Quick Answer: Does Refrigerating Cookie Dough Make A Difference?

Most cookie dough can be refrigerated, well-wrapped, for three to five days before baking.

If you want to make it farther in advance, freeze the dough.

See my previous post on freezing cookie dough for more information.

If you need ideas for your holiday baking, see our collection of Cookie Recipes..

Many cookie recipes call for long refrigeration times, but a finicky dough or a little extra chilling time can result in dough that’s as hard as a rock, and nearly impossible to work with. Merrill recommends putting dough near a warm stove, and pounding it with a rolling pin once it starts to soften.

Anytime a cookie recipe relies on eggs to provide the bulk of the liquid content, resting the dough is generally a good idea. … If you want to ripen a cookie dough recipe that tells you to bake them right away, just allow your ripened dough to come to room temperature before baking.

You can store cookie dough in the refrigerator for two days. Place the cookie dough in an airtight container, such as a plastic snap-top container or a plastic bag. If desired, roll the cookie dough into a log and wrap with plastic — it’ll be easy to slice later.

30 minutes will do the trick if you’re simply looking to avoid your cookies spreading all over the place. If you have the luxury of chilling the dough overnight to develop flavor, go for it.

Chilling isn’t just to stop spreading; it enhances the flavor of the cookies too! The longer the flavors marry together in the fridge, the better. The flour can absorb the butter and the caramelly flavors in the brown sugar.

2-4 hoursAs a general rule, any cookie dough left on the counter at room temperature will be good for 2-4 hours but then may risk going bad, especially if it is already past its “best by” date. The cool, dark, air-free container in your fridge or freezer will be the best place to maximize the lifespan of your cookie dough.

2 to 4 daysHomemade cookie dough should be stored in small containers in the refrigerator for 2 to 4 days or freeze for 2 months. Alternatively, small quantities of dough can be frozen and thawed in the refrigerator as needed.

Chilling cookie dough before baking solidifies the fat in the cookies. As the cookies bake, the fat in the chilled cookie dough takes longer to melt than room-temperature fat. And the longer the fat remains solid, the less cookies spread. In addition, the sugar in the dough gradually absorbs liquid.

Better Homes and Gardens says that you can freeze cookie dough for one-fourth of the recommended refrigeration time with good results. … If you inadvertently freeze your dough, that’s not a problem—just put it in the fridge and let it thaw until it becomes soft, then bake them.

Put each portion of cookie dough into a plastic bag with a zip top that you can put into the fridge or freezer. Squeeze all the air out of the bag before sealing the top closed. Getting all the air out of the bag is especially important if you plan on freezing the dough.