There’s nothing quite like biting into a chocolate chip cookie that has been baked to perfection. After all, you don’t want them to be too chewy or too hard.
Getting a chocolate chip cookie to turn out just right is a skill that you’ll need to perfect over time. If you’re having a hard time getting them to be just right, they might just not be soft enough.
Many people think that soft chocolate chip cookies are the best, but you might be having a hard time figuring out how to get your cookies to turn out this way. Luckily, there are some tricks that can help you to get things right, which we’ll dive into below.
What Makes Chocolate Chip Cookies Turn Out Soft?
To get the best results, you’re going to want to figure out what makes chocolate chip cookies turn out soft in the first place. The basic answer is that you need high moisture content in the cookies so that they can remain soft.
This presents a bit of a challenge since if you aren’t baking the cookies at the right temperature, it’ll be hard to retain moisture levels. You also need to take the temperature that you’re baking the cookies at into consideration.
You can take steps to slow down the evaporation of the moisture when you’re mixing your cookie dough. To do this, you’re going to want to bind the water with brown sugar, butter, eggs, and flour to slow the evaporation process.
The result should be that you’ll have the cookies turn out much softer, and they will also be a bit chewy. Many people feel that this is the ideal type of chocolate chip cookie, and you likely will as well since you’re desiring a soft cookie.
The Dough Might Be a Bit Different
It’s advisable to use a little more flour when trying to make soft chocolate chip cookies since it helps slow down the evaporation process. You need that moisture or else the cookies will become a bit harder than you would like for them to be.
You should note that using a bit more flour is going to make the dough turn out thicker than usual. You might even think that you did something wrong if you’re not used to doing this, but this is perfectly fine for what you’re going for.
This thicker chocolate chip cookie dough will wind up spreading less, and less of the liquid will disappear on you during the baking process. Overall, these cookies should be thicker than most chocolate chip cookies that you’ve made before, but they’re going to be quite soft and tasty.
If you want to get the best results, it’s going to be good to make bigger dollops of dough when you go to bake the cookies. When the dollops have more mass, it’s going to be easier for the cookies to retain moisture.
Making small dollops will often lead to cookies turning out harder than you would like them to be. You might get a slightly bigger cookie than you originally intended, but it’s going to be soft and nice.
Baking Times and Temperatures
Baking times and temperatures will matter quite a bit when you want things to turn out right. Since your cookies are going to have more mass, you’re going to want to cook them at higher temperatures for shorter periods of time.
Doing this will keep the spreading to a minimum and it’ll help to keep the cookies moist. This should allow them to turn out soft and a bit chewy just as you want them to be.
The most essential part of this process is to avoid baking the cookies for too long. Most of the popular soft chocolate chip cookie recipes will give you good baking time recommendations, and this means that you can follow that advice with confidence.
It’s still wise to check your oven to see how the cookies are doing. Some ovens might differ and will need a little less or slightly more baking time to ensure that the cookies turn out right.
Your first batch of cookies might wind up being a “test batch” while you’re trying to lock in the right time. If all goes well, then everything will turn out deliciously.
To give you a good idea of how a finished cookie should look, it’s best to look at the cookie rim to see if it’s brown. You want the rim around the cookie to be brown while the top of the center of the cookie should remain pale.
When you bite into one of these cookies, they should be very soft in the center. This is how you know that you did a good job, but you should let them cool down before you decide to dig in.
Sometimes You Need to Experiment
Sometimes you need to experiment a bit to come up with your own perfect take on chocolate chip cookies. You know the basics of how to get them to turn out soft now, but there’s still more to consider.
For example, you might prefer to have cookies turn out with a cake-like consistency instead of being chewy. This can be accomplished by putting more liquid into the cookie dough from sources such as eggs, water, or milk.
You might be content with following a standard chocolate chip cookie recipe or you might want to try to come up with your own. As long as you keep the advice above in mind, you’ll be able to get them to turn out soft each time.
People develop new takes on chocolate chip cookies by playing around with the formula. You can do that as well if you’re a creative baker, but if you just want standard cookies that you know will be good, it’s going to be easier to follow a tried-and-true recipe.
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.