Maple Pecan Cookie from Michael’s Cookies. Photo by Dhanraj Emanuel.
Too Many Cookies?
Don’t Let Them Go Stale: Use These Tips For Storing Cookies
Sometimes, you find yourself with too many cookies at hand: your birthday, the holidays, an overzealous round of baking and recipe-testing...or maybe they arrive during a time when you’re cutting back on sweets.
Supermarket cookie are baked with enough preservative to stay “”fresh” on the shelf for a year or longer. Artisan cookies are baked without preservatives, and need to be eaten promptly. The cookies taste best when they’re fresh out of the oven, or within five days of baking. So if you have too many cookies to consume within the “good eating” time frame and they are just too good to give away, here are tips from Michael’s Cookies, Sugar Flower Bakery and THE NIBBLE editors:
- Put cookies in an airtight tin or canister ASAP. Never leave them in a box, even if you plan to eat them the next day. And consume them within a few days, because you don’t know when they were baked.
- Be careful if you refrigerate cookies. They can easily dry out if they’re not in airtight bags, zip-seal bags. After you place the cookies in the bags, squeeze the air out. If you want to put them in a protective tin, you can do that as well. Zap them in the microwave on a paper towel for 3 to 5 seconds before serving.
- Freeze them in an airtight container. Use the same technique: airtight plastic bags and optional airtight tin. You should still plan to consume the cookies within three months. If you have a lot of cookies, freeze them in smaller batches, rather than in one large bag or container, in order to thaw a few at a time.
- Thaw frozen cookies for 20 to 30 minutes at room temperature. Then, zap them in the microwave for 5 to 10 seconds (place them on a paper towel), or heat them in a 325°F preheated oven for 1 to 2 minutes. You can microwave any room temperature cookie for 3 to 5 seconds to give it a warm, “from the oven” effect.
- Heat unthawed cookies directly. Warm them in the microwave for 28 to 30 seconds, or in the 325°F preheated oven for 1 to 3 minutes.
Instead of freezing the cookies, consider the following:
- Have a tea party. Send out an email or hit the phones to invite your favorite old friends and people you’d like to get to know better to a cozy cookie party, with tea, coffee and milk. Divide into teams for Pictionary or another fun game. Plan 2 to 3 cookies per person for a tea party.
- Make ice cream sandwiches. If you’re freezing chocolate chip, oatmeal or other cookies that lend themselves well to ice cream sandwiches, assemble a bunch for the tea party...or just for your grateful family and friends.