How long do decorated cookies stay fresh? What is the shelf life of decorated cookies?

Posted on February 20th, 2012 in Decorated Cookies, Tutorials

So how long do decorated cookies stay fresh?

I get this question quite often so thought I'd share some info. with you in a short post. By no means am I an expert; it's just what I've found works for me through trial and error, but I hope you find this helpful.

Before I begin, a few details to go over:

  • I'll be talking about the recipes I use (you can find them here). All recipes are different. Although the answers here will help you in general, it's best to do some testing if you're using other recipes, to find out how long yours will last.
  • No preservatives are in the recipes I use – everything is from scratch.
  • In terms of planning your cookie decorating, besides figuring out how far ahead you can begin making them, these Cookie Decorating Schedules may be helpful for you.

 

How far ahead can I make my decorated cookies?

Although I've tested them for longer and the batches I've tried seem fine for up to 4 weeks, my general rule of thumb is up to 2 weeks. I know they're fine to eat at 4 weeks, but I feel better about giving the cookies away when the recipients don't need to eat them right away.

It's important to wrap them in some sort of an airtight bag or container once they're dry. I like to put cookies individually in cellophane bags and tie with a pretty ribbon.

Shrink wrapping isn't necessary, but I'd love to hear from you if this is the method you use. Do your cookies generally stay fresh longer?

 A few other 'shelf-life' tidbits of information for you:

  • Gingerbread cookies typically have a long shelf life. (4-6 weeks).
  • I've also noticed that gourmet stores with custom decorated cookies (from scratch/no preservatives), have a shelf life of about one month.
  • If you're interested in freezing decorated or undecorated cookies, you can find information in this post and the comment section here.

Once Upon a Cookie – Cinderella

This Cinderella decorated cookie is the second in a series of princess cookies (Click here to find the first one), copied from this piece of art. {Thank you, suisei-ojii-sama!}. I tried to stay true to suisei-ojii-sama's design, and really fought back the urge cover her dress in disco dust, but I couldn't resist adding the tips of her little shoes, and of course, covering with disco dust.

Other Sweet Tidbits

A few sweet morsels of information I'd like to share with you:

  • The Cinderella cookie shape was made by hand cutting the dough with a paring knife. Easy enough to do if you're only doing a few cookies, but a heads-up in case you don't already know, time-consuming if you're doing a lot of them. There's got to be cutters out there you could use though (drop me a line please if you see one), or even just pipe her on a rectangular cookie.
  • I used a Kopykake projector to help me pipe Cinderella's shape.
  • Click here for the royal icing recipe I used.

Thank you for reading me here, I appreciate each and every comment, and love to hear from you!

If you'd like, leave me a comment below, on Facebook, twitter, youtube or instagram, and share your findings about the shelf life of cookies as well – I love to hear what you've learned in your cookie decorating journey.

Have fun baking!

xo,

Marian

p.s. If you'd like to never miss a post, and/or receive more tips on cookie decorating, click on this button below to sign up:

 

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