Sep 30

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How to Store or Preserve Decorated Cookies as Keepsakes – Top 7 Tips

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For almost every batch of cookies I make, I save and dry out a few to keep as demonstration pieces for the occasions I teach decorating. You may want to hold on to a few cookies you’ve made as mementos, or you may have received some you’d like to retain to remember a special event by. Either way, there are a few things you can do to help ensure the cookies are properly stored. Trial and error over the years have helped me figure out what works best, so I hope you find my top 7 suggestions helpful.

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Top 7 Tips for Storing Decorated Cookies as Mementos

An important point to note before I begin, these tips are for cookies you do NOT intend to ever eat.

1. Dry the cookie or cookies out

Keep your cookies out at room temperature, in a room with a dehumidifier on, for at least one week. Alternately, place your air-dried cookies in a dehydrator at 95 degrees Fahrenheit for an hour to five hours. It will depend on the size of your cookies, the thickness of your icing etc., so a little experimenting with this may be necessary. If they get extremely dried out, the royal icing can separate from the cookie and slide right off, so no need to keep the cookie in the dehydrator too long. A good rule of thumb is to dry the cookie out until it becomes hard.

2. Store your cookies in an air-tight container

Keep the cookies stored in a box, or preferably, an air tight container such as Tupperware, layered between pieces of parchment paper. Layering with bubble wrap is an option as well, especially if you’re travelling with the cookies. Just make sure the bubble wrap does not touch the cookies. Parchment paper should always be the surface the cookies touch.

3. Place a small packet of dessicant into the box the cookies are being stored in

Place a dessicant pack in the box they’re being stored in. I use dessicant packs from new shoe boxes as the cookies will never be eaten.

4. Store your packed cookies in a cool, dry place

Store your packed cookies in a cool, dry place. Preferably a place where they won’t be moved often.

5. Spray with shellac or hairspray

An optional idea – Lightly spray your cookies with clear lacquer or shellac you can find at Michael’s Craft Store or with hairspray. I should note that I do not do this as I find simply drying them out (Points 1 – 4) works fine for me. If you live in a warm climate and are planning to display cookies for any reason though (such as cookies used as Christmas ornaments), make sure you follow this step. “Untreated” cookies will attract ants or other little critters.

6. Vacuum seal and freeze

Another option; vacuum seal your cookies and freeze them. This is another method I don’t use, as I find cookies kept in a freezer can be affected by the moisture and bleed etc. This is perhaps a good option if you’d like to keep your cookie to eat in the future. You can find more info. on freezing cookies in this post here.

7. Label your cookies as inedible

This one may not be a practical tip in terms of how to store your cookies, but certainly makes a difference if you have curious people in your household or business who may decide to take a bite of a very old and perhaps toxic cookie (if you’ve used hairspray etc.).

With all these guidelines, I cannot guarantee humidity won’t seep in, causing the icing colors to bleed, especially if you’ve used a lot of food gel coloring in your darker colors such as red or black, but these tips should help! (See this post on avoiding bleeding and this one on avoiding spots on icing). Here are a few examples of cookies I made a few years ago which I keep as display boxes when I teach cookie decorating (I need to dust the display boxes – just noticed that!), and they’re still fine.

You can see the original post for the Paris cookies (January 2012), here, and for the nutcracker (November 2010), here. (Sorry about the phone pic quality!).

These are just a few of my favorite tips which would have helped alleviate some frustration had I known them when I first began storing cookies.  If  you have any tips which you’d like to share you’re welcome to leave a comment below.

Happy cookie decorating!

xo,

Marian

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22 Comments

  1. October 1, 2014 at 12:39 am | Permalink
    1

    So helpful! Thanks for sharing ^^

  2. October 1, 2014 at 7:13 am | Permalink
    2

    I’ve had customers that have saved a cookie from their order and framed them. These are great tips for preserving keepsake cookies!

    • marian
      October 1, 2014 at 8:34 pm | Permalink
      10

      I’m not surprised, Paula, your cookies are beautiful. What a great idea btw… framing the cookies!

  3. Maria Helena
    October 1, 2014 at 7:20 am | Permalink
    3

    Great post, I am very curious about the dehydrator cause I live in a very humity country…:)

    • marian
      October 1, 2014 at 8:35 pm | Permalink
      11

      A dehumidifier is excellent too. Do you have one Maria?

  4. October 1, 2014 at 8:14 am | Permalink
    4

    Ohh I love these tips girls! This is really helpful for all the cookie decorators out there! 🙂

    Thanks so much for sharing your favorite ways to store cookies – you’re a genius. <3

    Much love and happy Wednesday to my girl abroad!
    xoxo, niner

  5. Maria Theresia
    October 1, 2014 at 9:17 am | Permalink
    5

    Great post! Very helpful! Thank you for all the tips. Have a nice day!
    ML

  6. October 1, 2014 at 9:28 am | Permalink
    6

    Thanks Marion, I appreciate the time you put in to make us all look good!

  7. Marguerite
    October 1, 2014 at 10:12 am | Permalink
    7

    I usually never have left-over cookies or think to set a few aside for keepsake, but it’s good to have this info in case I do in the future. Thanks, Marian!

  8. October 1, 2014 at 10:35 am | Permalink
    8

    Marian, these are great tips! thanks for sharing!

  9. Jane Campbell
    October 1, 2014 at 6:50 pm | Permalink
    9

    I am needing to know how to store cookies which you do plan on eating? When I have large cookie orders, say 200 cookies, due Saturday, 2 weeks from now, when do you recommend I begin baking and decorating them. I know this is dependent on how fast I decorate, the details, etc. but in general. I started baking them the weekend before. I stored them flat in an airtight container in the refrigerator until I was ready to ice them. I would love to know your process for holding cookies such as in this instance. I read your blog daily and I have learned a great deal from you. Thank you very much for sharing your knowledge. This is the first time I have ever written to any blog.

    Jane Campbell

  10. marian
    October 1, 2014 at 8:36 pm | Permalink
    12

    Thanks so much for the comments everyone!

  11. January 22, 2015 at 5:21 pm | Permalink
    14

    Would this process work for non-decorated cookies? I sell cookies at farmers markets in the summer and they melt in the sun. I was thinking about making some just for display and keeping the real products out of the sun. My cookies have a lot of chocolate in them.

    • marian
      February 10, 2015 at 1:47 pm | Permalink
      15

      Hi Sara,
      That sounds like a good idea… keeping a few out as display (Maybe somehow also in the shade and sheltered).

  12. July 17, 2015 at 8:56 am | Permalink
    16

    I did everything you suggested to prepare the cookies.At the suggestion from Michael’s,I sprayed the items with clear Acrylic Matte Coating. That was 2 months ago. They are still tacky. Could you please give me any suggestions to salvage my my project. I’m not to handy with the computer and would be happy to use a land line to discuss my problem.(423-753-5892) THANKS!

    • July 18, 2015 at 6:47 am | Permalink
      17

      I’m having a problem getting the clear acrylic matte coating to dry I applied to some Xmas sugar cookies.(3 months) I basically followed your recommend procedure and those from Michael’s. Any help to salvage the project would be helpful……Thanks!

    • marian
      July 20, 2015 at 8:23 pm | Permalink
      18

      Hi Gordon,
      Hmm, is it humid where you are? Try putting a dehumidifier on in a room, shut the door and windows, and keep the cookies in there for until they dry. Hope that helps!

  13. Shannon
    January 10, 2016 at 2:00 am | Permalink
    19

    If I choose to spray my cookies with clear lacquer or shellac do I still have to dry them out as suggested in step one ?

  14. Bren
    October 23, 2016 at 8:46 pm | Permalink
    20

    lol uneaten cookies…. !!!

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    […] – a cookie delightfully sweet to eat, or whimsically festive as a nutcracker ornament. Follow these tips on preserving your cookies if you’d like to keep them for future Christmases and especially […]

  2. […] – a cookie delightfully sweet to eat, or whimsically festive as a nutcracker ornament. Follow these tips on preserving your cookies if you’d like to keep them for future Christmases and especially […]

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