If you're an old softy with cookies, here are some mixing and baking tips

Ask the Chef

April 21, 2002|By Jim Coleman and Candace Hagan | By Jim Coleman and Candace Hagan,Knight Ridder / Tribune

Q. I make wonderful chocolate chip cookies that are gooey and soft right out of the oven. My problem is that the next day they are hard. Is there a way to keep cookies soft for a couple of days?

A. I'm with you about loving soft cookies. Give me something gooey and rich, not like a cracker. Now, there are those people who do like hard cookies, but they're just plain wrong and no one has bothered to tell them that.

Here are some suggestions to keep your cookies chewy.

* Mix in some brown sugar with your regular sugar. Brown sugar will keep the cookies from spreading as much when they cook, and a slightly thicker cookie tends to be softer.

* Allow your butter to get to room temperature before you use it. If you can find European-style butter, like Pelugra, the extra butterfat it packs will help keep the cookies chewier.

* Put the cookies in a baggie with some bread slices overnight. They'll absorb some of the moisture from the bread.

* If all else fails, put the cookies on a plate and cover them with a dampened paper towel. Microwave them for a few seconds, and they should return to their former gooeyness.

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