Cookies are irresistible, but you can only eat so many. When the holidays come around, you might find yourself receiving cookies left, right, and center, as if you don’t ALREADY have a drawer full of them for your regular snacking.
What do you do when you have so many leftover cookies? Cookies only keep for so long and surely you wouldn’t want to throw them in the bin, what a waste that would be. Don’t worry, you can easily use them up as an ingredient in other yummy recipes. I’ve gathered a number of different ideas for you.
I’m Angie, I’m a self-taught baker with a baking side hustle. I bake my cookies in big batches, and on days when they don’t sell out, I’m left with cookies that I have to use up somehow. In this article, I will share with you my favorite ways to use up leftover cookies.
Now let’s get into it!
- 1. Make Banana Pudding
- 2. Make Pie Crust
- 3. Throw It in a Milk Shake
- 4. Make Cookie Butter
- 5. Make Ice Cream Sandwiches
- 6. Make Cookie Brownies
- 7. Top Your Cakes
- 8. Use as Crumble
- Final Thoughts
1. Make Banana Pudding
If you’ve ever made or had a banana pudding, you’d know that layered between the creamy banana goodness are bits and chunks of vanilla wafers that give them their unforgettable texture.
Now instead of using vanilla wafers, layer up with your leftover cookies! If you have sugar cookies lying around, perfect. They will soak up the banana flavors and the texture will be just like the southern banana pudding.
If all you have left are chocolate chip cookies, experiment with them and see if you like them. I mean, chocolate and banana, how could you go wrong? I personally love the texture that mini chocolate chip brings to the pudding as well. You can also apply this to any other trifle recipes!
2. Make Pie Crust
Once cookies are baked, they tend to dry out and become stale over time. Now, crispy crunchy cookies might not be your thing, but try crushing them the same way you would process graham crackers and use them as a pie crust. You will be surprised.
When you’re processing your cookies, add in a bit of butter and corn syrup to bind your crumbs together. You can follow a recipe or simply eyeball it. You’re looking for the texture of wet sand.
Once your crumbs have reached wet sand consistency, press them into your pie tray using a measuring cup. Voila, you have yourself a not-so-basic crust that’s perfect for tarts, pies, or cheesecakes.
3. Throw It in a Milk Shake
If you have a blender, I highly recommend you trying this. All you got to do is add in a handful of your leftover cookies into your favorite milkshake and blend away. Super easy right?
Your blender and the amount of liquid in it will help soften the cookies and break them up into tiny pieces. Take a sip and you will experience an overload of flavor with little bits of cookies you can chew on. This is perfect if you have guests over as well as it will surely impress everybody. Just top it off with one more cookie and you’re all set.
4. Make Cookie Butter
Cookie butter is in my opinion one of mankind’s greatest inventions. I could finish a whole jar of it in one sitting if nobody’s judging.
The classic cookie butter is spiced and has a nutty, caramel flavor. You can achieve this by using up specifically your leftover gingerbread cookies, gingersnaps, or any spiced cookie. Here’s a great recipe for cookie butter that I’ve tried in the past.
This doesn’t mean you have to feel restricted though. Experiment, sub out the gingersnaps or Lotus Biscoff biscuits for different cookies to see what other cool flavors you can come up with. Be creative!
5. Make Ice Cream Sandwiches
What’s better than cookies and ice cream? Ice cream sandwiched in two nice and big cookies.
Ice cream sandwiches are stored in the freezer meaning once you’ve made it, both the cookies and the ice cream will have an extended shelf life.
Once you’re ready to eat it, take it out and your ice cream will slowly melt into your cookies, blending all of the amazing flavors together.
For this idea, I recommend you using cookies that are on the thinner side. Otherwise, a frozen thick cookie will be hard and impossible to chew on with the already frozen ice cream.
6. Make Cookie Brownies
Back in my days working at a bakery, cookie brownies were a customers’ favorite. I like to make a cookie brownie with cookie dough at the bottom, layered with an oreo and topped with brownie batter.
Oreo is a classic, but if you have other leftover cookies lying around, you can easily replace the oreo with your choice of cookie and get a just as nice result.
Here’s Cupcake Jemma’s recipe on how to make cookie brownies.
7. Top Your Cakes
Your cookies may have sat in the drawer or the fridge for a while, but that doesn’t make them any less worthy of being a decorative statement.
You can always add a cookie or two to your cupcakes or celebration cakes as decorations to make your cake look even more epic and interesting.
If you have leftover sugar cookies, even more convenient! You can write on them with icing with your choice of message and use it as a cake topper. Because speaking from experience, writing on a cookie is much easier than writing directly on a cake.
P.S. Don’t tell anyone, but as a baker, I’ve definitely cheated by covering up mistakes I’ve made using a cookie.
8. Use as Crumble
If your cookies stay intact when you store them, great! But if they don’t, don’t panic because here’s a perfect solution for you.
This might work better if you have a rolling pin but it is not necessary. Place your cookies in a freezer-safe bag and break them about using your rolling pin. You can roll back and forth until you’ve achieved the size of crumbs you want.
I like that the cookies break into bigger and smaller chunks. This gives whatever I decide to pair it with, a more interesting texture.
I often use cookie crumble to top my coffee cakes, carrot cakes, cupcakes, and even cake pops.
Here I’ll answer some commonly asked questions about leftover cookies you might have.
If you’re left with cookie dough, you always have the option of freezing it and baking them later. That’s a basic solution of course. You can also get creative and incorporate your dough in other recipes, like a “Smutty” brownie for example. Here’s a recipe for oreo cookie dough brownies!
No need to get disappointed when cookies are ruined. Unless they’re burnt, you can still follow my tips above to put your “ruined” cookies to good use. I suggest you breaking them up and adding them to your choice of desserts.
To freshen up cookies that have gone stale, try reheating them. You can do so by placing them in the microwave for about 15 seconds or in a preheated oven for three to five minutes at 350°F.
Cookies are tasty, and if they’re homemade, they’ve likely taken a lot of someone’s thoughts and time to make. That said, there’s no need to pressure yourself or anybody to eat all the cookies you have, especially not as they are.
I hope now that you’ve read these creative ways to use up your leftover cookies, no cookies will be wasted or tossed in the bin again.
Do you know any other things you can do with leftover cookies? If so, let us know in the comments!About Angie