Photo: Taste of Home
It’s a chewy cookie-lover’s worst nightmare: You spend an afternoon baking an amazing batch of cookies, and when you go to snack on one the next morning, you find they’ve gone crunchy and hard. This is enough to enrage any baker or cookie devotee, but it’s no reason to toss your cookies (literally). Instead you have everything you need to soften hard cookies right in your pantry, or should I say your breadbox?
A simple fix
You see, the only thing that you need to soften up a batch of day-old cookies is a slice of bread. This is a trick I learned from my mom after she saw me turn up my nose one too many times at a slightly crispy chocolate chipper (self-proclaimed gooey, chewy cookie monster here!). To remedy the problem, she’d take the heel off the loaf of bread and pop it into the tupperware or cookie jar. In a few hours, I’d return for a snack and the cookies would be magically chewy again! My mom was (and still is) a kitchen genius.
But how does it work?
This tip to soften hard cookies seems too good to be true, but trust me when I say it’s saved many a batch of cookies over the years. How it works is relatively simple. Simply, the cookies start to absorb the moisture from the slice of bread. You’ll notice this after a day or so (if your cookies last that long) when you open the cookie jar and find, essentially, a crouton. The cookies will sap up all that extra moisture.
With that in mind, it is crucial that you use relatively fresh bread when you perform this little cookie-saving maneuver. After all, if you’re sticking a stale piece of baguette inside, the cookies won’t have much moisture to soak up. Also, be sure not to use any strongly flavored breads. You don’t want your grandma’s favorite cookie recipe being ruined by popping in a slice of caraway rye or a wedge of seasoned focaccia. A slice of regular white or wheat sandwich bread works best.
Now that you know the secret to saving your too crisp cookies, you can start baking up a storm! Might I suggest these 35 must-have recipes?