So first and foremost, I gotta let you in on one of my top 3 pet peeves. Crispy, hard and overbaked cookies!!!

To tell you the truth, this is one of the reasons why I began my baking extravaganza. A lot of the hobbies that I start in my life are primarily because I want to conquer a problem of mine in some way. For example, you may ask why I tried to become more like Arnold Schwarzenegger when I was in high school? Well, like many boys, I was born. And then 17 years later I realized that becoming like Arnold just made sense. I started pumping iron as a hobby with a goal in mind to become the next Mr. Olympia. Of course I chose the one goal that I was never going to attain, mainly because I prefer baked goods to steroids! So there ya have it. But back to my original reason for this post…:)

When I first began baking I had a goal of figuring out how to uncrispify my cookies and make them into delicious mounds of chewy. It took me many burnt cookies and frustrating nights before I slammed on the panic button and realized that I had just jumped into this whole baking thing without any knowledge. Major NO NO. A little background research and I was on my way to baking in a burnt free kitchen! Quick, join me in learning more!

These are in order of importance:

1) Watch your baking time closely…and i mean closely. This is the most common error in baking. What I have found is that you have to take the cookies out a few minutes before they look fully cooked. You should take cookies out of the oven when they begin to brown on the edges and to slightly brown on the top as well, even though they will look a bit gooey and not ready. Cookies continue to cook once you take them out of the oven. Let them cook for 5 extra minutes on the hot cooking sheets and then place them on the cooling racks.

2) Be anal about measuring the right amount of ingredients. Not much more to say here but to read the ingredients very closely and to not try to mix everything too quickly. Most common result to trying to bake too fast: Burnt or hard cookies.

3) Refrigerate the dough before you bake the cookies. Warmer dough will spread quicker on the cookie sheet which will in turn cook the cookies faster. If you cool the dough first then it will spread much slower while in the oven. The product will be a much more dense and chewy cookie.

4) Use parchment paper! This is beginning to be my most favorite baking tool these days. I know it is an extra cost for baking but it is so important. Also, parchment paper can brighten up a dark cookies sheet because dark cookie sheets will cause cookies to brown too quickly and cook too fast.

5) Store in a sealed cookie jar or an airtight plastic bag. This will keep the cookies fresh and wont let the air get to them so they harden. Plus, if you store them in a cool container than it make your cookies look much better to everyone!

6) Another way to keep cookies chewy longer is to keep a piece of bread in the cookie jar. The bread seems to make the cookies chewy for longer periods of time.

7) Another, more “caveman” type of tip, is to heat a cookie up in the microwave. This will make it chewier and hotter if you want to pair with some ice cream!

Hope these tips help to keep your cookies chewy. Don’t forget to subscribe to The Male Baker!