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9 Foolproof Tips for Crazy Soft Peanut Butter Cookies

9 Foolproof Tips for Crazy Soft Peanut Butter Cookies

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If you’re part of the soft cookie fan club, you’re in the right place. Soft cookies have always been elite thanks to their delectable, chewy bite and sumptuous taste.

Luckily, there are several methods you can use to make your peanut butter cookies extra soft.

That can involve adding moisture-rich ingredients like honey or corn syrup and opting for cake flour. Tweaking your baking method can also soften your cookies.

For instance, reducing the baking time or mixing room temperature ingredients can reap a chewier outcome.

Stick around to learn more about how to make peanut butter cookies soft.

Tried and True Methods to Get Soft Peanut Butter Cookies

After several tests, I’ve found that these methods will give you the softest results for your peanut butter cookies.

1 – Choose the Right Flour

Some flours contain higher protein than others, resulting in harder cookies or dryer baked goods.

Typically, all recipes will call for all-purpose flour since it holds a moderate amount of protein. You can opt for lower-protein cake flour instead.

It’s usually used to make cupcakes and cakes fluffier and more tender. This ingredient has less protein because it underwent a bleaching process, stripping its gluten protein.

Simultaneously, it boosted the flour’s liquid and sugar absorption level, promising softer results for your peanut butter cookies.

2 – Avoid Overmixing

Overmixing in the baking world is a typical no-no for several reasons. In terms of making peanut butter cookies, it can overdevelop gluten levels, leaving the baked goods with a harder bite.

Additionally, overmixing can also incorporate excess air into your batter. When baked, the cookies will rise and fall flat.

You’ll get a crispier exterior instead of the desired melt-in-your-mouth one.

3 – Avoid Overbaking

Overbaking is the one mistake you need to avoid at all costs when trying to create soft peanut butter cookies.

Leaving the peanut butter goodies longer in the oven will suck out most of their moisture, giving you a dry and crumbly outcome.

4 – Use Room Temperature Ingredients

Using the right ingredients and baking time isn’t always enough to achieve the softest peanut butter cookies. You also have to account for your ingredient’s composition.

They need to be at room temperature. That way, they’ll blend more seamlessly together and create a homogenous mixture, rather than a lumpy mess.

If your batter looks a bit more like the latter, then your peanut butter cookies will likely turn out with an uneven texture.

5 – Use Brown Sugar

Brown sugar is a better sweetening choice than your standard white granulated sugar. It’s more compact and can absorb more liquid, resulting in softer and more decadent cookies.

In contrast, white sugar tends to melt more easily, causing your peanut butter cookies to lay flatter when baking. It’ll achieve a crispier result.

6 – Chill the Dough Before Baking

This might seem a bit unconventional at first, but popping your batter in the fridge to cool before baking can make a world of difference in your cookies’ texture.

Once they’re in the fridge, your dry ingredients will get a better chance of absorbing more moisture.

When you place them in the oven, they won’t spread too much as a room-temperature batter would.

You can keep the peanut butter cookie dough in your fridge for up to eight hours or overnight.

7 – Use Baking Powder

Baking powder tends to produce fluffier results as opposed to baking soda. Adding more bulk to your peanut butter cookies means extra soft and puffy bites.

8 – Incorporate Shortening

You can either swap your butter for shortening or add both at the correct ratio. Shortening will make your cookies have a cakier texture.

That said, shortening is made purely of fat, which helps incorporate more moisture into your cake. Meanwhile, butter contains other compounds that’ll make the cookies on the runnier end.

9 – Add Moisture-Rich Ingredients

Ingredients like molasses, honey, and corn syrup will incorporate extra moisture into your batter. When baked, you’ll have an added natural sweetness to your soft peanut butter cookies.

The fructose in all these sweet ingredients helps retain moisture better in the mixture. You can add about one tablespoon of whichever hydrating ingredient you prefer.

Are Peanut Butter Cookies Supposed to Be Soft?

When you first bite into a peanut butter cookie, you should feel its slightly crunchy exterior. The baked good’s center should feel soft as you chew through it.

Nonetheless, a peanut butter cookie doesn’t have a set texture. If you prefer a harder bite, you can alter the recipe for a crunchier result.

Alternatively, you might love the cookie for its extra chewiness. In that case, you can add more moisture-rich ingredients like molasses or honey for a softer taste.

Do Peanut Butter Cookies Harden as They Cool?

Once you take your peanut butter cookies out of the oven, your cookies aren’t done yet. As they cool on a rack, the melted sugars harden, adding a crisp outer layer.

Plus, when the air starts to cool in the cookie’s center, it’ll gradually deflate.

Why Did My Peanut Butter Cookies Turn Out Hard?

The likeliest culprit to your hard peanut butter cookies is that you over-baked them. Those extra few minutes can make a lot of difference to their texture.

After cooling down, you’ll also notice that they’ve become crumbly. For this reason, stick to the baking time of your recipe and reduce or increase the timing based on your portion.

A good rule of thumb is that if the peanut butter cookies’ edges turn golden brown, you can turn off the heat.

Generally, that could happen after the eight to ten-minute mark. Taking them out earlier than their original baking time will make them even softer.

How to Store Soft Peanut Butter Cookies

After making your soft peanut butter cookies, you might want to save some for later. Better yet, you could be meal-prepping for the next few days and need a sweet pick-me-up.

Here’s how to keep your peanut butter goodies soft during storage.

1 – Use the Right Tools

That doesn’t mean tossing your peanut butter cookies in a glass jar with an unsealed lid and calling it a day.

Instead, you need to place the cookies in an airtight container. You don’t want any moisture escaping from them.

2 – Stay Away from the Fridge

Unless you plan on keeping your peanut butter cookies for more than three days, you need to avoid the refrigerator.

It’ll only dry out the cookies or any other baked goods. For this reason, I recommend keeping them in an airtight container at room temperature.

3 – Add a Piece of Bread

Bread, specifically the white variety, holds a lot of moisture. Keeping it with your peanut butter cookies will make them less prone to drying out.

In addition, keep a close eye on the container in case any mold forms from the excess hydration.

You can substitute the bread for apples, but they might leave a hint of the fruit’s flavor on the cookies.

Can You Re-Soften Hard Peanut Butter Cookies?

The good news is, yes, you can turn a stale, hard peanut butter cookie soft again.

To do so, grab a glass of water and place it in the microwave along with your cookies for about 20 to 30 seconds. The steam from the water should re-saturate the cookies.

Final Thoughts

Peanut butter cookies are an exceptional protein-rich snack. You can make them in various textures, from chewy and soft to crunchy and crisp.

As someone who favors the mushy variation, I’ve found multiple ways you can make your peanut butter cookies soft.

Recipe variations like adding brown sugar, molasses, honey, corn syrup, baking powder, and cake flour can hydrate your batter, giving you the desired soft texture.

Tips like shortening your baking time, using room temperature ingredients, and chilling your dough have also proven effective in producing softer cookies.

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