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How To Ensure Cookie Freshness For Days After Baking

June 5, 2011

Like alchemists, chefs meld unassuming elements – flour and sugar rather than lead and aluminum – into a golden gastronomic delight. But as gold tarnishes, so cookies decay and lose their unsullied sweetness. Keep fresh cookies soft and delicious for days after baking cookies with a few simple tricks.

It starts in the cabinet. Cookies with a high butterfat or margarine content stay soft longer than low-fat products. Low-fat foods also do not freeze as well as high-fat victuals. When baking cookies for a weekend getaway, choose – dare it be mentioned – high-fat cookies. They may wreak havoc on the stomach but the tongue will be in ecstasy.

After baking cookies, let them cool for a few minutes so they do not stick and then transfer them to a rack until they cool completely. Do not store hot cookies; warm desserts retain too much moisture and will become soggy and clammy, crumbling into a hodgepodge of desecrated dessert.

Select a shallow tin or plastic container. If a tin or plastic container is unavailable, use a Ziploc bag. Give each type of cookie its own jar, pan or bag; do not mix different types of cookies. Place a layer of wax paper, Saran wrap, aluminum foil or a paper towel between each layer of cookies. Do not stack the cookies too high, or the bottom pastries will be crushed.

After distributing the cookies evenly and completely throughout the container, lay a final sheet of material on top and then crown the batch with a freshly cut apple slice or piece of fresh bread; this tidbit of information is the Philosopher’s Stone of cookie crafting. The moisture from the apple or bread evaporates within the container and moisturizes the cookies. As days go by, add an apple slice or bread piece as necessary.

Fresh cookies may be stored at room temperature or frozen. Frozen food products typically last longer. Cookies with a high level of dairy products, such as cream cheese or custard, or other perishable products, should be refrigerated and wrapped in Saran wrap or tin foil. Most other cookies can also be frozen, with the exception of low-fat foods, gluten-free foods and Meringue. Fresh cookies should be tightly sealed in a container, or else the odors and taste of neighboring foods can seep into the desserts.

Has the experiment gone awry? Are the cookies too soft? Fear not – simply bake them at 300 degrees Fahrenheit for three to five minutes until crisp.

Open the refrigerator four days later. Snatch the cookie container and gently lift the lid, and usher a symphony of melodious sweetness into the nostrils. Thanks to a few homely tips, the cookies are still soft and just as scrumptious.

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