Freezing Chocolate Chips
Keeping chocolate chips in the freezer is a good way to keep them from melting in hot, humid conditions. Any time the temperature rises above 80 degrees F or the humidity is high, chocolate chips can be damaged. As long as they are properly packaged, chocolate chips can last in the freezer up to a year. If they are in the freezer any longer than a year, the chocolate tends to break down or become grainy.
Storing Chocolate Chips
Storing chocolate chips in the freezer takes a bit of preparation. The chips should be portioned out into servings so that only the chocolate needed for a particular recipe are thawed when it's time to bake. Package each serving of chocolate chips in a freezer-safe plastic baggie and label each bag with the date. Place a paper towel on top of the chips in the baggie and suck as much air from the bag as possible. Close the baggie and store it in the refrigerator. Check the chocolate chips after 15 to 20 minutes; if condensation is forming on the inside of the bag, remove the paper towel and replace it with a fresh one before resealing the bag. Moisture can change the consistency and flavor of the chocolate and the paper towel helps soak up as much as possible before the chips go into the freezer. Refrigerate the bags for about an hour, then remove the paper towels, reseal the baggies and transfer them to the freezer.
Using Frozen Chocolate Chips
Freezing chocolate chips can slightly change their consistency, so they're best used in baked goods as opposed to chocolate candy. To minimize the effect that moisture has on the chocolate, it's important to gradually bring the chips to room temperature before using them. Move the chocolate chips needed for the recipe from the freezer to the refrigerator. Allow the chips to thaw in the fridge for 8 to 12 hours, then move them to a dry, dark place (such as a kitchen cupboard). Let the chips warm to room temperature for at least 2 hours before using them.