I often remind people that "cooling" your freshly baked goods is part of the baking process. (Cooling = your treats are cold when consuming, not at room temp or warm.) Yes, it is important to stir, portion, and bake your delicious goodies, but cooling them properly will ensure its full flavor.
Not matter what you are baking: cupcakes, cookies, quick breads, brownies, they all need to be cooled before consuming or storage. Why? If you eat one before it is properly cooled, excess steam will release, causing any excess moisture to escape. In all baked goods, steam is necessary to make the sweet treat nice and moist.
If you decide to freeze your baked good, and it is still warm, it will causes excess condensation within the packaging (ex: plastic bag, plastic container, etc) and make the outside super soft and soggy. No beuno!
Follow these 3 key and easy tips for properly cooled back goods:
1) Always cool in the pan you baked your delicious baked good in.
-Why: This, one, avoids any extra pans you have to clean and, especially with loaf pans, holds the shape. With cookies, I always cool the cookies on the sheet pan versus removing the cookies from the sheet pan and putting them on a cooling grid. Slowing cooling down the baked good with also, ensure a nice, soft crust on the bottom.
2) Place the pan on a cooling grid.
-Why: When you evaluate the delicious treat on to a higher surface, the bottom cools down just as fast as the sides and tops. Thus overall, it will cool down faster than on a non-elevauated surface.
3) Make sure it is 110% cooled before consuming/cutting/enjoying!
-Why: This is hard. Really hard. Your place smells like sweetness and all you want to do is stuff your face with sugar-buttery goodness. One: when you cut into a baked good that it is cooled, it will retain its shape versus collapsing. Two: There is no excess steam and moisture, thus your treat is super-duper soft and moist. Trust me on this one, patience is key.
I like to completly cool any large treats, like my loaves and cakes, overnight to ensure it is 100% cool before storing.
Please remember bakers:
-If you do decide to freeze your baked goods, make sure it is in an air tight container and wrapped tightly with plastic wrap. You don't want freezer burn killing your treat.
-Always avoid aersol sprays when greasing your bakeware. It leaves a gross brown film that stains and ruins your gorgeous pans.
-Use good old fashion butter and parchment paper when greasing!