Your question: How long should I chill cookie dough before baking?

As a general rule of thumb, you should refrigerate cookie dough for at least 30 minutes and up to 24 hours. More than that and you won’t see a noticeable difference in the final product, says Haught Brown.

30 minutes will do the trick if you’re simply looking to avoid your cookies spreading all over the place. If you have the luxury of chilling the dough overnight to develop flavor, go for it.

“When your dough is refrigerated, the butter hardens. So when you bake them, they spread less and hold their shape better,” adds Epperson. “Which means a better likelihood of a soft, chewy cookie in the center.” So chilling the dough before baking means fluffier cookies with better consistency.

Recipes that call for chilling often contain a high percentage of fat; this is because cold fat melts slower while baking, preventing your cookies from spreading too thin. Second, and more importantly, the resting time allows the flour to fully hydrate and soak up the liquids in the dough.

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As a general rule of thumb, you should refrigerate cookie dough for at least 30 minutes and up to 24 hours. More than that and you won’t see a noticeable difference in the final product, says Haught Brown.

Chilling cookie dough changes texture.

Again, it’s not really the chilling, but the dough gradually drying out, that’s responsible for texture change. The drier the dough, the more concentrated the sugar. And a higher percentage of sugar creates cookies with chewy/crisp (rather than soft/doughy) texture.

It is best to chill dough in the refrigerator for the entire recommended amount of time. … However, if you are in a hurry, placing the dough in the freezer for one-fourth of the recommended refrigerator time will work, too.

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.

How to Soften Chilled Cookie Dough

  1. Merrill recommends putting dough near a warm stove, and pounding it with a rolling pin once it starts to soften.
  2. Trena cuts the dough into smaller pieces using a pastry cutter, figuring that they will come to room temperature faster.

For best quality, freeze for two months. Homemade cookie dough should be stored in small containers in the refrigerator for two to four days or freeze for two months. Alternatively, small quantities of dough can be frozen and thawed in the refrigerator as needed.

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