How To Keep Cookies Soft

Ah! That feeling when you bite into a gooey, fresh, warm cookie, straight from the oven is one of life’s joys. Whether it’s chocolate chip cookies from your cookie jar or a regular, plain kind, a soft cookie can change a bad day into a fantastic one with just a bite.

However, soft cookies do not always stay soft for long. The window for enjoying chewy cookies can be fleeting. That is, unless you store them properly, in an airtight container.

It’s so disappointing when you bite into what you think are chewy cookies, only to find they have gone stale and hard, seemingly overnight. Thankfully, you don’t have to experience a crunchy cookie anymore!

There are a few methods for helping cookies stay soft for longer. If you want to find out how to enjoy that fresh taste for days upon days, stick around as we guide you through the most proven techniques of making your cookies softer for longer.

Why Are Some Cookies Soft? Is The Answer Brown Sugar?

There’s no doubt that there is science to baking. It’s not as simple as chucking your cookie dough in the oven and hoping for delicious baked goods at the end. All in all, it all comes down to extra moisture and the ingredients your cookies are made from.

Simply put, a cookie recipe that asks for a lot of brown sugar, butter, and egg whites tends to result in a softer and chewier cookie. These ingredients tend to add moisture to the cookies, therefore keeping cookies soft for a longer period.

Of course, some cookies are not supposed to be soft. Take biscotti or shortbread cookies, for instance. These will never be soft as they do not contain moisture keeping elements.

Luckily, there are a few tricks that can help cookie recipes create softer results.

Whilst the preparation can be a little time-consuming, simply adding another egg yolk into the cookie batter, or using white sugar as a substitute for brown sugar can help you create soft and chewy cookies with more moisture and heightened flavors.

Ways To Keep Cookies Soft

There are a number of ways to keep your cookies soft. Read our favorite and most proven methods on how to keep cookies soft so you can enjoy them for longer.

Use Brown Sugar

Just by adding two tablespoons of brown sugar (light or dark), you can soften your homemade cookies. This type of sugar contains additional moisture thanks to its molecular structure, and the fructose and glucose found in the sugar are hygroscopic.

Therefore, they draw in and hold on to extra moisture. The result? Less moisture loss and a batch of soft cookies.

Do Not Over Bake Your Cookies

If you leave your cookies for too long in the oven, they will usually end up crunchy and overly hard. If you were hoping for a softer cookie batch, then you need to under bake them. Take them out of the oven a few minutes early and wait while the cookies cool down.

Then, you can store them in a bag or air tight container. This way, the cookies will stay softer and chewy for longer.

Store Your Cookies With Bread

Ever heard of adding sugar to a piece of bread to keep it soft? Well, the same can work for super soft cookies. When storing them in an air tight container or plastic bag to minimize airflow, throw in half a slice of bread.

It doesn’t matter if it is brown or white bread. Here, the cookies will absorb moisture from the added bread, keeping their butter softer inside and the whole cookie chewy. But, do not add too much bread as your cookies will become too soft and turn into a mushy mess! Neat trick, huh?

Corn Syrup

That’s right! Corn syrup is an invert sugar, so it becomes a liquid at room temperature. Just, make sure you do not use the high fructose kind of corn syrup.

By adding a tablespoon of syrup to your next batch of cookies, they can come out of the oven with a crisp, golden edge and a wonderfully chewy middle.

Scoop Your Dough Into Tall Mounds

For your next batch of cookie treats, try and scoop its dough into mounds rather than making them flat on a baking sheet. Doing this will soften their middle, making your cookies chewy and softer for longer.

Keep Them In An Air Tight Container

This is probably the number one rule! As long as you minimize airflow to the cookies, they should remain soft and chewy for a while longer. You can use a ziploc-bag or a reusable container. But, make sure it is entirely airtight.

Also, if you go with our bread option above, it’s important to keep moisture from the bread. If air gets to the bread, it will lose its “powers” and hinder your quest for gooey goodness. Therefore, your cookies could become crunchy, no matter how good your baking was.

Who Do Your Soft Cookies Become Hard?

It’s more to do with moisture and less to do with the recipe. Cookies go from soft to hard because they start to dry out.

As soon as you take them out of the oven, this process begins. If any moisture remains, it will soon evaporate, and the starches and sugars will start to solidify. And, you will then have hard cookies on your hands.

However, if you follow our guidelines above, you can almost always be guaranteed of chewy baked cookie delights every time.

In Summary

The trick to keeping cookies soft is to use the right ingredients and store them properly, in air sealed containers.

What makes a cookie soft is not always in the recipe, though. It’s also how long you bake it in the oven, and the steps taken after it has been cooked. Try our tips above and we hope you can enjoy delicious soft cookies for as long as possible.

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Kathryn Sewell

Hi! I'm Kate and I have been baking and cooking for as long as I can remember. I like to share the most interesting tips and recipes I try here on What Kate Baked for you to enjoy. If you have a favorite recipe you'd like to share send it over on social.

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