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I need to make many batches of cookies for a party next Saturday, and I would like to start baking them now. To make sure they're still tasting fresh six days later, I want to take advantage of my freezer.

I can find advice all over the internet on how to freeze dough for baking later, and how to freeze cookies after baking, but not much on which is better! Should I bake first then freeze, or freeze now and bake the day before?

(The specific recipes are snickerdoodles, peanut butter, and chocolate chip; if you need more details to judge freezer-appropriateness, please let me know.)

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If the oven time is not a limiting resource, I would freeze and then bake.

There are a number of sources that strongly advocate for aging cookie dough before baking, which affects the absorption of moisture in the dough and changes flavor: http://www.nytimes.com/2008/07/09/dining/09chip.html

Personally, I normally do not have the patience for aging dough. If I am making cookie dough, I want to bake it and eat it immediately. You, however, have the time built in to age your dough before baking. You may even want to leave the dough in the refrigerator for awhile first before freezing.

Also, I think cookie freshness suffers more after baking than before, but I don't have references for that.

  • For what it's worth, I have frozen homemade cookies (choc. chip, & sugar cookies anyway) many times (right after cooling down from out of the oven), and they seem to retain their taste, freshness & texture perfectly. (Good to eat while still frozen as well). Also, in my experience, baking frozen cookie dough gives a noticeably different result from what you get when you bake immediately after mixing. Not terrible, but not better either. Have not tried baking dough that has been frozen and then thawed. – Lorel C. Mar 13 '17 at 0:17
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I just read an interesting study (if you're into that stuff) about how moisture migrates between from crumb to raisins at frozen temperatures.

But in your case, peanuts and chocolate are pretty inert. If I were you I would bake then freeze because having baking ingredients at room temp is ideal for consistent results.

Even an air-tight lid with rice and baking paper in the bottom would do.

*I know my profile says I'm a programmer, but I used to be a fine dining chef

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