Working Out A Best Before Date?

Baking By CookieCrazy_grozzie11 Updated 3 Oct 2010 , 7:02pm by bonniebakes

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CookieCrazy_grozzie11 Posted 24 Sep 2010 , 1:41pm
post #1 of 22

Hi all, lucky I am on bedrest as I have been scouring thru CC for about 11hrs today. Fabulous stuff by the way.

My question is, deciding on a best before date, as I have someone who wants to retail my sugar cookies, decorated in RI and sealed in cello bags?

I had alway gone off the cuff and said 30days? do you agree?

also, after about 2 weeks the butter flavour gets stronger do you think thats bad? love to hear your thoughts. thank you.

21 replies
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jamiekwebb Posted 24 Sep 2010 , 1:57pm
post #2 of 22

I don't think that I would eat a RI decorated SC after a week and a half, that is just me personally. 30 days seems a bit much. Two weeks maybe..... probably more like 10 days. I am by no means an expert, this is just my personal opinion.

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awatterson Posted 24 Sep 2010 , 2:14pm
post #3 of 22

I agree with jamiekwebb with the week and a half with RI. If you used a glace with water instead of milk I would say maybe about 20 days or so.

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bonniebakes Posted 24 Sep 2010 , 8:46pm
post #4 of 22

I am particularly cautious about food safety, and I go by a "5-day rule" - no more than 5 days from making the dough to the time they are delivered. I urge people to consume them as soon as possible.

I have had people tell me they've eaten them up to 2 weeks later and they still tasted great, but I wouldn't advise it unless they were being stored in the freezer...

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cutthecake Posted 24 Sep 2010 , 9:00pm
post #5 of 22

I don't like them after a couple of days. I think they lose quality rapidly. But my mother always said I was a pain about eating ONLY fresh-out-of-the-oven baked goods.

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CookieCrazy_grozzie11 Posted 25 Sep 2010 , 1:03am
post #6 of 22

Thankyou for your comments, its always interesting to know others thoughts. Keep them coming thanks.

I too have always been a bit fussy and only liked things fresh, I grabbed 30 days after looking at some cookie competitors sites here in Aus. However think I might change the icing and reduce the days. thankyou.

Also, I have a wedding to do cookies for and this helps me, as she was wanting them 10 days before her wedding, I might ring her and say to have them closer to the day. thanks all appreciate it.

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indydebi Posted 25 Sep 2010 , 1:26am
post #7 of 22

If this is going to be a long term thing, it might be worth the investment to have a local university test it for you. I know when I talked to my local SBDC (Sm. Biz. Devlp. Ctr), they told me Purdue University (located not far from me) would do this type of testing for an idea I was running past them on retailing an item, and I was needing to find out "how can I know how long it's good for?"

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bonniebakes Posted 25 Sep 2010 , 2:03am
post #8 of 22

that's really interesting, Debi. What a great idea!

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CookieCrazy_grozzie11 Posted 25 Sep 2010 , 2:51pm
post #9 of 22

that is absolutely very helpful, thank you.

I wonder if our Aussie Uni's do that, and how much they would charge...

thanks again for your help.

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jules5000 Posted 25 Sep 2010 , 3:22pm
post #10 of 22

If I make cookies for anyone, I won't allow them to be over a day old at the most 2 before they get them. I am in agreement with the lady that said 5 days. I know it is a lot more work, but if you want people to taste the quality of the cookies as well as the deliciousness please don't let it be over a week. If you have a lot of cookies on an order than I would suggest that you make the cookies, bake the cookies and immediately freeze the cookies right after they cool. Then just take out however many you can decorate in a short time and then as soon as they can be re-frozen do so. Yes, you can safely re-freeze them. But wrap them very well. If you don't feel good about re-freezing them then just tell the lady or person that wants them in the store that you can not allow the cookies to be more than 5-7 days(you decide and then tell her which) So you will be bringing small batches of cookies every 3-4 days or so. I don't know where you are from, but around here we have Casey's General stores and they only allow their cookies and other baked goodies not including donuts) to be out for 3 days. I think that you will have more business in the long run if you keep the time short for your cookies than the longer time. Good luck.

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yummymummycakes Posted 26 Sep 2010 , 3:33am
post #11 of 22

then as soon as they can be re-frozen do so. Yes, you can safely re-freeze them.

Sorry to burst your bubble but in Australia that is against our Food Safety Act to re freeze food, if caught this will give you a hefty fine and possibly close you down.

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CookieCrazy_grozzie11 Posted 26 Sep 2010 , 6:42am
post #12 of 22

thanks Yummymummy, I thought that.

Appreciate the confirmation.... lots of regulations to try and keep on top of.

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jules5000 Posted 27 Sep 2010 , 12:00pm
post #13 of 22

Well, you definitely need to go by the regulations, by all means. I know that you can freeze the dough, bake it and freeze the cookies themselves though. That surely would not be illegal and would help some.

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scp1127 Posted 27 Sep 2010 , 1:50pm
post #14 of 22

You can't re-freeze in Maryland too.

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westbrook Posted 2 Oct 2010 , 5:11pm
post #15 of 22

I am a bit confused by not wanting to keep a cookie longer then a week with RI.

the RI recommended to use here says the icing can stay 2 months on the counter in a sealed container if not all used at once.

So if I make a cookie and decorate it with RI it is only good for less then a week?

Funny I would think there was more concern about the butter and eggs in the NFSC then in the RI which is made from water and powdered sugar and in a commercial setting, Powdered Meringue rather then raw egg whites.

what am I missing?

cookies in a store on a shelf are far older then 1 week. I make cookies for my family and have had some for 2 months that tasted as good as they did the day they were made... well it takes a couple of days to get them frosted after making so now my cookies are 3-5 days old before eating... except those the kids sneak or break.

Now I am concerned that I should throw away all the RI on my counter and the cookies I have stashed away in a drawer.

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cookiemama2 Posted 2 Oct 2010 , 5:44pm
post #16 of 22

My dad broke his leg 5 weeks ago and still has a few of the cookies I made him left (NFSC with Royal)
Now I wouldn't eat them, him either but my Mom did and says they are just as good as day one.
She even sent me a website on best before dates!
Told me not to be so stupid, I grew up eating "old stuff"!!!

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cookiemama2 Posted 2 Oct 2010 , 5:47pm
post #17 of 22

Here's the website...

I haven't looked at it yet so it might not help with this question.

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cookiemama2 Posted 2 Oct 2010 , 5:50pm
post #18 of 22

Ok here is a little I'm curious!

If they are kept in an airtight container, processed cookies will keep in the pantry for an extended period of time--up to a few months. However, processed cookie dough, because it contains raw egg and other perishables, must remain refrigerated until it is used. Do not thaw cookie dough to room temperature prior to using it. Harmful bacteria can grow quickly at room temperature.
Cookies and Cookie Dough Shelf Life
Pantry Freezer
Pantry Freezer
Homemade Cookies 2-3 weeks - -
Packaged Cookies 2 months 8-12 months

Boyer, Renee, and Julie McKinney. "Food Storage Guidelines for Consumers." Virginia Cooperative Extension (2009): n. pag. Web. 7 Dec 2009.

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CookieCrazy_grozzie11 Posted 3 Oct 2010 , 12:24am
post #19 of 22

Thanks cookiemama, I found that site very interesting.

I liked that no matter what the question, as long as its not a soft cookie there is not much chance that it can make anyone sick ! I do understand that 2 months on they might break a tooth though!

I think as long as we remember food safety when handling the dough, that we are off to a good start.

I wont keep dough if its more than a 5 days old. but thats just me.

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jules5000 Posted 3 Oct 2010 , 12:52am
post #20 of 22

Ok, the RI says it will stay good for 2 weeks or what ever, but that doesn't mean the cookie is going to be fresh and at it's best for 2 weeks. You have a lot more involved in the cookie than RI.

Second of all just because somebody says their cookies are good for 2 weeks doesn't mean they really are at their top quality. I personally only like a few store bought cookies(even from a store bakery. They are not good to me past 3 or 4 days. Ok, I know that I am really picky, but let's say for example that a brand new customer walks in the store that has your cookies and decides to buy one. He or she looks at the best-before-date and says the cookie should still be good. They try it and are disappointed because it did not tastes as good as it looked like it should and let's say it is near the end of a two week best-before date. I think that you are going to lose a future customer because the quality was gone by the end of the first week. They won't try that cookie again because they were dissappointed and it costs too much. Well maybe it didn't costs too much, but for the disappointed customer it did because they were looking forward to that cookie and it did not meet expectations. Do you understand from a customer's stand point that the quality must be there no matter what time in the period it is. Say that someone reccommended your cookies to them and raved about those cookies so they finally go to get one and the cookie is not what they had expected with all the rave reviews they gave it. They are not going to give that cookie a second chance. Again because for what they got it was too expensive. I hope this is clear.

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jules5000 Posted 3 Oct 2010 , 1:00am
post #21 of 22

rather than the person wanting answers about the best-before date. At home you can be freer to do what you want and keep your cookies as long as you want. If they will eat them, why not. I was thinking that I was responding the the lady that started the forum question on this. I was speaking as far as business goes not family related things. Gof for it. Keep those cookies around as long as your family will eat them. it is different for someone running their own business.

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bonniebakes Posted 3 Oct 2010 , 7:02pm
post #22 of 22

Personally, I'm a bit food-safety and freshness crazy, so I err far on the side of caution...

But, I think the reason that some packaged cookies - from bakeries or store bought - can remain "safe to eat" for much longer than I would think a "homemade" cookie would stay fresh has to do with the ingredients, particularly preservatives - and packaging.

In my dough and icing, I don't' use any added preservatives, but most cookies made on a larger scale (especially if sold commercially) do use them, so the shelf life of my cookie should be less than the ones bought elsewhere. In addition, the packaging - how air-tight it is - also makes a difference.

I also agree that I think they are still *safe* to eat for up to a week or maybe two (but I wouldn't) and I don't think they will taste as good as within the first few days.

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