The Christmas rush is just around the corner. The list of chores to accomplish before this magical day is longer for some than others, but still, most of us have a very busy December each year.
And like every A-type personality will tell you, anything is achievable if you have a good plan. For us, it’s not so much about organizing the perfect Christmas but about making preparation a little bit easier.
So, if you can get some tasks done earlier than three days before Christmas, why not take this opportunity?
Fortunately, when it comes to cookies, you have the comfort of baking them much earlier.
How Far In Advance Can You Make Christmas Cookies?
There is no single answer to this question, as it will heavily depend on what kind of cookies you’re planning on baking.
So, let’s focus on the most common cookies people like to enjoy during Christmas time and see how far in advance you can bake them.
Drop cookies are excellent for those who like to start their Christmas preparations early. And when we say early, we mean even in September.
These delicious cookies are freezer-friendly, which means you can safely freeze a few batches of drop cookies even three or four months in advance.
You can also freeze the dough of drop cookies for six months.
And, of course, drop cookies are very easy to prepare, so if you’re not an avid baker and you are looking for ways to make your holiday as simple and effortless as possible, drop cookies are the way to go.
Icebox cookies also have many devoted fans. If you’re one of them and wish to enjoy their fantastic flavor during Christmas time, but you don’t want to deal with the baking just before the holidays, there is a simple solution.
Like drop cookies, sliced and icebox cookies can be kept in the freezer for up to six months. You can also freeze the dough for the same amount of time.
Icebox cookie dough can be refrigerated as well for a maximum of three days before you need to form and bake the cookies.
Gingerbread or sugar cookies are the true staple Christmas cookies.
Some can’t even imagine celebrating the holidays without these sweet treats. But how far in advance can you bake Christmas cookies?
The answer is, even in July.
Cutout cookies can last six months in the freezer as long as they are properly stored (about that later). The same rule applies to the dough.
If you want to bake them just before Christmas, the dough can be refrigerated for about two to three days before going bad.
Shortbread and spritz cookies are longer-lasting cookies, which means they are perfect for holidays when there is some competition on the table. After all, Christmas in many homes is celebrated with a variety of dishes and sweet treats.
If you want to bake cookies that will stand the test of time, this is one of your best options.
You can keep baked shortbread and spritz cookies in the freezer for six months, while the dough can be kept in the freezer for about three months and refrigerated for two to three days.
If you’re thinking about preparing bar cookies for the holiday celebration, you will need to find some time to make them in one session. You can’t freeze the dough, so the only solution is to bake them immediately after you’re done mixing it.
That being said, you can freeze baked cookies. They will last frozen for up to six months. If you plan to prepare the cookies just before Christmas, they will last in the fridge for three days.
Another option for fans of homemade goods with a long shelf life are twice-baked cookies, such as the biscotti. Because they go through the process of baking twice, they are likely to last up to two weeks.
Similar to bar cookies, you can’t freeze the dough, but this time up to six months. Usually, the process of freezing cookies takes away from their crispness, but you can make them crunchy again by putting them in the oven for a few minutes.
If you’re a dedicated fan of frosted cookies, you should be prepared to spend some time making them. In this case, you can’t really freeze frosted cookies, as their decorations are not freezer-friendly and won’t hold up.
But you can refrigerate the cookies for two to three days.
If that is your pick for this year’s Christmas, make some room in your holiday schedule to bake and decorate cookies a few days before Christmas.
How Long Do Christmas Cookies Last?
How long do Christmas cookies stay fresh?
In most cases, when properly stored at room temperature or refrigerated, Christmas cookies can be good for three to seven days. In the case of twice-baked cookies, they will be fresh for even two weeks.
How Should You Store Christmas Cookies?
Like we noted earlier, the key to keeping your baked goods fresh for longer lies in how you store them.
Here are a few golden rules worth knowing that will help keep your Christmas cookies stay fresh longer.
Storing at Room Temperature
- Always put cookies in airtight containers. You want to prevent moisture from escaping, so forget about the simple cookie tins. You also won’t have that much luck with leaving cookies on the baking pan and covering them with baking parchment or cloth. Only sealed containers will provide cookies with efficient protection, preventing them from getting dry quickly.
- Wait until the cookies are completely cool before putting them in the container. You don’t want to trap too much moisture in, as this will make the cookies soggy.
- Avoid placing cookies with frosting or decorations on top of each other. This will prevent any damage to the decorations, and you will avoid making a big mess.
- You can put a slice of bread with cookies to help retain the moisture.
- Store different kinds of cookies in different containers. You don’t want any flavors to mix.
- If you’re thinking about sending some of your cookies to friends or family, it’s good to stick to twice-baked cookies or shortbread cookies, as they have the most extended shelf life and will be safe to send via mail.
- Fresh cookies that are not intended for freezing should be kept in the refrigerator unless the recipe says differently (the rules for storing are the same as for storing at room temperature).
- Always freeze Christmas cookies in airtight containers. Don’t forget to write down the date of freezing the cookies on the container. Most types of cookies can be stored in the freezer for no longer than six months.
- If you’re storing dough, you should follow the same rules.
- Avoid stacking cookies on top of each other. This will prevent cookies from sticking together and making a big mess. You don’t want all your hard work to go to waste.
- When defrosting cookies, leave them on the counter for up to four hours. If they are too soggy to eat after this time, you can put them in the oven at a low temperature for 5 minutes. This should bring the cookies back to their original quality!
Christmas is a truly magical time, and it’s even better if you can enjoy it with the company of some first-class home-baked cookies.
Properly stored, Christmas cookies can last up to three days refrigerated and even six months in the freezer. Most of the time, you can freeze the dough as well, which means you have a lot of flexibility with scheduling the baking of your Christmas cookies.
Staying safe is a number one priority, though, so if you notice any signs of spoilage on your cookies, you should throw them away.
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