Yes, you can freeze cookies! However, it’s important that you freeze them at the right stage of baking and icing, and know how to properly defrost them.
Always experiment first. Your freezer or cookie recipe may vary from the ones in our test kitchen, and you don’t want to find out on the morning of a big cookie order that something went wrong!
Cookies that Shouldn’t Be Frozen
Avoid freezing cookies if they are decorated with colored sugars or sprinkles, or have fondant on them. If they are frozen with color on them, the color may bleed. If this happened, know that the cookies are technically still good to eat, just less attractive. Proceed with caution when freezing cookies with bright or strong colored icing, as colors may bleed. Experimenting ahead of time is your friend.
How to Freeze Cookies
After your cookies are baked and iced with royal icing, they can be frozen.
Once your iced cookies have completely dried, place them in an airtight container, like a plastic freezer bag or Tupperware, with sheets of waxed paper in between any layers, and pop them in your freezer. Within 30 minutes to an hour, the cookies will be completely frozen.
Always mark the bag with the date the cookies were put in the freezer!
Another good idea is to always have a container of baking soda in the freezer to absorb any funky odors that may transfer to your cookies!
How to Defrost Frozen Cookies
When you take them out to defrost, leave them in the container you froze them in. This way any condensation will form on the outside of the container, not on the cookie. This can take 1 – 3 hours depending on your environment.
You want to allow any moisture build-up that happens during the defrosting process to dry out before you start working on them.
How Long Will Frozen Cookies Last?
If frozen properly, I personally find that frozen cookies stay good (and delicious) for about a month to 45 days.
Freezing Cookies that Have Been Airbrushed
After airbrushing your cookies, dust them with a light layer of corn starch (using a fine mesh sieve for this works well). Use the same freezing and defrosting process as above. If you remove them from the container when defrosting, condensation will rehydrate the airbrushing and smudge if you touch them. So leaving them in the container is best. Again, experiment with a batch ahead of time so you know what to expect.
Having generic shaped cookies that are iced in just white icing are great to keep in your freezer. Need a last minute birthday or thank-you gift? Defrost and decorate and/or stencil in the same day. Done! You can also freeze cookies that have not been iced. Then just defrost and ice as needed.