Thursday, March 7, 2013

Baking Basics: Storing Cookie Dough

So, I'm freaking out right now!  The good kind of freaking out.

Like a kid in a candy store.

But not the lame store in the mall with stale, three-plus year old candy.


The type of candy store you find at historic landmarks, at state capitals...we're talking barrels of candy lining the walls, aisles, windows. 

That's the kind of candy store I'm in.  

I'll admit it's pretty lame because what I have to announce really isn't that big of a deal.

I mean, I didn't win the lottery.
I didn't get to put my handprints into a slab of cement in front of Grauman's Chinese Theatre.
And I didn't get asked out by Jason Segel to be his date to an awards show or even just for a drink.

Sure, what I have to tell you is pretty cool...
....but I just don't want you to be misled by my over-exuberant display of excitement. 

Nat's Adventures in Baking was featured in the "Back For Seconds" Link Social yesterday!

Click to see.

See?! How totally rad is that?!
Somebody actually read (er.....looked at pictures) on my blog!! 
(It's you obvi)

I really shouldn't reveal that I'm so utterly shocked that another human being would take notice of my work.  
It comes off as annoyingly self-depreciating or as a sneak-attack, undercover ego trip.  
"Ah, you guys read my blog, ah, I'm so shocked...yada yada.  of course you read my blog, duh!"

But I can't help it.  I'm so stunned.  
I've been linking my posts to blog socials (basically, an arena to share your posts with other bloggers) for months, but I've never been the most viewed post for the week!  

I knew sprinkles were the key to success!

Sprinkled Pies.   Check.
Sprinkled Puff Pastries.  Check.
Sprinkled Popcorn?  Sure, why not.  Check.

Oh, it's on. 
Do you ever wish you could have freshly baked cookies all the time?

Of course you do!

I never have dough leftover from a cookie batch. This is mostly because if you make it...they will come. "They" meaning your family, friend, significant other, cat, dog, mouse...doesn't matter. If cookies are made, they WILL get eaten...that very day...that v-e-r-y moment.

So today's baking lesson is on how you can easily store the cookie dough you slaved over, help stave off the rabid beasts at home, and have ready-to-bake cookies right at your fingertips. 

There are two ways to do this:
1) "Log" - Refrigerator Method
2) "Individual" - Freezer Method

"Log" Cookie Dough Storage (Refrigerator Method).  Lasts 7-10 Days
1) This method is extremely simple.  All you'll need is some plactic wrap.
2) Lay out a large piece of plastic wrap on a flat surface.
3) Scoop all of the cookie dough on top, and fashion into a log shape the best you can. 
4) Wrap dough in plastic.  Make sure all areas are covered completely as you don't want them to dry out.
5) Once wrapped up tight, roll the log against the counter to smooth any "lumpy" ends.
6) Store dough in the fridge.  Can be stored for up to a week or so.
7) When you want cookies just slice and bake! 
8) This method only works in the fridge because a frozen log is quite hard to cut!

So obviously, I didn't take any pictures of that method.

Mostly because I'm so lazy that I don't want to have to slice cookies later.  I want to just plop pre-portioned bits on a baking sheet and eat away!

This next method is my preferred choice.  For when you want to have cookies available for a long time. 

Pre-formed Individual Sized Cookie Dough Storage (Freezer Method).  Lasts 1-2 Months
1) This method is just as easy, only it takes a little more time because you need to "flash freeze" the 
     individual portions first or the pieces will stick together.

2) With a spoon, fashion small balls of dough and place on a non-stick cookie/baking pan.  
3) Place pan in freezer for about an hour.

4) Once pieces are firm and mostly solid, place in a heavy duty ziploc bag.

5) Squeeze out all the air...all of it...or at least as much as you possibly can.  The less it is exposed to air 
    the longer it will last and you'll avoid freezer burn.  
6) Write date on bag and store in the freezer.  Can be stored for up to two months.  The more you take 
    care to always seal the bag and remove air, the longer you can keep having ready-to-bake cookies on 
7) When you are ready to bake, take out desired pieces and let defrost on a baking sheet.  *Tip: If you 
    have a Silpat you can bake them frozen.  The mat helps conduct the heat evenly. 

If you'll excuse me, I have some cookie dough to eat bake.


  1. Yes, I'm admitting it.

    I am "stealing" ideas from your blog for my catering gigs.

    Being super bad at baking, I figured this is a good way to go. But hey, when I do use your tips, I will quote you on it, haha.

    1. Say them cookies are in my freezer for almost a month... is there a way to figure out (smell, taste, look) whether I should throw the dough out? You know, like when there's mold, you know it's bad.
    2. I preer my cookies are the harder side than the softer side, I'm starting to notice that a lot of people enjoy them when they are extremely soft. To your knowledge, which side are the majority on?


    1. You are welcome to steal from ideas from my blog. That's the whole point.

      And since I am a non-expert baker, all I can offer is my two cents.

      1) I don't think that frozen cookie dough would actually go bad - as in unhealthy/unsafe to eat - unless it was several (4+) months old. However, as far as freshness and texture, as long as they have been wrapped well and protected from freezer burn you should be fine for a month or two. I would do a test cookie or two if you are really worried about it.

      2) I think most people prefer chewy cookies - slightly crisp on the outside and soft in the middle. However, this is subjective because some cookies are innately hard (shortbread) and others very soft. I have seen a lot of recipes that use cake mix in the dough, I'm assuming this keeps the cookies very soft. You might want to try that. I, for one, like my cookie to be a cookie and not a cake, so I've been reluctant to try.


  2. I have to say, I took a basic cooking course back in college and we leanred how to measure things (dry and wet)on the second day of class. Your page reminded me of that beacuse I was shocked at the fact that not many people know how to do any of those things! Thanks for supplying the pictures and making it easy to understand. Good work!

    I for one am a TERRIBLE baker, so I'm sticking with the simple stuff like cheesecakes, pies, creme brulee and such.

    With that said, I have an amazing chocolate chip cookie recipe that's been extremely successful at various tastings & events. I need you to try it and approve it!

    Normally I don't worry too much about cookies going bad because they are usually gone by the end of the day, but it's good to know that they can last for a while by doing what you said. Thanks! :)

    - Jimmy

    1. Yes, because creme brûlée and cheesecake are the most simplest of desserts! If you can make those you are off to a VERY good start.

      And oh my goodness! I need that chocolate chip recipe! I am going to be doing a crazy bake off soon and compare like 5-6 recipes at once.