Yes, crunchy cookies have a rich texture and maintain their shape better. However, sometimes you just want something easy on the teeth, especially after a large plate of turkey, mashed potatoes, and stuffing.
Chewy at the center with lightly crispy edges, soft cookies are the way to go.
With simple ingredients and clear instructions, we show you how to make Christmas cookies soft so you can enjoy a light, fulfilling dessert.
The process of making soft cookies is the same as making crunchy ones. You’ll just make a few changes to the recipe as you go along. Let’s see a few examples.
- 1 cup unsalted butter
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 2 eggs
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- ¾ cup tsp salt
- ¾ unsalted butter
- 2 tbsp heavy cream
- 2 ½ cups confectioner’s sugar
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
Before you start making your dough or frosting, remember to keep your ingredients at room temperature. That would help them blend well, resulting in a smooth mixture.
So take your eggs and butter out of the fridge and let them sit at room temperature for an hour before making your dough. You also want to preheat your oven to 350℉ and put parchment paper on a lined baking sheet.
After your ingredients have rested at room temperature, grab a large bowl and add your butter and sugar. Blend them with a stand mixer until homogeneous.
Then add the eggs and vanilla extract and blend them until they form a fluffy, creamy batter.
Now, put that bowl aside and grab another one for your dry ingredients. Mix your flour, salt, and baking soda together.
Slowly pour the dry ingredients into the butter mixture and keep folding until evenly combined.
Cover the bowl and let the dough rest in the fridge for 30 minutes. Not only does this help it firm up, but it also gives time for the flavors to set in.
Once the dough has rested, take it out and scoop it into 1.5-inch balls. You can use your hands to form the balls if you don’t have a cookie scoop.
You can put the balls on the baking sheet two inches apart from each other. However, I recommend pressing them down with your hand to ease the spreading process.
Just a light press is enough. Pressing the dough too much would make the cookies crispy.
Bake them for 10-12 minutes, then take them out and let them cool before serving them.
Before I get to the instructions, it’s worth noting that this recipe was made with the frosting in mind. That means the cookies don’t have much sugar and depend on the frosting to create a sweet flavor.
So, if you want to skip the frosting, add granulated sugar to the dough before baking.
To make the frosting, grab a medium-sized bowl and add your confectioner’s sugar, salt, heavy cream, butter, and vanilla. Blend them until you get a smooth, buttery frosting.
I don’t recommend adding the heavy cream all at once. Do it gradually until you reach the desired consistency.
Put the frosting cream in a piping bag to have more control over its flow and enjoy making a mess. Make sure the cookies are completely cold, though, so that the frosting doesn’t melt.
Maybe you’re not a fan of frosting. Do you also hate happiness and support Lord Voldemort?
Anyway, you can still make delicious cookies without frosting. However, you need to add some pizazz.
I couldn’t think of a better ingredient to capture the colorful spirit of Christmas than sanding sugar.
- 1 ½ cups unsalted sweet cream butter
- 2 eggs
- 4 ¼ cups flour
- 1 ½ cups sugar
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- 1 container Christmas sanding sugar
- 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
First, preheat your oven to 350℉ and put parchment paper on baking sheets. Then, grab a large bowl, and blend your butter and sugar with a stand mixer.
Add your eggs one at a time, beating your mixture between additions until homogeneous. Now add your vanilla, mix for a few seconds, then put your batter aside.
Grab a new bowl and combine your baking powder, cream of tartar, baking soda, and flour. Mix them together, then add your mixture to the wet ingredients and blend them well.
Use a cookie scoop to shape the dough into small balls. Pour your Christmas sanding sugar into a bowl and drop the balls onto it.
Roll them into the sugar, ensuring it covers every part of the balls. Take them out and put them on the baking sheet.
Use your palms or a flour-coated lid to flatten the balls a little bit. A thick disk shape is what you want.
Bake the cookies for 11-13 minutes and enjoy.
Making soft, chewy cookies isn’t the hard part. Maintaining their softness is the real challenge for most people.
Here’s the thing, though: It’s simpler than you think. All you need to do is take proper storing measurements, and you’ll maintain the soft texture for a good while.
I know cookie jars look aesthetically pleasing, but they let too much air in, causing your cookies to dry out.
On the contrary, airtight containers are designed to keep air out. So you can maintain your cookies’ soft texture for longer.
Fresh white bread contains a lot of moisture.
If you put it inside the cookie container, it’d raise the humidity levels, causing the cookies to absorb enough moisture to stay soft.
Avoid using whole wheat bread, as it doesn’t contain enough moisture. If you don’t have white bread, you can use apple slices.
However, keep in mind they may change the cookies’ flavor.
Storing your cookies in the fridge is a quick way to dry them out, as it absorbs the moisture out of them. I recommend storing them at room temperature.
Now you know how to make Christmas cookies soft. It’s not rocket science.
Just make sure you create a smooth mixture and don’t overbake it. That’s not the end of it, though.
Even after making soft cookies, you still need to store them properly to maintain their texture. So keep them in an airtight container with a fresh piece of white bread and store them at room temperature.
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.