Photo: Linda Pugliese, Hector Sanchez

Think of it as an early Christmas present for your future self.

Yes, you can bake Christmas cookies now and they’ll still be just as delicious for all those cookie swaps, office parties, teacher gifts, and holiday get-togethers. Summer is a brilliant time to make and freeze cookies because you’re likely to have a little more time on your hands for baking projects. And you can enlist helpers who are on summer break from school and in need of fun projects.

If you’re a stickler for fresh-baked flavor, you can also make the dough and freeze it, but it is best used within three months—so you can get started in October and have plenty of dough on-hand for December.

Follow these tips to freeze baked cookies like a pro.

Choose the right cookie 

Slice-and-bake, cut outs, drop, bar, and some shaped cookies (thumbprints) freeze well. Avoid delicate cookies like tuiles, Florentines, meringues, and any sort of wafer cookie.

Skip the decorations 

Cookies with sprinkles, dragees, icing, and other fancy finishes might not look as perfect once they’ve been defrosted. If possible, bake the cookies, freeze them, then decorate them after they have been thawed.

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Cool the cookies completely

Make sure the baked cookies are completely cool before you freeze them.

Package them carefully

Arrange the cooled cookies in airtight containers. Line bottom with aluminum foil, plastic wrap, or wax paper. Separate each layer of cookies with aluminum foil or wax paper. Seal the container, and label it with the contents and date before freezing.

Thaw correctly

Don’t thaw the cookies in the container they were stored in—condensation can make them soggy. It’s best to lay the cooks out on a cooling rack and let them come to room temperature. Once they have defrosted, you can refresh them in a low oven (300˚F to 325˚F) for 5 to 10 minutes, depending on the size and type of cookie.