How to Soften Cookies! Pro Tips to Do at Home

Have your soft cookies turned hard?

Perfect dough makes SOFT cookies!

Most people ask questions on how  to soften cookies, but the mistake some make is in not knowing how to make the perfect dough that will make soft cookies.

Discover not just how to make cookies soft again, but the ingredients that will make dough perfect enough to make your cookies smooth and chewier.

Cookies are yummy when they are soft. Understanding how ingredients respond when mixed is the answer to making delicious soft cookies.  

How to Make Soft Cookies

Everyone loves cookies, so here’s how to make soft cookies:

Ingredients:

  • 250g brown sugar
  • 100g white sugar
  • 226g unsalted butter
  • ¾ teaspoon of salt
  • 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon of baking soda
  • 1 large egg + 1 yolk
  • 2 teaspoons corn starch
  • 2 ¾ cups all-purpose 

Steps:

  • Cream the butter and sugars together to aerate the butter
  • Add the egg, egg yolk, and vanilla extract and stir well
  • Combine all the dry ingredients– cornstarch, baking soda, salt, and flour
  • Add the mixed dry ingredients and wet ingredients gradually and stir well to absorb the flour.
  • Roll the dough into balls and place on a prepared cookie sheet
  • Bake for 11 minutes at 350°F (177°C).
  • Enjoy!

Why Soft Cookies Turn Hard

Leah Henderson said, “The loss of moisture in the air is what will turn soft cookies hard.” When this happens, the starches in the flour will harden; then, a fresh, soft cookie will turn hard.

Hard cookies might also be a result of adding too many dry ingredients to the dough. The result of this is that the cookies will turn dead- hard once they cool off.

But, if your soft cookies turn hard, do not worry! You can revive them.

How to Soften Cookies

To get your rock hard cookies soft again,

• Add a slice of bread

You will need a lidded jar, a slice of bread, and your cookies.

Lay a slice of white bread at the bottom of a jar and place the cookies at the top. Close up the container and wait for some hours. 

While the cookies absorb the moisture in the bread, the bread will turn hard.

Putting flavored bread together with the cookies will affect the taste.

• Add a slice of apple

Here you need a container, a slice of apple, and your cookies.

Place a slice of apple in the box, the colored side facing downward. Add the cookies to it and keep airtight. Allow the cookie some time to soak up moisture from the apple.

However, the cookies may absorb the apple flavor.

• Plunge your cookies in any drink

Dip your hard cookies into your milk, yogurt, coffee, tea, cappuccino, or juice drink to soften the texture of the cookies.

How to Make Hard Cookies Soft in a Microwave

One of the easiest ways to soften the cookie is by tossing them in the microwave. Here’s how to do that correctly:

• Use a paper towel

All you need are your hard cookies, a paper towel, a tray, water, and a microwave.

Rest the hard cookies on a tray, and dampen the paper towel. Make sure to squeeze out excess water from the paper towel, and then cover the cookies with it.

Put the plate of cookies covered with the damp paper towel in the microwave and heat it for 15 to 20 seconds. After that, bring out the cookies.

Though the paper towel may smell as sweet as the cookies, try not to eat it. Throw it away and eat only the cookies.

However, the only problem with this method is that the cookie may get really hot and melty.

• Use water vapor

If you decide to use this method to soften your hard cookies, you will need these four things- your hard cookies, a microwave-friendly plate, a mug of water, and of course, a microwave.

Place your hard cookies alongside a cup of water on the microwave plate. Microwave the cookies and water together on low heat for 30- seconds.

The heat from the microwave will boil the water, thereby creating steam. This steam will infuse into the cookies you placed with the mug of water and revive the cookies and soften them at the same time.

After 30 seconds, take out the cookies from the microwave and check if they are soft enough. If they are not, feel free to repeat this process until you get your desired cookie texture.

What Went Wrong in the First Place?

There's nothing more frustrating than seeing a task you worked hard at wash down the drain. Here are things that can cause a problem:

  • Too much sugar and butter in the cookie dough will flatten the cookies. Use brown sugar for better results and follow the rules.
  • Too many dry ingredients like flour and baking powder will make cookie dough dry and rough to work through. Measure ALL ingredients accurately.
  • Over baking or baking at a high temperature is likely to make cookies turn dark, hard, and crispy. Bake at medium heat and pull the cookies off from the oven before it cooks thoroughly.
  • The dark-colored baking sheet can also make cookies dark.
  • Baking on low heat or taking the cookies out too soon can make the cookies look pale
  • Adding too much egg in the dough can make cookies gummy and cake-like.
  • Adding much liquid to the dough will make the dough too soft.
  • Over mixing the dough will make it tighter and stronger as gluten builds up in dough over time and traps air bubbles.
  • Placing cookies too close to each other when baking will make the cookies gum together. So, you might want to give them some breathing space.

How to Keep Cookies Moist

To keep baked cookies moist, do the following:

  • Use brown sugar to hole in the moisture. Moisture is what keeps cookies softer and chewier.
  • Do not over bake the cookies because they do not stop cooking once they are out of the oven. Over baking will make them hard and crunchy. Remove the cookies out of the oven right after they turn golden brown.
  • Roll out the cookies in small balls to retain moisture at the center of the cookies.
  • Add applesauce to the cookie to make the cookies softer and give it a fruity taste.
  • Allow the cookies cool for 3-5 minutes before storing them. This will make the cookies retain moisture, and stay fresher.
  • Use corn syrup to give the cookies crispy edges, softness, chewier center.

How to Make Cookies Soft and Gooey again!

How to Soften Cookies FAQs

Do cookies soften on their own over time?

Yes. The cookies become soft when left open because the ingredients used in making cookies absorb the moisture in the atmosphere.

How much butter should I use for my cookies?

Generally, it should be a tablespoon of butter to a quarter cup of butter. However, recipes vary. So, it is advised you stick to the formula you are working with at the time.

How can I keep my cookies soft?

Add a slice of white bread or apple to the jar of cookies and keep it airtight.

Should I let the cookies cool down before storing them?

 Cookies should sit for about 5 minutes before being stored to make them dry quicker and retain moisture. 

What’s the best way to store cookies to keep them from hardening?

Stock the cookies in a jar with a slice of bread or apple.

Conclusion

The best way to prevent cookies from hardening is by avoiding things that make cookies hard. While your cookies are baking, keep your eyes on them, so they don’t over bake.

Now that you know how to soften cookies, always measure your ingredients accurately according to the recipe. Always bake on baking parchment to prevent the cookies from sticking and burning. 

Finally, cookies that contain dairy products tend to get worse faster. The only remedy is to consume them in time.

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