Increasing shelf life of homemade cookies (without freezing)

Joined Jul 31, 2012
I was told two things so far:

1. Raisins. We don't know why, but the preserve any pastry that contains them.
2. ,Honey. Honey contains hydrogen peroxide and is a potent antiseptic.

Now anything else.

There's got to be a way of making them virtually expiry proof like store bought cookies are....
What are some natural, perhaps even synthetic preservatives to add to them?

I mean if the factories simply add preservatives, so can we. What preservatives would you recommend?


Staff member
Joined Mar 29, 2002
It's mostly about controlling water activity so that it's not available for microbial life. So go dry and crispy or go for additives.
Joined Aug 14, 2000
Fat can also add to shelf life in the short run (whole milk lasts linger than skim etc.) As Kuan has been known to say, "Mo' buttah, mo bettah."

The longest lasting "cookie" I know of is hardtack. One recipe I found calls for 5 cups of flour and one cup of water. This bears out patch's comment about moisture content. Sadly here are the results of a tasting panel of this recipe.

"As tasters, dogs are usually a good panel. The German shepherd in my household sniffed a cracker, quickly turned her head away and moved toward the door. The Newfoundland tried to look interested. He gummed it and then spat it on the floor."

I don't know that you will ever be able to create an edible cookie with a half life rather than a shelf life. I'd just bake more cookies :)

Joined Jul 12, 2017
I've always felt like pretty much any cookie tastes good right out of the oven. The true test for me is how the cookie tastes the second or third day. If your cookie is dry the second or third day, the recipe needs to be tweaked.

Store cookies are vacuum packed in packages with gas (nitrogen?), not air. You could get a nitro tank and a vacuum sealer. :)

Since you mention raisins, I'm guessing that you're mostly making chewy style cookies. That's important because the methods would be different. If raisins help, so would any dried fruit (cherries, blueberries, cranberries, etc.). Also, using good high quality larger pieces of chocolate helps with the moisture retention in chocolate chip cookies.

You might try replacing part of the butter with canola oil or shortening(if chewy cookie) or vegetable oil (if crispy cookie).

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