‘Tis the season for Christmas cookies! They’re one of the best parts of the holiday dessert table.
Prepping for Christmas dinner and hosting family can be stressful. Make ahead Christmas cookies (even weeks in advance) to cross one thing off your list! Using the freezer as well as airtight containers will allow you to create delicious, fresh cookies before the chaos begins.
How to Prep For Christmas Cookies
Chill Time – Many cookie recipes call for chilled dough. Make sure to check your recipe the night before to see if you need to prep ahead. It’s easiest to make the dough the day before so you can clean up your kitchen and move on.
Soften Butter and Warm the Eggs – Another one to check on your ingredient list is whether the eggs need to be room temperature and the butter needs to be softened. Set the butter out the night before on your kitchen counter to soften. Eggs need only 30 minutes at room temperature to be ready for your recipe.
Do you have all you need? – There’s nothing worse than starting a recipe and realizing you don’t have enough flour. Look at all your recipes and make a list of what you’ll need so that you don’t get caught being unprepared!
Bake Time – Never trust the time on your recipe. All ovens bake differently. Check the cookies at the minimal time listed and add 1-minute increments until they are done. Most cookies are done when the edges are just starting to turn golden. If the entire cookie is brown, you’ve overbaked.
Measure your flour correctly! – This is one tip I don’t want you to forget. The correct way to measure flour is to spoon it into your measuring cup and level it off with a knife. Dipping the measuring cup into the flour will pack the flour and lead to dry cookies.
My Favorite Make Ahead and Freeze Cookies
Sugar Cookies – This recipe freezes so well! I have made these cookies months in advance. Because cut out cookies require more time, these are the best ones to make ahead.
Thumbprint Cookies – These have an almond shortbread base topped with your favorite jelly. Easy to make and they freeze well!
Gingerbread Cookies – Soft and spiced just right, these gingerbread cookies can be placed in the freezer once cool.
Peanut Butter Blossoms – You can make simple peanut butter cookies or top them with chocolate. We’ve always frozen these with no problems. Sometimes the chocolate can turn a little white on top, but they taste just fine!
Butterscotch No Bake Cookies – These cookies are perfect for Christmas and can be made weeks ahead of time and put away into the freezer until you’re ready to enjoy them!
How to Freeze Cookies
Let Cool after Baking – After cooling store in airtight containers like this one using parchment paper or wax paper between the layers. You can also store in storage bags.
Freeze Cookie Dough – If freezing the dough, you may want to pre-scoop the cookies. For example, you can freeze cookies like these peanut butter cookies already scooped. Freeze on a flat surface. When frozen add to storage bag. Let thaw in refrigerator before baking.
Decorate Later – Sometimes it makes sense to decorate after the cookies have thawed. There can be some slight discoloration if you freeze icing or chocolate.
Make Ahead And Store Christmas Cookies
Peanut Brittle – This recipe when made can be stored in an airtight container for a month at room temperature.
Christmas Cookie Decorations
Icing – If you are planning to add frosting, you can wait until the cookies are thawed to add it. However, I typically add the icing before freezing. The icing can get a little glaze on it, but honestly, it doesn’t bother me. It’s a personal preference.
Sprinkle with Sugar or Sprinkles- You can add simple touches to your cookies before freezing them. Sprinkles and sugar do great.
Melted Chocolate – Adding chocolate to your cookies works well, just be aware that sometimes a slight discoloration happens if you put them in the freezer.
It’s really quite simple to get a head start on your baking each Christmas season! There are plenty of other things to put on the “to do” list – cross cookies off first! Enjoy!
More Cookie Recipes
- Overnight Meringue Cookies – bake overnight!
- Cowboy Cookies Recipe – one of our favorites!
- M&M Cookie Bars Recipe – super easy to make.
Make Ahead Christmas Cookies
- 1 Cup butter softened
- 1 large egg
- 1 Cup granulated sugar
- 2 Cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon cream of tarter
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 375˚F.
- In a mixer, cream butter, sugar and egg. Add dry ingredients and mix well.
- Shape into balls using a heaping teaspoon. Drop into granulated sugar. Place on greased cookie sheet.
- Bake 10 minutes at 375˚ F. Remove from baking sheet when cool.