Mel1965 Posted 26 Aug 2007 , 10:05pm
post #1 of

Hi all...this is a really dumb newbie question, but one I can't seem to find a good answer to! What is the "secret" to nice, soft cookies...be it chocolate chip, sugar, or whatever? I've used butter, and shortening, and I seem to not end up with soft cookies. I know you can put bread in with cookies to help keep them soft, but how do you start out soft? I know this sounds goofy, and probably somewhere here there is discussion about this, but I just want a soft cookie that stays soft and chewy! I have a great recipe for some huge CC cookies, and follow the recipe to the t, but they don't come out like my co-worker's (who gave me the recipe)Thanks for all your help!

56 replies
HollyPJ Posted 26 Aug 2007 , 10:19pm
post #2 of

Shortening will make a softer cookie, while butter will make a crisper cookie. When I make chocolate chip cookies, I mix the two and I still get a soft texture.

I think a huge key is not to overbake. The cookies should be set, but not brown. I set my timer for less time than is recommended in the recipe and then watch the cookies carefully.

mawagner Posted 26 Aug 2007 , 10:20pm
post #3 of

Maybe check your oven temperature...it could be running hotter than it says therefore overbaking your cookies and making them hard. Just a thought...HTH

NEWTODECORATING Posted 26 Aug 2007 , 10:38pm
post #4 of

Here is a link that was posted awhile back. I had it saved to my favorites. I haven't had a chance to try any of the suggestions, but I thought you might want to read it.

http://www.mail-archive.com/cookie-recipe@yahoogroups.com/msg00304.html

indydebi Posted 26 Aug 2007 , 10:38pm
post #5 of

I don't bake them the amount of time shown on the recipe. I take them out when they look ever so slightly underdone. I use the finger-poke test: I poke the sides of the cookie with my finger .... if it feels firm, it's done. The edges should not be brown. If the bottom or edge of the cookie is brown ....even slightly tan ... then I've baked them too long.\\

Soft cookies are practically my "trademark".

nefgaby Posted 26 Aug 2007 , 10:50pm
post #6 of

I also found that if you add a pudding mix to chocolate chip cookies they will turn out really chewy and stay chewy, really good! Also as indy said, don't bake until "golden brown" take them out of the oven a couple min before that. HTH.

rezzygirl Posted 26 Aug 2007 , 11:26pm
post #7 of
Quote:
Originally Posted by nefgaby

I also found that if you add a pudding mix to chocolate chip cookies they will turn out really chewy and stay chewy, really good! Also as indy said, don't bake until "golden brown" take them out of the oven a couple min before that. HTH.




How much do you use? I've seen recipes with pudding but was wondering about modifying a recipe that doesn't already include pudding?



_________
-Rezzy

nefgaby Posted 26 Aug 2007 , 11:29pm
post #8 of

My CCC calls for a full box of pudding, the powder stuff, same thing you add to cake mix if you doctor your cakes up. What I would do is compare both recipes, yours and the one with pudding, and just make sure you add the right amount of liquids and eggs when adding the pudding. If you want I can post the recipe I use, let me know. HTH.

justme50 Posted 26 Aug 2007 , 11:42pm
post #9 of

Alton Brown did a show some time ago and explained all about what makes a cookie soft, chewy, crispy etc..

It seems using cake flour, milk and melting the butter has something to do with it, but whatever it is, his recipe for Chocolate Chip Cookies is wonderful.! They taste great the day you make them, but if you can manage to keep some around, they're even better the next day. They are exactly what they say they are...soft, chewy and yummy!

http://www.foodnetwork.com/food/recipes/recipe/0,,FOOD_9936_13617,00.html?rsrc=search


What's wonderful about this recipe is you don't have to underbake to get them soft. These cookies are not going to get hard and crispy no matter what you do. It's kind of weird to have a blackened burnt cookie that's soft (yes, I did forget the last sheet of them), but that's what will happen.

RRGibson Posted 26 Aug 2007 , 11:46pm

I remember it like this, cookie recipes with a high amount of butter to sugar are going to be crisp not chewy. The chewy cookie recipes have less butter and generally also include brown sugar as well as white sugar. I should qualify this as what eems to be the case for chocolate chip cookies. I remember this from Good Eats!

RRGibson Posted 26 Aug 2007 , 11:51pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by justme50

Alton Brown did a show some time ago and explained all about what makes a cookie soft, chewy, crispy etc..

It seems using cake flour, milk and melting the butter has something to do with it, but whatever it is, his recipe for Chocolate Chip Cookies is wonderful.! They taste great the day you make them, but if you can manage to keep some around, they're even better the next day. They are exactly what they say they are...soft, chewy and yummy!

http://www.foodnetwork.com/food/recipes/recipe/0,,FOOD_9936_13617,00.html?rsrc=search


What's wonderful about this recipe is you don't have to underbake to get them soft. These cookies are not going to get hard and crispy no matter what you do. It's kind of weird to have a blackened burnt cookie that's soft (yes, I did forget the last sheet of them), but that's what will happen.




We were thinking the exact same thing! Great minds think alike. Ha icon_biggrin.gif

jmcooley Posted 26 Aug 2007 , 11:53pm

I like soft chewy cookies also. I remove them early when they still look slightly under done. I also use parchment paper to line my tray. It helps the bottoms from overbaking too fast. Some people also double their cookie sheets. I usually just use the parchment paper and a TIMER!!! The timer is what saves my cookies because I have short term memory loss when I'm multi-tasking.

sherik Posted 26 Aug 2007 , 11:55pm

I got this recipe I think from the forum (cookies).
They are soft & chewy. I bake them @ 325 degrees just until the edges barley start to brown. I use a standard ice cream scoop so mine are about
3-1/4" across.
Chewy Soft Chocolate Chip Cookies

Ingredients

- 2 1/4 cups of flour
- 1 tsp. of baking soda
- 1 cup of soft butter
- 3/4 cup of brown sugar
- 1/4 cup of white sugar
- 1 instant vanilla pudding pack.
- 2 eggs
- 1 tsp. of vanilla
- 2 cups of chocolate chips
- 1 cup of nuts (optional)
Preheat oven to 350 degree F.
Cream together the butter, brown and the white sugar. Then add the pudding powder into the mix. Add the eggs and vanilla. Gradually add the flour that was mixed with the baking soda. Finally, add the chocolate chips and the optional nuts. Stir well. Place dough at least 2 inches apart on the oven sheet.
Bake from 10 to12 minutes. The sides of the cookies must golden a bit before taking out of the oven. Let cool for a few minutes, prepare your glass of milk or coffee and enjoy!

You can also try changing the vanilla pudding powder for chocolate or caramel ones!

leah_s Posted 26 Aug 2007 , 11:56pm

In my experience, a convection oven is another secret to the soft inside, firm outside cookie.

Luxe42 Posted 27 Aug 2007 , 12:02am
Quote:
Originally Posted by rezzycakes

Quote:
Originally Posted by nefgaby

I also found that if you add a pudding mix to chocolate chip cookies they will turn out really chewy and stay chewy, really good! Also as indy said, don't bake until "golden brown" take them out of the oven a couple min before that. HTH.



How much do you use? I've seen recipes with pudding but was wondering about modifying a recipe that doesn't already include pudding?
_________
-Rezzy




Pudding works great! I found that using 1/2 to 3/4 of the pack of pudding mix gave me a tastier cookie. The full pack made mine "too" cakey and fluffy. 1/2 gave me a nice, soft, yummy, chocolate chip cookie thumbs_up.gif

Check the "Award Winning Chocolate Chip cookie" recipe here on CC! It's the best icon_biggrin.gif

jlewis888 Posted 27 Aug 2007 , 12:20am

Has anyone tried the Alton Brown cookie recipe on a really big decorated cookie? Does it work well??

jlewis888 Posted 27 Aug 2007 , 12:36am

Has anyone tried the Alton Brown cookie recipe on a really big decorated cookie? Does it work well??

Marksgirl Posted 27 Aug 2007 , 12:11pm

Thanks for the great information. My husband will not go near a hard cookie.

debster Posted 27 Aug 2007 , 12:22pm

I'm with indidebi again on this one, ( could it be the name? ) haha, anyway the key I've found to soft cookies is what debbie said, take them out a couple minutes early let them set up on pan then remove. I only use air bake cookie sheets too!!!! HTH

SweetConfectionsChef Posted 27 Aug 2007 , 12:28pm

I bake and sell thousands of dozens of big soft & chewy cookies every year. I have found that taking them out of the oven (as indydebi stated) before they look "completely" done is one factor and another is to use BlueBonnet margarine instead of butter. No other margarine works the same for me....I have no idea why. thumbs_up.gif

indydebi Posted 27 Aug 2007 , 12:32pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by SweetConfectionsChef

I bake and sell thousands of dozens of big soft & chewy cookies every year. I have found that taking them out of the oven (as indydebi stated) before they look "completely" done is one factor and another is to use BlueBonnet margarine instead of butter. No other margarine works the same for me....I have no idea why. thumbs_up.gif




oh my gosh, I use blue bonnet! But I use it because it's cheap! icon_rolleyes.gif I had no idea it was making a texture difference.

Also like debster said, let them set-up on the cookie sheet before removing. I always use parchment paper, too. BIG difference!

SweetInspirations Posted 27 Aug 2007 , 12:38pm

looking at Alton Browns recipe, Its says to chill dough. That might help the cookie hold it's round shape and not spread out as much... Like a "cut-out" cookie.
Dont ya think too??

jmcooley Posted 27 Aug 2007 , 12:47pm

I also use Blue Bonnet. I didn't realize that maybe it could make a difference in the way the cookies bake. I also was using it because of the price and it states on the box that it bakes like butter. Everyone likes the CC cookies so I kept using it.

SweetInspirations Posted 27 Aug 2007 , 1:03pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by SweetConfectionsChef

I bake and sell thousands of dozens of big soft & chewy cookies every year. I have found that taking them out of the oven (as indydebi stated) before they look "completely" done is one factor and another is to use BlueBonnet margarine instead of butter. No other margarine works the same for me....I have no idea why. thumbs_up.gif



Just wondering..... When you use the Blue Bonnet margarine, do you need to add a little butter flavoring?

indydebi Posted 27 Aug 2007 , 1:14pm

I realize your question was not for me but I'll jump in and say that I don't add butter flavoring. It would never occur to me to do that. When I grew up any yellow stick of fat was referred to as "butter, so in my mind, when I add the Blue Bonnet, I'm adding "butter".

When I was growing up, the oldest of six kids in the days when it was assumed a mom stayed home, we couldn't waste money on expensive "butter". I didn't know there was a diff between butter and margarine until I was in my 20's. I personally hate the taste of 'real' butter.

But also, with advances they've made in food production, there is an improved taste in the margarines. My husband like the real butter taste and he comments frequently on how much better the margarines are today than when he was a kid.

THere are lots of threads in which the likeability between scratch and mix cakes are many times determined by what you are used to .... what you grew up with. Many people's favorite kid memories are cookies at christmas. When I was a kid, there was no such thing as a gourmet shop, nor was there gourmet ingredients. All the moms I knew went to the local A&P and bought cheap margarine, nestle's choc chips, store brand flour, etc. to make christmas cookies. They never thought to buy "only the best" to make cookies for a bunch of kids. There was no ghiradelli chocolate or other "high premium" ingredients. Just whatever the A&P had in stock. THese are the cookies that memories were made of.

THese are the cookies that I make. These are the cookies that everyone raves over.

Cynita Posted 27 Aug 2007 , 1:27pm

You have to visit these wesites....gives you lots of information on how to get the texture you want in a cookie. The first one is an episode by Alton Brown on the FoodNetwork and the other is an article on allrecipes.com
http://www.foodnetwork.com/food/show_ea/episode/0,1976,FOOD_9956_17114,00.html

http://allrecipes.com/HowTo/Perfect-Cookies/Detail.aspx

I have gathered info from both sources and I promise this is the perfect soft and chewy cookie that I've made. Here is my recipe:

2 sticks of unsalted butter
2 1/4 cups cake flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
1 egg
1 egg yolk
2 tsp vanilla flavor

I use all brown sugar, no white. White sugar will make a crisper cookie than brown.
I use one egg yolk instead of two eggs. Egg yolks help to add moistness.
I use cake flour. Flours with high protein like bread and all purpose will give a more flatter and crisp cookie.

And of course, the most important step is to underbake and leave on cookie sheet for a few minutes. Another key thing is to chill before baking. It helps the cookie to keep it's shape.

Cynita

jobartwo Posted 27 Aug 2007 , 1:41pm

Thank you for this post. I am always looking for a soft cookie. Although I am very paranoid about taking cookies out of the oven unless they are scorched. Cookies are not my favorite thing to make for that reason.

Melody25 Posted 27 Aug 2007 , 1:47pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by nefgaby

My CCC calls for a full box of pudding, the powder stuff, same thing you add to cake mix if you doctor your cakes up. What I would do is compare both recipes, yours and the one with pudding, and just make sure you add the right amount of liquids and eggs when adding the pudding. If you want I can post the recipe I use, let me know. HTH.




Would you please post your recipe??? I make my own White chocolate cjip macadamia nut cookies...Makes me wonder about making these and adding White Chocolate pudding. YUM!

SweetConfectionsChef Posted 27 Aug 2007 , 2:09pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by SweetInspirations

Quote:
Originally Posted by SweetConfectionsChef

I bake and sell thousands of dozens of big soft & chewy cookies every year. I have found that taking them out of the oven (as indydebi stated) before they look "completely" done is one factor and another is to use BlueBonnet margarine instead of butter. No other margarine works the same for me....I have no idea why. thumbs_up.gif


Just wondering..... When you use the Blue Bonnet margarine, do you need to add a little butter flavoring?




I do not add any butter flavoring. The Blue Bonnet tastes just like butter IMO, just softer. I even use Blue Bonnet in my sugar cookies...makes 'em soft and chewy...just the way I like! icon_wink.gif

beachcakes Posted 27 Aug 2007 , 2:12pm

Now I have the Blue Bonnet jingle in my head LOL icon_smile.gif

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