Cookie Rescue: How to Store Cookies for Best Flavor and Texture

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After spending a ton of time and energy baking over a hot stove, you should always store cookies and other baked goods properly to keep their delicious fresh flavor. This task might be easier said than done, but we have a few pieces of advice that just might make all the difference.

When storing your cookies, ensure they are cooled down, placed in an airtight container, and separated by type and layer.

No matter what type of homemade cookie you plan on putting away for later, having some great tricks up your sleeve for storing cookies is priceless. It’s fine to place a few in the cookie jar or use plastic wrap for a day or two, but the shelf life of a freshly baked cookie isn’t very long. Knowing how to store cookies is essential.

Tips for Storing Your Cookies

Are you looking for expert advice on storing cookies? Well, you came to the right place; we have all the tips and tricks to ensure your cookies taste like they just came out of the oven, even days after you baked them.

Place Them in Airtight Containers

The best way to keep any food item fresh is by storing them in airtight containers. These containers can be plastic, glass, or even stainless steel. The most important detail is ensuring the lid seals and doesn’t allow air to seep inside.

No matter what type of container you place them in, ensure there is little room left inside for air to flow and that any plastic containers you use are food-grade. 

Make Sure the Cookies Have Cooled Down Before Storing Them

Hot cookies, right off the cookie sheet from the oven, will steam and produce condensation. If you put these cookies directly into a container, they will be moist and soft when you take them back out.

Separate Layers of Cookies with Wax Paper

When you store your cookies in a container, keep the layers separated so they won’t stick to one another. To create a barrier, you can place wax paper or parchment paper between each layer.

Separate Cookies By Type

Try not to keep different cookies in the same storage container. The main reason for this suggestion is to keep your cookie flavors from blending.

Another reason you should separate your cookies is that the moist ones will soften cookies that should be harder. 

Following the advice above will help maintain your cookies’ flavor and texture and keep the cookies crisp. 

Oatmeal cookies sealed in plastic bag

Freezing Cookies to Keep Them Fresh

If you made a large batch of cookies for an upcoming event or simply to have them on hand when you need them, you can toss them in the freezer for longer storage time.

When freezing cookies, there are a few tips to keep in mind.

  • Always use a Ziplock bag and release as much air as possible before closing it. 
  • Wait until the cookies are at least room temperature before placing them in the bags.
  • Never layer the cookies you are freezing; if you can’t fit all of the cookies in one bag in a single layer, get another freezer bag.
  • Cookies will stay fresh while stored in the freezer for up to five months.

Putting your cookies in a freezer bag also helps keep other flavors from the freezer from ruining their taste. 

How to Moisten Dry Cookies

You should never leave fresh baked cookies on the counter or anywhere air can easily get at them. Keeping your cookies in the open will make them dry up quickly.

The solution: Place dry cookies in the microwave for 15-20 seconds.

This trick also works for softening hard cookies, but for dry cookies specifically, you want to wrap them in a wet paper towel before placing them inside the microwave. 

Another good idea to get your dried-out cookies easier to swallow is by dunking them in a cold glass of milk. 

To keep your cookies from drying out in storage, you can do one of the following:

  • Add a slice of white bread to the container.
  • Place a few apple slices somewhere in the container where they won’t touch the cookies.
  • Store your cookies with a few sugar cubes.

How to Harden Soft Cookies

Now, if your problem is that your cookies are too soft, you can always toss them back into the oven for a few more minutes. When cookies are softer than they should be, it might be because they are undercooked.

If adjusting the length of baking time of the cookie dough didn’t work, you might have to go back to the starting line. Soft cookies might require a little extra flour in the recipe or a little less liquid ingredients such as butter or egg. 

Woman's hands closing microwave door and setting timer

How to Fix Stale Cookies

Fixing stale dry cookies will look very similar to fixing hard cookies. Placing them in the microwave for a few minutes is one of the best solutions. You can also try adding white bread slices covered with wet paper towels to your container for a few hours to moisten them.

Summing Things Up

Proper storage is the best way to keep your cookies tasting amazing, whether you’re talking about sugar cookies, Christmas cookies, bar cookies, or your favorite cookie recipe. Try some of the tips and tricks above to properly store cookies so you never get stuck eating dried-out, poorly flavored, or stale baked goods again.