Cookie Dough Tin jpg

I love giving cookies as a treat/gift but at this time of year when friends and neighbors may or may not be overloaded with generous cookie plates and trays, what is better than bestowing a tin of cookie dough – ready to be baked in an instant – to them instead! This way, they can bake cookies as they want them and enjoy them even after the sugar craze of the holidays has passed.

Here are a few details to help you get started if you want to embark on this {simple} project:

First, decide what cookie dough to make.

Here is a list of cookies that I have frozen in dough form many, many times and which bake up perfectly after the cookie dough balls have been frozen. The important part is including details to bake the cookies for 2-4 minutes longer to account for the dough being frozen (more details on the labels below).
Oatmeal Chocolate Chunk Coconut Cookies
Classic Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies
Oatmeal Coconut Chewies
Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookies
Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies
Decadent Double Chocolate Cookies
Whole Wheat Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies
Monster Cookies

Second, make the cookie dough according to the recipe, shape it into balls and place on a parchment or wax paper lined cookie sheet, like so:
Cookies on Tray jpg

Lightly cover the tray and freeze until the cookie dough is very firm. At this point, you can either transfer to a freezer ziploc bag and place back in the freezer until ready to use or you can put the cookie dough balls into the trays/tins for your gifts.

Third, choose a container to use for gift-giving. Here’s what I found in my resesarch (refer to the picture below the details):

1) The simple, plastic deli containers can be had for very cheap (or free) at your local grocery store deli counter. My grocery store let me have up to 20 free, after that, I think they required 5 cents a piece. They can fit anywhere from 12 to 24 cookie dough balls. Granted, they aren’t airtight and the cookie dough probably wouldn’t fare well in the freezer packed in them for longer than a week or so, but they are economical and still dress up cute with a ribbon (plus you could always place the cookie dough balls in a freezer-safe bag first before placing in the container).

2) Simple, disposable tupperware-type containers are widely available now at most stores. These Rubbermaid containers with the black bottom and clear top also fit up to 2 dozen cookie dough balls and if I remember right, they were about $1.99 for 3 containers.

3) On the fancier end, you can pick up a variety of different tins from craft stores like Hobby Lobby or Michaels. This particular tin fit up to 2 1/2 dozen cookie dough balls (you could definitely include less, too) and ran me about $3.99, although you could buy it for much less using the widely available 40% off coupons. Cute, classy – but obviously the most expensive option on the list.

Fourth, fill up your chosen container with frozen cookie dough.
Cookies Lid OPen jpg

Close the lid and attach a label that gives simple instructions for storing and baking. Here is a Microsoft Word document with the labels I created, in case you want to use them (I used Avery labels 5164). There are so many adorable free fonts out there that you can customize the label to your liking. I used the St. Nicholas font, available for free here.
Cookie Dough Label jpg

Fifth, grab some ribbon…
Cookies in Container jpg

…tie it up precious-like and deliver!
Cookies Container Bow jpg

67 Responses to Cookie Dough Tins – A Simple How-To

  1. Patricia says:

    I have just stumbled across mel’s kitchen site. Oh my gosh. I love it already. Mel you are creative witty and down to earth.
    Was looking at chocolate chip cookie recipes. Can wait to make yours

  2. Stacy says:

    Have you tried the thin crispy oatmeal cookies? Do they work as well as the others?

  3. Nikki says:

    What a great gift to give or receive. Thanks for the great idea!

  4. Nicole says:

    Such a cute idea! I’m going “green” this year so I’m upcycling containers for these!

  5. Sarah says:

    Great idea! Excellent playdate treat or hostess gift or neighbor gift – Thanks Mel!

  6. judith says:

    Dear Mel…Found your blog referred from another blog, referred from another blog. You always find the best that way!…..When I saw the article about freezing cookie dough balls, I thought “great idea!”. The comments were just as great, so I printed off the whole 20 pages…twice… (a set for my sister). One of these days, I’ll learn cut and paste and all those other exotic things. I may even buy a “seal-a meal” thingy. I am now a devoted follower. Merry Christmas to everyone!

  7. Carla says:

    I love you for this idea (and why didn’t I think of this?!)

  8. Tracy says:

    Check out your local dollar store. They usually have some great tins.

  9. Jan says:

    Just saw this post on Pinterest. What a great idea! A definite gift for some family and friends this year. Thanks for the idea – and early wishes for a very Merry Christmas!!

  10. Lori says:

    You, dear Mel, are brilliant! I love this idea because, as you mentioned, they can be saved and used LATER–after all of the other loads of sweets and goodies are eaten up! =)

  11. deb says:

    Thanks so much for your great ideas for packaging. We do a care meal freezer team ministry at our church and this will be awesome. I tried to access your microsoft document for the labels but an error message said it was an invalid format? Not sure what that means. I have a mac computer so not sure if the problem is on my end. Thanks for your help!

  12. Kathryn says:

    Would these recipes work well as a slice and bake roll, too? As in roll up the dough in a log form, freeze it, then slice & bake later?

  13. Rebecca says:

    Your labels (for Oatmeal Chocolate Chunk Coconut Cookies) say to bake on parchment, but that’s not in the original recipe. Is baking them on parchment necessary because they are frozen? I was planning on gifting this to male co-workers, but I think if parchment is necessary it’s maybe not so guy-friendly…. so I’m hoping that’s not important.

    • Mel says:

      Hi Rebecca – that’s a good question. Basically, I put the “parchment” caveat in the cookie dough tins because usually I bake them on a silpat and not everyone has those. But you could definitely just alter the directions to state to bake on lightly greased cooking sheets. That would help make the gift more guy-friendly. 🙂

  14. Ashley Grant says:

    Love this gift idea so much I shared it with my readers for my 25 Homemade Gifts of Christmas series. Thanks for the great idea!

  15. Sonia says:

    What a great, original idea and alternative to the usual cookie-plate gift. I pinned it!

  16. Ellen says:

    This is such a great idea! Thank you!

  17. Helen says:

    Hey, thanks very much for this post. I’ve featured it on my Top 10 list of Handmade Gifts. Thanks again

  18. […] are wonderful blogs like this one which has some home made food ideas or Tip Junkies blog that has a plethora of different gift […]

  19. […] Cookie Dough Tins by Mel’s Kitchen Cafe […]

  20. Mel says:

    Hi Becky – I think that sounds like a great idea!

  21. Becky Hamilton says:

    I am hosting my first cookie exchange this year and had thought that exchanging the frozen dough balls would enable everyone to bake them when they were ready to. It will be a large party and I estimate that each lady will take home approximately 4 dozen cookies. I thought that seemed like an awful lot of cookies to eat before they went stale. What do you think?

  22. […] take that one step further (you are getting TONS of tips in today’s post), I LOVE this idea that I pinned from Mel’s Kitchen Café.    Want to give some homemade gifts this Christmas?  Whip up your favorite cookie dough, freeze […]

  23. Diana Phillips says:

    What an awesome idea..Can’t wait to try it out, for Christmas, birthdays, etc, thank you

  24. Kristine says:

    How clever! I’m going to use this concept to send some homemade love to my daughter who lives in her first apartment at college. Thanks.

  25. Kristi says:

    I do the same thing but after they are frozen, I package them with my food saver. The packaging isn’t quite as cute but they last for months in the freezer that way.

  26. […] etc.) I have never been to her house and therefore have no idea what her style is. So,  when I saw this idea on Mel’s Kitchen Cafe‘s site, I new this would be a great housewarming […]

  27. This is GREAT! I have a friend that just moved and I will be going to her new home next week and I had no idea what to gift her, so this is perfect!!

  28. kathy says:

    What a wonderful idea. Each Christmas season I make 15 – 25 types of cookies to give as gifts for family and friends. This will make it easier on me and fun for the recipients.

  29. Mel says:

    Jamie R. – I’d say probably 1-2 weeks – if you want them to last longer in the freezer, it might be helpful to stick the package in a resealable freezer bag to help the dough stay fresh (then I’d say they’d be good for up to a month).

  30. Jamie R. says:

    I love this idea! I’m sorry if I’m repeating a question already asked, but roughly how long can they be kept in the freezer?

  31. Lisa @ A Little Slice of Life says:

    What a fabulous idea. This would be perfect for
    new moms too.

  32. Julie says:

    This is a great gift any time of year for our senior friends and relatives. In her later years my mom, bless her heart, loved a few cookies now and them but did not have the energy or ingredients to make cookies when she wanted them. She loved being able to pop a few in the oven when she needed a “cookie fix”. Thanks for sharing!

  33. Sandra S. says:

    I use empty ice cream buckets for cookie dough storage/gifting. I find that you can cover them /decorate them and that you don’t have to pre freeze the cookie dough balls. I use a 1/2 inch scoop from pampered chef and just make sure that the cookie dough is refrigerated before I start scooping them into the bucket. Then it goes straight into the freezer. They don’t freeze together or anything and you can do a ton at once and have them on hand at anytime! A paint can from a craft store (that didn’t previously hold paint lol) would be cute as well!

  34. […] Cookie Dough Tins: A Simple How-To – Mel’s Kitchen Cafe Love this fun gift idea!  Totally have to try it! […]

  35. Stacie D. says:

    Thanks for these ideas! I think I will try this next year, as I wore myself out this year with my 26 dozen mixed, baked, decorated, and delivered cookies. At least will eliminate one of those steps!

  36. Mel says:

    jillmc – if they have been frozen for at least 24 hours beforehand and you keep them in a cooler, they should be fine for two hours, I’d say.

  37. Mel says:

    Joe – Not long, if you want them to stay frozen. I’d say an hour at the most but they should be kept frozen as long as possible (unless you plan to give them out with a note that they can be refrigerated – in that case, they probably need to be baked within 1-2 days).

  38. Joe says:

    Great idea. How long can they remain out of the freezer?

  39. Cammee says:

    I love this idea, Mel. I throw so many goodies away during the holidays, there are just too many. This is perfect! I hope you have a wonderful Christmas , we will be eating well thanks to you!

  40. jillmc says:

    How long do you suppose the dough would remain frozen? We have to travel 2 hrs-it should be fairly cold out, so I think these would be ok in the trunk, or maybe in a cooler? GREAT idea! Thank you!

  41. I love this idea! We totally got bombarded with cookies this year and I don’t know how we will eat them all. I am keeping this in mind for next year!

  42. Lauren says:

    Found you from this post on Pinterest. What a great idea for gifts! I always like doing something homemade, and this is an even better way to give sweets/cookies that can be baked as needed! Browsed through your menu planning posts and grocery lists and can’t wait to try out some of your recipes!

  43. Brittany C. says:

    Oh Mel, you are so dang cute and full of the greatest ideas ever. I thought I had finally decided on my neighbor gift, but now I’m reconsidering…..

  44. Wendy says:

    I love it!

  45. missy says:

    Love it! Next year for sure!

  46. Terri A. says:

    what a great idea! I’ll be using this.

  47. Mel says:

    Kristen – yes, I’ve frozen that dough and it works great!

  48. Kristen says:

    Love this idea. Have you ever tried freezing your Chocolate Chip Treasure Cookie dough?

  49. auntiepatch says:

    Great idea! Who wouldn’t want hot cookies AFTER the holidays?

  50. Heather Rice says:

    I have been following you for awhile (thanks to my friend Mary Gunnell) and I LOVE your recipes and your ideas! Thanks for reminding me of this idea! One year a neighbor gave us frozen cookie dough balls and the tag said something like:

    Everyone needs a little extra “dough” at Christmastime!

    It was so great to pull those out when we needed them later! Thanks for sharing all of your wonderful ideas and recipes with us!

  51. Anona Davis says:

    FANTASTIC!! Thanks so much!! I just went looking for something to do for my teachers and found this. Thank you so much!!

  52. Heidi Mc says:

    I am sooooo doing this! What a fantastic idea! Thank you!

  53. Patrice says:

    GREAT idea! I am actually doing cookie boxes this morning, but with already made cookies! This is such a better idea so they can make whenever they want! Definitely doing next year! Thanks for sharing!!!!!

  54. Kris says:

    I LOVE this idea! I posted it to my Pinterest page. It is an awesome idea for sharing when you are really busy and when people might already have too many cookies! I can’t wait to try it!

  55. Spendwisemom says:

    Great idea. It makes things easier for you and for them. You don’t spend as much time and have as many dishes and they can bake them whenever they want to!

  56. Love this idea – so clever!

  57. kim says:

    Wow what a great idea!

  58. Kim in MD says:

    Mel- have I ever told you how awesome you are? Seriously…your tutorials are amazing! What an adorable gift this is, and it just so happens that I was making cookie dough all day yesterday! I have dozens of frozen cookie balls in my freezer that I planned to bake later this week for gifts. I think I will gift them frozen now, thanks to you! 🙂

  59. Susan says:

    I love this idea! I had never thought of doing this before! Thank you.

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