Why do you put cookie dough in the fridge before baking?

Refrigerating the dough allows the flour to fully hydrate, which (in addition to chilling the butter) helps to make the cookie dough firmer, says baker and food stylist Jason Schreiber, who recently published Fruit Cake: Recipes for the Curious Baker ($21.85, amazon.com).

“When your cookie dough is not refrigerated, the butter is at room temperature. … So chilling the dough before baking means fluffier cookies with better consistency. Plus, if you have a bowl of dough ready in the refrigerator, it’s much easier to scoop while chilled than at room temperature.

Chilling cookie dough is required in many recipes. Its purpose is to solidify the fat in the dough so the cookies will not spread excessively in the oven and so the cookies become soft and tender when baked. It is best to chill dough in the refrigerator for the entire recommended amount of time.

Anywhere from 24 to 72 hours. The longer you chill the dough, the more flavor will develop. The flour will also absorb more of the moisture so the thicker and chewier the final texture will be. After 72 hours the dough will begin to dry out and you risk it going bad.

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Most cookie doughs freeze well for up to 3 months. … Drop Cookies: Shape the cookie dough into balls as you would when preparing to bake them. Place them on a silicone- or parchment-lined sheet. Freeze for an hour (or until solid) and transfer to a freezer zip-top bag.

Most recipes recommend chilling cookie dough for several hours in the refrigerator, but the good news is that you can use your freezer in a pinch. … The taste and texture won’t be harmed at all, and in fact, most doughs, from pie crust to cookies of all kinds, freeze quite well.

Many cookie recipes call for long refrigeration times, but a finicky dough or a little extra chilling time can result in dough that’s as hard as a rock, and nearly impossible to work with. … Trena cuts the dough into smaller pieces using a pastry cutter, figuring that they will come to room temperature faster.

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