Just how do you keep cookies soft? In this article, we have a few definitive answers mixed with some lesser-known techniques to help keep things nice and doughy.
It's a learning experience. The occasional sub-standard souffle or wrecked rice pudding is par for the course (or food for thought, we should say).
But then there are those small disasters that test our spiritual boiling point and risk sending us over the edge.
We can think of hundreds of incidents when the slightest baking mishap ruined our morning, and it's usually something that feels out of our control.
One of these minor disasters leads us to an endless search on how to keep cookies soft after baking. It sounds like such a trivial thing, but again, it's the small touches that matter.
After grinding away all morning, determined to bake the finest chocolate chip cookie humanity has ever seen, the last thing you need is your cookie creation turning into reinforced concrete before your very eyes.
Not All Cookies Are Created Equally!
So let’s learn how to keep cookies soft!
Like a knight in shining armor (or a chef in sparkling whites), we have prepared an extensive and no holds barred guide to preventing this tiny baking disaster from ever happening to you again. Follow these tips for the most delicious soft cookies you will ever bake, period.
Join us as we navigate the trials and tribulations of the good old baking staple, the chocolate chip cookie, and help keep your cookies delightful.
First, let’s discuss the key ingredients needed for soft cookies. ingredients are best suited for softness
You might not be aware of this (or maybe you are), but flour plays a central role in cookie softness due to its protein levels.. Science stuff, basically. Try looking for flour with a lower protein count, and you have a greater chance of achieving cookie softness at the end of the bake and for a good few hours after.
If you can't be bothered to read the small print on packets, here is a helpful tip: cake flour is your best bet because it has a low protein count. Conversely, all-purpose offers medium levels of protein.
There is no need to adjust ratios, regardless of your flour, as cake vs. all-purpose will require the same amount.
Corn Syrup (Light)
Light corn syrup is something you can add to any cookie mix to help achieve softness. This isn't the type of corn syrup regularly sold in various stores, but more of a sugar that verges on liquid, helping the other sugars in the mix to remain more liquid-like when baked. In other words, it helps prevent the mixture from clamming up.
Light corn syrup is sometimes used in specialist cakes and confectioneries to help keep baked products soft and doughy for longer. Use just a tablespoon for a regular batch of tasty cookies.
Yolks will help deliver a little stodge to the mix, which will reduce the progression of gluten. They also bring a great consistency to the bowl, keeping the mixture nice and sticky.
If you are hunting around for recipes, choose one that uses egg yolks in the mix. It will make quite a difference to the ongoing softness of the cookies post-bake.
You have probably noticed that brown sugar has quite a sticky feel and it’s a pro at retaining moisture l. Brown sugar helps with softness during the baking process by delivering moisture to the cookie intermittently during baking.
Brown sugar is an almost natural ally for those wondering what keeps cookies soft. To keep brown sugar, always store it in a well-sealed, non-ventilated container. Otherwise, you will lose some of that moisture content.
The final consideration in the essential ingredients list to achieve a softer bake is butter.
Traditional butter contains around 30% water, double the amount of commercial butter found lining the shelves of ordinary grocery stores. Trust us, it will go a long way towards lovely doughy cookies.
In addition to using the best ingredients, the baking process is also important to nail down if you want your cookies to stay nice and soft for a few days. . So, let's figure out how to make cookies stay soft now that you have the right ingredients.
This isn't a revolutionary tip and is probably quite obvious, but if you leave your cookies in the oven for even a few minutes longer than necessary, the mix will dry too quickly and lead to more rigid, dry cookies.
Be careful and edge on the side of caution: it's better to take out the cookies too early than too late.
Don't Overwork the Dough
Another leading culprit for cookies losing their lovely softness is overworking the dough during preparation. Getting stuck into kneading is tempting, but you should resist the urge and keep things gentle..
Kneading for too long can cause gluten to form together too tight. Once again, this leads to far tougher cookies, so gentle does it!
Fat is tricky to balance out because you need fat for a good mix. Too much fat, however, and the cookies will begin to take a crumblier feel. This is another good reason to go with traditional butter because of the lower fat and higher water ratio.
Too much fat also causes the mix to spread out during baking, which causes the softness to dissipate far more quickly.
Freeze The Dough
Most recipients will have you refrigerate the dough for 30 minutes or so, but by freezing the dough, you have a greater chance of improving softness. The trick is avoiding over-freezing: a quick 10-minute blast should do it, and don't worry about covering the cookies.Just stick them into the freezer while on the tray, naked.
How to Keep Chocolate Chip Cookies Soft After Baking?
There really is just one single solution for keeping cookies nice and soft post-bake, and that's to use an airtight container. Anything with a seal, basically. You can also use wrapping material such as foil or clingfilm, but there’s no real substitute for a nice, solid container.
How to Rescue Stale Cookies?
By following the above baking tips, your cookies will have a better chance of staying softer for longer. But what do you do if you haven't followed these tips and now face a disaster with hard cookies?
Keep reading for a few suggestions on how to get your cookies back to a nice soft consistency.
You might be familiar with this tip, as the method is as old as the recipe itself. Place the cookies inside an airtight container with a slice of bread, seal them, and leave for a few hours, preferably overnight.
So why does bread keep cookies soft? Well, overtime, the cookies will naturally draw out all moisture from the bread and return to a lovely smooth consistency once again.
Microwave Stale Cookies
It probably seems counterproductive, but this microwaving stale cookies still works. Cookies go softer when they are warm - even if they have gone a little stale. So, go ahead and wrap wet kitchen tissues around a few cookies, and place them in the microwave on half power for 8 seconds (a second or two longer for really large cookies).
Brown Sugar Savers
You might have a few of these around the kitchen somewhere. If you are unsure what they are, a brown sugar saver is a small terracotta plate that draws in water and slowly releases out again. The idea is to place the cookie on the plate and soak it for 30 minutes. Do that, and you should have a nice doughy cookie.
While we’ve shared quite a few ways on how to keep your cookies fresh and soft after baking, we still have one last tip for you!
Another great way to keep cookies soft for longer is to use more chocolate chips in your cookie mix. Why? Because the chips retain moisture very well, serving as a little hydration army as the cookies rest.
Throw a few more chips than usual into your mix, follow our suggested tips and cheats, and there is no reason your cookies shouldn't stay nice and soft for a few days.
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