I must confess that even though I am a seasoned cookie baker I'm still always on the lookout for some really delightful and heavenly new cookie recipes and pretty containers to put them in. I’ve tried ceramic cookie jars with the words, Cookies or Grandma’s Guilt identifying them or even something as simple and soothing as Homemade by the One You Love. Actually, I must say that I have a habitual creative streak in me and always try to think of new ways and phrases to attract friends, relatives and strangers to my cookie specialties ranging from simple chocolate chip snackers to biscotti and Viennese nut half-moons.
Intense and serious bakers ask extremely exacting questions before they begin the scientific endeavor of baking the historic chocolate chip cookie. For example, how long will the cookies stay fresh? What is the best way to showcase them? Can they be frozen and how many will fit into a specific container? We cannot answer all these questions, but I hope by the end of this article you will have some inklings.
It is psychologically fascinating to observe that the vessel that contains my sweets can make a huge difference in the speed in which they are devoured. For example, if the luxurious chocolate iced cranberry almond biscotti are hidden in a beautiful rectangular box with a ribboned cover the chances are much lower that anyone would bother to open the box to see what is in it. In fact, even a box of biscotto that has a small window in the middle will still not have the fanfare that I am seeking. On the other hand, if there are dieters around, this type of hidden treasure might be best camouflaged this way.
Who are we kidding? If we put our love and devotion into the baking of individual pastries, we want them displayed in the most appealing way possible and that is in a clear glass cookie jar. What could be more inviting than fresh, chocolate scented chocolate chip cookies waiting impatiently in a mason jar to be sampled? Whether the jar has a glass, plastic, or metal lid it can be easily opened by adults and children alike.
Now it’s arguable if Ruth purposely chopped up some chunks from a Nestle semi- sweet chocolate bar to make the cookie turn into a chocolate one or did, she purposely want to invent a new type of confection? Whichever version grabs your imagination, this episode was the origin of the chocolate chip cookie. By the way, Nestlé compensated Ruth with a lifetime supply of Nestlé’s chocolate and Nestlé went on to develop the chocolate chip.
Personally, I believe that anyone who attempts to bake cookies should look at it as an artistic and heartwarming accomplishment. It’s fascinating to note that from the same recipe many different variations are created. Why is this so? That is because a baker is an artist, and each artist puts their own personal touch into their creations. My granddaughter will always add that extra half a cup of chips to the recipe so that her cookies will be rich in chips. I like to put a tablespoon of cocoa and a teaspoon of cinnamon into mine and no one will discover what those ingredients are since the measurements are too small to notice yet the taste will be noticeably richer. Smart Moms will sneak some ground nuts, whole wheat flour and even quick oats to give their loved ones some healthy balance with their sugar. There is no telling if your creative better half has put a tablespoon or two of his favorite whiskey. As long as the texture of the cookie is not affected anything goes, just watch out for too much liquid or too many solids. Too much liquid will make your cookies spread and too much oatmeal can make them into round pucks ready to spring on the knock hockey field.
Another sign of the times is the switch from butter or margarine to oil. If you use a bit less oil (than butter or margarine) than the recipe calls for, the cookie will still be moist and delicious, and no one will be the wiser. Coconut and other healthier oils have been tried but not by me so I cannot give you an honest critique.
How Long Will My Cookies Stay Fresh?
Personally, I eat my cookies straight from the freezer. I have also done the opposite many times and that is freezing the cookies on a cookie sheet before baking and putting them straight from the freezer into the oven. I can’t say for sure, but I have smelled the aroma of a fresh straight out of the oven baked cookie at midnight when someone in the house craved a nocturnal snack.
How caloric can one freshly baked cookie actually be? I think it was a Lays Potato Chip ad that claimed, “You can’t eat just one” but there are some disciplinarians who might be successful at this challenging feat. (I personally don’t know any.)
My mom had a saying when it came to this question about baked goods, specifically cheesecake. “If you must ask how long the cookie will stay fresh, you have not baked a desirable product.”
Seriously speaking, cookies by their very nature stay fresh for a long time. They might start off as soft and harden but that does not change their viability. Until recently most store-bought cookies were crisp and not soft. Several years ago, soft baked cookies gained popularity but realistically they taste a bit more like cake. Cookies have been sent overseas to the four far corners of the earth and have tasted delicious. To me a cookie by definition is a product that is long lasting especially if they are situated in an opaque container.
So How Many Cookies Can Actually Fit into Your Gallon Cookie Jar?
This all depends on how you stack them. If you are one of the scientific mathematically inclined bakers, you can try experimenting with OREOs or some other cookie that your family will devour.
There are so many ways to stack your cookies. Starting from the bottom of your glass cookie jar, put in a single cookie on the bottom and increase the amount in flat rows until you reach the widest point in the jar. Then begin decreasing the flat rows until you come to the top of the jar.
If your jar is the kind that has a glass cover, you will need to leave a bit of space to press the lid on tightly and securely. If your lid is a plastic or metal screw on, then you will be able to tell when the jar is full. Now begin emptying your OREOs into another receptacle and count them if you have not done this while placing them in the jar. Now you will have the exact number of cookies that will fit into your glass cookie jar.
If you have a creative streak not every one of your cookies will be the same size as the others. If you are a perfectionist by nature, there is a special tool called the cookie scooper which will ensure the uniformity of your cookies. You may have to moisten the scooper each time with water or PAM to ensure that every last bit of dough comes out. The first time you use your jar remember to count your cookies and this is the way you will know how many of your cookies fill the jar. If I count my cookies for the same jar the number will not necessarily be the same. Some cookies are higher and smaller and some flatter and larger. This might even happen in your own batch. Fear not, as long as your cookies are tasty, they will disappear quickly, and you will be able to fill your glass cookie jar again and compare the two amounts of cookies. I wonder if they will be the same. What do you think?
Filling your new glass cookie jar with a new recipe should be exciting and relaxing at the same time. Each homemade cookie is a unique creation, and you may very well have your family rummaging through your cookie jar to try to find the largest or smallest one depending on the person’s proportions. For those of us who enjoy watching a cookie container become empty a clear jar is best. Yes, there are some lovely decorative cookie containers to purchase for yourself or gifts, but I always gravitate back to my clear one gallon cookie jars as my favorite go to whether for gifts or family.