Traveling with cookie dough?


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Hi! I am visiting my boyfriend’s family for Christmas and wanted to bake cookies for their party. To reduce the amount of time I monopolize their kitchen and the mess I make, I was planning on mixing the dough starting 2 days before I leave (Wednesday and Thursday). Then we travel there on Friday and I would be baking on Sunday. I was going to put each type of dough in a Tupperware container and then pack our cooler with ice and put it in the fridge when I get there.

What I want to know from more experienced bakers is if this sounds like a good plan or if there may be difficulties I’m not forseeing. And is it safe to transport cookie dough this way?
 
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Hi! I am visiting my boyfriend’s family for Christmas and wanted to bake cookies for their party. To reduce the amount of time I monopolize their kitchen and the mess I make, I was planning on mixing the dough starting 2 days before I leave (Wednesday and Thursday). Then we travel there on Friday and I would be baking on Sunday. I was going to put each type of dough in a Tupperware container and then pack our cooler with ice and put it in the fridge when I get there.

What I want to know from more experienced bakers is if this sounds like a good plan or if there may be difficulties I’m not forseeing. And is it safe to transport cookie dough this way?
Ideally you don’t want to refrigerate cookie dough more than three days. With a Wednesday mix and Sunday bake you will be pushing the limits.

Also keep in mind how a dough bakes will change the longer it sits in the refrigerator. See pics below.

It might be better to freeze the dough.

For drop cookies, use a scoop to portion the dough (or shape in balls by hand), then put on a tray and freeze. Once frozen, place the dough balls freezer bags. Burp out the air. Don’t use sandwich bags because they won’t guard against odors.

Portioned cookie dough can go straight from the freezer into a hot oven. Just make sure that the oven has preheated to the correct temperature before you bake.

For sugar cookies you can shape the dough into a log, double wrap it and freeze it. Let it thaw a bit, then slice and bake.

By extra ice. The night before you travel, fill ice chest with ice and leave it overnight. This will pre-chill the chest so it will stay colder longer. The insulation in an ice chest works equally good for heat and cold. So prechilling, or preheating is important to ensure your baked goods are held at the proper temperature during transportation.

Dough mixed and chilled 1 hr before baking
B544558D-2DC9-4878-ABFA-6410E33DCBE9.jpeg


Same dough from same batch as cookie above chilled overnight then baked.

6DBA3289-F864-4E0D-A1B1-51E6254E9AF6.jpeg
 
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Welcome to the forum @serabeth! :) I agree that freezing the dough would be a good idea. Out of curiosity, what type of cookies are you planning on making?
 
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Ideally you don’t want to refrigerate cookie dough more than three days. With a Wednesday mix and Sunday bake you will be pushing the limits.

Also keep in mind how a dough bakes will change the longer it sits in the refrigerator. See pics below.

It might be better to freeze the dough.

For drop cookies, use a scoop to portion the dough (or shape in balls by hand), then put on a tray and freeze. Once frozen, place the dough balls freezer bags. Burp out the air. Don’t use sandwich bags because they won’t guard against odors.

Portioned cookie dough can go straight from the freezer into a hot oven. Just make sure that the oven has preheated to the correct temperature before you bake.

For sugar cookies you can shape the dough into a log, double wrap it and freeze it. Let it thaw a bit, then slice and bake.

By extra ice. The night before you travel, fill ice chest with ice and leave it overnight. This will pre-chill the chest so it will stay colder longer. The insulation in an ice chest works equally good for heat and cold. So prechilling, or preheating is important to ensure your baked goods are held at the proper temperature during transportation.

Dough mixed and chilled 1 hr before baking
View attachment 1955

Same dough from same batch as cookie above chilled overnight then baked.

View attachment 1954
Ideally you don’t want to refrigerate cookie dough more than three days. With a Wednesday mix and Sunday bake you will be pushing the limits.

Also keep in mind how a dough bakes will change the longer it sits in the refrigerator. See pics below.

It might be better to freeze the dough.

For drop cookies, use a scoop to portion the dough (or shape in balls by hand), then put on a tray and freeze. Once frozen, place the dough balls freezer bags. Burp out the air. Don’t use sandwich bags because they won’t guard against odors.

Portioned cookie dough can go straight from the freezer into a hot oven. Just make sure that the oven has preheated to the correct temperature before you bake.

For sugar cookies you can shape the dough into a log, double wrap it and freeze it. Let it thaw a bit, then slice and bake.

By extra ice. The night before you travel, fill ice chest with ice and leave it overnight. This will pre-chill the chest so it will stay colder longer. The insulation in an ice chest works equally good for heat and cold. So prechilling, or preheating is important to ensure your baked goods are held at the proper temperature during transportation.

Dough mixed and chilled 1 hr before baking
View attachment 1955

Same dough from same batch as cookie above chilled overnight then baked.

View attachment 1954
Thank you for the tips! I think you’re right that freezing is a good idea, because then I can make them throughout December and don’t have to worry about doing it all in 1 or 2 nights.

So if I freeze them and make sure the cooler is nice and cold, when I get there late Friday night, is it okay if I put in the refrigerator then since I’ll be baking on Sunday?

I’m planning on making m&m cookies, cherry almond shortbread cookies, white chocolate snickerdoodles, sugar cookies (not the cutout kind), thumbprint cookies using peppermint Hershey kisses and melted white chocolate, and white chocolate dipped ginger cookies.
 
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Thank you for the tips! I think you’re right that freezing is a good idea, because then I can make them throughout December and don’t have to worry about doing it all in 1 or 2 nights.

So if I freeze them and make sure the cooler is nice and cold, when I get there late Friday night, is it okay if I put in the refrigerator then since I’ll be baking on Sunday?

I’m planning on making m&m cookies, cherry almond shortbread cookies, white chocolate snickerdoodles, sugar cookies (not the cutout kind), thumbprint cookies using peppermint Hershey kisses and melted white chocolate, and white chocolate dipped ginger cookies.
That’s a delicious array of cookies—I want to come to your house for Christmas! Since you’re not going to bake until Sunday, it’s probably best to keep the dough frozen. Even if the cookie dough defrosts in transit, you can still refreeze it. Cookie dough can’t be refrozen up to three times. Beyond that it’s going to degrade too much to be any good.

Good luck and Merry Christmas
 
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That’s a delicious array of cookies—I want to come to your house for Christmas! Since you’re not going to bake until Sunday, it’s probably best to keep the dough frozen. Even if the cookie dough defrosts in transit, you can still refreeze it. Cookie dough can’t be refrozen up to three times. Beyond that it’s going to degrade too much to be any good.

Good luck and Merry Christmas
Thank you so much for all of your help!! I'm really excited to make the cookies lol....I only just got back into baking. I used to bake stuff from scratch all the time as a kid but I haven't really baked at all for any of my adult life and I'm 30 :eek:. I happened to see a couple of recipes online several months ago and started planning cookies to make for Thanksgiving (pumpkin spice with homemade maple cream cheese icing, snickerdoodles, and spice cake cookies rolled in powdered sugar) and my family loved them, so I'm even more excited for the Christmas ones.

I think it probably won't defrost much in transit -- I can get our cooler pretty cold, it's cold outside, and it's only about 3 hour drive so not too bad. So it should be good to just stick in the freezer when we get there :).
 
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Thank you so much for all of your help!! I'm really excited to make the cookies lol....I only just got back into baking. I used to bake stuff from scratch all the time as a kid but I haven't really baked at all for any of my adult life and I'm 30 :eek:. I happened to see a couple of recipes online several months ago and started planning cookies to make for Thanksgiving (pumpkin spice with homemade maple cream cheese icing, snickerdoodles, and spice cake cookies rolled in powdered sugar) and my family loved them, so I'm even more excited for the Christmas ones.

I think it probably won't defrost much in transit -- I can get our cooler pretty cold, it's cold outside, and it's only about 3 hour drive so not too bad. So it should be good to just stick in the freezer when we get there :).
Happy to hear you got the baking bug after all these years. There’s been a lot more interest in baking since the Great British Bake Off. People are rediscovering the joy in baking.

Your cookie dough should be fine to refreeze after the 3 hr drive. When baking the frozen dough you’ll have to add a minute or two baking time. If you have an oven thermometer, it might be a good idea to take it with you. Every oven is different; too frequently ovens are out of calibration. So checking the oven temperature with a thermometer will ensure it’s at the correct temperature is a good idea.

The white chocolate dipped ginger cookie sounds really good. My BF loves ginger cookies. So I think I’ll dip a few in white chocolate this year.
 

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