If crisp cookies are your thing, it can be frustrating to know that shortly after making them, that yummy crispiness will fade away into softness, which is not everyone’s cup of tea.
In my experience, this usually happens the day or two after making fresh cookies. I don’t mind softness, especially when it comes to chocolate chip cookies but there’s nothing that exudes freshness more than a cookie with freshly baked crisp edges.
In this short post, I’m going to show you how to keep your cookies crisp.
For another cookie-related baking hack, learn how to bake cookies without an oven.
How do you make cookies crisp in the first place?
This should be your top priority; if your cookies don’t start out crisp after all, they can’t stay crisp now can they!?
It’s generally accepted that the type of sugar in your cookies makes a huge difference. White or granulated sugar helps to create a crisp crust and crunchier edges in all baked goods.
Brown sugar on the other hand has more moisture due to the added molasses, and therefore creates a softer and chewier texture (learn about more ways to make cookies soft).
Of course, it’s important to also think about what type of cookies you’re making. Roll cookies are mostly going to lean toward being crisp, (that’s just their nature) where as drop cookies are going to be softer and chewier.
Roll cookies are already going to include white or powdered sugar (one of my favorites for making sugar cookies) so there is not much you can do to change the initial recipe, except for perhaps increase the amount of white sugar.
It’s also important to choose recipes that specifically say they’ll create a crisp cookie.
Drop cookies vary. Some prefer crispy chocolate chip cookies for example, some prefer the soft variety. This can be achieved by increasing the amount of butter and sugar (especially white sugar), thereby lowering the amount of flour and other ingredients.
Just don’t expect crisp results from a recipe that’s meant to make chewy cookies. Choose wisely!
If it’s an option, increase the amount of white sugar and lower the amount of brown in recipes that include both.
Are you using the right type of pan to bake your cookies? Find out the differences between cookie sheets and baking sheets.
How can I store them to maintain their freshness?
Once you’ve achieved the perfect crisp cookie, you need to consider how to store it.
Anyone who’s made cookies before will tell you that upon storing them in a container, they may ultimately soften to at least some degree after a day or two. So how can you store them to maintain their freshness and crispness?
The general consensus is that they should be stored in a glass container. I’ve never tried this and can’t speak to the reliability of it, but it’s worth a try as most say plastic will only soften your cookies. It’s such an easy fix anyway!
The container must also be airtight to prevent any moisture from entering, and the cookies must be completely cooled before storing them.
Another thing that I can somewhat attest to is controlling your temperature. My family, as many others, mass bake cookies leading up to the holidays. We always made ours in advance and froze as many as possible. The roll cookies always kept their fresh crispiness even after being frozen.
Others recommend storing cookies in the fridge to keep them cool and fresh. I’ve never been a fan of storing baked goods in the fridge as it exposes them to so many other scents and elements that can affect their all around texture and flavor. If it’s worth the risk, it’s an option!
Learn more about storing cookies in your freezer.
It’s also important to consider how long fresh baked cookies actually last. This article from CookingLight is in my opinion the most accurate and helpful when explaining storage strategies, and also describing the shelf life of a variety of cookies; rolled cookies keeping for three to five days.
It’s also important to mention that according to the article, all cookies will last up to three months in the freezer.
The main takeaways so far are:
• Cool cookies completely
• Store them in an airtight glass container
• Separate soft cookies from crisp cookies
• Freeze cookies to preserve crispiness
What do I do if my cookies soften anyway?
If you choose the right recipe, are conscious of the ingredients used and make an effort to create a nice crisp cookie, it can be pretty disappointing to end up with something that softens in the end anyway.
If you follow all recommendations for preventing the cookies from softening, perhaps the cookies were just too moist to begin with and were going to lose their crispness either way.
Try another recipe and don’t give up! Baking is all about experimenting and finding what works for you.
If you end up with soft cookies, it’s recommended to do a short re-bake. Anyone can tell you that reheating something in the oven is better than the microwave or other methods, so this should apply to cookies too!
Simply throw your cookies back in the oven at the temperature they were baked at for 3-6 minutes until they’ve warmed up and returned to their original crispness.
Sarah is the founder of Baking Kneads, LLC, a blog sharing guides, tips, and recipes for those learning how to bake. Growing up as the daughter of a baker, she spent much of her childhood learning the basics in a local bakery.