Jim Hillibish: Ways to make Christmas cookies last until March

Jim Hillibish

Making Christmas cookies last until Christmas can be as daunting as forcing Santa’s fat behind down the chimney.

A friend of mine figures she has the best system. Cannot argue with success. She has used it for 35 years.

She drives a stunning 1959 red Cadillac Eldorado with roll-tucked white leather. It’s nicknamed the “aircraft carrier” because the finned behemoth looks like a jet bomber, and the engine hood looks big enough for a flight deck.

Her cookies go into the trunk in holiday presentation tins. When she spots her friends on the road, she pulls them over with flashing lights and a few whump-a-whumps of the Eldo’s deep throat.

I was crossing Market Avenue at the paper, minding my own thoughts, when she let fly at the light. I jumped 20 feet, landing in the Salvation Army’s new shrubbery. Worth it in homemade eclairs any day.

Garages: perfect coolers

There’s no agreement as to the best damned cookie in the land, but storage of it finds a consensus. Our garages are giant coolers awaiting the fruits of our ovens. Their cool temperatures will keep your cookies fresh in tins through March, if humans can be kept at bay.

They take up no critical space out there and remain as handy as the back door.

It helps not to label the boxes, homeland security, you know. My mom taped a cowbell to each tin, her cookie theft detection system.

Another cool thing is that cookie tins on a festive storage table add decoration to an area of the house vastly underlooked, even though it often is the first room your guests see.

Remember, soft, bar-type cookies require high amounts of humidity to stay fresh. Store these in tins with tight lids.

If they start to dry, add a peeled slice of apple wrapped in a paper towel.

Your crumbly, crisp concoctions benefit from looser fitting lids such as cookie jars. Add a slice of bread to cut the humidity, and change it often.

This is all perfect if you have a family that can control themselves.

There’s something about being constantly tempted every time you dock your Eldo that only can be sated one way.

You’re battling powerful eating habits here. May at least a third of your collection last until New Year’s Eve.

Cooking questions? Ask jim.hillibish@cantonrep.com