A hard and crumbly cookie isn’t exactly the most gratifying feeling but it ranks pretty high on the scale of food disasters. What does it take to keep cookies being soft and chewy? Read on.
Like all other baked treats, cookies also bound to get stale and lost moisture – making them dry and crumbly, almost unpleasant to taste. While of course, you could freeze a batch of pre-made cookie dough to get fresh cookies every time the craving for one kicks in, not always is it possible to turn up the oven and have the bandwidth to bake some. During moments when you have more cookies than you can eat on a given day, here are some tips to follow to retain their delicate chew and gooeyness, without trying too hard.
Store Them Air-Tight
Putting fresh cookies in a Ziploc bag or a lidded container, is one of the best and easiest ways to prolong their freshness. Add a piece of bread to the bag or container so that the moisture from the bread acts like a humidifier to keep the moisture content of the cookies intact. Since sealing makes sure that the air inside the bag is saturated, there is no room for more to permeate and dry the crumb out, therefore keeping the cookies as good as new.
Use Bread Flour
The idea is simple – bread flour holds moisture for longer and contains a higher percentage of gluten compared to regular flour. On being kneaded, the flour creates a dough that is more elastic than usual. However, since cookie dough hardly needs gentle mixing together of ingredients, bread flour acts as a catalyst to retain the chewy characteristic and make the cookies softer while being baked.
Compared to regular castor sugar or granulated sugar, brown sugar has a higher level of natural moisture. Use them in recipes where you expect the output to be darker coloured cookies – like chocolate chip or coffee. Alternately, adding a tablespoon or two of molasses to the dough, depending on the size of your cookie batch, adds a toffee-like flavour as well as helps the cookies be gooey and oozing in the centre.
Play Around With Eggs
This underrated baking trick not only applies to cookies but also to custard, cakes, puddings, etc. If a recipe calls for three eggs, experiment with using two whole eggs and just the yolk from one egg since egg whites tend to hold better form than yolks, making the cookies hard. Make up for the need to add more liquid by adding a couple of tablespoons of milk instead. An extra egg yolk produces denser and chewier cookies, that are naturally moist and soft to the touch, making them almost similar to the texture of cake.