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Freezing decorated cookies


kthull
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I'm doing a few cookie baskets for a school cake walk and I wanted to know if I could bake and decorate the cookies, then freeze them. I freeze unbaked cookies all the time, and I've read on the forums of freezing baked cookies prior to decorating, but not AFTER decorating. I'm specifically planning on using Wendy's icing recipe. Also, if the cookies can be frozen post-decoration, will they still be sturdy enough to stay on their sticks?

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I used to freeze them decorated, bagged , and stacked in rubbermaid containers for a florist who kept them on hand for cookie bouquets. They were frosted with buttercream (the butter, crisco, powdered sugar kind) and royal icing. She thawed them for a couple hours in the fridge and they did fine. I was really surprised the reds didn't even fade.

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I was really surprised the reds didn't even fade.

actually im surprised as well, even with the buttercream you use..ive never been able to successfully freeze decorated cookies without them running

Thawing them in the refrigerator makes a big difference - keeps the condensation from forming on them that makes the colors run.

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I'm still a big fan of the sour cream sugar cookie for cookie bouquets and they're already on the fragile side, so I may have to just suck it up and do my own test.

Wendy, as far as appearance goes, are you talking about the running of colors as mentioned upthread or is the basic finish of the icing ruined?

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I have succesfully frozen sugar cookies decorated with royal icing. I defrosted in the fridge in closed containers, added fondant flowers and then packaged them and sent them overseas, and they did great.

I have no experience on freezing butter cream decorated cookies though.

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I've frozen cookies decorated with both "white chocolate" candy coating and also Toba Garrett's Glace icing (not both on the same cookie) and they were fine when thawed. I put wax paper between them and stacked them. There was no sticking and the colors were fine.

The candy coating I used was Guittard white ribbons and also Wilton candy melts.

It seems like I've also frozen buttercream iced ones too, but didn't stack them.

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Hum.........well you can't stack them and freeze them, unless the icing drys very hard.

I never worked in small batches that would fit in a tupperware type containers. I've always had to wrap my items in plastic wrap or sheet pan covers/bags. You can freeze the cookies uncovered and prevent ruining the image then, but when you defrost you either uncover the item and condensation will form on the surface and ruin your image (wet spots discolor). Or you keep them covered while defrosting........and then the condensation forms on the outside of my plastic but then that sinks down touching my cookies ruining them by sticking in the frosting.

The moisture from the defrost can make your colors bleed. That can happen even if your not freezing them.

I like a frosting that drys the best for decorated cookies in cookie baskets. I bake my cookies off, then freeze them unfrosted. I decorate them, then let them air dry for a day or two before their needed. My frosting never gets completely dry (it crusts over really).

Buttercream adds more weight to a cookie on a stick then many other thinner frostings so you can't use a real fragile cookie. I use a shortbread cookie recipe that isn't sweet with my sweet xxxsugar frosting and they make a great match. I've tried other cookies like sugar cookies and by the time I frost them they just seem too sweet.

I know a pastry chef that uses fondant for her frosting on cookies, then air brushes the image on. That would work well.......... it does for her. I've tried, but struggled with it.....I just haven't mastered it.........

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I was really surprised the reds didn't even fade.

actually im surprised as well, even with the buttercream you use..ive never been able to successfully freeze decorated cookies without them running

Same here. Regardless of whether I use buttercream or royal icing, the colors ran. Also, I find that frozen cookies benefit from a little warm-up in the oven to re-crisp them--and you can't do that when they're decorated. I think the problem of runny colors depends on the colors you use. I can't imagine that pastel colors would be a problem but reds, blues, and black? I'm skeptical.

Edited by Char (log)
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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi All,

In anticipation of the upcoming Halloween season along with Thanksgiving and Christmas I would like to get a jump start on my cookies.

My question is if I bake sugar cookies and decorate them with royal frosting and maybe sprinkles can I then freeze them? Will the cookies taste ok and not be gummy providing I wrap them properly?

I figure I will bake and decorate next week so I won't be overwhelmed and now that I am working part-time I have more time to bake more and put things away versus on demand baking.

Thanks in advance for your assistance.

Edited by celenes (log)

Believe, Laugh, Love

Lydia (aka celenes)

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Sugar cookies with a royal icing glaze will freeze very well, so no problems there, but it's the sprinkles you mentioned I'm worried about. They usually contain such cheap food colour that they'll easily bleed colour at the sligtest temp and/or moisture change. For freezing, I'd forego using the sprinkles.

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I've baked sugar cookies, frozen and defrosted for decorating with royal icing closer to when they're needed. I've not frozen already decorated ones. However, if this really works, I might be careful to keep them wrapped really well while defrosting to keep any condensation away from them.

So long and thanks for all the fish.
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