Chocolate chip cookies in a jar for storage

How to Keep Cookies Fresh: 5 Tips for Storing Cookies

There’s always an occasion for cookies. Whether you prefer classic chocolate chip or red velvet cookies, these mouthwatering treats are simply irresistible. Cookies are great for birthday parties, work events, holidays, or even just as a snack. But whether you bake them fresh yourself or buy a tasty selection, the question remains: how do you keep cookies fresh? 

This post will walk you through tips and tricks on how to store cookies so they taste just as good as when they first came out of the oven or package. From the proper containers to the perfect storage conditions, there are a few tried and true ways to keep cookies fresh for longer.

  • What Causes Cookies to Go Stale?
  • How to Properly Store Cookies
  • Tips for Keeping Cookies Fresh
  • FAQs
  • Keep Your Cookies Fresh and Tasty for Longer

What Causes Cookies to Go Stale?

Why do cookies dry out over time? When cookies are exposed to air, their moisture starts to evaporate. This loss of moisture causes the cookies to dry out. This happens with all sorts of starchy foods. 

Starches like those derived from flour undergo retrogradation, leading to cookies becoming firmer and harder. This is also the culprit behind the staleness we’re all familiar with. 

So, whenever you leave cookies uncovered, they’ll start to dry out and become stale. The primary causes of cookie staleness are moisture loss, starch retrogradation, and exposure to air. These factors contribute to changes in texture, taste, and overall freshness—exactly what you want to avoid. 

How to Properly Store Cookies

When it comes to preserving cookie freshness, there are several storage techniques that can help. Whether you’ve just participated in a cookie swap or are celebrating National Cookie Day, following these tips on how to store cookies after baking or opening the package will help you enjoy those tasty treats for days to come. 

Storing cookies in the refrigerator 

If you’re wondering how to store cookies overnight, keeping them in the refrigerator is a great technique for maintaining freshness. To store cookies in the refrigerator effectively, use airtight containers or resealable plastic bags. Before placing the cookies in containers, make sure they’ve cooled completely to prevent condensation. 

Here are a few tips for creating the best storage conditions: 

  • Label containers or bags with the date to keep track of freshness
  • Store cookies in a specific area away from food with strong odors to prevent flavor transfer
  • Set the refrigerator to a slightly higher humidity setting to help cookies maintain moisture
  • Allow cookies to come to room temperature before eating so they can regain their texture and flavors

Cookies stored in the refrigerator can remain fresh for about 1 to 2 weeks. This method best suits cookies without fillings or frostings, such as sugar cookies, shortbread, and biscotti.

Storing cookies in the freezer

To keep cookies fresher for longer, try sticking them in the freezer. This method is the most effective for preserving cookies for long periods. 

Before placing your cookies in the freezer, let them fully cool to prevent freezer burn. You can wrap cookies individually or in layers with wax paper before placing them in airtight containers or freezer bags to stop them from sticking together. 

Here are some additional tips:

  • Label containers or bags with the type of cookie and date of storage
  • Thaw frozen cookies in their sealed container at room temperature or in the refrigerator before eating

When stored in the freezer, cookies can retain their quality for 1 to 3 months. Almost any type of cookie does well in the freezer, including chocolate chip, oatmeal, peanut butter, and beyond. 

Chocolate chip cookies on a cooling rack

Storing cookies at room temperature

Room temperature is another method for how to store baked cookies. If you haven’t already devoured the whole batch of freshly baked cookies, you’ll want to save them for later. Storing cookies at room temperature is the best way to keep these treats fresh for whenever you crave a cookie. 

Like all methods, cookies need to be stored in airtight containers. Here’s how to successfully keep cookies fresh at room temperature: 

  • Keep cookies away from direct sunlight, heat sources, or areas with high humidity 
  • Layer cookies with parchment or wax paper to prevent sticking together
  • Ensure the container is properly sealed after each use to maintain freshness

Typically, softer cookies or those filled with cream or frosting do best at room temperature. When stored properly, cookies can stay fresh for up to a week, depending on the type of cookie. Cookies that are meant to be dry or crispy and don't contain perishable ingredients stay fresh longer.

Tips for Keeping Cookies Fresh

Keep your creations fresh and tasty by storing them properly. Extend the shelf life of both home-baked and store-bought cookies by following these general tips on how to store cookies overnight and beyond: 

Consider the type of cookie

Different types of cookies have varying moisture levels and ingredients, impacting the storage method. Understanding the nature of your cookies will help you determine the most suitable storage method. 

Cool completely 

Before storing, allow freshly baked cookies to cool entirely at room temperature. Placing warm cookies in containers will likely result in condensation, which can make your cookies soggy.

Avoid stacking

When stacked or stored in close quarters, frosted or iced cookies can become sticky or lose their embellishments. Store these cookies separately or in a single layer to prevent sticking. 

Layer with parchment or wax paper

If you need to stack cookies within a container, separate each layer with parchment or wax paper to prevent them from sticking together. 

Store in a cool, dry place

Choose a storage area away from direct sunlight, heat sources, or areas with high humidity since extreme temperatures or humidity can compromise the quality of the cookies. 

Storing Cookies FAQs

What is the best way to store cookies?

The best way to store cookies depends on a variety of factors. There isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach to storing cookies. 

Diverse cookies with unique ingredients, characteristics, and moisture levels should be maintained differently to avoid becoming stale. Here are some recommendations for storing different types of cookies: 

  • Soft and moist cookies: Cookies with brownie-like textures or those with high moisture content maintain their freshness at room temperatures. You can also store them in foil to help keep their texture.
  • Crispy or dry cookies: Biscotti, shortbread, or ginger snaps have a lower moisture content, so it's best to store them in airtight containers. Cool, dry conditions help them remain crisp while preventing staleness.
  • Frosted or decorated cookies: Iced cookies are best stored in a single layer with parchment paper or wrapped individually to preserve their appearance. 
  • Cream-filled or delicate cookies: Cookies with creamy fillings are best consumed within a few days of baking for the freshest taste and texture. Store them in a single layer for best results.

    Woman grabbing a cookie from a cookie jar

    How long do cookies last when stored correctly?

    Cookie shelf life can be extended through different storage methods. Here’s a general guideline on how to keep cookies fresh and how long they last when stored correctly: 

  • Room temperature: Most cookies retain freshness for about 3 to 7 days when stored in an airtight container or cookie jar.
  • Refrigerated: Storing cookies in the fridge can extend their freshness to about 1 to 2 weeks, especially for cookies with a moderate moisture content. 
  • Frozen: Properly stored cookies can maintain their quality for 1 to 3 months in the freezer when tightly sealed. 
  • Mrs. Fields® cookies, known for their freshness and tasty flavors, have a shelf life of about 7 to 12 days when stored correctly at room temperature. We recommend enjoying our cookies as soon as you receive them for optimal taste and freshness. If you want to keep them for later, you can store them in the freezer for up to 3 months. 

    Where should you store cookies?

    The ideal method for how to store baked cookies depends on several key factors. Here are some tips on where to store cookies in different settings:

  • Room temperature: Use airtight containers, cookie jars, or plastic bags to prevent air exposure and moisture loss. Keep cookies in a cool, dry area. 
  • Refrigerated: Use airtight containers or sealed plastic bags to store cookies in the fridge. Monitor the moisture level to avoid condensation. 
  • Frozen: Wrap cookies individually or in layers with wax paper and place them in airtight containers or freezer bags when storing in the freezer. This helps prevent freezer burn. 
  • Keep Your Cookies Fresh and Tasty for Longer

    Ensuring long-lasting freshness doesn’t need to be complicated. By following these simple strategies on how to store cookies after baking, you can extend the shelf life of your favorite treats. Whether you choose the refrigerator, freezer, or cookie jar, you can prevent staleness.

    If you’re searching for fresh, high-quality cookies, Mrs. Fields® has you covered. Choose from a variety of soft, chewy cookies in classic flavors and fun recipes. When stored properly, you can enjoy cookies from Mrs. Fields® for even longer, ensuring a delightful experience with every bite.

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