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Do sprinkles and other decorations expire?

lamster Nov 29, 2007 10:19 AM

I'm in the midst of planning all my Christmas cookie baking and I'm not sure if I can use colored sugar, sprinkles, and other decorations that I have left over from last year. I can't find any expiration dates but I'd feel bad if I got people sick with old sprinkles. The main reason I don't want to rebuy everything is that I have many different shapes and colors that I don't want to spend more money on. Isn't all just sugar?

  1. Glencora Nov 29, 2007 10:32 AM

    Absolutely use them. I went a little crazy when my son started kindergarten and bought a huge assortment of sprinkles and jimmies, with visions of birthday cupcakes and Christmas cookies in my head. I've been using them ever since -- he just entered highschool. I plan to use them again this year, including the now "illegal" tiny silver balls. Maybe I'll have used up the collection by the time he graduates...

    1 Reply
    1. re: Glencora
      lamster Nov 29, 2007 10:41 AM

      You must have purchased a lot to be able to use them for so long! Thanks for letting me know. They charge an arm and a leg for some of those cuter sprinkles.

    2. scuzzo Nov 29, 2007 10:32 AM

      I don't think so. We used to use stuff year after year after year...

      3 Replies
      1. re: scuzzo
        lamster Nov 29, 2007 10:42 AM

        Awesome. Thanks.

        1. re: scuzzo
          scubadoo97 Nov 29, 2007 04:03 PM

          Those colored sprinkles do have oil in them and yes they do go rancid.

          1. re: scubadoo97
            paulj Nov 29, 2007 05:18 PM

            A rancid item may taste bad, but it isn't dangerous. So go ahead and taste some of the sprinkles. If they taste ok, use them.

        2. l
          LJS Nov 29, 2007 05:40 PM

          They'd better NOT! I/ve been using the same bottle of gold balls for 5 years now and they still taste just fine and nobody seems to be suffering. How come the silver ones are illegal? what did I miss?

          1 Reply
          1. re: LJS
            chowser Nov 29, 2007 05:46 PM

            The silver balls are not edible and say so...in tiny fine print. I don't think many people noticed, especially as they sold it along with sprinkles as cake/cookie decorating supplies. I don't think they're illegal everywhere, though.

          2. toodie jane Nov 30, 2007 08:06 AM

            From the nasty way they taste, "sprinkles" all expire before they are even packaged.
            Once you use up what you have, maybe devise some 'real food' sprinkles. You might come up with some outstanding flavor combos that become family traditions!

            Crushed anise seed
            crushed coffee beans
            crushed hard candies of various colors
            chopped candied flower buds
            Poppy seed
            Sesame seed
            chopped chocolate or mini morsels
            chopped nuts
            chopped candied peels and ginger

            If you really need color(making cookies for kids) use colored sparkling sugar.

            2 Replies
            1. re: toodie jane
              lamster Nov 30, 2007 08:53 AM

              Thanks for the great ideas and they'll come in handy at other times of the year. I generally only use the sparkling sugars and sprinkles for Christmas (since there are some really cute designs like snowflakes, trees, gingerbread people, etc.)

              1. re: toodie jane
                foiegras Nov 30, 2007 09:34 AM

                Candied pistachios are great (like Jordan almonds) ... and finely chopped pistachios are gorgeous on cookies (I did this last year). I've also made poppy cookies with poppy seeds ... I think I put the candied pistachios in the middle.

                That nasty taste could also mean they are deathless ;) But I agree, I try to stay away from the weird stuff. I do have a collection of green sprinkles from a St Patrick's bakefest ...

              2. k
                Kelli2006 Nov 30, 2007 08:34 AM

                Unless they are discolored, sticking together or turning to powder, they are fine to use. I have some that are 2-3 year old and they are fine.

                1. JoanN Nov 30, 2007 09:24 AM

                  I have some nonpareils in my cupboard (grandson doesn't think it's really a birthday cake without them) that must be at least 3 years old. Maybe 4. Just tried them and both taste and texture are as they were when I first bought them.

                  1. Megiac Nov 30, 2007 11:05 AM

                    I think decorations from last year are absolutely fine.

                    The ones that my mom has in her pantry from my childhood (I'm 32 now), are probably best avoided....

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: Megiac
                      lamster Nov 30, 2007 11:44 AM

                      Oh my. 32 years? I think that's the record so far! :) Don't worry, my mom is the same way.

                      1. re: Megiac
                        maplesugar Nov 30, 2007 12:33 PM

                        I think one year old sprinkles would be fine. Megiac your Mom has a lot in common with mine. Last summer I cleaned out her pantry in order to get her more organized and found a lazy susan spice rack full of spices that dated back (according to copyright on the side of the jar) to the late 70's early 80's *ick* :-)

                        1. re: maplesugar
                          AnneM Nov 30, 2007 12:49 PM

                          Thank you all for this thread!! I am about to plan my cookie baking and was planning to throw out some of last years decorations, colored sugar and sprinkles. Yay!...I will use them again.

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