If I want to have a Christmas cookies e.g. in a different room than the fridge is, how long I can leave them at room temperature without worry that it will be spoiled?

This types of cookies mostly contain butter (not good for leaving outside of a fridge) but also alcohol and sugar (good for leaving outside of a fridge).

I have for example this types:

  • Shortcrust pastry (first picture)
  • Wasp nest (maybe known only in my country I am not sure, see the second picture)
  • Gingerbread

    shortcrust pastry

wasp nest

  • How long in hours? I rarely refrigerate cookies at all, so perhaps you want days?
    – Catija
    Dec 29, 2016 at 21:45
  • 1
    Erm, what do you do when you buy biscuits from the shop? I assume you put them in the cupboard?
    – Doug
    Dec 29, 2016 at 22:18
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    Oh and I personally leave butter in a better dish on my side indefinitely. Nobody likes buttering bread with hard butter do they?
    – Doug
    Dec 29, 2016 at 22:18
  • Personally I wouldn't place them in a fridge, for about 5-6 days, they become too hard, especially in a cold weather where the room temperature is around 15 - 20 degrees C.
    – Zeina
    Dec 30, 2016 at 9:48
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    @Doug Yes, but biscuits from the shops often has some chemicals to preserve them. And about the butter...I am sure, that there is a certain time when it is ok, to leave it outside, but if you are not such a butter consumer, it takes a longer time and it will be spoiled.
    – TGar
    Dec 30, 2016 at 9:50

1 Answer 1


Butter biscuits (cookies) and gingerbread both keep well for days at room temperature in an airtight container. Some gingerbread will keep for much longer. For most cookie recipes it's a matter of the quality spoiling rather than food safety. Pastry and biscuits tend to spoil by going soft absorbing water from the air, so they really do need to be sealed up.

Don't forget that the keeping properties of the finished product will be different from those of the base ingredients. So have a look at the recipe. A decent recipe book should have storage instructions for the recipes; if it's a family recipe and you don't have this information it might be worth consulting a similar recipe online or in a book. In addition it's a bad idea to keep soft biscuits (like some gingerbread) in the same tin as crisp biscuits (like shortbread or butter biscuits) as the crisp ones will soften and the soft ones dry out. So you might want to keep each type in its own container.

  • 1
    An additional note: You may want to store each type of cookie in its own container. As I've learned from putting crackers and bread together, if the moisture level of the items are different, the drier ones may get soggy.
    – Martha F.
    Dec 31, 2016 at 20:21
  • @MarthaF that's a very good point.
    – Chris H
    Jan 1, 2017 at 8:21

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