The Accidental Scientist: Science of Cooking
Candy Bread Eggs Pickles Meat Seasoning
Ask the Inquisitive Cooks    

" What's the best way to store holiday cookies? "

I like to make cookies ahead of the holidays, but the crisp ones end up limp and the soft ones seem to go stale. What's the best way to store them?


Still have more questions? You'll find more answers in our archived monthly feature articles by the Inquisitive Cooks.

( Meet the Inquisitive Cooks )

When contemplating how to store cookies, keep in mind the fact that sugar is hygroscopic —that is, it attracts moisture. While it might be handy to store different kinds of cookies together, sugar in the crisp cookies attracts moisture from the soft ones. So crisp gingerbread people lose their snap, and soft fruit jumbles become a little too crunchy as they relinquish moisture. Stored together, everything ends up with approximately the same texture. The best way to retain the special character of cookies is to store each type separately.

To keep air out, use airtight tins, resealable plastic bags, or plastic containers. Cookies with soft textures need to hold moisture inside, and crisp and delicate cookies need to keep moisture away.

Freezing is also a great option because it keeps cookies almost as fresh as just-baked. The refrigerator, however, is where most cookies will become stale the fastest. Keep only cookies that contain soft curd or cheesecake-like fillings in the refrigerator.

You also have the option of refrigerating or freezing tightly wrapped cookie dough and thawing and baking it at the last minute. During baking, it releases all the flavors and aromas of freshly made cookies. And there's something incredibly appealing about the way your nose twitches when wonderful baking is in the oven!

Happy baking!
Anne and Sue


- - - Science of Cooking - - - Webcasts - - - Ask The Inquisitive Cooks - - -


© Exploratorium | Use Policy | Privacy Policy