Nobody can resist the delicious sweet snap of cookies. That’s why they’re always baked in hearty batches! The more health-conscious among us probably don’t eat them all at once and are probably left with a few handfuls after they indulge in their sweet treat (a prudent decision!)
The downside to these circular desserts is that they may not keep the best. After several days you may find that your delightful tray of cookies has either crumbled and lost their crunch or turned into this hard and brittle slab that hurts your teeth.
How long do cookies typically last?
Many factors affect how long your cookies can last either in the fridge or your room temperature kitchen. These factors include:
- What type of cookies they are
- The temperature of where you store them
- How humid it is where you live
- What ingredients you used in baking them
A general estimate is that cookies are in their prime immediately after, a few days, or even up to a week after you bake them. Properly stored, however, and they can last you quite a while longer. Generally, crunchy cookies maintain their typical taste and texture for much longer than soft or chewy cookies, seeing as they contain less moisture.
The most common crunchy cookies include:
- Biscuits and crackers (if you consider them to be cookies)
- Oatmeal cookies
- Raisin cookies
How to store crunchy cookies
- Make sure that they return to room temperature before storing it. Crunchy cookies will firm up and be more durable once the heat has dispersed.
- Tupperware boxes, and just about any airtight container made for food will be a lifesaver for your cookies. They keep your cookies clean and away from moisture in the air, which causes them to go stale and chalky faster.
- It’s okay to store many crunchy cookies in the same container. Just make sure that you separate them by flavor. Some of the more delicious cookies like lemon and butterscotch might mingle and overpower the subtle tastes of shortbread or sugar cookies. (If you want to encourage this mixing of flavors, then go ahead!)
- In case you don’t want to use up your airtight containers, you could get creative and store the cookies in the freezer or zip-lock bags, then keep them in any cool and dry areas. Beware as this makes them susceptible ants and other pests. You just might find yourself sharing your cookies with more critters than you bargained for!
If you don’t mind your cookies being a bit more on the dry side, you can add more flour to the batter. This will reduce the amount of moisture in the cookies themselves, extending their shelf life by a little bit.
How to store chewy/soft cookies
A lot of the same rules apply to store chewy and soft cookies. However, one key difference between these and crunchy cookies is that they inherently contain a lot more moisture, giving them their slightly fluffy and flaky texture. But also reducing the window of how long they stay good for.
Soft cookies can include:
- Blueberry cookies
- Peanutbutter Cookies
- Chocolate chip cookies
Storing them in an airtight container would be ideal, but you should put some kind of layer between each cookie to stop them from sticking or practically fusing with each other. Try paper towels or foil.
It’s generally best that you don’t let your soft cookies last beyond a week, as their hardening and loss of softness are inevitable.
Hey, if anyone gives you grief for eating them promptly, just say that you didn’t want them to go bad on you!