What makes a guaranteed biscuit recipe

Gingerbread, cookies, stollen: there is an abundance of pastries during Advent. Some home-baked, given or bought things quickly end up in the bin after Christmas. By properly storing the cookies, you can do something about food waste. This is what the initiative Too good for the bin! of the Federal Ministry of Food (BMELV) now.

Whether crispy or soft: this is how biscuits stay delicious

As beautiful as a Christmas plate looks: Cookies, Stollen, fruit bread, honey and gingerbread keep longer in sealed tin and plastic containers. If you give away baked goods, you should pack them in a tightly fitting plastic bag, because in the open air, crispy things become soft faster and soft things hard faster. That is why Christmas cookies should only be left open when they are also being eaten. Tip: Cinnamon stars and gingerbread stay soft if you put an apple wedge in the biscuit tin, as this gives off moisture.

Cinnamon stars are camp champions

Cookies are best stored in a tin at room temperature. Depending on the variety, they can be kept for different lengths of time. Florentines last around a week, vanilla croissants, rascals and heather sand around three weeks and cinnamon stars around a month.

Heating air is poison for gingerbread and Co.

Gingerbread, honey cake and fruit bread can be stored in a tin for up to eight weeks at temperatures of around 17 degrees. Stollen also likes it cool and dark. Heating air is poison. Wrapped in a sheet and stored in a tin can, the pastries stay soft. If you don't have a large container, you can make do with simple aluminum foil. Stollen will last a good three months. The shelf life of poppy seed stollen is shortened to around four weeks, as it can easily become rancid.

Check stored baking ingredients

Are the ingredients from the last birthday cake still good for Christmas baking? Here is information about the shelf life of some standard ingredients:
- Ground nuts and almonds can be stored at temperatures below 20 degrees for about four weeks, and unshelled for several months. This is where the shake test helps: if the kernel of a hazelnut rattles in the shell, it is dry and old.
- Sugar can be kept practically indefinitely at room temperature, flour at least one year.
- Over time, crystals can form on vanilla pods, a kind of hoar frost that is not a problem. They can be stored for up to three years at temperatures of 15 to 17 degrees. Dried pods are placed in warm water for a while, then the pulp can be scraped out.
- Block chocolate stays fresh for up to twelve months at room temperature, dark chocolate varieties stay fresh for up to 15 months. White fat or sugar bloom can result from storage that is too warm and is harmless.

It is advisable to store all baking ingredients mentioned in a dry and dark place on the storage shelf. When the best before date has expired, you should check whether the food is still usable on the basis of its appearance, smell and taste. The best-before date only states up to which point in time the manufacturer guarantees the specific properties of a product. So it's not a throw-away date.

Pies in the fridge, cakes outside

Cakes have a permanent place on the coffee table on the holidays. You have to keep them in the refrigerator, where they stay fresh for about two days. Cake, on the other hand, should not be stored there, otherwise it will be stale. It stays juicy under a cover or in aluminum foil.

First aid with baking pan

Almost every hobby baker has probably burned cookies at some point. However, one should not eat burnt spots under any circumstances. Instead, you can carefully remove them with a knife or kitchen grater. Then carefully brush off the crumbs with the brush. The interfaces can be covered with chocolate icing. Even dry cakes can be saved: Put back in the mold, pierce several times with a wooden stick and slowly pour liqueur or juice over it. When the pastry is soaked, carefully turn it out.

Broken items don't have to be in the bin

What is broken can be reused: Crumbled biscuits are a delicious dessert decoration. Broken sponge bases are ideal for layered desserts or cake pops. And you can make delicious rum chocolates out of mushy cake.

Freeze leftovers

Most pastries can be frozen for one to three months without any problems, and sponge cakes even last twice as long. Shortcrust pastry breaks quickly, so should be handled very carefully. Pies, cakes and biscuits are left to thaw unpacked at room temperature so that they do not become mushy in the condensation. It is best to freeze in small portions, then defrosting is faster. Warning: some baked goods are not made for the freezer. Meringue cakes and macaroons become tough, buttercream and pudding fillings become watery, yoghurt, sour milk, sour cream or crème fraîche flakes out after defrosting.

Recipes for pastry leftovers

You can also conjure up delicious new dishes from leftover cookies, cake bases and the like. Crispy cookies, nut and chocolate leftovers are ideal for a modern variation of the “cold dog”, as top chef Jürgen Koch shows with his spiced chocolate black sausage. With the “Trifle” recipe from Enie van de Meiklokjes, cookies, cakes or stollen can be used.