Aug 19, 2013

How To Keep Cookies Crisp

To keep crisp cookies crisp all you need is a stapler, a coffee filter, some baking soda, and an air-tight container. I can explain. The baking soda absorbs moisture and the coffee filter is made of a porous material full of tiny holes that lets the air  circulate easily and allows the baking soda to absorb any moisture.

How to Keep Cookies CrispPut about 1/3 cup of fresh baking soda into a coffee filter and staple it closed with two staples, allowing the open edge to get as much air as possible. Stapling the baking soda inside the filter keeps it from spilling onto the cookies. A couple of staples is all you need. Also, make sure the freshly baked cookies are completely cooled before storing.

How to Store Crispy CookiesPlace the stapled coffee filter in an air-tight container (in any position, upright or laying down) with your cookies and you will find them just as crispy the next day. Here are some other tips for keeping cookies crisp:

  • Cool cookies completely before storing.
  • Do not store soft cookies together with crispy cookies.
  • Glass containers are good for storing crispy cookies.
  • Do not store in plastic bags but use a covered container.
  • Refrigerating cookies will help keep them crisp.
  • If you freeze cookies they will be crispy if you eat them frozen.
  • Cookies that have softened will be never become crispy when stored no matter what tricks you use.
  • Cookies can be re-crisped in a 300 degree F oven for 5-10 minutes.

57 Comments on "How To Keep Cookies Crisp"

  1. Gloria

    We have been making crisp crackers and having the same soggy problems as everyone else who’s commented. Our solutions are 2:
    1. We put the crisp bread in the toaster on ‘reheat’ before eating; this crisps it up without cooking it.
    2. After cooling, I put the entire batch in our dehydrator for 2-3 hours at 125 and, even though there is barely any moisture in the recipe itself, this method really crisps them up! Our crisp breads are made entirely from seeds and grains, no flour, egg, etc. so I cannot say that this would work for anything but crackers style food.

  2. Lisa

    I made thumbprint cookies filled with fig jam for the first time. They turned out great with a hard crumbly texture. The next day they had turned soft, though. Will the baking soda method prevent this from happening? I assumed the moisture from the jam absorbed into the cookie which softened the cookies. I also wondered if there was something to do to the jam to get moisture out. Thank you.

    • Karen

      To keep your cookies crisp…don’t put jelly on them until the last minute. Thumb Print cookies store great in a tin if not “jellied”.

  3. Socorro

    What if the baking soda spills on the cookie, will it affect the cookie or can I seal completely the baking soda in the filter. Thanks for ur advice

  4. Renee

    Very confusing blog

    • Lois

      Hi Renee, I find that the longer I let them cool the crisper they get.

    • Lois

      Hi Renee, I find that the longer I let them cool the crispier they get. I was also thinking of placing some rice in my cookie jar.

  5. Mary in North Florida

    I will immediately use this idea! In a high humidity environment getting to crisp can be tricky. You all have enumerated the lengths I will go to. Even all that doesn’t guarantee crisp. That’s about when my husband saunters by and says “mmmm soft ginger snaps” and he means it. Julia Child said that very rarely will a kitchen mistake render food inedible. It’s a cookie, not a Faberge egg… enjoy your baking, don’t overstress. Merry Christmas

  6. Flau

    I want to make some cookies extra cirpsy. Can I use salt in a coffe filter instead of baking soda?
    I tried putting store bought cookies in a pile of salt & it got like cake-gingerbreakd cookie texture, that also happeend when I heated it for 3 min 300F

  7. Sybil Dinter

    Hi Jenny, I love all your recipes and tips. You are a joy. I cannot find tins to store the cookies. I know this is the best storage for dry goods. Maybe you can give me a link of where I can buy them. The only seem available over the Christmas holidays. Thank youy

  8. Teri

    This is Terry again. I just left my comment but what I meant to say was airtight container or a tin container.

  9. Teri

    To keep cookies crisp. I use baking soda not baking powder. I put the cookies in a brown paper bag and just make sure it’s closed. In a plastic airtight container or attend I put on the bottom parchment paper then I put a Scott towel on top of the parchment paper and then I put my brown paper bag with the cookies in it on top of this Got Talent. They will stay crisp! I hope this helps someone.

    • Judy

      Hi Teri, just wanted to make sure I understand your process. 1. Cool cookies completely. 2. Place cooled cookies in a brown paper bag and seal. 3. Line bottom of tin or plastic or glass container with parchment paper. 4. Place a paper towel over the parchment. 5. Place bag of cookies in container and seal. Is that the correct procedure. Thanks!!

  10. Kathy K from BC

    I realize this doesn’t address the concerns of baking your Christmas cookies ahead and keeping them crisp. For what it is worth this is just another tip I have found and a convenient way to always have crispy cookies on hand. Roll the cookie dough into balls and freeze on a cookie sheet. Then put frozen cookies in Tupperware container and keep frozen. Only bake them just before serving which only takes about 10-12 minutes and your guests will have the benefit of smelling fresh baked cookies straight from the oven. Not to mention the convenience of not having to rush around to make cookies from scratch. About 5 minutes into baking I press the dough down a little to flatten the cookies. In about the same time it takes to prepare coffee/tea your cookies are ready. Also for my sister who isn’t really a baker I simply give her a container of frozen cookie dough balls with baking instructions and she can then bake them whenever she has company coming over or just a few for herself.
    Hope this helps : )

  11. v

    Jenny, I’m confused about your advice on keeping cookies fresh. I get the baking soda/coffee filter in a closed container trick, but you said you never store cookies at room temperature. What do you do with the container if not leave it on the counter at room temp? Thanks.

  12. Anne Marie

    I’ve made Pizzelles cookies for years, but this year they came out soft and thick as opposed to thin and crispy. My mother started adding baking powder. Could that be the problem or something else?

    • Ann-Margaret

      When I made Nestle Toll House chocolate chip cookies growing up, the recipe called for baking powder. The cookies were always softer. Now the recipe calls for baking soda. I’ve noticed the cookies are much crispier. I started substituting baking powder for the baking soda. The cookies are once again soft. I use 4X more baking powder than baking soda.

      • SJP

        Always remember this handy tip baking Powder Puffs Baking Soda Spreads. Baking soda is mostly double acting to give you the fluffiness while baking sodas a one and done deal and, also baking powder usually has a softener in it like alum or cornstartch which helps break the proteins down and give you a softer cookie. So for your pizelles i suggest either swapping out some of the baking powder for soda and either alum or cornstartch to make up for the missing bit, and turn your iron on to a little hotter than normal to ensure they get crispy. Or just make them the day before…

      • Suzanne from Pittsburgh

        If you want crisp cookies make them with Cristina! You can use butter flavored. Just don’t tell anyone and they will love them! Lol

        • marketmillie

          What is christina? to make cookies crisp. is that a typo?

          • Jenny Can Cook

            I think it supposed to read Crisco (shortening).

    • David

      There should Be NO baking powder or soda in pizzelles. The only leavener you need are the egg whites from the eggs you add.

  13. Sally

    I have a cut out recipe that is super crunchy but as soon as i frost them the get soft. I use the typical powdered sugar glaze but have tried pre made cookie frostings. Would the baking soda trck work with frosted cookies or is there a better frosting option?
    Thank you

    • Alley B

      Royal icing usually won’t make cookies softer if the cookies are completely cooled before frosting and the frosting is completely harden before storing. But in truth I have never been able to keep any cookies crisp for more than a day or two – but the baking soda does seem to keep them very crispy for those couple of days.

      • Susie

        Any cultured butter cookies I make and leave absent of icing stay nice and crispy. If I ice with royal or other icing they ALWAYS become soft. I hate that!

  14. Susan

    I would like to start selling my family’s homemade Biscotti at the local Farmers Markets. I’d like to package from 2-5 together, but have yet to find a way to keep them risp, but not dry. Please let me know your thoughts!
    P.S. My recipe for Biscotti are not the typical very hard outside texture. Mine are crisp, yet very light inside. So difficutlt to keep that texture for packaging.

    Thank You!

    • Robby bobby

      Make small packages or bags out of parchment paper (not wax paper).
      Also make sure that there is not a lot of extra air space in your packages. Sandwich bags and zipper slide block type bags Etc aren’t really that great.

  15. Teri

    How do I keep my soft cookies that way.?

    • Marian

      To keep cookies soft place them in an air tight container with a slice of basic white bread. The cookies will stay soft and the bread will be hard.

      • Flau

        I want to make some cookies extra cirpsy. Can I use salt in a coffe filter instead of baking soda?
        I tried putting store bought cookies in a pile of salt & it got like cake-gingerbreakd cookie texture, that also happeend when I heated it for 3 min 300F

  16. Jo Ann

    I made a batch of cookies yesterday, for Christmas. Cooled them overnight and this morning they were soft! the lace cookies are a disaster! How can I re-crisp them? I’m trying your suggestion with the baking soda and then I covered them and put them in the frig. I simply don’t know how I can restore the others? Please help!

  17. Gi M.

    This is amazing; I wish I knew this method existed years ago. Fantastic!

  18. Maureen

    Jenny, HELP! If I heat them in the oven to get them crisp again will your method work? I ask because I read you said if they were already soft it would not. So if I “re-crisp” them will it work then? I am having a terrible time keeping them crisp. It is a “crisp” cookie recipe but it seems as they cool the soften!!! 🙁

    • Jenny

      I guess you will have to try. One way to keep cookies crisp may be to freeze them. By the way, what is this recipe? Maybe there’s something in the way you are making them that’s fighting you.

  19. meg

    You suggest using baking soda. I have bicarbonate of soda and baking powder (apparently a mix of bicarbonate of soda and cream of tartar). What is baking soda.? I do not know if either of these would absorb moisture.

    I will , however, try freezing my surplus sesame biscuits, which need to stay crisp.

  20. Barbara C - Plantation, FL

    Thank you for the cookie storage idea. I am trying it today and will let you know later how it worked. Appreciate the post.

  21. Lin

    I am making sugar cookies and it is humid. I can run air conditioning to bake, but I need to decorate them. I am making 180 decorated cookies, so. I can not recrisp them or wait till last minute. How do I use the baking soda with Royal icing decorated cookies and keep them crisp after I no longer use air conditioning. I usually make cookies in Dec. and storing is not a problem. It’s June and humid.

    • Jenny

      I’m sorry this is out of the range of my knowledge. You might be able to find some help with an internet search.

    • Renee

      Lin, I have the same question with Royal iced cookies. Were you able to find out how to keep this type of Cookie Crisp?

  22. Jasmine

    Hi, need some advice! Will be baking some crisp choc chip cookies later today, was wondering if they could last 6 days till New Year’s Day for some guests? What’s the best way of storing them for that length of time? At room temperature in an airtight container with the baking soda? Or freeze and rebake? Or keep half the portion of dough in the refrigerator (I need some cookies for the 27th as well) and only bake it the day before New Year’s? Would the dough even last that long in the refrigerator? (I come from a place with a relatively humid climate)

    • Jenny

      With my crisp cookies, I often bake and cool them and then freeze right away. They will be fresher as opposed to storing them refrigerated and you can usually eat them right out of the freezer. (I never store cookies at room temperature)

  23. ellie

    I usually put cookies in a sealed tupperware container and put pieces of fresh bread in with them..but they stay Soft, but i want them real crisp like the chocolate chip cookies my Mom used to make…that just break and crunch.I will try the baking soda.

  24. Judy

    I just made a batch of very crisp cookies called “Crisp Chocolate Espresso Ribbon Cookies” for a party I’m giving in December.. I’m making them now, and freezing them, and will thaw them the day before the party

    MY QUESTION: How do I thaw them and have them stay crisp? They are in air-tight containers lined with foil, wax paper between layers, and then the entire container is wrapped in “Heavy Duty Foil”…..

    I left a couple of cookies on a plate in the china cupboard for my husband to sample (since they are a newly discovered recipe), and they were not crisp any more. Quite soft. Very disappointing to say the least !!

    I don’t know if you answer me via my email, or here, so I’ll check both places.
    Thank you Jenny!

    • Jenny

      Based on your description, I would be more concerned about the cookies being fresh, not crisp. That is a long time to freeze cookies, especially if they have air around them. I’m not an expert, just a home cook like you, but when I freeze cookies (or anything) I always do it in air-tight freezer bags with all the air removed. Then I put them in a second freezer bag but I’m concerned that there is air in your container, even if it’s wrapped in foil, etc. I did some research and cookies tend to lose crispness when frozen so they say it’s best to thaw them at room temperature but out of the packaging. If you thaw them still wrapped, they will retain moisture. I would anticipate them losing crispness but you can easily re-crisp them in a low oven (300°F) for 8 to 10 minutes. Once they are crisp, they should never be wrapped in plastic. I hope this is helpful and good luck!

      • Judy

        Jenny – thank you so much! I usually start my Christmas cookie baking in August, and freeze them – I’ve done this for years and years, and not had any that didn’t taste fresh once they’ve thawed. But these crisp cookies are a new recipe, so I really appreciate your tips. Since they’re already in the freezer in containers and wrapped in foil, I’ll leave them that way – and then I’ll thaw them a couple of days before the party and if they need re-crisping, I’ll do it as you suggest. I’m going to freeze other cookies the way you suggest.

  25. Jo Ann

    With just two staples, wouldn’t the baking soda leak out and spill onto the cookies?

    • Jenny

      Mine does not leak out but if you’re concerned, just make sure it’s upright. You can still squash it down with the opening at the top.

  26. angela

    I don’t get it, where do you put the cookies? in the coffee filter with the baking soda or just in the airtight container? what do I do if I do not have a coffee filter?

    • Jenny

      You put the cookies in an air-tight container and just drop the coffee filter (with the baking soda inside it) drop it in there next to the cookies. If you don’t have a coffee filter, you could use a tea ball filled with baking soda and leave it inside the container with the cookies. The idea is that the baking soda needs exposure to air and using a coffee filter avoids a big mess in the container. I’ve never tried it but maybe you could put the baking soda in the bottom of the container, place a paper towel on top of the baking soda, and then lay the cookies on the paper towel. Whatever it takes to keep the baking soda from landing on the cookies. I hope that helps.

      • Jo Ann

        I actually tried your idea with the paper towel and then laid the lace cookies on top of that, layering it. Don’t know when to check it and hopefully they will be crispy for Xmas!!! Thank you for your suggestions!
        Jo Ann

  27. Josh

    What a great and useful tip! I always knew you could make cookies soft with bread, but I really didn’t know there was a way to keep certain cookies crisp!
    Thank you for this, and I will give it a try!

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