Keeping Cookies Fresh After A Party Or Other Event
If you are having a party or other festivity, and you need to keep cookies fresh for leftovers, there are a few simple steps you can take to preserve the delicate texture and flavor of just baked cookies for weeks-if you can keep them around for that long. A proper storage container is the foundation to keep cookies fresh. When you buy cookies at the store, check for brands that sell cookies already packaged in tins; tins will keep your just bought cookies fresh, and provide a recyclable product for you to store your own homemade cookies in the future. Cookie tins can also be found at party stores and grocery stores, especially during the holiday season.
The staleness or freshness of cookies depends on the moisture content of the cookie itself. When cookies that are supposed to be moist become hard and stale, it is because they are losing moisture content. Likewise, when a cookie that is baked to a crunch becomes stale, it turns soft because it has absorbed moisture from the environment. If you want to keep cookies fresh, it is important to keep them in a sealed container with a tight fitting lid, so that excess moisture content cannot enter or leave the packaging. It is recommended to wrap the cookies in paper towels, cellophane, or wax paper before placing them in tins. Another method of storage that will ensure the freshness of your cookies is placing them in plastic containers, or even plastic bags that seal to be airtight.
It is important to keep your storage container in a cool, dry place. When you buy cookies, try storing them in the freezer (a special treat in the summer time), or in the refrigerator for a lengthened shelf life. Always wait until cookies are completely cooled before you put them in the refrigerator; putting away cookies that have not completely cooled will lead to stale cookies. Always store iced cookies in the refrigerator to keep the icing from going stale. A time tested trick to store cookies is to put a piece of bread in the cookie tin (or other storage container) to keep cookies fresh; the bread will regulate the moisture level of the cookies and keep them from going stale.
Another factor in cookie freshness is the ingredients. When you make or buy cookies, check to see what they are made of. Cookies that are made with butter tend to go stale quicker than cookies that are made with shortening (though cookies made with a higher butter content will have a richer flavor). The most important factors in keeping cookies fresher, longer, are keeping them cool, dry and tightly sealed.