Who doesn’t like peanut butter?
It’s rich, creamy, nutty, and healthy. It also tastes fantastic in sweet and savory recipes.
Peanut butter cookies are unique, and you can prepare them using smooth and crunchy peanut butter, depending on your preferred texture.
They’re warm, earthy, and sweet, and the good thing is that they take only a few ingredients to prepare.
But here’s the deal:
How can you store these cookies to enjoy their freshness whenever you like?
Wrong storage techniques can make your cookies feel stale or too soggy. So, it’s essential to know how to store these cookies before and after baking.
Freezing peanut butter cookies after baking them is an easy and convenient way to preserve the freshness of the cookies.
Peanut butter cookies can be stored in the fridge for up to two months.
But it only gets better, as they can last up to one year in the freezer.
Preparing a big batch of cookies and storing them in the freezer is a good option if you want to have these fresh cookies whenever you want them. They can always be an excellent treat served for breakfast or as an afternoon snack.
Here are the proper steps to follow.
Allow your baked cookies to cool off completely before attempting to freeze them.
This process is crucial because it prevents the formation of ice crystals if you attempt to freeze warm cookies. So, leaving your baked peanut butter cookies on a wire rack for a few hours is essential until they have completely cooled off.
You should attempt to freeze the peanut butter cookies in batches.
Spreading them in a single layer will help maintain their shape as they won’t stick to each other or break when you try to separate them.
You must spread the peanut butter cookies in a single layer on a baking sheet until they’re partially frozen. Then, you can continue with the rest of the cookies.
Once you’ve partially frozen all your cookies, you can stack them together.
Separate your cookies with parchment paper and store them in an airtight, freezer-safe container or sealable bag. It’s important to remove the excess air from the plastic bag to prevent freezer burn.
They would still be safe to eat, but their quality would deteriorate.
When it’s time to serve your peanut butter cookies, you should thaw them first.
It’s pretty simple, as you can just let them thaw at room temperature for 30 minutes. If you’ve followed all the proper steps, your cookies won’t break or become too moist.
Freezing peanut butter cookie dough is an excellent way to have those delicious cookies on hand whenever a craving strikes.
Yet, some simple steps ensure that your frozen cookie dough won’t go bad, and when you bake your cookies, they will turn out amazing.
After following these steps, your cookie dough can last for up to two months in the freezer.
Choosing high-quality ingredients to prepare your cookie dough is paramount. Make sure that all the ingredients are thoroughly mixed to ensure that you have good peanut butter cookie dough to work with.
It’s best to portion your cookie dough before freezing, as this will facilitate baking.
A cookie shaper or scoop will allow you to have uniformly shaped cookies that turn out amazing after thawing and baking.
Place the individually portioned dough on a parchment-lined tray, ensuring they don’t touch.
If the dough portions touch, they will get ruined by the time you want to bake them. As a result, you’ll waste more time reshaping them.
Flash or blast freezing is an excellent way to freeze the peanut butter cookie dough.
It works by exposing the cookie dough to extremely low temperatures with air circulating inside the freezer, keeping tiny ice crystals inside the dough.
Unlike baked cookies that can become too soggy with the least amount of moisture, you’ll need this moisture when you’re baking your cookies, or they will turn out too dry.
Keeping the dough in the freezer for two hours will be enough.
It’s essential to make sure that the dough is solid before attempting to do this step. Otherwise, the portions will stick to each other.
Now, it’s time to transfer the portions to a freezer-safe bag or container.
Removing the excess air from the container to remove the freezer burn is crucial. This happens when a portion of the dough is damaged by dehydration and oxidation due to the presence of air.
This burn can make the cookie dough turn out to be too dry.
You can store this dough at average freezer temperature, lasting for months until needed.
It’s important to preheat the oven to 350 degrees before baking your peanut butter cookies. This guarantees that your cookies will be evenly baked.
If the oven isn’t hot enough, your cookies might burn on the bottom while the inside remains undone.
When it’s time to thaw the dough, you have several options.
You can either let the cookie dough thaw at room temperature for about 30 minutes to an hour.
However, it’s best to keep the dough in the fridge overnight. This will keep it in perfect shape until it’s ready to be baked.
For perfectly baked peanut butter cookies, line up your baking tray with parchment paper and spread your shaped cookies. Leave space between each two, as the cookies expand and might stick to one another.
It’s vital to turn your baking tray halfway through the baking process to ensure each cookie is baked to perfection. But don’t take so much time because you want to keep the hot air inside the oven.
An oven thermometer is a good option as it guarantees your cookies are perfectly baked.
The cookies should measure 300 degrees on the inside because you don’t want them to be overdone. This will take some extra time if you’re baking the cookies from frozen dough.
Generally, peanut butter cookies don’t need to be refrigerated.
They maintain their freshness when stored at room temperature in an airtight container.
Yet, refrigerating your peanut butter cookies is recommended if you use certain ingredients in the recipe, like fresh fruits or cream cheese frosting.
If you want to keep them longer, you can store them in the fridge after following these tips.
You should set the temperature to 40 degrees Fahrenheit. This is the safe temperature for food storage, minimizing the risk of bacterial growth.
Air can make the cookies go bad.
It’s crucial to keep your peanut butter cookies in an airtight container to prevent the cookies from absorbing odors from the fridge.
When kept in the fridge, peanut butter cookies will maintain their crispy texture and fresh flavor for one or two months.
After this period, they might still be safe to consume. Nevertheless, they will tend to become drier.
Overall, refrigerating cookies causes moisture loss, so the cookies will be drier the longer you keep the cookies in the fridge.
Peanut butter cookies can last on the counter for one to two weeks, depending on how carefully you store them.
As a matter of fact, storing those cookies at room temperature is more recommended than keeping them in the fridge.
Refrigerating the cookies can make them dry because they lose moisture. However, these cookies will maintain their crunchy and chewy texture when stored at room temperature.
Here are the right steps to follow.
Cookies should be left to cool off completely before you attempt to store them.
When the cookies are still hot, the condensation can make them soggy after you store them in a container.
An airtight container will seal the freshness of the cookies.
It will also protect the cookies from being exposed to the air, which can make them go stale.
For extra protection, layer the cookies with parchment paper to prevent them from sticking together. This way, they will always be fresh when you decide to snack on them.
If you’ve used different ingredients in your peanut butter cookies, avoid storing different flavors in the same container.
This mix-up can change the taste of your cookies and ruin them.
Some fresh ingredients shouldn’t be kept on the counter because they go bad quickly,
For example, if peanut butter cookies contain fresh fruits or cream frosting, they should be kept in the fridge or the freezer.
When you pick a spot to store your cookie container, it must be dark and cool.
Exposure to heat or too much sunlight can change the texture of the cookies and make them go bad.
Moreover, you should make sure that your cookies aren’t subjected to humidity.
The extra moisture will change the texture of the peanut butter cookies and can make them go bad faster.
Always check if your peanut butter cookies are safe to consume.
When you notice that they’ve become stale, moving them to the fridge or freezer is best to extend their life.
If they smell funny, have a weird texture, or you notice mold growth, they should be immediately discarded.
Peanut butter cookies are always in demand, and storing them allows you to enjoy them whenever you like.
You can freeze peanut butter cookies to indulge in their sweetness and richness whenever you like.
Keeping the dough in the freezer is also possible. But flash freezing is crucial to preserve moisture, so your cookies won’t turn out dry.
Whether you want to keep your peanut butter cookies in the fridge or freezer, you should let them cool off completely before attempting to store them.
This guarantees that they won’t go stale fast.
Generally, these cookies can last for up to two weeks on the counter, provided that you keep them in a cool and dark place.
Yet, if they contain any fresh fruits or cream cheese frosting, you should keep them in the fridge instead.
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.