How to Use Up Leftover Cookies

December 23, 2014

Inspired by conversations on the Food52 Hotline, we're sharing tips and tricks that make navigating all of our kitchens easier and more fun. 

Today: Give your leftover holiday cookies new life in the new year. Here are our favorite ways to put them to good use.

Shop the Story

This far into the holiday season, it's possible that you already have a stomach ache. We've been inundated with treats and cocktails, forgoing responsible eating habits for the likes of sugar and punch

With a house full of desserts and waning interest, you might be nudging the cookies closer and closer to the trash as each day passes. But we're here to stop you. Because you can have it all! You can stop looking (and begrudgingly eating) the cookies on that tray; you can also spare them from an unfortunate end. One day -- when your sweet tooth wakes up from its stupor -- you'll be wondering where those cookies are, and why, for the love of anything, you let them go.

So take our advice: Stick the cookies in the freezer (Alice Medrich will show you how) and put them to good use in the new year. Here are our favorite ways to use up leftover cookies:

Sandwich Cookies
What's better than one cookie? Two cookies -- with something delicious, like buttercream or ice cream, sandwiched in between. Up the ante with caramel or dulce de leche -- think alfajores -- and you'll be thanking your lucky stars you thought of those cookies hiding in the freezer.


Cookie Crumble
Fact: Everything tastes better with cookies. Smash up your leftovers, blend them with a tablespoon or two of melted butter (or not), sprinkle them over your ice cream, or layer them in trifles or parfaîts. Go crazy with a batch of brownies by layering the crumble in the middle and on top of the batter. Combine it with in a few nuts, some spices, or a handful of chocolate chips -- the truth is, any way you use a bag full of cookie crumbles is probably a good idea.


Icebox Cake
Icebox cakes are oft forgotten, especially during the winter, but they're one of the tasiest and easiest desserts you can make. How easy? Layer your leftover cookies with whipped cream -- infused with flavor, if you like -- then refrigerate, and let it sit overnight. In the morning, you'll have a cake fit for entertaining that took you less than 20 minutes to make.

More: Here are 3 different ways to make chocolate whipped cream. 

Pie Crust
Cookie crusts are a no brainer -- there's no need to worry about cold butter or overmixing. Plus, they can taste just as good -- or even better -- than traditional pie dough. The general rule of thumb here is to combine 2 cups of crushed cookies with 3 tablespoons of melted butter. If you'd like a sweet crust, add a tablespoon of sugar; or spice it up by throwing in a little ground cinnamon, cardamom, or nutmeg. 

What are you favorite ways to use leftover cookies?

Icebox cake photo by James Ransom; pie crust photo by Sarah Stone; all other photos by Mark Weinberg

See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • Laura415
  • Melody J
    Melody J
  • AntoniaJames
  • Jennifer Dickinson
    Jennifer Dickinson
  • Windischgirl
Julie Myers

Written by: Julie Myers

Perpetually hungry. Will travel for food.


Laura415 December 29, 2014
I've been whizzing leftover cookies in the food processor and freezing them for years. They can be added to any number of desert recipes. I like them as a crunchy layer in layer cakes on top of the frosting. Just crumbled up some intensely lemon spritz cookies which I plan to use as a crust for cheesecake. Love the waste not ethos of this post.
Melody J. December 25, 2014
Leftover cookies? Who has ever heard of such a crazy thing as that? Great ideas though.
AntoniaJames December 24, 2014
My son garnished his hot cereal this morning with a maple praline crescent- then crumbled it over in place of another sweetener. http://instagram.com/p/w_6lLfGB66/ ;o)
Jennifer D. December 24, 2014
Leftover cookies and leftover wine are in the same category (does not exist in my house).
Windischgirl December 24, 2014
Leftover cookies? I leave them on the table and hubby and the three teens take care of all my problems.
CottageGourmet December 24, 2014
Put them in the cuisinart, process to crumbs and make rum balls. :)