How to Soften Hard Cookies- Our Best Tips!
How to soften hard cookies – Our BEST tips!
Do you love baking cookies but often find they come out too hard!? There are so many reasons that can happen! Luckily for you, we have the one-time fixes and the tips to prevent it from happening again!
We love cookies!
We love to bake and cookies make the perfect treat. They can be eaten on the go, are loved by everyone, and we can make a whole lot of them at one time. They also fill the house with the most beautiful aromas and we can rationalize eating a lot of them because they aren’t huge!
Getting the perfect, soft, and chewy cookies isn’t always easy. If you are ending up with crisp cookies when you are after a soft delicious cookie, we have some fixes for you!
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Why do cookies get too hard?
We have a little one learning to bake in our home right now, and one of the most common issues is cookies getting too hard. There are a few reasons that this happens, I think all of which have probably happened during this learning process!
- The most obvious reason for cookies being too hard is because they are overcooked. It can be easy to fall into over baking cookies as they often still appear soft and moist in the oven and can tempt people into leaving them in “just a little longer.”
- Cookies also get overcooked by leaving them on your cookie tray once they are removed from the oven. By leaving them on the hot pan, they actually continue to bake!
- Another common reason that people often end up with a tough cookie is from overmixing the cookie dough. The general rule is to mix only until combined (TIP: until there are no lines of flour visible in the dough).
Your cookies may have turned out too hard, but you can soften them!
You may also like: 37 Easy Cookie Recipes Without Butter, that You’ll Love
How to Soften Hard Cookies – Our BEST tips!
Are you needing to know how to soften hard cookies? There are a lot of tips out there, and more heads are better than one, so we reached out to our baking friends to get their best tips…and their favorite cookie recipes while we were at it!
Use a damp paper towel
If you are looking to soften one cookie at a time, Liz from Zardy Plants suggests wrapping your cookie in a damp paper towel and microwaving for 1 minute. You can find Liz’s favorite cookie recipe here:
Glass of water in the microwave
If you are looking to soften a plateful of cookies at a time, Amanda from Amanda Wilen’s suggests placing a glass of water in the microwave, adding your plate of cookies, and reheating!
Airtight Container & Apple Slice
You may already know that storing cookies in an airtight container, rather than a plastic bag, is best if you are wanting to keep them soft. Robin from Mom Foodie suggests sealing the cookies in an airtight container, along with a slice of apple.
Airtight Container & Terra Cotta Disks
Kylie from Kidgredients says if you want to keep your cookies soft, place a small terra cotta disk (ie the oxo brown sugar inserts) in an airtight container with your cookies. She has chosen a Cornflake Crunch Cookie as her favorite. Check it out here:
Parchment Paper & Apple Peel
Helene from Masala Herb agrees with using apple, but uses it a little bit differently! She says place the cookies in your tin box over parchment paper and keep another sheet of parchment paper over that with some apple peel. That way your cookies will remain soft for a longer period of time. The apple peel keeps the cookies in the box soft. Helene has shared a seasonal gingerbread recipe as her favorite! You can find it here:
Airtight Container & Piece of Bread
Our friend Marley at Marley’s Menu says not to waste the end slices of your bread! Store the bottom or top of the bread in an airtight container with your cookies. The cookies will actually absorb extra moisture from the slice of bread and soften.
Check out Marley’s Vegan Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe!
Aluminum Foil & Damp Paper Towel
Our friend Audrey at Two Pink Peonies also suggest that people use aluminum foil, but prefer using a damp paper towel to an apple slice. They say to put your cookies in a Tupperware container with a piece of aluminum foil in the middle. Put a damp paper towel in the foil. Leave for several hours or overnight. You absolutely have to check out their Raspberry Cheesecake Cookies!
What you should NOT do
- Don’t leave your cookies setting on a pan, rather than moving them to cool on a rack. They will continue to bake on a hot pan.
- Do not use the “oven method” and put them back in the oven in an attempt to soften them! This will only pull additional moisture from them.
- Microwave them, if you aren’t prepared to eat them when they are warm and melty. If you let them fully cool, they will be harder than when they started.
How to prevent hard cookies the next time you bake
The best way to get a soft cookie is to prevent it from getting hard in the first place! Keep these tips in mind the next time you bake a batch of cookies.
- Place your cookie pans on a cooling rack quickly so that air can circulate around the pan and cool them down quickly
- Use room temperature butter. If your butter is not room temperature it won’t mix properly with your sugar.
- When you mix your butter and sugar, do NOT over mix, or undermix. The trick here is to stop mixing when your mixture becomes “fluffly.”
- Transfer your cookies to cool quickly, rather than leaving them sitting on the pan. This will prevent them from continuing to bake on the pan.
- Measure your flour properly. Rather than just scooping it out of the bag with a measuring cup, scoop your flour spoon by spoon into a measuring cup and ensure that it is level.
- Choose brown sugar over white sugar. Brown sugar is naturally moister and will result in more moist cookies.
- Choose an airtight container or proper cookie jar to store cookies, rather than a food storage bag. We use a sealed bag for short-term purposes, but you are less likely to end up with stale cookies using an airtight container, especially if you know that you will be storing them for a long time (like beyond the next morning!)
- If you are using a dark baking pan (vs an aluminum pan) reduce your cookie time. Dark baking pans absorb and retain the heat, which will cook things more quickly (and easily burn baked cookies.)
- Do not overbake your cookies! Our friend Gabby at the Cookie Dough Diaries says the best way to prevent hard cookies is to under-bake them, removing them from the oven when they don’t look quite ready yet! Check out her favorite dairy-free peanut butter cookie recipe here!
Check out our favorite cookie jars to keep to make sure you get a fresh cookie every time!
EXTRA TIPS to bake soft cookies
- Using appropriate measurements is key! Did you know that there are different measuring cups for wet and dry ingredients?! While they have the same measurements on them, we tend to use them differently and therefore end up with different amounts of ingredients. Make sure you are using the right tools!
- Make sure your dough is just right. If it is dry and crumbly will result in dry cookies, and most likely will also cause them to cook unevenly. If your dough is too wet or sticky your cookies will flatten and be too dry and crunchy.
- Use an aluminum cookie sheet, and ONLY use it for cookies! This will help to prevent cookies from burning on the bottom and edges while still being uncooked in the middle. Our favorite pans have no (or very low) sides to help with even cooking.
- Use parchment paper to line your baking sheet. This will also help to ensure your cookies will cook evenly.
- Add extra egg yolks to your dough to make chewier cookies. We find adding one extra egg yolk is a great way to make homemade cookies taste like they are from the bakery.
- Adding cornstarch to your recipe (1 – 1.5 teaspoons), can also help your cookies stay nice and thick and super soft and chewy.
While our cookies don’t always turn out the way that we want them to, there are almost always fixes, and definitely always more to learn so we can adjust and do better next time!
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