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What does a Cookie Jar do? Seriously....

SilentAcro Aug 16, 2011 12:11 AM

So....I have no idea what a cookie jar does aside from store cookies. Is there something about a cookie jar that makes it a better storage option?

(This is actually a serious question)

  1. sunshine842 Aug 16, 2011 01:15 AM

    it depends on how it's made. The ceramic ones with a loose-fitting lid I've found to be utterly useless, unless you like limp, stale cookies. If you get one with a silicone gasket to seal out the air, they can do a pretty good job of keeping cookies fresh.

    I use a metal box (like the kind you buy Danish butter cookies in) that I buy around Christmas (because they're easy to find) -- or hubby brings me the empty tins when someone sends cookies to the office. I find that with a piece of waxed paper across the top, they keep cookies fresh and crisp (with that little bit of good chewiness) until they're gone -- 4-5 days at our house. (and then I can put the tin away and it doesn't eat my counter space)

    1 Reply
    1. re: sunshine842
      srsone Aug 17, 2011 09:02 AM

      my grandmother always put a slice of bread in hers...
      she said it was to keep the cookies fresh..

      she had a Mccoy cookie jar that looked like a barrel...

    2. u
      ultimatepotato Aug 16, 2011 01:15 AM

      My Grandmother's cookie jar is painted like a fresian dairy cow and moos when you open the lid. So, aside from storing cookies, it serves as a mildly shaming reminder that I need to put down the cookies and go to the gym, thereby making a jar of cookies last even longer. Talk about a multi-functional device!

      3 Replies
      1. re: ultimatepotato
        sunshine842 Aug 16, 2011 01:45 AM


        1. re: ultimatepotato
          DGresh Aug 16, 2011 03:07 AM

          My dear mother-in-law always had a three tier cookie jar in her kitchen. Just the normal kind. My husband would always open it up to peek at some point in the first hour we were there. There was always something there for him. Now that she's gone, I have the cookie jar, but I'm afraid I'm not nearly so good about always having something in there. I don't think it does anything special to protect the cookies, but if one were the type to bake cookies every day, there would always be a treat surprise in the jar.

          1. re: DGresh
            pikawicca Aug 23, 2011 07:50 PM

            I am not getting the concept of a "three-tier cookie jar." Could you explain what this looks like?

        2. Davwud Aug 16, 2011 04:47 AM

          It's decorative too.


          1. l
            lcool Aug 16, 2011 06:21 AM

            In the modern sense really nothing for cookie freshness or shelf life,but don't discount usefulness or the ability to tell a story.Almost all I see on the counters of friends and clients are "special",gifts,hand downs and finds at the flea market etc.Canisters aren't for this house,too small,large hands don't fit,silly for 25# of flour etc.All things of that sort in the pantry.

            Decorative,sentimental,large and critter proof is a win for me.My father's childhood one,a giant pickle for dry cat food,next a wedding gift from are highschool chum no longer with us,huge bull frog with paradise pellets for the mynah birds and #3 from the counter of an old family friend,large red hen with an egg peeking out for 1# bags of barley,wild rice etc.The newest,40 years old,that anniversary was just 8 days ago.


            3 Replies
            1. re: lcool
              kattyeyes Aug 17, 2011 06:31 AM

              I agree with your first sentence wholeheartedly. Not only do your cookie jars sound really cool, lcool, but how cool you have mynahs! I have always admired them! Do they ask for cookies? :)

              I wish I had some of the decorative variety. In fact, I think I do in my mom's attic "for someday." One day when it's not so hot, I'll have to poke around up there. Along the same lines, I have decorative canisters for flour, sugar, tea, coffee (just as my mom had). They're different wooden houses, so together they form a little village, but kinda impractical for my current counter space. Hopefully, someday for them, too. Happy belated anniversary!

              1. re: kattyeyes
                lcool Aug 17, 2011 08:14 AM

                Mynahs,sin in a black satin suit,half pint crows not for everyone.These sisters are our second generation,hatched in house.After 20+ years we wouldn't want to live without them.Mynahs don't ask,they just insist or even steal.Mynah rules is something they think of as an imperial directive,theirs,having nothing to do with good or bad behaviour.Very challenging during their two loose sessions everyday.
                They love cookie dough,cake batter,butter,cheese,fruit,vegetables SHELLFISH and MEAT.Always able to find the "perfect" fruit or vegetable on the kitchen tray.Always remind all,that cats and dog etal are equal to roaches.

                1. re: lcool
                  kattyeyes Aug 17, 2011 08:32 AM

                  The mynahs sound more like chowhounds than most people--and very deserving of their own collectible cookie jar!

            2. c
              Cachetes Aug 16, 2011 06:37 AM

              File cabinet for random papers at my Mom's house. Could always find a few dollars in there also. Mmmmmm!!!!!

              1 Reply
              1. re: Cachetes
                janeh Aug 16, 2011 07:13 AM

                I have my grandmother's cookie jar, a plump Friar Tuck with a sash across the skirt that says "Thou shalt not steal". I remember the cookies of my childhood being pulled fresh and crispy from it, though they may have been truly fresh and crispy and not stored for very long before they were devoured! We keep chocolate in it, little individually wrapped ones.

              2. t
                tzurriz Aug 16, 2011 07:16 AM

                The one of my mom's house gives pre-verbal grandchildren a place to point to, and slightly older grandchildren something to reach for.

                The Tardis cookie jar I bought for my house, which my husband swiped and took to work, announces when someone is swiping his treats in turn by making the Tardis "whoshe, whoshe" noise.

                6 Replies
                1. re: tzurriz
                  sunshine842 Aug 16, 2011 01:23 PM

                  Want. Oh, want.

                  1. re: sunshine842
                    tzurriz Aug 16, 2011 01:47 PM

                    http://www.thinkgeek.com/homeoffice/k... That's where I found it. Hopefully linking to it doesn't violate any rules.

                    1. re: tzurriz
                      sunshine842 Aug 16, 2011 03:48 PM

                      my son was all but drooling on my shoulder -- I'd googled that after your first post, and he's pretty much said that it's on his Christmas list now.

                      1. re: sunshine842
                        SilentAcro Aug 17, 2011 12:11 AM

                        A TARDIS cookie jar!!!! I am so buying this cookie jar!!

                        1. re: SilentAcro
                          Dapuma Aug 17, 2011 10:03 AM

                          exterminate! ... these cookies heh

                      2. re: tzurriz
                        lcool Aug 17, 2011 07:53 AM

                        I am sold,thank you for such a great gift idea

                  2. s
                    skyline Aug 16, 2011 04:53 PM

                    IMHO, a cookie jar encourages the household occupants to hurry up and eat all the cookies before they start to go stale, LOL -- which would of course be terribly wasteful if that were to happen, right?

                    At least that was my logic when I was a kid and didn't have to worry about Bad News Days from the bathroom scale. Which is why I've never owned a cookie jar as an adult, LOL.

                    Then again, I'm pretty good at coming up with excuses for why so many cookies are already gone from the airtight Snapware container that we use instead. "I ate the overdone ones because I know you don't like those." "I ate the underdone ones because I know you don't like those." "I read somewhere that it's unlucky to have an odd number of cookies." "The top layer looks so much nicer when it's nice and even, don't you think?" and so on. ;-)

                    1. w
                      wattacetti Aug 17, 2011 09:02 AM

                      If I follow advertising they're made to hold twist ties.

                      The ceramic ones make nice delivery vehicles when giving someone cookies or when you're serving cookies, but they are useless for storing cookies since they're not air-tight. They're also nice if you like a touch of kitsch in your home. If you want to store cookies, square or rectangular Lok'n'Lok containers work pretty well and stack nicely in corners.

                      1. Eiron Aug 17, 2011 06:58 PM

                        "... a better storage option ..." than what? Tupperware? Wax paper? On a plate, under a towel?

                        Imagine you're in the 1800's & you've just baked a sheet of shortbread. You want to "protect" them from marauding family members, bugs, etc. They go into a bicuit tin!

                        Fast-forward to The Great Depression, & the tin box popularly becomes a ceramic jar.

                        Family nostalgia aside, we now have a plethora of air-tight treat-sealing options!

                        1. Veggo Aug 23, 2011 06:09 PM

                          Ceramic and pottery cookie jars are heavy and unwieldy, especially when a little person is desperately trying to replace the lid without making a very familiar sound.
                          Cookie jars exist so big people not in the kitchen can detect what little people in the kitchen are doing. They are a centuries-old alarm system.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: Veggo
                            Mother of four Aug 23, 2011 06:26 PM

                            Love it!!

                          2. t
                            TwistedCrone Jul 12, 2013 12:22 PM

                            Theoretically speaking in an abstract science way...The domed lid of a cookie jar allows for better accumulation/circulation of natural moisture inside jar. The ceramic or masonry is slightly porous and allows for the exchange of gases that enhance flavors of the baked goods as the absorption and distribution of the sugars and such Meld and Mature! I also line the inside of the jar with a layer of parchment paper, as well as a few pieces between a couple of layers too, this also slows the gas exchange but still allows it so that it coddles the cookies as they "cure" up! ...as if they make it that far?
                            ...or...put them in a plastic bag...

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: TwistedCrone
                              Veggo Jul 12, 2013 12:25 PM

                              Nice try. You may have a future as a wine critic.

                              1. re: Veggo
                                TwistedCrone Jul 13, 2013 01:22 PM

                                ...And the Reason for it to be heavy is so that "Critters" like mice and such cannot get at the goodies in question! :)

                            2. e
                              ellaf Jul 13, 2013 03:08 PM

                              It's sort of like a tea kettle. You don't need a tea kettle to boil water but they are pretty and they add to the ritual.

                              Cookie jars are also pretty and add to the ritual. Does that help? I grew up with a cookie jar. My mom put a piece of wax paper under the lid to help keep cookies fresh. Ah, the memories...

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