Since You Asked: Baked goods store, freeze well after holidays

I have baked so many cookies and holiday treats that I'm sure they'll be around for weeks after Christmas. How should I store them? How long will they keep? What about other baked goods such as brownies, quick breads and muffins?

— Brandy G., via e-mail

If you want to reduce the size of your stash, we'd be happy to take some cookies off your hands. If you can't part with them, store most cookies in airtight containers with layers of waxed paper between them. Depending on the cookie, they should keep for up to two weeks at room temperature.

If you have cookies decorated with icing, make sure the icing is set and dry before putting in containers. You can store iced cookies in the refrigerator.

Cookies and many other baked goods also freeze well, keeping for several months without losing quality. Freeze each variety separately in airtight containers or well-sealed plastic freezer bags. If mingled together, various cookies' flavors will become muddled while moisture in soft, chewy cookies will make crisp ones go limp.

For brownies, freeze an uncut block or flash-freeze by placing individual cookies or brownies on a tray and freezing until they are solid, Then wrap individually in plastic wrap and place in a freezer bag.

Quick breads and muffins keep well in the freezer for three months. Wrap breads in quality plastic wrap or foil and place in plastic freezer bags. Flash-freeze muffins then transfer to freezer bags so you can take out just one at a time. Thaw quick breads overnight in the refrigerator. Reheat them, as well as muffins, in a 350-degree oven.

Send questions to "Since You Asked, A la carte" Mail Tribune Newsroom, P.O. Box 1108, Medford OR 97501; by fax to 541-776-4376; e-mail to

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