How to keep cookies fresh

Cookie Osmosis

After all that perfect chocolate chip cookie baking, what's the use when your batch goes stale in a matter of days? Cookies are great out of the oven, but biting into a hard crumbly mass later in the week is no fun. That's why you need to understand the science of cookie osmosis, or How to Keep Cookies Fresh.

The trick is simple: place a slice of fresh bread in with your cookies a day or two after you've baked them, or whenever you find their texture has deteriorated. The moisture from the fresh bread will migrate to your cookies (through cookie osmosis, see diagram above), rendering them soft and chewable again. It will literally unstaleify them!

Special thanks to my mother-in-law Dee, who passed on this technique to her son, who introduced it to me.

6 thoughts on “How to keep cookies fresh

  1. The best way to keep cookies fresh is to make them so good they don’t last more than 36 hours.

  2. This is a good way of converting overdone cookies into chewy goodness. I reccomend wrapping the cookies in paper towel which diffuses the water a bit more and prevents the near-the-bread cookies from becoming mush. If you don’t want to waste bread you can just use a little damp paper and put the middleman to work.
    P.S. I made the mean cookies and found them to be too spready and too salty. I reduced the salt by half and switched to bread flour, and found the recipe produced near perfect cookies by my standards (puffed, set, crispy on the edges and chewy/underdone in the middle).

  3. Ed, valid point. But I’m kind of screwed up from childhood when it comes to eating cookies. My parents only ever let us eat two cookies, somehow two being just the right amount. And that’s stuck. So even when I have a huge batch of fresh cookies, I have a hard time allowing myself to eat more than two! And even if my husband eats five, that still gives us stale cookies after a while. A batch in our house can easily last a week.

  4. In place of a slice of bread, I’ve frequently used a slice of apple. I recall something about apples giving off some sort of gas that softens, ripens, whatever. But be warned, a little apple goes a long way.

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