Take the stress out of holiday baking with this make-ahead strategy.

Olivier Kugler

Want a recipe for avoiding holiday-baking overload? Mix up and freeze dough ahead of time, then bake it when you need it. What works best: drop cookies, like chocolate chip, oatmeal, and gingersnap. Here’s what to do.

Step 1: Scoop balls of dough  onto a parchment-lined baking sheet and freeze until just firm, 15 to 20 minutes. (A small, spring-loaded scoop will give you nice, equally sided rounds, but a measuring spoon will work, too.)

Step 2: Transfer the frozen balls to a freezer-safe container, cover, and freeze for up to 3 months. Ready to bake? Place the frozen balls on baking sheets (no need to thaw) and bake according to the instructions, adding 1 to 2 minutes to the total time.

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