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Cookies that will keep room temp for a month?


quiet1
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For a gift I want to do cookies, but for various reasons they need to be able to hang around for a month or more without getting gross or unsafe to eat. All the recipes I'm finding are saying max 2-3 weeks.

 

This is just a home baking project so I don't have any unusual ingredients or test equipment handy, though I suppose I could buy something as long as it isn't too expensive.

 

My first thought was something quite simple like a shortbread or maybe a gingerbread/spice cookie?

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Springerle! They'll actually get better. And if you're not a fan of anise, they're good with citrus zest replacing it. The only warning I might give would be that the molds for making the fancy-looking ones can become addictive.

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It's kinda like wrestling a gorilla... you don't stop when you're tired, you stop when the gorilla is tired.

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gingerbread will definitely work, so will biscotti (even though biscotti aren't usually a festive holiday cookie); you could also do lebkuchen.  And Moravian spice thins.

Edited by JeanneCake
because I can't spell lebkuchen! (log)
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3 hours ago, Tri2Cook said:

Springerle! They'll actually get better. And if you're not a fan of anise, they're good with citrus zest replacing it. The only warning I might give would be that the molds for making the fancy-looking ones can become addictive.

 

I see what you mean. Do I absolutely need a mold or will they look nice enough if I wing it? (I'm thinking maybe lightly press a cookie cutter on to make a design or something along those lines.) Will it stick horribly to the bottom of a glass that has a nice pattern?

 

Also, favorite recipe or recipe source? :)

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Absolutely do not need a mold. They can be any shape you want. I don't actually have a lot of molds, they tend to be a bit pricey, but there was a time when I wanted a lot of molds. I got over it. They're just popular for molding because they hold the design. They don't puff or spread. Some recipes are actually hard as a rock when they're freshly baked and cooled. I don't think there's anything particularly special about the recipes I use, I think they're pretty standard, but I'll figure out which box they're in and get them to you. Probably won't be until the weekend though. I've been doing some major house reorganizing recently so nothing is easy access right now. In the meantime, maybe someone who knows more about them than I do will jump in. I don't consider myself an expert, I just like using the molds.

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It's kinda like wrestling a gorilla... you don't stop when you're tired, you stop when the gorilla is tired.

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Definitely agree about springerle if you have the molds. So beautiful. Also vote for shortbread and gingerbread/spice cookies. Spritz cookies and Mexican wedding cookies are a variation on the shortbread theme.

 

Also recommend biscotti and quaresimali. My favorite biscotti recipe, which my friends gobble up like teenagers, from Zuni Cafe cookbook:

https://shadowcook.com/2008/10/18/judy-rodgers-cornmeal-biscotti/

 

The blogger initially had difficulty with this recipe. I haven't. My advice is to follow the recipe carefully. Judy Rodgers put a great deal of care in writing her recipes. She means what she says.

 

- I make these biscotti with unsalted butter because I prefer the taste, and I add 1/8 tsp salt to compensate.

- I've subbed Pernod for anisette with success.

- I combine the butter mixture with the flour mixture by hand to prevent overbeating.

- It's important to keep the logs 1" in diameter per the instructions for best results. These are small biscotti.

- Slice the logs when they are still very warm but not hot to the touch.

 

I've eaten these biscotti with sultana raisins at the Zuni restaurant, and they are darn good that way, too.

 

ETA: I gave out the link to the Zuni Cafe biscotti recipe because it reproduces what is in the cookbook. However, I think the blogger's notes can throw you off. My warning.

 

Below, a recipe for shortbread cookies that I've made since I was 11 years old. The recipe came from an aunt who loved to bake. (I still have her original typewritten copy.) These cookies keep extremely well if they're not eaten up ASAP.

 

SHORTBREAD

1 cup lightly salted butter

5/8 cup sugar (1/2 cup plus 2 TB)

2 1/2 cup all-purpose flour

 

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. 

Place all ingredients in a large bowl and knead with your hands until the mixture is well-blended into a soft dough. 

If necessary, chill the dough briefly. Then roll out into 1/2-inch thickness, and cut into bars or other shapes.

Prick the cookies with a fork. 

Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until the cookies are slightly browned on top and golden at the edges. Do not overbake, or the cookies will toughen. Allow the cookies to cool thoroughly before serving. 

Note: Use a good-quality salted butter, such as Challenge.

Edited by djyee100 (log)
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If you need to keep the cookies at room temp, this won't help but you can freeze most cookies with no problem. Here is a good post on freezing/thawing decorated sugar cookies: http://bakeat350.blogspot.com/2012/05/yes-you-can-freeze-decorated.html

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"The main thing to remember about Italian food is that when you put your groceries in the car, the quality of your dinner has already been decided." – Mario Batali
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2 hours ago, quiet1 said:

 

I see what you mean. Do I absolutely need a mold or will they look nice enough if I wing it? (I'm thinking maybe lightly press a cookie cutter on to make a design or something along those lines.) Will it stick horribly to the bottom of a glass that has a nice pattern?

 

Also, favorite recipe or recipe source? :)

 

I have two favorite cookie books:  Maida Heatter's Book of Great Cookies (the first one); and Rose's Christmas Cookies by Rose Levy Beranbaum.  The Christmas cookie book has excellent recipes for biscotti (hers is an oil based dough, which is a great keeper), moravian spice thins, gingerbread, lebkuchen, and springerle.  I have several favorites from Maida Heatter's book - chocolate gobs, coconut washboards, there's a fig newton style cookie with apricot instead of fig.  If you are able to only get one book, get the RLB christmas cookie book though.

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I have the Beranbaum book and a couple of Maida Heatter's cookie books (I've had them for years and every time I pick one of them up, the first thing my mind sees is "Mad Hatter's Cookie Book"... just can't seem to get past that.). I don't have the first Great Cookies book though, just the second one. I'm pretty sure the springerle recipe I use is in the Beranbaum book but I'll have to dig it out to be sure. I have another recipe that came with a mold that listed the option of replacing the anise with citrus zest. I don't generally use that recipe but I grabbed the idea of using citrus zest in springerle from it. I don't think there's any great secret or mystery to them though, they've been around for a long time and recipes should be pretty easy to track down. Finding enough safe places to have them sitting around for the pre-bake drying period is the main annoyance involved with making them. I try to mold them in the evening and bake in the morning. That way they're taking up all the space and pans while I'm sleeping and not trying to bake anything else.

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Since I seem to be going on and on with this, I'm going to add before you set your mind on making them that springerle are long lasting and nice looking but not everybody loves them for eating purposes. The anise isn't always popular and even after aging, they're not many of the things most people tend to think of when you say cookie. They tend to be dry and crunchy at best and hard and practically unbreakable at worst. I like them but to be completely honest, I mainly do them just to use the molds. There are less traditional recipes that include small amounts of butter and/or leavening that don't always work as well for intricate molds but are more pleasant to munch on.

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It's kinda like wrestling a gorilla... you don't stop when you're tired, you stop when the gorilla is tired.

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22 minutes ago, Tri2Cook said:

Since I seem to be going on and on with this, I'm going to add before you set your mind on making them that springerle are long lasting and nice looking but not everybody loves them for eating purposes. The anise isn't always popular and even after aging, they're not many of the things most people tend to think of when you say cookie. They tend to be dry and crunchy at best and hard and practically unbreakable at worst. I like them but to be completely honest, I mainly do them just to use the molds. There are less traditional recipes that include small amounts of butter and/or leavening that don't always work as well for intricate molds but are more pleasant to munch on.

 

These will go along with some tea or coffee so I'm figuring that will make up for needing some more robust cookies so they have the necessary shelf life? I was thinking to do fewer anise though because it is not something everyone loves.

 

I'd forgotten about Beranbaum even though I love the Cake Bible. It slipped my mind that she has a cookie book.

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I'd just note that with all these crunchy "keeper" cookies, make sure to package them to keep out humidity. This might be a case where I'd add some silica gel packets, or other dessicants, to keep the cookies from picking up humidity and getting soggy and gross.

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MelissaH

Oswego, NY

Chemist, writer, hired gun

Say this five times fast: "A big blue bucket of blue blueberries."

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2 hours ago, Darienne said:

My vote would be for Shortbread Cookies.  Always.  :x

 

Will they keep long enough, though? They've never lasted much past a week before being entirely eaten and that's only when I had some hidden away. :D

 

(I did have a batch last for months but that was the batch I made with fruit sugar for someone diabetic on request, and I intentionally only baked a few and froze the rest as pre-sliced rounds in a tin so he wouldn't be tempted to eat too many at once. With them frozen he could just cook a couple for dessert while he was making his dinner and not be tempted to over eat. Very successful.)

 

1 hour ago, MelissaH said:

I'd just note that with all these crunchy "keeper" cookies, make sure to package them to keep out humidity. This might be a case where I'd add some silica gel packets, or other dessicants, to keep the cookies from picking up humidity and getting soggy and gross.

 

Yup, I was already thinking of how to package. I believe we have a package of small silica gel packets from a previous project that will work, if not I know you can get them online and they will get used. (Biggest problem is making sure my housemate doesn't steal them all for packaging electronics before I'm done with them.) Good reminder, though.

 

I also need to find a new source for boxes. My go-to local baking supply shop closed. :(

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3 hours ago, MelissaH said:

I'd just note that with all these crunchy "keeper" cookies, make sure to package them to keep out humidity. This might be a case where I'd add some silica gel packets, or other dessicants, to keep the cookies from picking up humidity and getting soggy and gross.


I've never had that be a problem with the springerle. I thought having them soften a bit during storage was the goal and main reason most recipes suggest doing them weeks before you actually need them.

It's kinda like wrestling a gorilla... you don't stop when you're tired, you stop when the gorilla is tired.

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I second the idea of biscotti. They can be festive, and they keep forever. I often make Tish Boyle's Christmas Biscotti, although I use dried cherries rather than dried cranberries. Together with the pistachios they look very nice, and the combination of honey and olive oil gives it great flavor.  http://tishboyle.blogspot.com/2010/12/christmas-biscotti.html

 

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I'll weigh in and vote for the Springerle. I'd offer Great Grandma Bernthal's recipe, but it (along with the molds) burned in the fire.   In lieu of molds, you can also get the rollling pin with the carved designs. (I had a couple of my grandmother's pre-fire.)     As a child, I remember making these around Christmas time with her. Some, we'd set aside and poke holes in the top. Grandma was something of an artist, and she'd paint the intricate designs, then tie a ribbon on them to hang as ornaments on the tree. I do have a fondness for those. =)

Lebkuchen and Pfeffernusse were also family favorites.   Best wishes in your hunt for the perfect cookie(s). 

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-Andrea

 

A 'balanced diet' means chocolate in BOTH hands. :biggrin:

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I'm having a hard time coming up with more ideas. I only do large quantity cookie baking once a year, for Christmas, and by the time I need to start doing it, it's cold enough that I can just seal them in buckets and toss them in the not-heated sunroom. It's generally only a couple degrees or so warmer in there than outside and outside is generally staying below freezing by that point. So worrying about shelf life/storage has never been an issue I had to consider.

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It's kinda like wrestling a gorilla... you don't stop when you're tired, you stop when the gorilla is tired.

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  • 1 month later...

Cookies lasts for a longer period, and it depends on a variety of factors, such as the preparation method and how the cookies are stored. If cookies are not stored properly they may last only for shorter period of time. If you want to keep them 1-2 months without getting unsafe, you should store them in a tightly closed container and wrap it with a plastic cover to keep out of air and other contaminants. For a long term use you should keep them in refrigerator and you can freeze your cookies. After freezing, try microwaving them very briefly before eating so that you will get a baked taste. Few months back I made hazelnut cookies as I found the recipe in the sites below 
http://www.nestledessertsarabia.com/en/cookie-recipes
http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/collection/cookie
All the ingredients used were good and I kept this around for 45 days to give my sister as she is staying outside the country. I used a steel container to keep the cookies. I think this might be useful for you. Also you can find variety of easy to make cookie recipe in the above said website.    

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Since I didn't end up doing it this year (and thus can't ruin the surprise talking about it where a recipient might find my posts) I will say that what I had been thinking of doing was a tea and tea related items advent calendar. So I planned to have as one of the days some cookies (I didn't want to do tea every day so people didn't feel overwhelmed by a new tea every day) and it wouldn't have worked as a surprise if they knew they had to keep them in the fridge. (Obviously more fragile cookies could've gone sooner in the month, but I wanted to be able to have some closer to the end, too.)

 

Unfortunately my health took a turn and my mother has been in and out of the hospital while they tried to figure out a problem (thankfully they finally got it, they think) so I just wasn't able to do all the planning and assembling it would have required to do it right. Maybe next year. I definitely got a lot of good cookie ideas from this thread, and a lovely cookie cookbook.

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