Cookie Dough - Preservatives

Joined Jan 22, 2002

I need to extend the shelf life of my finished product. It is a basic cookie dough - butter, egg yolk, flour, sugar, baking soda, vanilla extract. Would like to get this to last about 7 days after baked. I have one friend who tells me I should add guar gum. Tried it with no positive results. Is there a general type additive/preservative that can be purchased by the home baker?

Thank you for any suggestions you have.
Joined May 26, 2001
Do you want to extend the life of your raw dough, or of the baked cookies? In either case, you might look to how you store it. (For home cooking, I'm not a big fan of additives/preservatives other than what's normally in the recipe, e.g. sugar in jam.)

If it's the dough, can you freeze it? Most regular cookie doughs freeze pretty well.

If it's the baked-off cookies, what problems are you having? Again, look to the storage method for the problem and its solution.

(I wish I had the problem of cookies hanging around too long!)

You might want to put this question on one of the Baking/Pastry boards; there are LOTS of expert bakers/pastry chefs who could help you there!


Staff member
Joined Jun 11, 2001
Two word for you:

Starch Retrogradation. This is the major contributor to staleness. I would ask why you have to keep them on the shelves for 7 days, and whether they sit on a grocery shelf or your kitchen counter :)

You have two major options:

1) Control the environment

In otherwords, packaging. You can package them using special film. Your other aternative is to freeze the cookies.

2) Use a modified food starch

Depending on the situation, guargum might or might not work. Most of the major cookie companies use a proprietary starch made by people like Staley, ADM, or Cargill. If you're interested I can give you some contacts.

Joined Jun 1, 2001
What about lecithin? A few granules definitely helps extend the life of low-fat baked goods, which normally go stale practically as soon as they get cold.


Staff member
Joined Jun 11, 2001
Good point, but there's plenty of lecithin in the eggyolks. Get it through the cool/cold stage and straight to frozen, that's the ticket! But once again, I don't know the reason for extending the shelf life. Seven days sitting around on a counter seems like a retail situation to me.

Joined Jul 28, 2001
You may have to rework your recipe, cut a little butter,add short, will give you a little life. And good packaging
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