6 Incredible Ideas For What To Do With Stale Cookies

6 Incredible Ideas For What To Do With Stale Cookies

Last Updated on April 5, 2022 by Zara R.

Have you ever wondered what to do with stale cookies? Before tossing them out, read some of our creative ideas on how you can re-use them!

What Exactly Are Stale Cookies And What Causes Them?

Is there anything worse than desperately craving a delicious cookie and realizing that it has gone stale? It is the worst! Before looking at what to do with stale cookies, let’s look at what causes this to happen?

Well, the most common reason for cookies going stale is that they weren’t stored correctly. Like most baked goodies (and especially moist cookies), air is their worst enemy.

We won’t go into too much detail. But, basically what happens is that the water molecules in the air bind with the starch inside of the baked item.  This causes a chemical reaction to take place which creates this very unpleasant stale texture.

Cookies are often left in their packaging without it being closed. Another common occurrence is that the cookies were left on a plate for much too long. Or even that they were “cooled” on the wire rack after baking for hours on end.

But, stale cookies can also simply be old cookies. While they do have a long shelf life, it doesn’t last forever.

How to tell if your cookies have gone stale?

Cookies have little moisture in them after they have been baked. Even if they are moist, their moisture levels have still been decreased. This is what gives cookies their crunchy texture.

Now, stale cookies have two different types of textures. This is usually determined by the type of cookie you have and the ingredients used to make it. There are also many environmental factors that will affect the stale texture.

When your cookie has become extremely soft and pliable, it is a sign it has gone stale. However, if it becomes rock hard and dry, it is also stale. However, both of these textures are very bland and dry.

Can you use stale cookies?

Before you toss out some old cookies, hear us out! There are hundreds of delicious ways you can use stale cookies. And no, not just plain old vanilla wafers, but virtually any other kind of cookie too.

The one condition to this rule is to ensure they aren’t too old. When cookies start smelling or completely changing texture and color, they should immediately be discarded. However, when they are only stale, they are usable and safe to eat.

The best way to use stale cookies is ones that will hide the dry crumbly texture. So, this can be as a crumble, as an ice cream sandwich, or as part of other freshly baked goodies like brownies.

What To Do With Stale Cookies?

Below we have creates a list of some of the most creative ways to use stale cookies. And, these techniques can be used for virtually all flavors and types. Just make sure they pair well with the rest of the recipe.

1. Pie crusts

Pie crusts are a great way to utilize stale cookies. You can use soft stale cookies or ones that have gone extremely hard. You can even use faulty baked cookies in pie crusts if you’d like.

To make a cookie pie crust, simply combine 2 cups of cookie crumbs with roughly 1/4 – 1/2 cup melted butter. Then, once you have a uniform mixture, press the crust into the pie dish or baking pan and pre-bake it.

What makes this technique even better is that you can adjust the consistency of the crumb using a food processor. This will help when using different kinds of cookies.

Sweese 518.109 Porcelain Pie Pan, Round Pie Plate Baking Dish with Ruffled Edge, 10.5 Inches, Mint Green

2. Cookie butter

If you haven’t had cookie butter before, you are missing out big time! Cookie butter is one of those things that you’re probably going to end up eating from the jar instead of actually using it as intended.

This butter makes an extremely delicious crunchy topping for other baked goods. And, the good news is that it needs crispy cookie chunks. So, if you have soft stale cookies, simply crisp them up in the oven before incorporating them into the butter.

To make cookie butter at home, combine crushed cookies with some sugar, butter, and cream (To adjust the consistency). Cook this mixture until it gets a peanut-butter consistency. Then, add some additional crumbs for texture.

3. Brownies

Brownies are always a winner! Why not elevate them adding a rocky road twist? Add chopped pieces of stale cookies into your brownie batter along with some marshmallows and nuts.

Slightly under-bake the brownies to get that uber gooey texture that melts in your mouth!

4. Chocolate bark

Chocolate bark can be used for so many things! It can be a snack or used as a decorative garnish on cakes, pies, or even sweet pastries.

Bulk up your chocolate bark by chopping some stale cookies and scattering them on the surface of the slab. It adds flavor and texture!

5. Truffles

Truffles are known for their lusciously smooth and creamy texture. However, by adding a delicious cookie crumble crust on the outside, you will elevate these to a whole new level!

You can even make a chocolate ball with crumbs before coating it with more chocolate.

6. Ice cream sandwiches

Ice cream sandwiches are a fun and genius way to use old cookies! Simple place a giant scoop of your favorite ice cream between two cookies.

The creaminess and moisture help hide the dry crumbly texture and acts as the ultimate serving vessel. Trust us, your kids will love it!

Inspiration For Different Kinds Of Cookies

Chocolate chip

  • Chocolate chip cookie bread pudding
  • Chocolate chip cookie milkshake
  • Chocolate chip cookie butter
  • Chocolate chip cookie pops

what to do with stale chocolate chip cookies

Fortune cookies

  • Fruit salad toppings
  • Apple pie crumble
  • Green salad “crouton topping”

Sugar cookies

  • Ice cream sandwiches
  • Sugar cookie truffles
  • Decorated Christmas tree decorations

Oatmeal cookies

  • Protein oatmeal bites
  • Bake into oatmeal granola

Final Thoughts

So, what to do with stale cookies? As you can see there are many ways you can utilize them, you just need to be a little creative! Let us know how you usually save your old cookies or what you think of our techniques!


What to do with stale chocolate chip cookies?

Chocolate chip cookies are best used in bread and butter pudding that will help soften the texture and add a delicious gooey flavor. You can also use it for cookie butter or to make cookie pops.

What to do with stale fortune cookies?

These thin cookies will make an excellent crispy topping for fruit salads or as part of an apple pie. You can even use them to make delicious pie and tart crusts if the cookie hasn't gone soft.

What to do with stale sugar cookies?

Sugar cookies can be beautifully decorated and used as Christmas ornaments or to make cookie houses with. But, if they aren't rock solid and still edible, you can easily make a trifle, chocolate bonbons or truffles, or ice cream sandwiches.

What to do with stale oatmeal cookies?

Oatmeal cookies are perfect additions to protein bars or to make a delicious crunchy granola. You can also incorporate them into cheesecake crusts, or as a simple chocolate bar slab.

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