I'm making a bunch of cookies, but I only have one cookie sheet that I like and I'd just as soon do it one tray at a time anyway, so I'll be baking the cookies in several batches. They're just regular drop style cookies (recipe). I know that I'll need to cool my cookie sheet between batches, but I'd like to know the best way to handle the dough as it will take probably about two hours to complete all of the baking since I'm making a quadruple batch. Should I refrigerate the dough between batches or leave it at room temperature?

EDIT: Since the issue of cooling the tray between batches has come up in answers, I'd like to point out one small thing. It ain't no thing. It's January. I live in Alaska.

  • That recipe should only make 2 trays of cookies with a cycle time of about 15 minutes (allowing some time for cooling before reusing the tray). To get 2 hours worth, you would need to be making something like a quadruple batch.
    – SAJ14SAJ
    Commented Jan 1, 2014 at 23:35
  • 2
    That is exactly what I am doing.
    – Jolenealaska
    Commented Jan 1, 2014 at 23:35

2 Answers 2


Two hours is on the borderline, so you will have to assess your risk tolerance.

No harm will come to your cookies by refrigerating the dough; in fact, the later trays may actually be superior due to the additional time hydrating the starches. Baking cold dough will only trivially change the baking time.

I would probably err on the side of caution and put the dough in the refrigerator.

One thing that can speed up your tray recycle time is to cool the tray with running water on the back side, so that you can reuse it right away without waiting for it to cool.

You can also pre-scoop cookies onto a plate, which makes moving them on to the tray much faster. You can even refrigerate or freeze these pre-scooped cookies.


I'd personally refrigerate the dough, in part to limit spread so that I didn't have to wait as long for the sheet pan to cool down between batches.

If you have sufficient counter space, you may be able to speed up the cooking by laying out the next batch on parchment paper while another batch is baking.

This allows you to quickly de-pan the cookies onto the cooling rack (once they've rested on the pan for a couple of minutes, as it calls for some carry-over baking) by grabbing the edge of the paper, and pulling the whole thing onto the rack. You then cool down the pan (either SAJ14SAJ's trick with water, or keep something with high thermal mass in the freezer that you can use to cool it quickly), then slide the next sheet on and toss in the oven.

Parchment paper isn't as durable as silicone mats (which can significantly change the baking properties on items like cookies), but you can still generally get 3 or more uses out of them if your spatula isn't so sharp that it tears the paper. I reuse them 'til I see the corners start to brown. (varies depending on the oven temp)

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