Most homemade cookies will maintain their taste and texture for up to 3 days. If you leave them out for too long, the cookies begin to harden or dry out. To prevent cookies from becoming stale, cover them with plastic wrap or keep in an airtight container.
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.
You’ll find that most of your favorite Christmas cookie recipes can be made ahead anywhere from a month to six months before the 25th of December. (Consult this handy how-to guide to the matter!) Generally, most recipes will be best if baked then frozen.
Most cookie dough can be refrigerated, well-wrapped, for three to five days before baking. If you want to make it farther in advance, freeze the dough. See my previous post on freezing cookie dough for more information. If you need ideas for your holiday baking, see our collection of Cookie Recipes.
Once your cookies are made, you can store them in an airtight container in the freezer for three months or in the fridge for up to five days before decorating them with frosting.
- Make sure cookies cool completely before storing.
- Store them at room temperature in an air-tight container, like Tupperware.
- Store different flavors separately.
- If you have limited Tupperware containers, place each flavor in its own freezer bag and then place those bags in the container.
Baked cookies should not be refrigerated.
Properly stored and unopened packaged chocolate chip cookies can last up to two months. If opened, then they can last for up to 3 weeks. Packaged store-bought cookies do last quite a bit longer than homemade cookies.
Store them flat in a ziptop freezer bag, with layers of parchment paper between them. That will make it easy to separate them for serving, with minimal breakage. It also makes for more organized storing in the freezer. Cookies should thaw at room temperature outside of the bag for 10-15 minutes.
Freezing is the best way we’ve found to keep your cookies fresh when you want to make them ahead of time. Then just pull them out of the freezer a few hours before needed and serve. You can refreeze cookies, too, but keep in mind that any icing will begin to degrade if you do this over and over.
“Which means a better likelihood of a soft, chewy cookie in the center.” So chilling the dough before baking means fluffier cookies with better consistency. Plus, if you have a bowl of dough ready in the refrigerator, it’s much easier to scoop while chilled than at room temperature.
As a general rule of thumb, you should refrigerate cookie dough for at least 30 minutes and up to 24 hours. More than that and you won’t see a noticeable difference in the final product, says Haught Brown.
If stored properly, most homemade sugar cookies have a shelf life of about two to three days from when they were baked.
Regular homemade cookies will last for 4-5 days when stored in an airtight container at room temperature and up to 9 months if stored in the freezer. However, this is a generalization, and different kind of cookies have different answers, so read on for more information on how long cookies last.
Top 7 Tips for Storing Decorated Cookies as Mementos
- Dry the cookie or cookies out.
- Store your cookies in an air-tight container.
- Place a small packet of dessicant into the box the cookies are being stored in.
- Store your packed cookies in a cool, dry place.
- Spray with shellac or hairspray.
- Vacuum seal and freeze.
A. To keep chewy cookies from turning dry and brittle, store them in a zipper-lock bag at room temperature with a small piece of bread (no more than half of a slice) placed inside.
Keep Them Sealed
The key to keeping cookies fresh and soft is to seal them in an airtight container, like a resealable freezer bag. And here’s a nifty little trick: add a piece of bread to the bag. You might think that the bread trick works because the cookies absorb moisture from the bread.
As we mentioned, most cookie recipes last up to 3 months in freezer bags or containers when you store cookies unfrosted. Get all the freezing information here.
Lining a baking sheet when making cookies: Not only will the parchment help cookies bake more evenly, the non-stick quality also helps prevent them from cracking or breaking when lifting them off the sheet. Decorating home-baked goods: Parchment paper makes the perfect wrapper for baked goods.
Keep those cookies crisp by storing them in an airtight container. Some people toss a piece of bread in with the cookies to help absorb any excess moisture. You could also re-crisp them by baking on a wire rack in a 300 degree F oven for a few minutes.
We recommend storing your cookie dough in a small airtight container in your fridge or freezer, depending on when you want to bake it. As a general rule, any cookie dough left on the counter at room temperature will be good for 2-4 hours but then may risk going bad, especially if it is already past its “best by” date.
If you are planning to eat the cookies within a few days, place them in an airtight container or ziplock bag. You can also place a slice of sandwich bread inside the container, which will absorb excess moisture and help keep the cookies soft.
The temperature can be a big factor when storing cookies. Unless otherwise noted, don’t store cookies in the refrigerator: The cool air can rob cookies of their moisture and make them taste bland. In general, store cookies at room temperature or freeze them, as specified above.
Most cookies have top crusts that remain relatively soft and flexible as the cookies set during baking. However, if the top surface dries out before the cookie is finished spreading and rising, it hardens, cracks, and pulls apart, producing an attractive crinkly, cracked exterior.
In general, it’s OK to store crisp cookies in a container with a looser-fitting cover. But to keep cookies soft and chewy, store them in a container that has a tight-fitting lid. Test Kitchen Tip: If your cookies get too soft, crisp them up in a 300ºF oven for five minutes.
When should I start my holiday baking?
Always start several days prior to “D-day” and make sure you have a plan of attack so you can get right to the good stuff on your baking day. This may also include deciding what can be made ahead of time to freeze and be used used in coming weeks such as cookie dough and pie crusts.
Homemade cookie dough should be stored in small containers in the refrigerator for two to four days or freeze for two months. Alternatively, small quantities of dough can be frozen and thawed in the refrigerator as needed.
So long as they end up evenly flat, that is; squashing cookies haphazardly under your palm means they may bake and brown unevenly. Still, if you care deeply (or even casually) about the look of your cookies, you can take the flattening step as an opportunity for enhancement. The bottom of a glass works fine, it’s true.
While store-bought cookie dough contains preservatives that may extend its shelf life somewhat, homemade cookie dough will only last in the refrigerator for about three days stored in an airtight container. (If your store-bought cookie dough doesn’t have an expiration date, add a week or so to the “best by” date.)
Can sugar cookies be left out overnight? Yes. Sugar cookies can be stored in a cookie jar at room temperature for 2-3 days or in a cool, dry, airtight container for up to 3 weeks.
Once the cookies have completely dried, they can be stored either in an airtight container with waxed paper in between each layer, or in an airtight bag in a single layer. You can store them at room temperature for up to one week.
Other Ways to Store Fresh Sugar Cookies
- Keep your sugar cookies out of direct heat or sunlight; a cool cupboard or pantry is fantastic!
- Store your cookies in layers, separated by plastic wrap or wax paper.
- Store the cookies in small portions in airtight containers.
Store the preserved cookies in an airtight container in between layers of parchment paper. To extend the life of your preserved cookies, store them in an airtight container. You can stack the cookies in rows with a piece of parchment paper in between each layer.
Let the cookies cool and dry out for an hour or two before applying icing or it will melt. To turn decorated cookies into ornaments punch a hole through the top of the cookie with a chopstick before baking. When they’re baked, string a ribbon through the hole and you’ve got an edible ornament.
Rest the Dough A secret baker’s trick is to rest your cookie dough in the fridge. You can rest it for at least an hour, which will evaporate some of the water and increase the sugar content, helping to keep your cookies chewy. The longer you allow your dough to rest in the fridge, the chewier your cookies will be.
Right before it’s time to serve the biscuits, microwave the bag for a minute. Then, line a bowl or basket with a tea towel, put the heated bag in, and pile on the biscuits. Drape a second tea towel on top to keep the heat in and your biscuits should stay warm until people are ready for seconds.
Which side of parchment paper goes up?
The shinier or glossy side of the parchment paper will be the one coated with the silicon, so this is the side that should be coming into contact with your food (and should therefore be the side that goes up).
When should you not use parchment paper?
When Not to Use Parchment Paper. Parchment paper is not designed for high heat cooking. Avoid using it in your oven or on the grill if temperature will exceed 400 degrees, says Michelle Weaver, chef at Charleston Grill in South Carolina, as there’s a chance it could catch fire.
Is wax paper same as parchment?
Wax paper also comes in a roll and has a similar look and feel to parchment paper, but does not perform the same way. Wax paper, alternately, is a paper that has been coated in a thin layer of paraffin wax, making it nonstick and water-resistant but NOT heat resistant.
They go from soft to hard because they start to dry out, and it begins as soon as you pull them from the oven. (Yikes.) Whatever moisture is left in the cookies is always in a state of evaporation. At the same time, the sugars and starches are solidifying.
Anywhere from 24 to 72 hours. The longer you chill the dough, the more flavor will develop. The flour will also absorb more of the moisture so the thicker and chewier the final texture will be. After 72 hours the dough will begin to dry out and you risk it going bad.
Editor: Jen, we would probably vote for cookie dough, since nothing beats a truly fresh-baked cookie. But we would recommend scooping the dough and freezing it solid on cookie sheets, then sealing the frozen in lumps in bags for longer storage.
Baked cookies should not be refrigerated.