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Before you decide whether you’re going to make the whole batch of cookie dough or not, it’s important to figure out how long your cookie dough will last.
Will it go bad in a few days, or can you store it in a way that means you have premade dough for months?
In this guide, we’ll talk all about the methods of storing cookie dough, exactly how long your cookie dough will last, and the benefits of storing cookie dough instead of making it all at once.
In fact, cookie dough can last a lot longer than you might expect!
If you just want the scoop (see what we did there?), cookie dough can last for 6 months in the freezer, 6 days in the fridge, and for 6 hours at room temperature.
The type of cookie dough does also matter slightly (something like a shortbread dough which has no eggs will last longer than a recipe with eggs, for example), but keep reading for more details.
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How long will raw cookie dough last at room temperature?
It could have been an accident that the cookie dough got left out on the counter while you went to tend to something else, or maybe it’s a cookie palooza kind of day and you’re spending all day in the kitchen baking.
How long will cookie dough last if it’s at room temperature, just sitting in your kitchen?
This is more of a food safety questions that doesn’t have as much wiggle room as something like the freezer, so you should know that 6 hours is the maximum amount of time you should use cookie dough after being left out at room temperature.
If your kitchen is very warm or it’s the summer months, bacteria will grow a lot easier and then you should cut that time to around 4 hours.
It’s really due to the raw ingredients used in the dough (eggs, butter, etc) and how long those can safely be left out.
They aren’t cooked yet, so they would follow the same food safety standards as they would if they were in their original form.
If you do want to keep the cookie dough for longer, need to take a break in baking but want to get back to it later, for example, then cover the dough in saran wrap and pop in the fridge!
How long will raw cookie dough last in the refrigerator?
If you put your cookie dough in the fridge to store it, suddenly you give it a life of about 5 days!
This assumes that you have put the cookie dough in an airtight container like this one or wrapped it in saran wrap so it is airtight and not “exposed” to the fridge.
Some people even say that it can be used up to 10 days later, but we suggest sticking to 5-7 days at the max.
This will ensure that your cookies are safe to eat, but you should also know that just because you can, doesn’t mean you should (especially when it comes to baking!)
After a couple days in the fridge, your dough may go dry (even if wrapped) and the rising agents like baking powder or soda may not work as well when you bake them.
Therefore, you should try to use your raw cookie dough stored in the fridge about 2 days after you created the dough.
This makes sense, of course, because a lot of recipes even ask that you chill the dough overnight, so you’re already purposefully storing it for 1 day and then you can get away with another one before you bake it up for the fresh results.
If you’re really questioning the amount of time your particular cookie dough will last in the fridge, again this does come down to the individual cookie.
So use this method: look at all of the ingredients that went into your dough, and then calculate the shortest use-by date from the ingredient that will go off fastest.
That’s your length of time you can leave it in the fridge.
Maybe it’s eggs or milk or something else, but you know if you wouldn’t leave your eggs out, cracked, for more than a couple of days, then that’s when you should use your dough by.
Obviously something like shortbread which is just sugar, butter, and flour, is going to last longer in the fridge than a dough with eggs.
How long will raw cookie dough last in the freezer?
If you want to really store your cookie dough for as long as possible, then freezing it is the way to go!
You can freeze your cookie dough for up to 6 months with good results, though for optimal results and taste, use it within 3 months in the freezer.
Freezing it is going to really slow that process of the dough going bad, and our top tip is to actually freeze your cookie dough in already-rolled dough balls so that you can even make just a couple at a time when the mood strikes rather than needing to thaw the whole batch that you might not want.
If you leave the cookie dough in the freezer for more than 3 months and get closer to 6, you may find that it’s a little bit dry or freezer burned or the taste is not as rich, so that’s something to keep in mind!
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