How to store Christmas cookies?

In this article, we will answer the question “How to store Christmas cookies?”, and how long do the cookies last? 

How to store Christmas cookies?

If 49% of United States households with children make preparations for Santa’s arrival, this yields 18.1million households. Furthermore, of the households without children, if 22% prepare for Santa’s arrival, this yields an additional 18.0 million households, for a total of 36.1 million households that will leave out cookies and milk (or another suitable snack) (1).

Follow the tips below to make your cookies last the longest in storage. 

Cool cookies completely 

Let the cookies cool slowly before you pack them away.  This will prevent moisture condensation from warm food which could make it soggy after thawing (2). Storing piping hot cookies will trap the heat inside the container and lead to spoilage. 

Store different types of cookies separately 

Each type of cookie has different storage criteria. So it is not wise to dump them all in a single storage container. Storing different types of cookies in different containers ensures that the cookies keep their texture and flavor preserved. For example, although the major ingredients used for both types of biscuit products are similar, the formulas and processes are different, thus necessitating different preferred ingredient functionalities. Cookies typically contain higher levels of sugar and fat, whereas crackers typically contain lower levels of those ingredients (4).

You may get away with storing crispy cookies in a loose-fitting lid but doing the same for chewy cookies will ruin the quality. 

If the crispy cookies lose their crispiness, heat the cookies in the oven at 300ºF for about 5 minutes. The heating will evaporate the excess moisture making your cookies crispy again. 

Store cookies in layers 

To make the best of a storage container, store the cookies in layers. But separate each cookie layer with a greaseproof paper to prevent the cookies from sticking (2). 

Store cookie bars correctly 

Correctly refrigerated cookie bars last up to 2 weeks. It is better to store the cookie bars in their original container after wrapping the container with foil or putting it in a resealable bag.

If you want to store individual slices, wrap the slices in clingfilm and put them in an air-tight container. If the slice or bar contains a glaze, skip the wrapping. 

Keep cookies cool 

A cool, dark, and dry place is the ideal storage place for cookies. Correctly stored cookies last anywhere from a few days to a few weeks in the pantry or a kitchen cabinet.

Freezing the cookies extends their shelf-life up to 6 months. Take out the frozen cookies on a baking tray and let them sit for a while to thaw completely. 

If pressed for time, you can crisp them up in the oven at 325F for 2-3 minutes, directly from the freezer. 

Store cookies without frosting if possible 

Frosted cookies take up a lot of fridge or freezer space and do not turn out that well. It is better to save the frosting for later and store plain, unfrosted cookies. Cling wrap the unfrosted cookies and put them in an ait-tight container. Store in the fridge or freezer.

Freezer the cookie dough 

Freezing the cookie dough not only saves your dough for later but also matures your dough so that it develops complex flavors over time.

Scoop out the cookie dough onto a parchment-lined baking tray. Flash freeze for 30 minutes. Then transfer the frozen scoops of cookie dough into a resealable bag. Bake from frozen and increase the original baking time by 3-4 minutes.

Cut-out cookie dough can be frozen using the same method. Store them in an air-tight container after wrapping them in plastic sheets. Frozen cookie dough lasts about 6 months in the freezer but is best consumed within 63 months only (2).

Use the right container 

Blocking the air helps extend the shelf-life of the cookies. Therefore, you must choose a good quality air-tight container for keeping your cookies. Always check the seal integrity of the air-tight container before using it in storage. 

Use moisture-proof, vapor-proof wraps or containers such as plastic containers with tight-fitting lids, heavy duty foil and freezer-weight plastic bags and wraps. Be sure that there is enough room for expansion when filling containers. Press the air out and seal tightly before freezing (2).

Pick the right recipes 

Some types of cookies adapt well to the freezing environment. For example, Drop cookies, cutout cookies, icebox cookies, shortbread cookies, and hearty bar cookies freezer are better than delicate lace cookies, meringue-based treats, and whoopie pies.

Wait to decorate the cookies 

Save the cookie decorations such as Sprinkles, sugar pearls, candies, for later. These decorations do not hold up well for too long in the freezer. 

How long do cookies last?

If stored correctly, baked cookies have an average unrefrigerated shelf-life of 145 days. The shelf-life of cookies at room temperature, in the fridge or freezer, is greatly determined by the ingredients used to make the cookies.

According to the USDA, bakery or homemade cookies can be stored at room temperature two to three weeks or two months in the refrigerator. Cookies retain their quality when stored in the freezer for eight to 12 months. Moist bars, such as cheesecake and lemon bars, can be refrigerated for seven days. For best quality, store bars in the freezer for two to three months.

Drop cookies 

This category includes chocolate chip cookies, oatmeal cookies, and cowboy cookies, etc. Fully sealed, baked drop cookies last about a week at room temperature. Unbaked and baked drop cookies last for up to 6 months in the freezer.

Cutout cookies 

Cutout cookies include sugar and gingerbread cookies. Baked cutout cookies should not be kept for more than a week at room temperature. Baked and unbaked cutout cookies last for up to 6 months in the freezer.

Icebox cookies 

Do not keep your baked icebox or slice-and-bake cookies for more than 5 days at room temperature. Icebox cookie dough can be chilled in the fridge for 2-3 days or stored in the freezer for up to 6 months. 

Shortbread and spritz cookies 

Shortbread and spritz cookies last about 2 weeks at room temperature. Unbaked or baked shortbread or spritz cookies can be frozen for up to 6 months. 

Other FAQs about Cookies that you may be interested in.

Which is the best chocolate chip for ice cream?

Can you cook cookies on aluminum foil?

Can you cook cookies on parchment paper?

Conclusion 

In this article, we answered the question “How to store Christmas cookies?”, and how long do the cookies last? 

References 

  1. Wormser, G.P., Ladenheim, A. How many calories did Santa Claus consume on Christmas Eve?. Wien Klin Wochenschr, 2018, 130, 73–75.
  2. Beech, L.K. Freezing baked goods. Kansas State University.
  3. Manley, Duncan. Biscuit, cracker and cookie recipes for the food industry. Elsevier, 2001. 
  4. Kweon, Meera, et al. Cookie-versus cracker-baking—what’s the difference? Flour functionality requirements explored by src and alveography. Crit rev food sci nutr, 2014, 54, 115-138.
  5. Manley, Duncan. Biscuit, cracker and cookie recipes for the food industry. Elsevier, 2001.