November 12th, 2015 by Elizabeth Nelson

This holiday season, you don’t have to do all of your cookie baking and decorating in one day! With some planning (and freezer space) you can get a head start on your holiday cookies. Check out this ultimate cookie making timeline!


Slice-and-Bake Cookies



4-6 weeks prior to holiday: Make and freeze cookie dough. Sugar cookie dough can be frozen in discs, slice-and-bake cookies can be frozen in logs, and chocolate chip cookie dough (or a similar drop cookie, like oatmeal raisin) can be formed into balls and frozen. Sugar cookie dough should be completely thawed and brought back to room temperature before using, but slice-and-bake cookies or drop cookies can be baked from frozen. Just be sure to add 1-2 minutes onto the bake time. If you’ve never made slice-and-bake cookies before but would like to give it a try, check out our online class on Creativebug!

2-4 weeks prior to holiday: Make and freeze undecorated cookies. If you’d rather freeze a fully-baked cookie, sugar cookies, spritz cookies, and some bar cookies, like brownies, freeze well. When freezing bar cookies, freeze the entire bar and cut into squares after it has been fully thawed. Wrap cookies in multiple layers of plastic wrap and place in a heavy-duty zip-top bag before freezing—layers of wrapping keep the cookies from getting freezer burn or picking up off-flavors from other items in the freezer.


Christmas Shimmering Spritz

3-4 days before decorating: Make and refrigerate icing. Royal icing and buttercream can be made ahead, but will need to be brought back to room temperature and re-beaten before using.

2-3 days before serving: Bake (if using frozen dough) or thaw frozen cookies and decorate cookies. Be sure freshly-baked cookies are fully cooled and frozen cookies are fully thawed before decorating.

Rome wasn’t built in a day, and your holiday cookies don’t need to be all made in one day, either! With some planning (and freezer space), you can be the star of the cookie swap or Santa’s favorite elf. Pin this handy image below to your Pinterest board for future reference!

Holiday Cookie Baking and Decorating