At Which Phase Is It Best to Freeze Cookies?

Hello.

I have a large order (large for me) of 225 cookies. I realize that I will need to freeze the cookies at some point. When is the best time to freeze cookies, i.e, at raw dough, baked but undecorated, or decorated?

Thank you so much for helping. 

Original Post

When I use to do large orders like that I made the cookies in advance.  I would create 2 or 3 layers of baked cookies in a ziploc bag with parchment paper or wax paper between laters.  Also double bag!  By using the ziploc bags they easily stacked in the freezer.  Before using I would completely defrost on racks.  Best of luck!

I have frozen raw dough (wrapped excessively with plastic wrap) and fully decorated cookies (in heat-sealed bags lying in a single layer on a covered tray) with great success. I haven’t ever tried freezing undecorated, baked cookies, but I don’t see why you couldn’t. I just wouldn’t advise freezing and defrosting multiple times once the cookie is baked.

225 cookies is a huge order by my standards! I only made an order that large once (when I was working at a bakery and my boss signed me up before asking me how doable it was.) We didn’t have a freezer at the bakery, and by the end I thought my hands were going to fall off and my back would never straighten. Never again! Once I transitioned to a CFO, the freezer was my best friend. Freezing the decorated cookies allowed me to start a big project earlier (and gave me the peace of mind to know everything was going according to plan while I still had time to make adjustments.) I never noticed any difference in taste or texture.

I think it depends on your freezer capacity and your personal taste. I only freeze the raw cookie dough, as I can always detect a bit of freezer in baked cookies that have been frozen. Plus, freezing baked cookies takes up so much space. When I had my shop and we had large orders, we baked everything to order and had cookies decorated and packaged within a few days. But I also had employees; it's harder to work that fast by yourself.

I'd suggest you do your own test. Make dough and then freeze it along with a baked-only and a baked-and-iced cookie, and see what you like best (in terms of flavor and production needs).

My experience with freezing sweet things (I.e., after decorated) is upon thawing you MUST do it slowly. From freezer to fridge, then to room temp. Going straight from freezer to room can cause condensation which will cause colors to run, pock marks in smooth spots, etc. I think I would follow this rule for thawing from any stage of the production.

Crystal Rusch posted:

My experience with freezing sweet things (I.e., after decorated) is upon thawing you MUST do it slowly. From freezer to fridge, then to room temp. Going straight from freezer to room can cause condensation which will cause colors to run, pock marks in smooth spots, etc. I think I would follow this rule for thawing from any stage of the production.

I had the same experience initially. But if you individually heat seal the decorated cookies before freezing and allow them to thaw (at room temp) inside their sealed bag, the condensation forms on the outside of the bag instead of the cookie. The moisture dries without any damage to the cookie at all. It was such a time saver for me because the cookies could thaw within an hour and were instantly ready for bows and tags. 

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