There’s a right way and a wrong way to store your cookies. Chewy cookies become stale. Soft cookies become crisp. It all comes down to proper storage. Properly storing and packaging your cookies will ensure tasty holiday cookies long after they come out of the oven. Learn how to store your cookies, baked or unbaked, at room temperature and in the freezer.
If you’re like me then the month of December you become a little Christmas cookie making machine. A cookie elf if you will. All sorts of cookies start pouring out of your kitchen.
Soft cookies like these Brown Butter Soft Pumpkin Cookies. Chewy cookies like my Ginger Molasses Cookies. Beautifully shaped and decorated Cut-Out Sugar Cookies. The list goes on and on.
But with all that cookie baking, you need to make sure you’ve stored your cookies properly! Nothing worse than having all your hard work ruined in a day or two. Stale cookies? No thank you. Broken cookies? Terrible.
So this post not about baking per se, but what to do after you’re done. Let’s learn how to properly store our Christmas cookies this year!
How To Store Cookie Dough
In The Fridge
Before baking, you want to make sure to store your cookie dough wrapped in the fridge. I will only leave my cookie dough in the fridge for up to 72 hours, otherwise I find it’s dried out. It’s better to leave your dough unscooped, if you’re leaving it for a couple days because the dough balls might become dried out.
When ready to bake, just let the bowl of dough sit out for a little bit so it’s easier for your to scoop.
In The Freezer
You can also freeze shaped cookies before baking. Scoop or shape cookies onto a baking sheet and freeze solid. Transfer to a sealable plastic bag once frozen. You can bake frozen cookies without thawing, just bake a few minutes longer.
For a complete tutorial, read How To Freeze Cookie Dough.
Note: Add a few minutes of baking time onto your frozen cookie dough when you’re ready to bake.
Drop cookies: Freeze as dough balls. Freeze firm on a baking sheet then transfer to a plastic bag or container.
Slice-And-Bake Cookies: Freeze in a tightly wrapped log.
Cut-out cookies: Freeze as discs wrapped tightly in plastic wrap. Transfer to a plastic bag or airtight container.
Tips On How To Store Baked Cookies
- Cool Completely. First, be sure to store cookies that have cooled completely. If you try to store cookies that have any heat left in the still you are bound to end up with either broken or soggy cookies. So let your cookies cool completely on a cooling rack for a couple hours before attempting to store them properly.
- Store cookies of different flavors and textures separately. Crispy cookies and soft cookies should not be stored in the same way.
- Soft cookies – For soft cookies should be kept at room temperature in an airtight container.
- Crispy cookies – For crispy cookies, you want some air to be let in.
- Layer to protect them. To protect cookies from breaking, store in layers with parchment or wax paper between.
Some Cookies Might Not Freeze Well
You might find that some cookies are just not worth freezing. Delicate cookies like pizzelles, or meringues probably aren’t worth freezing.
You’re better off sticking to drop cookies, cut-out cookies, and slice-and bake cookies.
How To Freeze And Store Baked Cookies
- Cool Completely. As mentioned above in the tips section, they need to be cooled completely in order to ensure the cookies freeze and thaw properly.
- Place in a single layer on a baking sheet and freeze until firm. You want them completely frozen before trying to store them. (like the photo below).
- Once frozen, transfer to either a plastic bag or container. To ensure no freezer burn, you can also individually wrap the cookies before placing in a second bag or container. If using a bag, try to get out as much of the air as possible. If using a container, try placing extra parchment or wax paper crumbled up inside. Just be careful to not squish your cookies!
- Stack cookies with parchment or wax paper. If have lots of cookies, then stack cookies between parchment, or wax paper so they don’t stick together.
How long can cookies be stored at room temperature?
Cookies can be stored at room temperature for up to 3 days. Any longer and I would move them to the freezer.
Can I store cookies in a refrigerator?
It’s best to not store in the refrigerator because it can dry them out.
How long can cookies be frozen?
For longer storage, store in the freezer for up to 3 months.
Can I freeze frosted cookies?
You can. However, you need to make sure your frosting is completely set before freezing. If you try to freeze them or wrap them in a plastic wrap or put them in a bag then when you go to thaw and enjoy you will have a big mess on your hands and all your beautiful work is ruined!
So once set, place your cookies on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. You want to freeze the cookies for an hour, until firm before storing further. As you can see I did in the photo below. You want them FROZEN before you try to store them.
I love these small baking sheets, they are perfect for my freezer.
Once they are frozen solid, then transfer the cookies to a plastic bag or container. If you are stacking cookies, layer the cookies between parchment or wax paper.
How Can I Store Bar Cookies
For bar cookies, store in the original pan covered at room temperature, or cut into squares and store in airtight container in the fridge for up to two weeks.
Cookie Recipes That Freeze Well
- Grandma’s Russian Tea Cakes
- Red Velvet White Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Ginger Molasses Cookies
- M&M Christmas Cookies
- Chocolate M&M Cookies
- Chocolate Chip M&M Oatmeal Cookies
Tools Needed To Properly Store Cookies
- Cooling racks – These ones stack perfect for taking up less space!
- Parchment paper
- Plastic bags – I’ve started using reusable ones like these.
- Small baking sheets – These small sheets are perfect size to fit in my small freezer.
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