Stored properly, chewy cookies should last for up to a week at room temperature. Without storing them in an airtight container, chewy cookies get stale very quickly – in two to three days.
Curious how long cookies last at room temperature? Most homemade cookies will maintain their taste and texture for up to 3 days. If you leave them out for too long, the cookies begin to harden or dry out. To prevent cookies from becoming stale, cover them with plastic wrap or keep in an airtight container.
Chilling cookie dough before baking solidifies the fat in the cookies. As the cookies bake, the fat in the chilled cookie dough takes longer to melt than room-temperature fat. And the longer the fat remains solid, the less cookies spread. In addition, the sugar in the dough gradually absorbs liquid.
Unless otherwise noted, don’t store cookies in the refrigerator: The cool air can rob cookies of their moisture and make them taste bland. In general, store cookies at room temperature or freeze them, as specified above.
Most baked goods keep well at room temperature. That goes for cookies and brownies (which can be stored in an airtight containers for up to five days) as well as muffins, breads, and pastries (which will start to stale in two to three days but will keep better here than anywhere else).
In general, baked cookies will be fine at room temperature for about five days, but only if stored correctly. For most kinds of cookies, there are essentially two ways to store them: in an airtight container at room temperature or in the freezer.
If you are planning to eat the cookies within a few days, place them in an airtight container or ziplock bag. You can also place a slice of sandwich bread inside the container, which will absorb excess moisture and help keep the cookies soft. If you want to enjoy the cookies later on, bake them, then let them cool.