You can’t go wrong with a cookie, the most ubiquitous food there is. This is why many people keep cookie dough in the pantry at all times. By doing so, people may relax, knowing they can always fulfill their hunger.
Of course, it’s not unheard of for shoppers to forget what they’ve picked up in the supermarket. Consequently, it’s natural for you to wonder: Is it possible to consume stale cookie dough? However, if stored correctly, cookie dough can be eaten for up to two months after its best-by date without any ill effects.
If not kept in the right conditions, of course, the shelf life of any food will decrease. However, keep in mind that, unlike many other grains, cookie dough often only carries a “best by” date and not an “expiration” or “use by” date. This distinguishes it enough that it can be used safely even after the “best if used by” date has passed.
However, there are a few things to keep in mind when baking with cookie dough that is over its expiration date. Don’t stop reading because we’re going to answer this topic in further detail.
What Are The Cookie Dough Ingredients
If you’ve ever baked before, you know that flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, and chocolate chips are all shelf-stable components that go into making a batch of cookies.
It is safe to preserve all of these foods indefinitely, whether they are combined or kept in different containers. Moreover, they are unlikely to go bad even after their sell-by date has passed.
Interestingly, while all of these ingredients are fine for use in cooking, flour should not be eaten raw.
This is due to the very high concentration of E. coli in the powder. This is why you shouldn’t consume the dry cookie mix in the pantry if it’s over its expiration date.
Is Using Expired Cookie Dough Safe?
Currently, you may be pondering: Isn’t the best-by date fixed? As surprising as it may seem, there is a distinction between expiry dates and best-by dates.
If your cookie dough has an expiration date instead of a best-by date, you should discard it after this date passes.
However, the best-by date serves as a guide and provides a general period for when the dough will be at its peak quality. This indicates that the product will not get rancid, spoil, or expire on the date specified on the label. So, you are allowed to consume the cookie dough even after its initial best-by date has passed.
However, we must emphasize that if you intend to carry out this strategy, you must pay close attention to your cookie dough and keep an eye out for any symptoms of deterioration.
- Discoloration – This is a warning sign you must be aware of. Typically, discoloration will begin at the cookie dough’s borders. You will observe that the dough’s borders will get darker than its inside. This is the result of the oxidation process, which might signal death for your dough.
- Changes in Taste– If you are like us, you will find it difficult to refrain from eating the raw dough while it is cooking. We are instantly captivated by the taste of this dish. However, when the cookie dough begins to change color, you will also notice a shift in its flavor. Soon, it will be a long cry from the delicious flavor you once appreciated.
- Rancid odor– Similar to other ruined foods, your cookie dough will soon emit a foul stench, signaling that it is time to discard it.
- Mold Development– If the cookie dough is improperly stored or if it matures past its expiration date, you will notice that it will quickly begin to show indications of mold growth. Obviously, this may be harmful; thus, it is advisable to discard any additional cookie dough that has mold on it.
Although it is quite safe to utilize cookie dough after its expiration date has passed, we urge doing so with extreme caution.
In addition, you should constantly obey food safety protocols and practice good cleanliness to prevent your cookie dough from turning.
No matter how tempting it may be to bypass the wait and pop that spoonful of dough directly into your mouth, we insist that you cook the dough properly before consuming it.
How Long Can Raw Cookie Dough Be Kept in the Refrigerator?
This is likely the most crucial question in this manual. Even though it is undeniably an excellent question, providing a straightforward and conclusive response is more difficult than you may imagine.
This is because not all cookie doughs are made equal; seemingly little changes can result in significantly varying shelf life.
To better understand this, we have compiled the following list of considerations:
- As previously stated, the ingredients that go into your dough significantly influence its shelf life. Some cookie dough varieties include large concentrations of artificial flavorings, chemicals, and preservatives, which can significantly reduce its shelf life.
- Similar to the components used in the dough itself, the fillings will likewise impact the dough’s durability in the refrigerator.
- The quantity and size of the cookie dough you are keeping are also important. Large sheets of uncooked cookie dough should not be left out of the refrigerator for too long, since their larger size makes them more vulnerable to the impacts of their surroundings.
- It is also important to note that how you keep your cookie dough significantly influences its shelf life. For instance, cookie dough that has been left out at ambient temperature for four hours would have a shorter shelf life than cookie dough that was immediately placed in the refrigerator after preparation.
Guidelines For Storing Cookie Dough
Opened and expired cookie dough is never safe.
The USDA advises customers to refrigerate commercially made cookie dough, unopened or unsealed, and consume it by the expiration date on the package.
In contrast, handmade cookie dough should be refrigerated in tiny containers for two to four days.”
Keep Cookie Dough Longer By Freezing It
Freezing cookie dough is the most effective approach to increase its shelf life. As long as cookie dough is transferred to cold storage before its expiration date, it can be kept for an additional two months.
However, once defrosted, the product must be used within three to four days.
Properly Handle And Store Your Cookie Dough
Additionally, while your dough will remain safe in its original sealed packaging, it is vital that you transfer it to an airtight container after it has been opened.
This can be a vacuum-sealed plastic bag, a Tupperware container, a Pyrex dish, or a ziplock bag.
This will reduce the presence of oxygen and moisture, which can speed up the degradation process. Finally, cookie dough should never be kept at room temperature for longer than two hours.
After this period of time has elapsed, foods enter what is known as the “Danger Zone”. Here, harmful germs can begin to develop and proliferate.
If you ever find yourself asking, “Should I consume expired cookie dough? “, err on the side of caution and dispose of the dough.
While “Best By” dates can be used as a reference for usage or quality, expiry dates and “Use By” dates indicate when the food is no longer safe to consume, regardless of how it was prepared.
Remember that cookie dough often costs less than $5 per bag. Is your hunger truly worth your health or the health of your child? While we strive to never squander, we must also emphasize safety.