You've Been Storing Gingerbread Cookies Wrong This Whole Time

It almost goes without saying that the absolute best place to store a gingerbread cookie is inside your belly, where that classic Christmas treat can be appreciated to the fullest. Granted, not everyone would agree – least of all the Gingerbread Man, who would undoubtedly run, run as fast as he can to avoid getting dissected by your teeth (assuming you didn't preemptively eat his legs). The Gingerbread Man would probably prefer that you stick him in a gingerbread house instead of your mouth. But both the scrumptious house and the sentient cookie who calls it home should be stored in certain conditions to make sure they maintain freshness and texture until you're ready for the yummy to enter your tummy.

The Spruce Eats says that aside from the humans who eat them, gingerbread people's biggest problem is exposure to humidity and moisture. To be clear, "moisture" doesn't refer to the treacle that trickles from their candy eyes as you eat their delicious limbs – that's just gingerbread tears. Rather, the Farmers' Almanac explains that a humid room can make baked goods into baked bads, turning them soft, sticky, or stale. Then, you'd be running from the Gingerbread Man or feeding him to the trash can. And that's a waste of perfectly good molasses. So if you've just been leaving your cookies completely exposed at room temperature (or sitting them in the sink for some reason), you've been making a major mistake.

This is how the cookie doesn't crumble

If you don't want your gingerbread cookies to absorb ambient moisture, you need to keep them in an airtight environment. The Spruce Eats recommends wrapping them in foil or plastic and placing them in a dry, cool setting. Alternatively, you can seal them up in a glass jar with a lid. The jar has the added advantage that you can show off your nicely decorated gingerbread creations, so it doubles as a holiday decoration.

Ultimately, the storage method you use should depend on the kind of cookies you have. If you baked cookie-people, you will need to give them space, not to breathe but to avoid snapping off their little arms and legs before your teeth can do it. Wrapping them could prove perilous, so you need to take extra care. If you don't have a large jar or tin to contain them, you can build an aluminum foil tent, which, honestly, sounds downright fun and visually charming in its own right.

When storing a gingerbread house, the suggestion to wrap it in plastic still holds. But you may not want to eat your edible building, preferring instead to only showcase it. In that case, you can simply spray it with lacquer to preserve the structure, at which point you should absolutely refrain from tasting or eating any part of it.