How Long Can You Store Cookies In The Freezer Before They Lose Their Quality?

Chocolate chip cookies on a rack
Chocolate chip cookies on a rack - Elena Veselova/Shutterstock

It happens every spring, forcing you to ask the age-old question: Do Girl Scout cookies taste better when refrigerated or chilled in the freezer? And how long can I store them in the freezer before they lose their quality? Not that they will probably last that long. But chances are if you are having this musing over Thin Mints and Samoas, then you are probably wondering about your favorite homemade peanut butter cookies too. The good news, per the USDA, is cookies, made from scratch or purchased at the store, can be stored in the freezer for between eight and twelve months, in a freezer-safe, airtight container before they start to lose their quality.

As with most foods, moisture and freezer burn are the two biggest enemies for cookies when you are trying to preserve them in your icebox. Ultimately, they lose their flavor and their texture, making them a pale comparison to their fresh version. If not stored properly, cookies also tend to absorb odors that might be lurking in your freezer. And let's face it, no one wants a chocolate chunk cookie that tastes like the fish you caught on your last trip to the lake.

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Some Cookies Freeze Better Than Others

Assortment of cookies
Assortment of cookies - New Africa/Shutterstock

That said, if you're storing bar cookies like cheesecake, raspberry, or key lime bars, their stay in the freezer should not last beyond two to three months. Moisture-rich baking products like these are at risk of their texture degrading much quicker. Additionally, sweet, delicate meringue cookies and frosted varieties might not hold up as well as others. However, you can always freeze cookies sans frosting and icing and wait to decorate when you are ready to eat them.

To freeze your cookies, make certain you do so individually so they don't stick together and end up breaking. This process just requires a little prep work and a baking sheet covered with parchment paper. First, make sure your cookies are fully cooled. Then create a single layer of cookies on the lined baking sheet -- no overlapping or touching. Place this in the freezer for an hour to flash-freeze and they will then be ready to be placed in your freezer-safe container and into the freezer for their hibernation. After flash-freezing, they won't stick together in a tub or bag.

When you are ready to enjoy your frozen cookies, allow a little time for them to thaw properly. Just 15 to 30 minutes will do the trick. And, while the microwave is a friend in many ways, thawing your cookies in this appliance is not the best idea. It can cause more damage to the texture than it can immediate gratification.

Read the original article on Tasting Table