Keep chewy cookies chewy and crisp cookies crisp when you learn how to store chocolate chip cookies the right way. A few secret tips will preserve cookie taste and texture for days.
“Me want cookie,” you say while grabbing the chocolate chips, sugar, and flour from the cupboard. The chocolate chip cookie recipe you use is important. But knowing how to store chocolate chip cookies, so they stay fresh for days is crucial.
Don’t worry. I’ve got you covered with details about how to store every kind of chocolate chip cookie you make this year - and every year after!
What is the best way to store homemade chocolate chip cookies? Store soft or chewy chocolate chip cookies in an airtight plastic container. In contrast, freeze crispy cookies or store them in a glass container. Never mix different cookie types in the same storage space, or textures and flavors will mesh.
Properly storing chocolate chip cookies will keep their texture perfect and fresh for up to 3 or 4 days. Freeze them for even longer storage.
Each type of chocolate chip cookie has its own quirks. In this article you will learn the best chocolate chip storage practices for soft, chewy, and crispy chocolate chip cookies. Plus, find out how to store bar cookies and raw cookie dough balls.
These storage instructions will work on any favorite cookie recipe, including unfrosted sugar cookies.
Ready, set, bake! “Om nom nom nom.”
|Cookie Type||Best Storage Practice||Room Temperature||Freeze Time*|
|Soft chocolate chip cookie||Wrap in plastic wrap, then store in airtight plastic container||2 to 3 days||3 months|
|Chewy chocolate chip cookie||Store in airtight plastic container||2 to 3 days||3 months|
|Crispy chocolate chip cookie||Freeze OR store in glass container||1 to 2 days||3 months|
|Chocolate chip cookie bar||Store in airtight plastic container||3 to 4 days||3 months|
|Raw chocolate chip cookie dough||Store in airtight container in the refrigerator or freezer||up to 2 days||3 months|
Essential Steps to Store Chocolate Chip Cookies
No matter what texture or flavor of drop cookies you bake, some tips are the same for all chocolate chip cookies.
• Cool the cookies completely on a wire rack.
A warm chocolate chip cookie might be tasty to eat. However, storing warm cookies together in a single container result in mushy cookies that stick together.
It may take an hour or even longer for a cookie to cool to room temperature. But it is worth the wait.
• Never mix cookie textures or flavors.
DO NOT STORE soft, chewy, and crispy cookies in the same container. If you do, the cookies will lose their individual textures. Most notable will be crisp cookies that lose their crispiness and turn soft.
In addition, cookies will take on the flavors of other cookies in the same container. Especially with strong flavors. Chocolate chip cookies stored with mint cookies will start to taste like mint.
• Store cookies in an airtight container.
If you want to avoid dry cookies, keep the air out and the moisture in.
Consider a plastic or glass container with a secure lid for soft, chewy, or bar cookies. On the other hand, crisp cookies are better in glass containers. More tips for crispies are in the crispy cookie section below.
Another choice is a zip-top bag. Cookies don’t last as long in a sealed bag as they do in a lidded container. But if you don’t think any cookies will remain uneaten beyond the next day, a Ziplock bag is a good solution.
If you use a plastic bag, squeeze out as much air as possible before sealing the bag.
• Wrap the cookies in plastic wrap
Before storing the cookies in an airtight container, wrap them with plastic wrap. Plastic wrap gives homemade cookies extra moisture protection.
Use plastic wrap if you need to store the cookies for a day and have no plan to munch on them. If your family is snacking on them, do not bother with the plastic wrap.
• Store the cookie container in a cool, dry place.
All the above tips are great. However, if you leave the cookie container in the back of your car during summer, the cookies will wilt.
Keep the sealed container in a corner on the counter (away from the hot stove) or in the cupboard.
• Do not store the cookies in the refrigerator.
Your fridge will dry out the cookies before you know it. The best chocolate chip cookies are never stored in the refrigerator.
However, you can (and should) store cookie dough in the refrigerator for 1 to 2 days. This will blend and mature the flavors before you bake the cookies. Beyond two days of cold storage, cookies will bake flatter and be unable to hold their rise as much.
For longer-term storage, freeze the balls of cookie dough. Cookie dough freezes very well. Frozen cookie dough saves you time when you need a cookie or two to satisfy a craving. No need to thaw before baking, although you will need additional baking time.
Ok. We’ve covered all the general tips for cookie storage. Now, let’s dig a little deeper into the storage techniques for different types of chocolate chip cookies.
You may also be interested in creative recipes with leftover chocolate chip cookies.
Keep the Chew in Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies
Chewier cookies result from using bread flour and a higher ratio of brown sugar in your recipe. Brown sugar holds moisture like a champ, which gives these cookies their chewy centers.
Add an extra egg yolk and slightly underbake the cookies. The edges of the cookies should be lightly browned, but the center will still be somewhat moist.
Cool chewy chocolate chip cookies entirely before attempting to store them.
A plastic airtight container is the best storage solution for chewy cookies. If you don’t seal in the moisture, you will have stale cookies in a couple of days!
If you will be snacking on them, a lidded plastic container is ideal. Pop open the top, snag a cookie, and then seal the container again.
To prolong freshness, wrap in plastic wrap or a plastic bag before placing them in a sealed container. The added layer of plastic keeps the cookie texture perfect, but snagging a cookie is more difficult.
Tips for baking and storing chewy chocolate chip cookies:
- To chill or not to chill: Chill the dough for at least 2 to 3 hours (up to 3 days) before baking. For best results, round the dough into balls before refrigeration.
- Baking time: Underbake to avoid dehydrating the cookies.
- Cooling: Leave them on the cookie sheet for 10 minutes, then transfer them to a cooling rack.
- How to store: Use a sealed plastic container at room temperature.
- How long they will last: At room temperature for 2 to 3 days on the counter, in between sheets of parchment paper to prevent them from sticking together.
- Freezing storage: Freeze chewy cookies as soon as they are cooled with parchment sheets between them for up to 3 months.
What are bakery-style cookies? Learn all about their characteristics and what bakeries do that you can do at home.
Tips to Store Soft Chocolate Chip Cookies
Cookies with a soft texture result from creaming room temperature butter with a mixture of brown and granulated sugars. The aeration of the butter during the creaming process yields pillowy soft cookies.
Using cornstarch and baking powder in the batter and a touch of cream cheese also adds to the cookie softness.
Smaller soft chocolate chip cookies have a shorter shelf life than larger cookies (like bakery-style chocolate chip cookies). Smaller dough portions lose moisture quickly, resulting in a dry cookie.
Therefore, it is essential to cool the cookies quickly on the cooling rack and then store them away from the dry air.
Soft chocolate chip cookies should be stored like chewy cookies - in an airtight plastic container with a secure lid.
However, even if you will be snacking on them, I recommend the extra protection of plastic wrap or a zip-top storage bag. Wrap cookies in plastic wrap and then store them in the plastic container.
Tips for baking and storing soft chocolate chip cookies:
- To chill or not to chill: Chill the dough for at least 2 to 3 hours (up to 2 days) before baking. Round the dough into balls before refrigeration for soft cookies.
- Baking time: Bake the cookies until the edges are golden brown.
- Cooling: Cool completely on a cooling rack. It works best for this cookie to have airflow on the underside for quick cooling.
- How to store: In an airtight plastic container, at room temperature.
- How long they will last: Up to 3 days, at room temperature.
- Freezing storage: Freeze soft cookies as soon as they are cooled entirely for up to 3 months.
Best Way to Store Crispy Chocolate Chip Cookies
Crispy chocolate chip cookies result from less brown sugar, more granulated sugar, and melted butter. The cookies are golden-brown. They hold less moisture and have nice crispy edges and a distinct crunch.
Homemade crispy cookies are temperamental. Even if you get the perfect crunch with the crispy edge, it is hard to keep them that way. Crispy cookies lose the crisp far too quickly.
The good news is that after trial and error, I’ve nailed down a couple of secrets to keep crispy cookies crispy. However, the crispiness has a quicker expiration date than chewy or soft cookies.
How do you store homemade cookies so they stay crispy? The best way the store crispy cookies is to cool and then freeze them. Freezing the cookies, even if you plan to eat them the next day, is the only way to keep a crisp cookie crisp.
How to Freeze Crispy Cookies
- Cool the cookie completely. Beyond room temperature, cool. There should be no hint of warmth left. The gooey chocolate chips should be solid again.
The cookies must be entirely cooled to avoid condensation. If condensed water forms inside the sealed container, your cookies will not stay crisp and crunchy!
- Flash freeze the cookies. Place the cookies in a single layer on a tray, cover with plastic wrap, and put them in the freezer for 30 minutes.
Freezing the cookies separately before freezing all the cookies together will prevent them from sticking together when they freeze. Then you can pull out only the portion you want to eat. Nothing sticks together.
- Freeze the frozen cookies together. Place all frozen cookies from the tray into a freezer container or freezer bag. Return them to the freezer and freeze them for up to 3 months.
To ensure that the cookies do not stick together, you can separate them with small sheets of parchment paper. Pull out the serving size you want whenever you want.
Freezing the cookies is the only sure-fire way to keep the cookies crisp.
How to Thaw Crispy Cookies
- Remove one or two cookies from the freezer.
- Place the cookies in an open plastic baggie on the counter for about 30 minutes to an hour, or until the cookie is room temperature.
- Enjoy the crispy cookie. For a special treat, dunk the cookie in a glass of cold milk.
Can you store crispy cookies without freezing them? Crispy cookies are temperamental. If you do not want to freeze them (although I highly recommend you do), you can store them at room temperature.
Their crispy lifespan is about 1 day. Or 2 if you are fortunate.
Crispy Cookie Counter Storage
- Cool the cookie completely.
- Store in an airtight glass container. Do not use plastic.
- DO NOT MIX COOKIE TEXTURES. Never, ever store crispy cookies with soft or chewy cookies. If you do, they will lose their crispness within the hour.
Tips for baking and storing crispy chocolate chip cookies:
- To chill or not to chill: Do NOT chill the dough before baking, as this allows the dough to stay pliable and spread during baking.
- Baking time: Bake the cookies a little longer until the edges are nice and brown.
- Cooling: Cool fully on a cooling rack. It works best for this cookie to have airflow on the underside for quick cooling.
- How to store: Freeze (best practice) or store in an airtight glass container on the counter.
- How long they will last: Up to two days at room temperature if you are lucky.
- Freezing storage: Freeze crispy cookies as soon as they are cooled for up to 3 months.
How to Store Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars
Chocolate chip cookie bars are a delicious twist on the classic cookie. If you are looking for a cross between a chocolate chip cookie and a brownie, cookie bars are for you!
The best way to bake cookie bars is to line a baking sheet with parchment paper. It allows you to lift the whole thing out of the pan once it has been baked.
- Cool the cookie bar completely.
- Cut it into bars.
- Store in a plastic or glass airtight container with parchment paper separating the layers.
- Cookie bars last 3 or 4 days. Freeze for more extended storage, up to 3 months.
Tips for baking and storing chocolate chip cookie bars:
- To chill or not to chill: Chilling the dough is a matter of preference, as the bar pan will hold the shape of the dough.
- Baking time: Bake until the top is golden brown, a tad undercooked to leave them nice and chewy.
- Cooling: Cool fully inside the pan before lifting the entire shape out and onto the counter. Then slice and serve.
- How to store: In a single layer in an airtight container, at room temperature.
- How long they will last: For 4 to 5 days, at room temperature.
- Freezing storage: When the sliced bars are room temperature, freeze them for up to 3 months in an airtight sealed container.
How to Store Raw Cookie Dough
Can you freeze raw cookie dough? Freezing cookie dough is a great idea. The dough is always ready when you want to bake cookies. Bake a few or bake a lot. You have the dough.
No need to thaw before you bake. Just lower the baking temperature 25° F (4° C) and bake for a few minutes longer.
- Use a cookie scoop to make balls of cookie dough.
- Place a single layer of cookie dough balls on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and place the prepared baking sheet in the freezer.
- Flash freeze for 30 minutes or until the dough freezes.
- Place all the frozen balls of cookie dough in a freezer container or freezer bag. Don’t forget to write the date on the outside of the container.
- Freeze up to 3 months.
How to Make Cookies Soft Again with Bread
Sometimes adding a piece of bread to the cookie container can soften cookies that have dried out. The cookie absorbs moisture from the bread. This has worked for me in the past, and it has also failed.
Here is what I have learned about softening cookies with bread.
- Use white bread. Wheat bread or any other strong-flavored bread will transfer flavor to the cookies. I have eaten wheat bread-flavored cookies before, and it is not very appealing.
- You may not need a whole slice of white bread. Half a slice is enough for a dozen cookies. Tear the bread into quarters. Place one quarter on the bottom of the container and the second quarter on top of the cookies. Secure the lid and store for a couple of hours to give the cookies time to soften.
If you use too much bread, the top of the cookies can get soggy. Nothing is worse than mushy cookies.
- Use a flour tortilla instead of bread. I prefer a tortilla to bread because the tortilla is thin, flat, and does not transfer flavor. Tear the tortilla into pieces. Lay a piece on the bottom of the cookies and a piece on top.
- Soft and stale – it happens. If the cookies are very stale, bread may help soften the cookies, but they will still taste stale. To prevent this, freeze cookies on day 2 after baking or earlier.
How do you keep cookies soft without bread? Keep cookies soft without bread by wrapping them in plastic wrap and storing them in an airtight plastic storage container.
Store them in a cool, dry place on the counter for up to three days. If you doubt you will eat the cookies within this timeframe, freeze them in a freezer container. Pull them out and thaw them when you need them.
How do you keep cookies from getting stale in a cookie jar?
Cookie jars come in many sizes, shapes, and airtightness.
If the cookie jar is decorative but not airtight, don’t plan on storing cookies in them. Store the cookies in an airtight container, following the instructions listed above. When the kids come home from school, put a few cookies inside the cookie jar.
This is an excellent method to limit cookie intake, so no one spoils their dinner.
If you really want to store the cookies in the cookie jar, here are a couple of suggestions:
- Seal the cookies in a plastic bag, and then keep that plastic bag in the cookie jar.
- Cover the top of the cookie jar with at least two layers of plastic wrap before putting the lid on the jar.
Can you store cookies in a mason jar?
A mason jar is more airtight than a cookie jar. This means you will have better luck storing cookies in the mason jar.
Wrapping the cookies in plastic or covering the opening are still good practices to prevent too much air from getting in.
Do cookie tins keep cookies fresh?
The quality of cookie tins is not consistent, so take this advice with caution. I have had success storing cookies in a cookie tin.
The cookie tin I used was very airtight. In fact, the lid was so secure, it was hard to open.
However, cookie tins will not keep chocolate chip cookies fresh any longer than other methods. Plan on at least two days of fresh cookies. Freeze leftovers after day two.
Absolutely! You just want to cover the cookie jar opening with plastic wrap if the jar doesn’t have a good seal.
Usually, store-bought cookies have preservatives of some kind. This gives them a longer shelf life.
Follow the same practice of storing soft or chewy cookies in an airtight container or plastic storage bag. Keep the cookies in the original package and place the box in the closed container.
For crispy store-bought cookies, close the package to prevent them from going stale. But do not bother with an airtight container, which may lead to cookie softening.
Though leaving cookies out overnight is not the best practice, it can be done. When you see them the following day, they will be slightly dry and crunchy.
However, the good news is that you can soften them and return the structure you want. Simply wrap the cookies in plastic wrap and place them in an airtight container for 2 to 4 hours. When you open them, they will be soft and chewy.
The best way to keep cookies fresh for a week is to freeze them and then thaw them when you are ready to use them.
For example, if you have a bake sale at the end of the week, freeze the cookies after they bake and cool. Then pull them out the night before. They will be in perfect condition for the sale.
A single cookie only needs about 30 minutes to thaw before it is ready to eat.
Storing cookies in the refrigerator is not a good idea. Fridges tend to suck the moisture out of baked goods, especially cookies. Choose counter or freezer storage over the refrigerator.
You may have seen suggestions to keep cookies soft with apple slices. This is the worst advice I have ever read about cookies. I wonder if the people who suggest it have actually tried it.
I tried it. The result? The top of the cookie was mushy. The bottom was stale. And worst of all, the cookie tasted like apple. Chocolate chip apple cookies are not my thing.
Hungry for More Cookies
Now that you know all about how to store chocolate chip cookies, you are ready to bake the perfect chocolate chip cookies and store them effortlessly.
Some are some favorite cookie recipes to try.
- Hershey chocolate chip cookie recipe (chop a Hershey bar and use it instead of chocolate chips)
- Brown butter chocolate chip cookies
- Classic snickerdoodle cookies or snickerdoodles without cream of tartar
- Pumpkin snickerdoodles