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How to Store Cookies to Keep Them Fresh

Whether you’re baking for the holidays or for everyday enjoyment, these tips for how to store cookies will help keep them soft and fresh.

Clear glass jar full of cookies, child's hand taking one of the cookies out of the jar.Graham Parton/Getty Images

Know how long cookies last

In general, cookies will last for about 3 days at room temperature—if you store them correctly! They’ll last for up to 6 months in the freezer. In fact, unless you’re in a pinch, you should never skip chilling your cookie dough.

A wire rack with star-shaped cutout cookies cooling before they get drizzled with icing.Taste of Home

Cool cookies completely


Making cookies is a lot of work, so don’t ruin your efforts by rushing the cooling process. Cookies need to be completely cool to the touch before you store them. Otherwise, the trapped heat will create condensation, which ultimately will ruin your cookies. You need to know the secret technique to the most amazing sugar cookies.

A box full of assorted cookies.MarianVejcik/Getty Images

Store different types of cookies separately


If you’re storing different varieties of cookies, plan to keep them in separate containers. Otherwise, your soft cookies will moisten your crisp cookies, and the flavor profiles of different varieties—say sugar cookies stored with gingersnaps—will start to blend together.

In general, it’s OK to store crisp cookies in a container with a loose-fitting cover. But to keep cookies soft and chewy, store them in a container that has a tight-fitting cover. That is a chocolate chip cookie hack you need in your life.

Test Kitchen tip: If your cookies get too soft, crisp them up in a 300ºF oven for 5 minutes.

woman placing cookies in layers in a food storage tupperware containerTaste of Home

Store cookies in layers


The last thing you want is for your cookies to stick together! To prevent sticking when you store your cookies, arrange them in a single layer, and add a piece of parchment paper or waxed paper between layers. Learn how you can make cookies without baking soda.

An organized freezer with lots of labeled airtight containers and bags.Taste of Home

Keep cookies cool


Your stored cookies will stay freshest in a cool, dry place, such as the back shelf of your pantry. Depending on the variety, they’ll last anywhere from a few days to a few weeks.

You can also freeze cookies for up to 6 months. To thaw frozen cookies, take them out of their freezing container and spread them out on a clean baking sheet until they come to room temperature. Here are 20 chocolate chip cookie recipes you’ll want to make over and over.

A half-eaten pan of frosted chocolate cookie bars.Taste of Home

Store cookie bars correctly


When storing cookie bars, the best way to maintain freshness is to keep them in the pan you baked them in. Cover the pan with foil or place it in a large, resealable bag. If your cookie bars contain any perishable ingredients—such as a cream cheese glaze—store them in the fridge.

Test Kitchen tip: If you can’t keep your cookie bars in their original pan, slice and place them in an airtight container. Store the container in the fridge—the cookie bars will stay fresh there for 1 or 2 weeks. Find out how long baking staples actually last.

 

Assorted unfrosted sugar cookies in a round box.Brian Hagiwara/Getty Images

Store cookies without frosting, if possible

For best results, avoid frosting cookies before you store them. Not only will the end result look cleaner, but you’ll avoid taking up half of your fridge space with cream cheese-frosted cookies.

To store unfrosted cookies, let them cool completely before wrapping them in plastic wrap and freezing them in an airtight container. Thaw at room temperature before frosting and serving.

woman's hands sectioning off dough for freezingTaste of Home

Freeze the cookie dough


Running short on time? Consider freezing cookie dough instead of baking it right away. For drop cookies, place scoops of dough on a parchment-lined baking sheet, then place in the freezer for 30 minutes. When firm, place the dough drops in a resealable plastic bag. Bake from frozen for 3 to 5 minutes longer than the original instructions.

You can also freeze cutout cookie dough and other doughs that you’d roll out. These types of cookie dough have to chill anyway, so an extended stay in the freezer won’t do them any harm. Just wrap disks of dough tightly in plastic wrap and seal in a zip-top bag to store. Frozen cookie dough is best used within 3 months but you can freeze it for up to 6 months. To thaw, let it sit in the fridge overnight. Freezing cookie dough is science—just like the reason that dunking cookies in milk tastes so darn good. Science!

A glass storage container of granola cookies.Westend61/Getty Images

Use the right container


To keep your cookies fresh, you need to keep air out. For that reason, we suggest storing cookies in an airtight container. Make sure nothing gets in the way of the container and its lid, and double-check that the seal is tight. Real cookie monsters know the definitive ranking of Pepperidge Farm cookies.

Various kinds of cookies arranged in a row.liveslow/Getty Images

Pick the right recipes

Some types of cookies freeze better than others. Drop cookies, cutout cookies, icebox cookies, shortbread cookies, and hearty bar cookies stand up well to storage. Delicate lace cookies, meringue-based treats, and whoopie pies do not.

Chocolate chip cookies (everyone’s favorite!) generally store well, too. There’s no special trick for storing this ever-popular type of cookie—just keep them in an airtight container, especially if you love soft chocolate chip cookies! Here are 13 secret ingredients for irresistible cookies.

A person dipping cutout cookies into a bowl of royal icing.Taste of Home

Wait to decorate the cookies


Just as you should wait to frost your cookies, you should also wait to decorate them. Sprinkles, sugar pearls, candies, and other decorations can lose their flavor or consistency if left in the freezer too long. Now, add these recipes to your baking bucket list.

Originally Published on Taste of Home