Q. I enjoy holiday baking, but I like to spread it out over several weekends to make it more manageable. I have a large family who all come to visit, as well as many friends and coworkers I gift my baking to over the holidays. This year I’m adding a new type of cookie to my regular baking- meringue cookies. I found a really simple and delicious recipe that I can bake up in festive colours, and I’m excited to add them to my holiday baking tradition. The thing is, I’m not sure if I can make them ahead of time. Most of my holiday cookies freeze really well, so I just wrap them up and pop them in the freezer. I want to know if I can bake these in advance. Can you freeze meringue cookies?
A. Meringue cookies sound like a fantastic addition to any holiday baking tradition. Meringue cookies are pretty to look at, and are perfect for the sweet tooth in your family. Fortunately, they also freeze really well. The biggest issue to contend with when freezing meringue cookies is damage caused by being moved around in the freezer since they are so fragile. For this reason, freezing them in freezer bags is probably not the best option.
To freeze meringue cookies, start with freshly baked cookies. The longer they sit, the drier they will become in the freezer. Also, cookies should be completely cooled to avoid changing consistency and taste in the freezer.
I recommend freezing meringue cookies in freezer-safe hard sided cookie tins or cookie boxes. It’s not necessary to wrap each cookie individually, particularly if they are small ones, but you can if you prefer. Place the meringue cookies in a single layer at the bottom of the freezer safe container. Then, place a layer of parchment paper over top, cut to size. Continue layering cookies this way, careful not to press down, until the container is full. Place the lid on the container, then label and date it. Cookies stored this way will stay fresh for months.
To thaw frozen meringue cookies, remove the container from the freezer and allow the cookies to thaw undisturbed on the counter for several hours, until thawed completely. Cookies can then be served as normal. Store uneaten cookies in an airtight container for up to a week. It is not recommended to refreeze previously frozen meringue cookies.