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How To Harden Soft Cookies

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Cookies are so easy to make and such a pleasure to eat. With a range of flavor options, everyone has a cookie variation that they like best.

The texture of cookies is also a matter of preference. Some people like them soft and chewy and others enjoy them hard and crunchy.

But what if you like crispy cookies and they turn out soft every time you bake them?

How to harden soft cookies? To harden soft cookies, whether they are freshly baked or a few days old, put them in the oven preheated to 300-50°F and bake for a few additional minutes. You can also adjust your cookie recipe and pick the right baking tray to get crispy cookies every time. 

Stay with us to learn why cookies turn out soft, how to store them to keep them crunchy, and what measures to take for crispier results.

Why Are My Cookies Soft and Chewy?

Despite their simplicity, there is still a range of issues you may encounter with cookies. One of the most common issues is overly soft cookies. Luckily, you can salvage the situation by knowing a few simple tricks.

While many people like their cookies soft and chewy, others prefer these desserts to be on the crispier side. 

There are many reasons why your cookies may turn out to have the wrong texture. Before you try to fix the cookies, it is important to first understand why they turned out soft.

Understanding the issue instead of jumping into finding a solution will help you avoid making the same mistake next time. 

What causes the cookies to be overly soft and chewy? In the majority of the cases, the issue lies either within the ingredients or the equipment you use to bake them.

Consider the Recipe 

For the most part, the softness of baked cookies is determined by the recipe and the ingredients in it. 

First and foremost, the texture of the cookies largely depends on the amount of flour you use to make them. When it comes to harder cookies, the more flour, the better. Just don’t overdo it, or you’ll be crunching down on a jawbreaker.

Secondly, the more sugar you use to make the cookies, the softer they will be. And lastly, the chewiness and softness of the cookies partly depend on the amount of fat you use to make the cookie dough. 

You’ll need to reduce the amount of moist ingredients you use to keep your cookies crunchy. We’ll talk more about that in a bit.

If all else fails, you can always follow our recipe for crispy salted caramel cookies!

Consider the Equipment 

Aside from the recipe, it is important to make sure that the problem of soft cookies doesn’t lie within the equipment. 

You may be cooking according to your favorite crispy cookie recipe, but somehow your cookies are turning out soft and chewy anyway. This may be a result of the oven not being very powerful. 

Not using the right baking tray is another reason why the cookies may turn out softer than they should. 

How to Harden Soft Cookies

If you are about to bake cookies and want to make sure that they turn out crispy, there are a few things you can do.

1. Adjust the Recipe 

As mentioned above, the crispiness of the cookies largely depends on the recipe. To make sure you end up with crispy cookies, address the recipe first.

Here’s what you can do to get crispier cookies:

  • Reduce the ingredients that are high in moisture, like fat, eggs, milk, etc. You may have to do a little experimenting with your ratios for your particular recipe.
  • Add more flour. Doing this is a key step that will give your cookies a firmer texture. We recommend using plain all-purpose flour, as it contains more protein. Protein helps to achieve a firmer texture.
  • Reduce the amount of fat in the recipe by 25-50%. Additionally, try using butter instead of oil. As the butter melts at a lower temperature, it causes the cookies to spread more. This leads to thinner and crispier cookies.
  • Use white sugar instead of brown sugar. The latter holds onto moisture, which results in softer and chewier cookies. 

Making a few adjustments in the recipe will help you get crispier cookies. Don’t make too many changes, however, as many things can quickly go wrong and you may end up with cookies of the wrong texture and taste. 

After a few tries, you will surely find the perfect cookie recipe for your favorite crispy desserts. 

2. Pick the Right Baking Tray

The baking tray may be the reason why your cookies are turning out soft and chewy. If you want to get crispy cookies, use aluminum baking trays. Insulated baking trays cause the cookies to be softer. 

3. Set the Temperature Lower 

For crispier cookies, set the temperature of the oven lower than indicated in the baking directions and let the cookies bake for a little longer. 

Before you put the cookies in the oven, make sure to preheat it. For crispy cookies, preheat the oven to 350°F. 

4. Put the Cookies Back in the Oven

If you take the cookies out of the oven to only find out that they are not as crispy as you want them to be, put them back into the oven for a few additional minutes.

Leave the cookies in the oven until they achieve your desired degree of crispiness. If you choose this method, keep a close eye on the cookies, as they can easily get burnt. 

How to Store Cookies So They Stay Crispy

Storing cookies properly is essential if you want to maintain their initial texture and slow down the process of the cookies going stale or soggy. 

Here’s how to store cookies so they stay fresh and crispy: 

  1. Let the cookies cool down completely before you transfer them into another container. Even if you’ve baked the crispiest cookies, they will become soggy if you cover them or stack them on top fo each other while they’re still hot. 
  2. Put the cookies in a container with an airtight lid. 
  3. If you’ve baked cookies with different flavors, store them in separate containers. Cookies made with such ingredients as ginger or cinnamon will transfer their aroma to other cookies.
  4. To prevent the cookies from getting soggy, put a piece of white bread in the container. The bread will absorb the moisture that would otherwise make the cookies soft.
  5. Store the cookies at room temperature. Keep the container away from heat sources and direct sunlight. Cookies stored at room temperature have a shelf life of up to 14 days. If you want them to last longer, keep the container with cookies in the fridge or the freezer. The fridge extends the shelf life of cookies to up to 21 days. The freezer, on the other hand, makes the cookies last as long as 2 months. 

When storing cookies in the freezer, make sure to keep the container tightly sealed and well-wrapped. Doing this will prevent the cookies from getting dry and absorbing odors. 

How to Make Soft Leftover Cookies Crispy

To crisp up leftover soft cookies, it is enough to put them back into the oven for a few minutes. 

If you’re into baking, you surely know what a biscotti is. Put simply, biscotti is a twice-baked cookie. You can bake your leftover cookies once again, inspired by these Italian baked goods.

Here’s how to transform your leftover chewy and soft cookies into snappy desserts within minutes.

  1. Preheat the oven to 300°F. 
  2. Place the cookies on a baking sheet.
  3. Put the cookies in the oven and bake them for 10-15 minutes. The heat will remove the moisture from the cookies, making them crispy again. 
  4. Let the cookies cool down and store them in an airtight container. 

Voila! You’re free to enjoy your cookies crispy and crunchy again.

Bonus: Leftover Cookie Pie Crust

Another thing you can do with leftover soft cookies is to turn them into a pie crust.

Follow these steps to get delicious pie crust made of leftover cookies:

  1. Put the cookies into a blender or food processor. 
  2. Turn the cookies into fine crumbs using the pulse feature.
  3. If the cookies are so soft that they won’t turn into crumbs, bake them for 15 minutes in the oven preheated to 200°F. Doing this will crisp up the cookies and make it easy to turn them into fine crumbs.
  4. Combine the crumbs with melted butter. Add around 3 tbsps of melted butter for every cup of cookie crumb. 
  5. Mix to get the butter evenly spread throughout the crumbs. 
  6. Transfer the mixture into your pie pan. Spread it evenly in the pan, pushing the mixture against the walls of the pan. 
  7. Fill the crust with your favorite fillings. 

If making a pie crust out of leftover cookies seems to be too much of a hassle, you can turn your leftover cookies into a hearty ice cream topping.

To do so, simply put the cookies into a blender or food processor and pulse until you reach your desired texture and sprinkle them over your ice cream.

Up Next: Buttercream Frosting for Cookies That Hardens

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