Most cookies will last at room temperature up to three days. However, keep cookies with cream cheese frosting (such as pumpkin bars) in the fridge for up to a week.
- Store each kind of cookie separately in a tightly covered container. If you mix soft and crisp cookies, such as chocolate chip and spice cookies, the chocolate chip cookies will dry out and the spice cookies will become soft. The chippers also might take on spicy flavors.
- Keep sturdy cookies, such as peanut butter cookies, in self-sealing plastic bags. Take more care with delicate cookies, such as spritz or gingerbread men. Place in covered containers, separating layers with waxed paper.
- Keep bar cookies in the baking pan; cover the pan with foil or plastic wrap.
- Freeze most cookies for up to three months, stored in freezer bags or containers -- unfrosted. Thaw in the container 15 minutes, then frost or sprinkle with sugar before serving.
- Store baked bar cookies in a block. Before baking, line inside of the pan with foil. First, mold foil to the outside of the pan so foil will easily slip inside the pan. After cookies have cooled, use the foil to lift out entire block. Wrap it in foil, seal, and freeze. Thaw cookies before cutting into bars.
Mix cookie dough (except bar cookie batters and meringues) and refrigerate up to one week or freeze up to six weeks. Pack dough in containers, or shape slice-and-bake dough into logs and wrap. Store in a tightly covered container. Thaw dough in the refrigerator before baking.