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What is the secret to baking soft cookies?

No matter what I try, i.e. homemade with butter, boxed cookie mix, or rolls of refrigerated cookie dough, my cookies always turn out hard. I used to melt the butter all the way before I added it to the mix, but then I tried only softening it for a few seconds in the microwave. No difference. They all still come out crispy. Could it be my oven?

Answer Question
 
zboys

Asked by zboys at 7:57 PM on Nov. 16, 2013 in Food & Drink

Level 19 (7,047 Credits)
Answers (14)
  • Use margarine, room temperature.
    KTElite

    Answer by KTElite at 8:02 PM on Nov. 16, 2013

  • are you creaming the butter and sugar together well before adding all the other ingredients? Using a pan with an edge will also help. I have a pan I use to sheet cakes layers with a 1 inch lip. Perfect for soft cookies. Also make sure ingredients are all at room temp. Even the eggs. um... don't over mix! It's okay for it to be a little lumpy. Under baking by a couple of minutes will also help. If all else fails shortening will make softer cookies than butter but you loose the buttery flavor.
    Anonymous

    Answer by Anonymous at 8:11 PM on Nov. 16, 2013

  • Brown sugar, molasses, or corn syrup make softer cookies.
    SWasson

    Answer by SWasson at 8:21 PM on Nov. 16, 2013

  • Parchment paper helps too in my experience.
    Ginger0104

    Answer by Ginger0104 at 8:45 PM on Nov. 16, 2013

  • I just made a batch of cookies from the refrigerated Pillsbury cookie dough roll. They came out hard, crispy, and DRY!! Somethings definitely wrong with the oven, I think.
    zboys

    Comment by zboys (original poster) at 8:45 PM on Nov. 16, 2013

  • Thanks for everyone's comments. I will have to investigate the various possibilities.
    zboys

    Comment by zboys (original poster) at 8:47 PM on Nov. 16, 2013

  • baking powder instead of baking soda
    Anonymous

    Answer by Anonymous at 9:14 PM on Nov. 16, 2013

  • How long are you baking them? In my experience, if you wait till the cookies look and feel (I touch my cookies while they are cooking) the way you like, you've already over baked them. Take them out a few minutes before you normally would, and if all else fails put the hard cookies in an air tight container with a piece of bread for a while. It'll soften those cookies right up.
    mommy_jules

    Answer by mommy_jules at 9:16 PM on Nov. 16, 2013

  • Yes, I already do the bread trick. Next time I bake, I'll have to decrease the time.
    zboys

    Comment by zboys (original poster) at 9:20 PM on Nov. 16, 2013

  • Lower the temp you're baking at.
    idareyou

    Answer by idareyou at 11:28 PM on Nov. 16, 2013

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