How to Store Sugar Cookies
You want to save time by baking ahead. We get that. Sometimes our busy lives mean that we have to bake ahead. Below is a straightforward guide for storing sugar cookies and sugar cookie dough for later.
Sugar Cookie Dough
Yes, you can store sugar cookie dough in its raw form! See below for storage guidelines.
Sugar cookie dough should be used immediately if stored at room temperature.
If you let it warm up, the butter may soften and your cookies may spread when baked. It also likely has raw eggs and other perishables in it that really shouldn't be left at room temperature for very long.
Most sugar cookie recipes require a 30 minute to 3 hour period of chilling in the refrigerator before baking. This helps to firm up the butter so that the cookies hold their shape and maintain a nice crumb when baked.
If storing the cookie dough, it can be refrigerated for up to 3 days in an airtight container. Since it likely contains perishables, we really don't recommend storing for over 3 days.
Yes, you can freeze cookie dough! Sugar cookie dough can be frozen for up to 6 weeks.
To freeze, either roll your dough into discs or pre-cut out the shapes you want, separating layers with parchment paper. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and keep in an airtight container.
If your cookies are pre-cut, you can wait until they are pliable, but still cold to the touch, and just pop them into the oven.
If you froze a disc of dough, let it come up to room temperature for a few hours on the countertop. Do not remove from the airtight container when doing this, as the dough could dry out.
Baked Sugar Cookies
You can also pre-bake your cookies and store them for later! Below are our tips.
Decorate the cookies within 48 hours
of being baked, as they will start to become stale if left at room temperature for too long. If you need to store them for longer, store the undecorated cookies in an airtight container.
We do not recommend storing baked cookies in the fridge.
The fluctuating humidity levels and overall dryness of the fridge will dry your cookies out.
Baked, undecorated cookies can be wrapped in plastic wrap and stored in an airtight container for up to 4 weeks.
When you're ready to decorate, remove the cookies from the freezer and allow them to thaw until they are room temperature.
Baked & Decorated Sugar Cookies:
If you really want to get a head start, it is tempting to bake, decorate, and store your decorated sugar cookies. Below are the recommended ways for storing baked and decorated sugar cookies.
Baked and decorated cookies can be stored at room temperature in a sealed container for up to 2 weeks.
Make sure that your icing has hardened completely before stacking the cookies, and adding a layer of parchment paper between cookie layers is always a good idea for some additional protection.
Due to the humidity level of refrigerators, decorated cookies do not store well in the fridge.
Avoid storing decorated cookies in the fridge, as it will affect the structure of the icing and taste of the cookie.
You can freeze decorated cookies for up to 6 weeks in the freezer.
Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and store in an airtight container for the best results. Warm up to room temperature before serving.
There you have it! Proven storage methods from our test kitchen. Bake ahead!
Next, learn how to store royal icing.