Friday, November 15, 2019

Christmas freezing instructions 101

When I posted about my tentative Christmas cookie baking list, one reader had a question about baking and freezing Christmas cookies.  Vicki suggested that I could email her with any help, putting "Freezing for Dummies instructions" in the subject line.  I did that, though I gave it a more tactful title for publishing here on the blog.

Here's what I wrote to Vicki:

Freezing Christmas cookies is very, very easy.  I most often package the cookies in large round tins, but you can use Tupperware containers of any shape or even large plastic containers (with covers) from Walmart or even the dollar store.

I have used all of the above containers at various times (I tend to run out of containers as Christmas draws near and get sort of desperate), and I can honestly say I have never had cookies get freezer burned or lose quality in any other way.

In addition to your containers, you will also want to have a package of waxed paper on hand.  Either Cut-Rite or a store brand works fine.  Masking tape and a permanent marker are helpful for labeling.

Bake your cookies as usual and cool completely on racks. 

(If the cookie has a filling and/or frosting or glaze, be sure that layer is well hardened and firmed up before you package the cookies.)

Line your container with waxed paper.  Arrange a layer of cookies in the bottom of the container, then place a piece of waxed paper over that layer and continue layering cookies and waxed paper until the container is full.  Place the cover securely on the container.

I then place a piece of masking tape on the cover and write the name of the cookie in Sharpie.  I use the tape because I use the same containers over and over and it would be confusing to write the name of the cookies directly on the container lids.

Then place the container of cookies in your freezer.  That’s it!

You don’t have to thaw the cookies before placing them on a tray or plate to serve or give.  Cookies are small and thaw out very quickly.

Below you see a tin full of whipped shortbread all ready for the freezer once the lid is added.
It is also possible, if you live in a cold climate like we do, to store the filled cookie tins on a covered front or back porch.  I often do this if I run out of room in the freezer.  (Vicki lives in Arizona, so this won't work for her cookie storage!)
Now as you see in the illustration at the top of the post, the advice I gave Vicki could be supplemented with a few other thoughts.

* This is a no-brainer, seems to me, but only store one type of cookie per tin.  You don't want the flavors to get all mixed up.

* Store soft cookies and crisp cookies separately.

* For bar cookies, I cut them in the desired size when completely cool and transfer them to containers with waxed paper as described above.

Vicki also asked me if there were any types of cookies that should not be frozen.

There are no cookies that I know of that should not be frozen.  I think if that were the case the recipe might specify.

She also asked about freezing fudge.

Yes, you can freeze fudge.  What I most often do is cut the fudge first and then I freeze it in foil packages.  If I have a square pan of fudge, I’ll cut it and put about 1/4 of the fudge in each little package.  If I have more than one layer of fudge in the package, I put a little piece of foil or waxed paper in between the layers.  If you like, you could put a number of foil packages inside a ziplock freezer bag.  It’s easier to keep track of them that way.

Sometimes I package fudge in small tins, also lined with waxed paper or foil.  Every kind of fudge that I have frozen has kept its consistency just fine.

Other candies, like peanut butter balls or the chocolate dipped orange slices, I freeze just as I do cookies in containers with waxed paper. 

I've made almond and peanut brittle before but I don't remember if I have ever frozen them.  I would be concerned that brittles might become sticky in the freezer.  Pretty sure I would store those at room temperature in a covered tin.

Another kitchen gift that I bake and freeze ahead is little loaves of quick breads or fruitcakes.  After removing these from the loaf pans, I cool them completely on wire racks before wrapping them individually in foil.  I will then freeze the little foil-wrapped loaves in either a tin or plastic container or even a large zip-top bag. 

When I am ready to gift these little loaves, I wrap them in either colorful foil or food-safe tissue paper and add a little embellishment like ribbon, trim, or baker's twine as pictured below.
There you have some thoughts on freezing Christmas goodies for later.  Hope this information is helpful to someone!


  1. Nice post. I freeze a lot of my cookies. It is good to bake ahead and be ready for Christmas when we are so busy with shopping and other chores.

    1. Thanks, Thelma! Yes, baking cookies ahead and freezing is the only way to go, in my book. That said, I have yet to start any of my cookie baking. Maybe this coming week!

  2. Very good tips Mrs T. I often store mine in the garage as I do not have an extra freezer. It has worked for me. I use tins as well. I learned that from my sweet mother in law. I often buy extras after Christmas for the next year.

  3. I'm a big fan of freezing my Christmas cookies, too. Making them ahead of time and freezing sure help.

  4. I freeze all my Christmas desserts, including the fudge.
    Thanks for the tips.


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