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How to Make Soft Cookies

Cookies that are soft are moist and delicious. Cookies that were meant to be soft but have turned hard are a disappointment. To avoid having your gourmet cookies turn out like hockey pucks, follow these guidelines.

First off, get an oven thermometer. Every oven is different and if a recipe says to bake your cookies at 350 degrees, you can’t just assume your stove is an exact 350 degrees when the dial says so. Test it. Make sure the internal temperature matches what it says on the dial. Then you can compensate for it if it’s not accurate. Don’t just stick your cookies in the oven and walk away. Come back eight or nine minutes later and you may find that you have discs as hard as steel that are going to have to end up in the trash.

Another way to get soft cookies is to store them properly. You may bake up the perfect batch but then store them incorrectly. Air will lead to drying out of the cookies. If you want your cookies to stay soft, store them only after they are cooled. Place them in an airtight cookie tin and stick a piece of bread in there with them. The bread will emit moisture that will be absorbed by the sugar in the cookies. That will keep them soft for a little while. Of course they won’t last forever because they have no preservatives in them. And change out the bread every two days or so to ensure that mold won’t grow. But more likely the cookies will be eaten before they can ever go stale!

Be sure to use the freshest ingredients and don’t over bake your cookies. Allow for the fact that they will harden a little when they cool, so take them out before they feel hard in the oven.

Here are some recipes from Allrecipes.com for soft cookies you can whip up today.

Flickr Photo Credit: whitneyinchicagoSoft Oatmeal Cookies (courtesy of allrecipes.com)

Ingredients

1 cup butter, softened

1 cup white sugar

1 cup packed brown sugar

2 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

3 cups quick cooking oats

Directions

In a medium bowl, cream together butter, white sugar, and brown sugar. Beat in eggs one at a time, then stir in vanilla. Combine flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon; stir into the creamed mixture. Mix in oats. Cover, and chill dough for at least one hour.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Grease cookie sheets. Roll the dough into walnut sized balls, and place 2 inches apart on cookie sheets. Flatten each cookie with a large fork dipped in sugar.

Bake for 8 to 10 minutes in preheated oven. Allow cookies to cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

Big Soft Ginger Cookies (courtesy of allrecipes.com)Flickr Photo Credit: bradipo

Ingredients

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons ground ginger

1 teaspoon baking soda

3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground cloves

1/4 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup margarine, softened

1 cup white sugar

1 egg

1 tablespoon water

1/4 cup molasses

2 tablespoons white sugar

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Sift together the flour, ginger, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves, and salt. Set aside.

In a large bowl, cream together the margarine and 1 cup sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg, then stir in the water and molasses. Gradually stir the sifted ingredients into the molasses mixture. Shape dough into walnut sized balls, and roll them in the remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar. Place the cookies 2 inches apart onto an ungreased cookie sheet, and flatten slightly.

Bake for 8 to 10 minutes in the preheated oven. Allow cookies to cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely. Store in an air tight container.

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