“Who stole the cookie from the cookie jar?” is a classic phrase we’ve grown to know and love since we were kids. But as you get older, you may have a few more questions regarding this phrase. For instance, who actually uses cookie jars to store cookies, and do they really keep cookies fresh?
These are legitimate questions that we deserve the answers to, and luckily for you we’ve got them.
Will My Cookies Stay Fresh in a Cookie Jar?
As adorable as they may be, not all cookie jars will actually keep your cookies fresh, especially if they are older models. These days, newer cookie jars come with an airtight seal that will keep your cookies from getting stale, but that doesn’t mean that all cookies will be kept fresh.
For example, cookies that have any sort of icing or filling in them may not last as long in a cookie jar as others.
If you plan on eating all the cookies in your cookie jar within the next few days, they should be fine in a cookie jar with an airtight seal on them. If you plan on leaving them for longer, however, they may end up getting stale by the time you decide to eat them.
Tips to Keeping Your Cookies Fresh for Longer
When you first bake cookies, they come out of the oven warm, moist and soft. This is when cookies are at their best and you want to make sure they last like this as long as possible. To do this, there are some tips and tricks you can follow to ensure you end up with fresh cookies for weeks to come.
First things first, be sure that your cookies are at room temperature before you store them. Let them cool all the way before putting them away, otherwise your cookies will end up soggy from the steam.
If you are making cookies from scratch, be sure not to skimp out on the butter. Butter allows cookies to stay fresh for longer because they have natural fats that retain the moisture and softness of the cookie.
If you want to reheat your cookie to recreate the just-out-of-the-oven feel, wrap the cookie up in a moist paper towel before sticking it into the microwave for five second increments until they are the desired temperature.
Alternatives to Using a Cookie Jar
Most of the time, people use cookie jars because they are aesthetically pleasing and make great decorations. Unfortunately, they aren’t ideal for keeping your cookies fresh.
Instead of using a cookie jar, consider storing your cookies in an air-tight container. Use the smallest container you can find to reduce the amount of air in it.
You may also want to consider layering your cookies using parchment paper or wax to retain not just the moisture in the container, but also their shape. If you don’t have parchment or wax paper, you can always store the cookies individually in a cupcake liner to keep them fresh.
Another storing tip is to place a piece of bread inside of the container you are storing your cookies in to keep them moist. They will draw from the bread for moisture which means you’ll have to change it out every few days until you’ve polished them off.
Another thing to take into consideration when storing your cookies is that you should never put them in the fridge. If you want them to last longer than they normally would in a regular air-tight container, you can always freeze your cookies.
Frozen, your cookies can last up to three months without getting stale. The best part about frozen cookies is that you can always take them out of the freezer and place them on a cookie sheet to bake. The result will be the same as if you had made them fresh that day.
To freeze your cookies effectively, place them all on a cookie sheet as far away from one another as possible so that they don’t stick together. After they are completely frozen, you can store them in a container with parchment paper.
If you really want to go above and beyond to keep your cookies fresh, be sure to wrap them individually in plastic wrap before placing them in the container or in a resealable bag. This will make sure to keep as much air out as possible and all of the moisture in the cookie from escaping.
Storing Cookie Dough
If you’re a fan of making cookies from scratch but don’t want to go through the work of doing it every time, you can always save yourself some trouble by creating large batches of cookie dough and freezing any leftovers to save for later.
That’s right. Cookie dough, when stored properly, can last about three months in the freezer. Then when you are ready to use the cookie dough, all you have to do is thaw it in the fridge a day before you plan on using it.
The best type of cookie dough to freeze is any cookie dough that has a lot of butter or fat in it. This can include anything such as chocolate chip cookies, oatmeal chocolate chip cookies, or peanut butter cookies.
Not all cookie dough is created equal and cookie dough for macarons or madelines will not freeze well, so keep that in mind when storing your cookie dough.
The Right Way to Freeze Cookie Dough
Freezing cookie dough is pretty simple and you can use any of your favorite homemade recipes to do so. Once you have your dough ready to go, be sure to roll the cookie into balls.
Once that’s done, you’ll want to place the cookie dough balls into the fridge to let them chill for about an hour. After that, the cookies should be solid enough that you can place them all in a large resealable plastic bag.
Again, you may want to use parchment paper to wrap up the cookie dough balls individually so that they don’t clump together in the bag. Be sure that before you put the cookie dough away in the freezer you label the bag with the date so that you don’t forget how long they’ve been in there.
If you are gifting the frozen cookie dough it may also be a good idea to put the cooking temperature on the bag as well.
When the cookie dough is ready to be used, be sure to thaw it out in the fridge first, as mentioned earlier. If your oven has already preheated, you should be able to stick them right in.
Keep checking the cookies during the baking process to make sure they are cooking all the way through. Because the dough was previously frozen, the cookies may require a longer baking time than they normally would.
It’s safe to say that although cookie jars are nice to look at, they aren’t ideal for keeping our cookies fresh. If you simply must use a cookie jar, be sure to use one with a seal on it so that your cookies don’t get stale while inside the jar.
Sarah is the founder of Baking Kneads, LLC, a blog sharing guides, tips, and recipes for those learning how to bake. Growing up as the daughter of a baker, she spent much of her childhood learning the basics in a local bakery.