You’ve baked all day, managed to get flour in places that only God knows how it got there (yes, I am one that always had flour hand prints on her backside), shushed away everyone from sneaking warm cookies off of the cooling rack only to go the next day to have an awesome homemade cookie and find out that it’s turned hard or even stale. All that hard work for what… cookie bricks. Trust me, I HATE that! Fresh cookies don’t typically have much of a shelf life. Fortunately, though, there are a few things you can do that will help them last quite a bit longer and still stay fresh with that fresh-from-the-oven softness.
Cool it down baby:
Before you put those cookies away make sure they’re actually cool. Nothing will encourage cookies, or any other baked goods, to go bad quite as quickly as moisture, and one surefire way to inject moisture into an environment is to put hot cookies in an airtight container. Let them sit on a cooling rack until they’re completely cool, then seal them up tight.
Keeping it sealed:
One of the most important steps you can take to make certain your cookies last longer is to seal them in an airtight container. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m all about nostalgia and using those whimsical cookie jars however most of them aren’t practical for actually storing cookies. I’d love nothing more than to have my pig cookie jars actually used for cookies but alas it’s not possible. Well okay, it *is* possible to store some in their *very short term – like an evening while you have company* IF you keep a slice of white bread in the jar. They will harden (assuming your jar doesn’t have that rubber gasket seal) but the bread will help retard some of the hardening. By putting them in an air-=tight container you could easily extend your shelf-life to five to seven days out of your fresh cookies. I personally prefer the hard containers with air tight lids over those plastic baggies. The baggies are pretty airtight as well however they don’t really protect the cookie from getting damaged/broken. And once a cookie is broken, it’s no good, right? I mean you’re supposed to throw them away, right??? LOL Yeah, um.. NOT!
Let’s talk weather:
Some cookies are meant to be crispy – gingersnaps for one. Um if they weren’t supposed to be crispy they would be called gingerlimps or something. LOL! Temperature and climate is essential to the way you store your cookies. In a humid climate, crisp cookies will go bad quickly if you don’t get them in an airtight container as soon as possible. In a dry climate, you may actually want to keep your crisp cookies in a container with a looser fitting lid.
SUPER SECRET BREAD SOFTNER:
Okay lean in… closer.. .CLOSER! I’m about to share something super duper secret (well okay not really as if your Mama or Grandma baked I 99.9% certain they did this too). Want your soft cookies to stay extra soft? Grab a slice of white bread (yes, it must be plain white bread) and add them in with the cookies. Bread actually has the perfect amount of moisture in it, and once you place it inside the airtight container with your cookies, it will begin to offer that moisture to the cookies themselves. The result is cookies that stay perfectly soft and fresh. I recommend changing out the slice of bread every 2 days. Now some people have used slices of apples in lieu of the bread and while that does work, the apple tends to emit an apple flavor/odor/taste to the cookies. Sure that’s great if you have apple-flavored cookies but I really don’t think that would go over well with say red velvet cheesecake cookies. *gives that 7-year-old-girl-squinched-up-yucky-face*
The Big Freeze:
Okay I’m going to be honest here, I hate… no, LOATHE cookies that have been baked then put in the freezer. Yeah I know you can preserve them for 3 months but I don’t know, I can ‘taste’ freezer. Baked frozen cookies tend to lose flavor for me. However I am a HUGE fan of flash freezing (that means you make up your cookie dough, portion it out on to a parchment lined cookie tray, then put the tray in the freezer for an hour. Once they raw dough portions are frozen, put them then in a freezer tight container). The cookies are raw and you can pop a few frozen cookie portions on to a tray and put them puppies into the oven. In 8-12 minutes you have freshly baked cookie awesomeness!