Do you love to bake dozens of cookies but can’t always seem to eat all of them before they go stale? Or are you planning ahead for a special event and want to have freshly baked cookies on hand without the stress of last-minute baking? Whatever the reason, storing cookies in the freezer is a great way to preserve the freshness of cookies without having to worry about spoilage.
But how long do cookies actually last in the freezer, and how do you ensure they stay fresh and delicious? We’re going to answer both of these questions for you. Because after years of shipping cookies all across Canada, we’ve learned a few things about freeze-storing cookies. We’ll share our step-by-step guide on how to store cookies in the freezer so you can preserve them for that opportune moment.
But first things first…
How Long Do Cookies Last in the Freezer?
When it comes to freezing cookies, one of the most common questions is – How long can you actually store them in the freezer? The good news is that cookies can last quite a long time in the freezer if stored properly. Though duration can vary depending on the type of cookie, ingredients used, and storage conditions, most cookies can be stored in the freezer for 3 to 4 months without a significant loss in quality.
We mentioned that certain types of cookies last longer than others, primarily because of the ingredients in them. These are how long some of the most common cookies will last in the freezer if stored properly:
- Chocolate Chip Cookies – 3 to 4 months
- Sugar Cookies – 3 to 4 months
- Oatmeal Cookies – 4 to 6 months
- Shortbread Cookies – 4 to 6 months
- Peanut Butter Cookies – 3 to 4 months
Technically, the cookies can “last” far longer than 3-4 months, but their quality will start to deteriorate after that point. The texture will be less desirable (dry & crumbly), and the flavours will be long gone too.
Now, let’s break down exactly how to bake & store your cookies so you can enjoy them in a few months time.
How to Store Cookies in the Freezer: Our Step-by-Step Guide
If you transfer your freshly-baked cookies directly from the oven to a storage container, and then to the freezer, you will be incredibly disappointed when you take them out in a few weeks or months. Instead, follow these preparation tips to make sure that the cookies don’t spoil ahead of time:
Cool the Cookies – Allow the cookies to cool completely before packing them away. If you place warm cookies in a storage container or sealed plastic bag, condensation will occur, resulting in soggy, freezer-burned cookies.
Arrange in Single Layers – Arrange your cooled cookies in a single layer on a baking sheet or tray. This prevents them from sticking together once frozen. If you have limited space, you can use parchment paper or wax paper to separate the layers of cookies.
Flash Freeze – Place the baking sheet or tray with the cookies in the freezer and let them freeze for about 1 to 2 hours, or until they are firm. This process, known as flash freezing, helps prevent the cookies from clumping together when stored in containers or bags.
Store in an Airtight Bag or Container – Once the cookies are fully frozen, wrap each cookie individually in plastic wrap and then place in an airtight container. You can also place them in individual freezer-safe bags, as long as you make sure to remove as much air as possible from the bag. Some people individually pack each cookie, then place the wrapped cookies in a larger bag for easier organisation in the freezer. Plus, the extra layer of protection helps maintain their freshness and prevents freezer burn.
Label and Date – Label each package or container with the type of cookie and the date of freezing. This way, you can easily identify them later and keep track of their storage time.
Place in Freezer – Finally, place the containers or bags of cookies in the freezer. Try to keep them in a flat position to prevent any shifting or crushing.
Whenever you’re ready to enjoy the cookies, take them out to thaw, and enjoy.
Tips for Maintaining Cookie Freshness in the Freezer
To ensure that your cookies stay fresh and delicious during their time in the freezer, here are some valuable tips to keep in mind:
Proper Packaging – Whether you opt to seal them in airtight containers or freezer bags, make sure that the cookies are fully protected from outside air and moisture. If exposed to either of these, the cookies will succumb to freezer burn and lose their flavour.
Avoid Temperature Fluctuations – Maintain a consistent freezer temperature to preserve the quality of your cookies. Fluctuations in temperature can cause condensation, leading to freezer burn. Keep the freezer temperature at or below -18°C ( 0°F) for optimal storage conditions.
Keep Away from Strong Odours – Cookies have a tendency to absorb odours from other foods in the freezer. To prevent this, store your cookies away from strongly scented items like onions, garlic, or seafood. You can also place a box of baking soda in the freezer to help absorb any odours.
Thawing Properly – When you're ready to enjoy your frozen cookies, it's important to thaw them properly. Remove the desired amount of cookies from the freezer and let them thaw at room temperature for about 15-30 minutes. Avoid thawing them in the microwave, as this can lead to uneven thawing and potential texture changes. Read our guide to Reheating & Softening Cookies.
Re-Seal After Thawing – If you only plan to consume a portion of the cookies and want to save the rest, make sure to re-seal the remaining cookies in their original airtight packaging or transfer them to a new container or bag before placing them back in the freezer. If you think you may eat more in the next few days, store a few in aluminium foil or in the refrigerator.
Consume Within Recommended Timeframe – While cookies can last in the freezer for several months, it's best to consume them within the recommended storage time frame mentioned earlier (3 to 4 months). This ensures that they maintain their texture, flavour, and overall quality.
By following these tips, you can maintain the freshness and flavour of your cookies while they are stored in the freezer.
There's nothing quite like the taste of a freshly baked batch of cookies. But now, even months later, you can relive the tasting experience if you store them properly in the freezer. Whether you’re saving leftover cookies from a corporate event or prepping for a holiday party with loved ones, these cookie storage tips will preserve the freshness until you’re ready to dig back into the flavour.