baking cookies for wedding - how far in advance is ok?

aboc1212October 8, 2009

Here's a question for all you dessert chefs out there - I want to make cookies as a favor for my wedding in December. I will need to make around 300 or more so I obviously do not want to wait until the day or two before. I am thinking either peanut butter cookies (the kind with the fork marks in the top) or chewy molasses ginger cookies - or maybe both, who knows? Anyway, how far in advance could I make the cookies and still have them be fresh when I give them to the guests? And how should I store them? I have heard with chocolate chip cookies to store in a sealed container with a piece of bread. Does that apply to all cookies? Any other tips?

Any recipes for either cookie type?

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I'm not sure about the peanut butter cookies, but you can freeze the ginger cookies. To make sure they stay absolutely fresh, I'd double wrap them in ziplock freezer bags. Here's a really good recipe that a girlfriend passed on to me - I know they freeze well because we made ice cream sandwiches out of them last summer :-)


* Exported from MasterCook *

Giant Ginger Cookies

Recipe By :
Serving Size : 0 Preparation Time :0:00
Categories :

Amount Measure Ingredient -- Preparation Method
-------- ------------ --------------------------------
4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
4 teaspoons ground ginger
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups shortening
2 cups granulated sugar
2 eggs
1/2 cup molasses
3/4 cup coarse sugar or granulated sugar

1. In a medium mixing bowl stir together flour, ginger, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves, and salt; set aside.

2. In a large mixing bowl beat shortening with an electric mixer on low speed for 30 seconds to soften. Gradually add the 2 cups granulated sugar. Beat until combined, scraping sides of bowl occasionally. Beat in eggs and molasses. Beat in as much of the flour mixture as you can with the mixer. Using a wooden spoon, stir in any remaining flour mixture.

3. Shape dough into 2-inch balls using 1/4 cup dough. Roll balls in the 3/4 cup coarse or granulated sugar. Place about 2-1/2 inches apart on an ungreased cookie sheet.

4. Bake in a 350 degree F oven for 12 to 14 minutes or until cookies are light brown and puffed. (Do not overbake or cookies will not be chewy.) Cool on cookie sheet for 2 minutes. Transfer cookies to a wire rack to cool. Store in a tightly covered container at room temperature for up to 3 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months. Makes twenty-five (25) 4-inch cookies.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
NOTES : To create the chewy texture, be sure to make them with shortening, not butter or margarine.

    Bookmark   October 8, 2009 at 10:28AM
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Peanut butter cookies will freeze fine. For cookies like peanut butter cookies or chocolate chip cookies you can store them in an air tight container for up to three months in the freezer. I haven't had a problem with this. I usually start baking for Christmas around mid October (almost there, YIKES!) and store them in the freezer. I've never done the thing with a slice of bread. It might be just to absorb any extra moisture.(?) It might be more worth it if the cookies are suppose to be crispy.

    Bookmark   October 8, 2009 at 12:23PM
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I know you said soft cookies but here is a recipe for gingersnaps that makes about 10 dozen and they do freeze well.

Best Ginger Snaps

¾ cup butter
¾ cup shortening
2 cups sugar plus ¾ cup for rolling***
2 eggs
½ cup molasses
4-5 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons cinnamon
2 teaspoons ground cloves
2 teaspoons ground ginger

Cream butter, shortening and sugar. Beat in eggs and molasses very thoroughly. Gradually add dry ingredients. Beat hard.
Don't be alarmed if the batter is soft!
Roll pieces of dough into 1" balls, then roll each ball into rest of sugar*** (I use coarse sugar but it isn't necessary if you don't have it.) Bake on greased baking sheet about 3" apart 10-12 minutes in 375° oven.
Take cookies from oven and let them stand for 1 minute before removing and cool on wire rack.
Yield: 10-11 dozen cookies

    Bookmark   October 8, 2009 at 12:33PM
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I agree, either of those cookies will freeze well after baking. In addition, I've portioned each of those types into individual cookie sized balls of dough and frozen the dough, then taken them from the freezer and baked them as needed.

I've frozen cookies baked for a couple of months, the same amount of time with the dough. I wouldn't bake them and try to keep them without freezing for more than 2 or 3 days, though, homemade cookies lose their freshness fast because they have no preservatives to retard them from getting stale.


    Bookmark   October 8, 2009 at 4:05PM
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Thanks everyone - I would have NEVER thought of freezing them but think that could be the solution. Except....and maybe I'm overthinking this but I live about 3 hours from where my family lives so to get most out of the freezing trick it would be nice to actually make them here and transport them. I plan to go home on a Wednesday and the wedding is on a Saturday. So - how do I transport them? Try and keep them frozen? There will be about 300+ cookies - that seems impractical. I may have to just make them at home on Wednesday and freeze them that night.

Also, how do I thaw them? Just sit them on a counter at RT?


    Bookmark   October 8, 2009 at 8:11PM
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The frozen cookies can be thawed on the counter at room temperature and frozen dough should always be thawed before you bake it.

Can you get dry ice? That packed into a cooler should keep them frozen for three hours until they can make it into your family's freezer.

If you bake them WEdnesday evening, I think they would still be OK for a Saturday wedding, that's really only three days of storage.....


    Bookmark   October 8, 2009 at 9:47PM
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If it was an Italian Wedding, you could make Pizzelles.

They are good for weeks in a tight container.
Dec.1 is Pizzelle season.
If you happen to want the recipe Google " Lou's Pizzelle's"

    Bookmark   October 8, 2009 at 10:48PM
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Lou, thanks but I am from the south so I think we are gonna stick with regular cookies (and besides, I like these two kinds of cookies and that will motivate me to make so many!) I may be able to get some dry ice, thanks for the tip Annie. Otherwise I may just count Wednesday as baking day and not worry so much.

    Bookmark   October 9, 2009 at 8:01AM
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I freeze hundreds of cookies for the holidays and usually start in October as long as they are in a good sealed container and make sure not to freeze until fully cool from the oven. You should have no problem.

    Bookmark   October 9, 2009 at 8:12AM
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I am making Mexican wedding cookies for favors for my son's wedding. I will need to bake approximately 700 cookies. My question is can I freeze them with the powdered sugar on them? I have to package them 3 days before the wedding, since the wedding is out of town and we will be arriving the day before.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2011 at 5:19PM
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