Bake Now, Eat All Month: How to Keep Cookies Fresh for Shipping and Sharing

There's a world of difference between a homemade cookie and one that's, um, "shelf-stable," but the lifespan of the former is longer than you'd think. Learn storing and packaging tricks to keep cookies fresh long after the oven has cooled.

Related: 17 Holiday Punch Recipes That Will Bowl Over Your Guests

Storing Cookies

Layer cookies between waxed or parchment paper. This keeps them from sticking together or losing crispness. Metal tins keep cookies firmer than plastic bins. Let cookies cool before storing.

Don't Combine Crisp and Soft Cookies

When storing cookies, do not combine crisp and soft cookies in the same container, as this will cause the crisp ones to soften a bit. You can restore the crisp texture of cookies that have softened by heating them in a 300-degree oven for about 10 minutes. Let the cookies cool completely before serving.

Related: Savor the Moments: Holiday Brunch Recipes to Enjoy With Your Family & Friends

Packaging Cookies

Many of the materials for making cookie gift packages are probably already in your home -- ribbon, paper bags, a cardboard oatmeal container. Keep in mind how much room your cookies will take up in whatever container you select -- and how much filler you will need to cushion them, depending on how you plan to deliver the gift.

Line Containers

Always line cardboard containers with parchment or waxed paper. And you should make sure that cookies have cooled completely before you package them; the steam given off by warm cookies will make them soggy.

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These make-ahead cookies are sliced and baked from frozen, meaning you're minutes from a fresh batch any time.