Why You Need to Chill Your Cookie Dough
Popping your dough in the fridge allows the fats to cool. As a result, the cookies will expand more slowly, holding onto their texture. If you skip the chilling step, you’re more likely to wind up with flat, sad disks instead of lovely, chewy cookies.
“When your dough is refrigerated, the butter hardens. … 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.
As little as 30 minutes in your fridge or freezer can help your cookie brown better, spread less, and develop a richer chewy texture. … The chilling phase also gives the flour in your dough time to hydrate, just like pie dough, which translates into a cookie that’s more chewy than cakey.
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. Merrill recommends putting dough near a warm stove, and pounding it with a rolling pin once it starts to soften.
Put each portion of cookie dough into a plastic bag with a zip top that you can put into the fridge or freezer. Squeeze all the air out of the bag before sealing the top closed. Getting all the air out of the bag is especially important if you plan on freezing the dough.
Let it sit for long enough—the famous Jacques Torres chocolate chip cookie, published in the New York Times, mandates a rest of at least 24 hours and up to 72—and the starches and proteins in the flour begin to break down, leading to more browning and caramelization.
Frozen or chilled dough will take longer than room temperature dough to bake. Just keep an eye on the cookies as they bake and remove them when they start to color around the edges and lose their raw shine in the middle. Bar Cookies: The bake time will depend on how thick the bars are, so check them often.
How long does it take for refrigerated dough to come to room temperature?
How long can dough sit after refrigeration? If dough has been kept in the refrigerator overnight it will take up to two hours to warm up. If the temperature of the room is cold and the size of the prepared dough is large it may be able to sit out for longer.
The cookie dough doesn’t need to be refrigerated – although it will remain firmer if kept in the fridge. It is best to eat the dough within 2-3 days. The dough can also be frozen, for 2-3 months. Just defrost at room temperature.
We recommend storing your cookie dough in a small airtight container in your fridge or freezer, depending on when you want to bake it. As a general rule, any cookie dough left on the counter at room temperature will be good for 2-4 hours but then may risk going bad, especially if it is already past its “best by” date.
Store dough in an air tight container for 24 hours in refrigerator. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Using a medium cookie scoop place cookie dough on an ungreased baking sheet about 2 inches apart. Bake for 8-10 minutes.