seem like an unnecessary step, it really is important to do. Why? It's to solidify the fat in the dough, so the cookies won't spread too far during baking, and to ensure the cookies end up soft and tender. It would be a sad day when those cute sugar cookies you just cut into pretty snowflakes turn into one large, buttery blob in the oven. It's best to chill your dough in the refrigerator for the entire recommended time. But when you're in a time crunch (or just need a cookie fix stat), our Test Kitchen's got you covered.

sugar cookie dough baking sheet
Scott Little

Quickly Chill Cookie Dough

If you start a cookie recipe only to realize you have to chill the dough for a longer amount of time than you have, you can freeze it for a bit to speed things up. Here's what our Test Kitchen recommends:

  • Place the cookie dough in the freezer for one-quarter of the recommended refrigerator time. The dough can be wrapped in plastic, scooped into balls for baking on a cookie sheet ($16, Target), or left in the mixing bowl, covered. For example, if you want to make some sugar cookie cutouts that need at least an hour of chill time in the fridge, you could freeze the dough for 15 minutes instead.

Once your dough is chilled, continue to roll out the cookies and bake as the recipe directs. Of course, if you like planning ahead, there are plenty of freezer-friendly cookie recipes and bar cookies you can start prepping today for future enjoyment. You can also keep these icebox cookie recipes handy for freshly baked treats whenever cravings strike.

Was this page helpful?
Related Articles