Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Yes, you CAN freeze decorated cookies...Works for Me Wednesday

 
We've talked about it before, but for some reason over this last two weeks, I've had SO many questions about freezing cookies, I thought it was time to have "the talk" again.

YES!  You can freeze cookies decorated with royal icing! 


YES!  You can freeze baked cookies that are not decorated!


YES!  You can freeze the dough before baking!


Yes!  Yes!  Yes!!! 
{And kiddo thinks all I can say is, "no."}

If you happen to follow along on Instagram, you might have noticed that over the last several weeks, I've been making a kajillion horse cookies.  They're Kentucky Derby horses, and they're for a charity event.
{You can read more about it and get the cookie tutorial here.}

Since I don't have room to decorate a kajillion cookies all at one time....we sometimes need to use our kitchen and dining room tables for homework, folding laundry, and you know, eating...I've learned to take on projects like this little-by-little.

These instructions are for cookies decorated with royal icing, if you're freezing unbaked cookies, just don't decorate them first.  I guess you knew that.


ONE. 
Let the cookies dry completely overnight.


TWO. Either individually bag and tie the cookies, or place them in freezer bags.



THREE. Stack the bags in a freezer-safe container.  Not only will this give them an added layer of protection, it will keep them from getting crushed by an unwieldy box of corn dogs.



FOUR. Freeze.

FIVE.
When ready to use, thaw in the container and bags at ROOM TEMPERATURE for several hours.  Never thaw in the refrigerator.  Condensation can ruin the icing.

How long can you freeze them? 
This goes for iced cookies, plain cookies and dough....I think they're best used within 3-6 months.  I have, however, tested cookies after being in my freezer for a year.  Still good. :)

{This only applies to sugar cookies decorated with royal icing, not glazes or buttercream.}

OK...I need to get these babies back in the freezer...



Freezing cookies....it works for me!

87 comments:

  1. Yay! Thanks for sharing! I freeze cookies as well as cake pops! :) But in my house, I'd be lucky if they lasted a month! Ha!

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  2. J ~ Do you freeze the decorated cake pops? I wanted to decorate, put in a bag, tie with a ribbon and freeze. Anyone know if this would work the same way?

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    Replies
    1. I have decorated, wrapped cake pops in my freezer right now. We take them out and even enjoy them still frozen. :)

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    2. They usually brake when thawing I think it has to do with the cake expanding. You can freeze the cake ball without the candy melt coating or the cake or the dough I have done those and works just fine. Diana

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    3. BREAK>>>NOT>>>BRAKE

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  3. Thank you so much for sharing this! I have to make 300 cookies by the end of June and now the task seems MUCH less daunting! You're a lifesaver!

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  4. I some how feel this post is for me ... lol. Thanks so much for posting this.

    Nicole Burris
    www.sugarandstitches.net

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  5. I use glaze/buttercream, so I can't freeze them decorated, but I freeze baked undecorated cookies all the time! My cookies are so thin I don't even have to let them thaw, I can just go right in to decorating!

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  6. Great to know!!! Thank you for this information. I should get started on the sweets table for my dd's grad party!

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  7. I was so thrilled when I learned that I could freeze cookies at every stage of the baking and decorating process! Now... once they have been frozen and unfrozen can you then refreeze them again?? That would be the ultimate convenience!

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  8. Thank you! How about cakes decorated with fondant?

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  9. I've never thought to freeze baked (or decorated!) cookies.

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  10. DO you know how many emails I get asking these very questions? I will now refer them all to Bridget the smartypants.

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  11. That's awesome! I knew you could freeze the dough but I never thought about freezing decorated cookies before!

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  12. So glad to see you address this very issue. I actually did my own test a few weeks ago. I froze my decorated cookies for a week. They were decorated with royal icing and I only used lighter colors (I did not want to use dark colors.........terrified of the dreaded blotches). Anyway, I'm rambling....they turned out WONDERFUL! The sure test was trying them on my family (the guinea pigs), they all said they tasted fresh and looked great. My next test? Dark colors......someone hold my hand.....I'm scared :(

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    Replies
    1. how did your dark colors turn out ?

      or did you do it yet?

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    2. I've used this method for years on every color imaginable...works great! :)

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  13. Beautiful cookies and thank you for sharing!!!

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  14. It's like you were reading my mind!! I literally was going to ask you if you would do a Works for Me Wednesday about freezing cookies. You're a mind reader. So talented! haha

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  15. You totally rock my world!! I have been afraid to freeze but now, I am going to try it! Thanks for making me brave!!

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  16. This is awesome - I've been hoping that there was a way to freeze decorated cookies!
    Just like The BearFoot Baker - I have been afraid to freeze but I am definitely going to do this now!

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  17. LOVE that you posted this! I do freeze unbaked dough alot because I like to make it ahead. I also freeze baked (uniced) cookies to get "ahead". I have frozen royal icing cookies....but I did notice a teeny bit of change in the cookie. When I put it in the freezer the icing was really smooth to the touch. When I thawed it changed the "cookie feel" a little bit. I wonder if I did not have them wrapped as well as I should have.

    This is a great post! And I love your horse cookies!

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  18. I love my freezer and have been freezing all of the above for years now. I have never had an issues. My TIP comes in at step FIVE -- when thawing do not let anyone remove the cover until the cookies have come to room temp.

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  19. I love that you posted this! I'm making a ton of cookies for my brother's wedding and I have been wondering if I could freeze them beforehand. I love how you can read my mind a thousand miles away! :)

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  20. Bridget! This is awesome! I never knew you could do this, I always thought that thawing would ruin the icing. I get so many questions about this, I will definitely refer everyone over to this page!

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  21. What a great tip!! I think I would eat them before I could freeze them though :)

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  22. I just saw this on Pinterest and I am reprinning! I always want to make pretty Christmas cookies, but never have time DURING the holidays. I am going to make some this summer! Thanks for the post.

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  23. Frozen cookies? Fabulous idea! This will come so in handy next time I make cookies for friends and family. Thanks for sharing!

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  24. I really did wonder if freezing the iced cookies would damage them; I was already freezing baked/uniced cookies to get ahead. Now I'm willing to try this since it works for you...I've got 400 airplanes to bake for two different Vacation Bible Schools in June plus ten dozen cookies for Relay for Life!!!

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  25. Oh that is good to know! I have two events this summer where I need to bake a several dozen of cookies and instead of slaving in the kitchen the day before, I can get them out of the way now. Great tip!!! (:

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  26. This WORKS FOR ME!!!!! I often glaze my cookies and then use colored sugars to decorate. Any idea how that would work with freezing? I too am hesitant to freeze the cookies.... but I will try it next time.

    But, if anyone knows about freezing glaze.... let me know!

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  27. That's really helpfull, thanks.
    Camila
    http://thebluecake.blogspot.com.br/

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  28. Fantastic post (as usual.)

    I have never frozen decorated cookies, but Boy-Oh-Boy do I freeze my blanks! I cut out Christmas cookies with my Thanksgiving/Fall pumpkins and St. Patrick's Shamrocks with my Easter cookies! Your recipe freezes so perfectly. I have even forgotten cookies in the freezer and they were fresh as the day they were baked, MONTHS after being frozen. Bravo, Bridget!

    xo

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  29. This post is music to my ears! Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!!!!!!!!! Even more reason to love my deep freezer!

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  30. Hi...I freeze my cookies all the time with no problems at all as long as you let them thaw without removing the wrapping. I also make my rolled buttercream fondant, cut it out using my cookie cutters & freeze these too. Then when I want to decorate I take both the cookies & the rolled buttercream fondant cutouts from the freezer...thaw while still wrapped then brush the tops of the cookies with diluted light corn syrup & place your rolled buttercream fondant cutout that matches the same cookie shape on the cookie & smooth out lightly...then decorate anyway you want. I have also frozen cookies with Royal Icing....

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    1. have you ever frozen cookies already decorated with fondant?

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  31. Your attention to detail just amazes me. I made your cookies at Christmas with my kids. Maybe it's the fact that I have 6 kids age 5-14, but I NEVER want to do it again. My hat will stay off to you...bravo!

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  32. It seems to me you would get the condensation problem regardless of thawing at room temp vs. in the fridge. (I tend to notice it when I allow things to thaw in bags... would it not be better to remove the cookies from the bags and thaw them individually on sheet pans?)

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    Replies
    1. Nope...thaw them right in the packaging. I promise. I know it's scary, but I've literally frozen and thawed HUNDREDS of cookies this way. :) And no, royal icing does not do well in the fridge.

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  33. Heh heh, don't tell anybody but a couple weeks ago I took a container of Christmas cookie dough (the only time I ever make cut-outs) out of the freezer, baked it up in little balls, dipped the resulting sugar cookies in chocolate ganache & dusted them with shredded coconut. They were probably the best cookies I've ever had. And the dough was from 2010. Not kidding. So, based on empirical research, sugar cookie dough can last at least 16 months in the freezer if well-packaged. =D

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    1. Exactly! My sister discovered leftover sugar cookies (kinda stale), make excellent biscotti!

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  34. I've frozen chocolate chip cookies before and after a few months, popped them for a few seconds into the microwave and the kids thought I had just pulled them from the oven. I know it's off topic, but my niece's babysitter baked cakes as a side business and froze them uncovered for up to 2 weeks in her home freezer. We bought several and could never tell that they had been frozen... they were moist and fresh tasting.

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  35. Yay! I'm so happy to know that this is possible. Now I can have cookies with royal icing all the time!

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  36. Great and helpful information. Thanks! :)

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  37. BRIDGET!!!! I need to make 100 music note cookies to bring to Kansas cIty(leaving from MPLS, MN) for my nephews grad party. Im really want them to taste fresh! Can I make them all on Tuesday and just sealed them in containers in room temp for the next 4 days? They will not stay frozen in my car over the 7 hr trip and if I did take them frozen, it would not be room temp in the trunk. So, should I just seal them in room temp or place in fridge till Thursday, drive to KC, place back in fridge for Saturdays Open House?
    Please let me know if you can SOOON!
    Thank you
    Lisa

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    1. Lisa...

      Yes, they will be just fine sealed up and at room temperature. The cookies stay good for (in my opinion) a little over a week...some say 2. You'll be fine. Please, PLEASE, do not refrigerate them. The condensation will ruin your icing.

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  38. Thanks for the tip...it will save me a lot of stress for the 88 cookies i need to turn up...phew!!!

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  39. This is amazing. I haven't tried it myself yet but already recommended to a few customers that had to postpone parties. This is a life saver. I can get ready for Halloween, Thanksgiving, my daughter's birthday and Christmas ahead of time or else I wouldn't have time to bake all the cookies for my family. I have a question. I use self sealing cello bags for packaging and I was wondering if I could take the cookies out of freezer and the plastic container, put in boxes and ship? Anybody tried this?
    Thank you so much for this tip!!

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  40. This is amazing. I haven't tried it myself yet but already recommended to a few customers that had to postpone parties. This is a life saver. I can get ready for Halloween, Thanksgiving, my daughter's birthday and Christmas ahead of time or else I wouldn't have time to bake all the cookies for my family. I have a question. I use self sealing cello bags for packaging and I was wondering if I could take the cookies out of freezer and the plastic container, put in boxes and ship? Anybody tried this?
    Thank you so much for this tip!!

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  41. Hi Bridget, I just saw this now, I have cookies in my freezer that I wrapped in wax paper first then I put it in freezer bags and into rubbermaid containers. Do you think it is safe that way or should I remove the wax papers and follow your instructions here. I need to thaw them this Sunday so I can put them in individual plastic bags and ship it out of state.

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  42. I don't know why not, but will this work with shortbread cookies as well ?

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  43. My son's shark party is in a week and a half. Since it will be under 90 degrees on Friday, I plan to bake them then. Should I decorate and freeze the sharks or just decorate and keep them at room temperature? It will be exactly a week from the time they are baked and decorated until the party.

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  44. I really like the idea of freezing cookies. After baking and decorating (just a small number, like 30 cookies) I am tried and start to get sloppy at the end. Now I can freeze ahead of time! It will give me a break in the middle (baking to decorating). Thanks for sharing!

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  45. My heart is racing! I'm excited and nervous all at the same time! Lol. I actually freeze undecorated cookies all the time. Now if I defrost them, then decorate them, can I refreeze them? I can't see why not, but please reply. You're about to save my sanity!! Thanks :))

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    1. Sorry...I'm not anonymous...I'm Meaghan :)

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    2. Hey Meaghan! I've never frozen, decorated, and refrozen. That wouldn't be my first choice...I'd pick one or the other. I'd be afraid the extracts would start to lose some of their flavor. But if you try it, please let me know how it goes. :) Happy baking!

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  46. Bridget, thank you so much for your awesome tips! I have frozen decoratcookies (in airtight containers wrapped in wax paper). The only problem I have had is my black frosting "bleeding" onto my other frosting colors. Do you by putting them in ziplock bags and then in containers, as you suggested, would prevent this from happening? Have you had this problem with black frosting details? Thank you so much for your help!
    Jamie

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    1. Hi Jamie!

      I have not had that issue. Hmm. Are you using AmeriColor Super Black? Defrosting at room temp in the container?

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  47. does this work for sand tarts as well

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  48. Bridget - thanks for this! Gave me the confidence to go a little crazy with cookies, knowing I could freeze them and restart the next weekend if I ran out of time. Excellent. I found that not only could I freeze the undecorated cookies, but also once flooded with royal icing as well. My poor cookies were in and out of the freezer twice before they were done - and they taste excellent!

    I've blogged about it here: http://hellojemma.com/journal/2012/12/17/let-them-eat-cookies-pretty-cookies

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  49. Thanks for the info! I agreed to bake 250 cookies for a fundraising celebration party for a chairity. What was I thinking? I am defintely going to be using my freezer thanks to these tips. I have followed your blog for sometime and thought I had remembered something about freezing cookies. Have you ever froze decorated cookies that have royal icing transfers on them? I have made logos out of royal icing and will be putting them on the cookies right after I flood. I'm hoping I can then put them in the freezer and they will be good to go. Thanks for any advice you might have. Love your blog! Thanks!

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    1. Hi-this reply is way too late, but I have frozen cookies with RI transfers and had no problem at all when they thawed.

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    2. Kristen Rizzo, when you thawed your cookies with the RI transfers, were the cookies covered or uncovered?

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  50. This has been such a helpful discussion. Thanks. I'm doing a big dessert table for a party at the end of the month and want to do as much in advance as possible. Have you had any experience freezing royal iced cookies decorated with Wilton Foodwriters edible markers? I'm trying to decide if I can do my marker designs before I freeze (one less detail to do right before the party) or if I should freeze the cookies iced but not decorated and do the marker when they thaw. Thanks!

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  51. I sprayed some gray cookies with Wilton silver mist-looked great. Froze them but once thawed, they had random light splotches on many and it was not good! Could this have been due to whatever was in the spray? Have you or anyone else tried freezing metallic treated cookies? I have had no problem freezing regular decorated cookies. Thanks!!!!

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  52. Hi, I wonder if anyone has made Belgium Cookies and glazed them, (not with Royal Icing), and frozen them. I need to bake many for my daughters shower and need some advice. Thanks

    Barb

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  53. Thanks so much for sharing this information. I plan on having a homemadr cookie buffet at my wedding and need to gradually bake the cookies over time... I am happy to know I have this option so i am not left scrambling two days ahead of time!!

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  54. Thanks so much for sharing this information. I plan on having a homemadr cookie buffet at my wedding and need to gradually bake the cookies over time... I am happy to know I have this option so i am not left scrambling two days ahead of time!!

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  55. Can I bake cookies with buttercream frosting?

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  56. Sorry, I meant can I FREEZE cookies with buttercream frosting lol. I know I can bake them. :-)

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    Replies
    1. I have never tried it...I eat all of my buttercream frosted cookies as soon as I make them. ;)

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  57. Hi, Can't wait to try this! however, once they've thawed how long thereafter do they last?

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    1. I have the same question. When should I take out of the freezer for a party in the afternoon? (would the day before be okay?)

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    2. They'll stay fresh for about a week or so. :) Yes, the day before would be perfect.

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  58. I just baked a batch of sugar cookies and iced them with buttercream frosting, and then froze them all. Flash froze them first, and then put them in freezer ziploc bags and then in a tupperware container. I took one out and let it defrost and it still seemed to be fine. I'll take them all out 2 days before Xmas and then pack them up in little boxes as gifts.

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  59. Hi! I have to make 100 cookies next week and will totally try this but I don't get how you have to let them dry overnight?.? Does that mean on a counter top? Won't they dry out that way?? Covered? I hope you can get back to me! Thank you!

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    Replies
    1. uncovered, on your countertop or on a table...no, they won't dry out....promise. :)

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  60. Im making a packet of cookies for my son's birthday. I have them all decorated, once they dry over night can I put them in a bag together?

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  61. Hi, I am that crazy person who is going to make 300 cookies for her wedding favors! My question is: how long do you think they'd last in cellophane bags tied with ribbon? I'm not sure what the freezer space will look like so MAYBE this will have to be the option. Also, for the freezing would I have to wrap them in individual bags or do you think storing them between wax/parchment paper would be good enough? Sorry for all the questions, I want to be sure because I am also making my own wedding cake. Yes, I AM crazy! lol

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    Replies
    1. Just to clarify, first question is wrapped in cellophane bags OUTSIDE of the freezer, so at room temp.

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    2. With the development of science and technology, cold storage and freezer room facilities came into prominence. Today refrigerators are not only used at homes but also in huge industries where products need to be preserved and stored till distribution.If you are looking that type services just click http://www.aboard.co.za .

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  62. Have you ever frozen already decorated cookies with fondant?

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  63. I freeze plain cookies every year for our annual cookie decorating party at the holidays..but haven't really frozen decorated ones (I have frozen decorated left overs though..not with the process you state..just tossed into a container) I'm making cookies for a neighborhood bbq party next week..I think I'm going to give this a try!

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  64. Do you know if you can freeze decorated gingerbread cookies

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