No! You can’t make all of the desserts and cookies for Christmas at the last minute and still enjoy the holidays.
Fortunately, plenty of cookies keep well—and some actually improve with age. Go ahead and try some of those traditional Scandinavian and German recipes that you’ve ignored all these years; many are made for keeping and delicious, indeed. Or, stay in your comfort zone with butter cookies, meringues, and biscotti.
If you can organize your sock drawer (so trendy right now) you can make a plan and start baking cookies immediately. (And for tips on how to bake a zillion cookies with only two cookie sheets go here.)
Always consult the individual recipe you are using, but here is the general scoop on types of cookies that keep well and/or actually improve with age—as long as you store them properly, in airtight containers or as directed in the recipe you are using. You can find storage times and further details for dozen of other cookies in my book Chewy Gooey, Crispy Crunchy Melt-in-Your-Mouth Cookies (Artisan Books 2010).
Your Guide to Make-Ahead Cookies, A through T:
Amaretti: These keep for at least 2 months, probably much longer.
Biscotti: The super dry, crunchy type improve with a few days age and keep for several weeks. The cakier, less crunchy type may keep for 2 weeks.
My career was sparked by a single bite of a chocolate truffle, made by my Paris landlady in 1972. I returned home to open this country’s first chocolate bakery and dessert shop, Cocolat, and I am often “blamed” for introducing chocolate truffles to America. Today I am the James Beard Foundation and IACP award-winning author of ten cookbooks, teach a chocolate dessert class on Craftsy.com, and work with some of the world’s best chocolate companies. In 2018, I won the IACP Award for Best Food-Focused Column (this one!).