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Why Storing Royal Icing Cookies in the Refrigerator Is a Royal No-No: Let's Talk Risks

Why Storing Royal Icing Cookies in the Refrigerator Is a Royal No-No: Let's Talk Risks

Royal icing cookies make the perfect party and holiday treat! So, how do you store your edible works of art until party time.  Can you put royal icing cookies in the refrigerator to preserve their freshness? In this blog post, I will share why storing royal icing cookies in the refrigerator might not be the best choice and share the potential risks associated with this practice.

The Risks of Refrigerating Royal Icing Cookies:

  1. Moisture Intrusion: Refrigerators draw moisture from the air, creating a humid environment inside. When royal icing cookies are stored in such conditions, they become vulnerable to moisture intrusion. The moisture can cause the icing to soften, leading to smudging, bleeding, or even dissolving of the decorations. Additionally, the cookies themselves may lose their crisp texture, resulting in a less satisfying eating experience.

  2. Flavor Contamination: Refrigerators are often filled with various food items, each with its own distinct flavors and odors. When royal icing cookies are stored in close proximity to strong-smelling foods, they can absorb these flavors and develop an undesirable taste. Imagine biting into a cookie only to be greeted by the faint aroma of onions or garlic—it's certainly not the experience we desire. 

  3. Texture Compromise: Royal icing is sensitive to temperature fluctuations, and cold temperatures can change the consistency. Refrigerating royal icing cookies can make the icing become too hard or brittle.

  4. Condensation Concerns: As royal icing cookies are brought out of the refrigerator and exposed to warmer temperatures, condensation can form on their surfaces. This condensation not only poses a risk to the integrity of the icing decorations but also increases the likelihood of the cookies becoming soggy or sticky. To avoid this, the cookies must be allowed to come to room temperature slowly and without direct exposure to humidity. If you forget and put the cookies in the refrigerator, then you should take out the container and allow it to come to room temperature before opening it up.  The condensation will form on the outside of the container and you will have less chance of the cookies being ruined. 

Alternative Storage Solutions: Instead of refrigerating royal icing cookies, consider the following alternative storage solutions to preserve their freshness and appearance:

  • Store the cookies in an airtight container at room temperature, away from direct sunlight and humidity.
  • Place sheets of parchment paper between layers of cookies to prevent them from sticking together.
  • Consume the cookies within a few days of baking for the best taste and texture.
  • Ask your baker to individually wrap the cookies in cellophane cookie bags so they will stay fresher longer. 

Conclusion: While it may seem like a logical choice to refrigerate royal icing cookies for preservation, the risks associated with this practice far outweigh any potential benefits. Moisture intrusion, flavor contamination, texture compromise, and condensation concerns are just a few of the pitfalls that await those who store royal icing cookies in the refrigerator. By opting for alternative storage solutions, you can ensure that your royal icing cookies retain their freshness, flavor, and visual appeal for maximum enjoyment.

If you're interested in learning more about cookie decorating, we invite you to join our Cheerful Box Cookie Club. Discover more about it right here!

Online Cookie Decorating Classes- The Cheerful Box - Cheerful Baker

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