What Is the Best Way to Soften Cookie Dough? Greatest Kept Secrets Exposed

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What Is the Best Way to Soften Cookie Dough? Gluten is formed when flour and liquids combine. When chefs desire a chewy meal, gluten is their best friend; but, when they want something soft and melty, gluten becomes their worst enemy, and cooks do all they can to prevent gluten from developing.

I think we can all agree that chewy cookies rank low on the scale of taste. Most of us like soft cookies that melt in our mouths, releasing their sweet delectability without seeming to be auditioning for cookie-flavored gum.

The greatest strategy to avoid gluten formation is to employ fat to keep flour and fluid apart, and the best way to achieve so is to prepare dough with a lot of fat.

All of this sounds fantastic in principle, but the extra fatty dough is so soft that it results in crumbly cookies. The remedy is to chill the dough for a time to firm it up, but what happens if you leave it in the fridge and it hardens?

When that occurs, you’ll need to soften your cookie dough.

How to Soften Cookie Dough

Warm it up to soften hard cookie dough. Warm it fast in a microwave or a dish filled with warm water, or gently by placing it near a mild heat source, such as a warm kitchen or a window sill in the early morning light. You may also use force to soften your cookie dough by hammering it with a rolling pin and then kneading the flattened dough.

Methods for Softening Cookie Dough

There are many techniques for softening cookie dough, and you should select the one that best meets your needs. If you’re in a rush, for example, you may want to utilize a technique that produces quicker results but lower-quality cookies.

If you have lots of time, you should go for a slower method that ensures excellent cookies. It is entirely up to you to choose what to do in these instances.

1. Soften Cookie Dough Quickly

These are two fast ways to soften your cookie dough.

Use a Microwave

Put your microwave oven to low and microwave the cookie dough in ten-second bursts. Try kneading the dough at the conclusion of each cycle to observe how pliant it is. Continue until you are satisfied with the elasticity of the cookie dough.

Pro:Fast! You might finish in seconds or at most a minute.

Cons: Uneven heating may result in lumpy cookies. Worse, if you’ve included chocolate nuggets or other gourmet goodies, they may rapidly melt and lose their cohesiveness when you knead the cookie dough.

Use Warm Water

Put the cookie dough in a thin dish and set it in a basin of warm water. Make sure the water is warm to the touch but not scalding.

The goal here is to warm the cookie dough as rapidly as possible while protecting the chocolate chips and other foreign foods. (However, any chocolate chips that come into touch with the bowl may melt somewhat. This is a little annoyance, but it should not affect your cookies.)

Check the dough for elasticity every few minutes using this procedure.

Pro:Quick! While not as rapid as using a microwave, it is still quick enough and less likely to create difficulties with your cooked cookies.

additional yummy snacks. Cons: It is possible to use too hot water or keep the cookie in one place for too long. Any of these might result in uneven cookie dough, which could lead to uneven cookies and slightly damaged chocolate chips.

2. Soften Cookie Dough More Slowly

Here are two strategies for gradually softening your cookie dough.

Place Your Cookie Dough Somewhere Warm

Place the cookie dough somewhere warm, such as near the stove, in indirect sunshine, or just in a warm kitchen while you finish other chores. This is the most natural technique to soften stiff cookie dough and yields the greatest results.

You must not place the cookie dough in an area where the heat will be too high. Use the type of place that a mini-you would feel comfortable lying in for two or three hours to recover from hypothermia. After two hours, check the cookie dough every half hour.

Because of the slow, thorough warming, it produces the best cookies.

Con: It takes a long time, maybe two hours or more.

Beat the Heck Out of Your Cookie Dough

Working off some fury and blowing some steam by pounding the tarnation out of your hard cookie dough is a harsh approach for softening it. Place the cookie dough on a sheet or two of plastic wrap, then roll it out to make it more pliable.

Choose a rolling pin that can resist the tremendous strikes of your pent-up fury, frustrations, and irritations.

Pro: works well on enormous amounts of cookie dough that would otherwise take forever to soften.

Unlike other sweets, they might be readily harmed by the punches you provide. Con(s): requires a lot of work and is not quick. If your cookie batter contains chocolate chips,

The Way the Cookie Crumbles

Too much fat in your cookie dough will make it mushy and crumblycrumbly in a squishy, crappy kind of manner. Indeed, a lot of fat will keep gluten from forming, but the ultimate outcome will be unpleasant.

Another technique to avoid gluten development is to use less fluid, which means that the flour in your mix will have less liquid to interact with.

The problem is that there is an optimal flour-fluid combination, and going far lower than the needed quantity of fluid would result in dry cookie dough, which will surely result in a dry, crumbly cookie, the very sort of cookie that people despise.

Of course, it isn’t always the cook’s responsibility for combining the improper amounts of cookie dough. When cookie dough is left in the fridge to cool, it often dries out. The direct exposure of the dough to the dry, cold fridge air is the cause here.

Fortunately, the remedy is straightforward. Just cover your cookie dough in a thin piece of transparent plastic before placing it in the refrigerator. The plastic will reduce moisture loss and keep your cookie dough wet.

Why Refrigerate Cookie Dough?

You’re probably wondering why anybody in their right mind would refrigerate cookie dough, given that it seems to create so much difficulty and commotion by resulting in either hard-as-rock or dry-as-the-Sahara dough.

As you’re undoubtedly aware, fresh cookie dough created with the significant amount of fat necessary to prevent gluten development and guarantee your final product is soft and melting rather than crumbly and chewy doesn’t lend itself well to being shaped, sliced, or physically handled. Refrigeration is the answer.

When it’s cold, fat sticks more to fluid, and fat molecules cling to one another as though they’re clumping together for warmth. (Well, that’s rubbish, but it’s a romantic idea, even if speaking it out would give science-minded people the heejie-beejies.)

In any case, the result of longer fat chains and less mobile fluid is harder cookie dough, which is why it’s common practice to chill your cookie dough in the fridge for about an hour to make it simpler to work with.

By the way, here’s a tip for you. Always, and I mean always, roll your cookie dough into little balls before covering it in transparent plastic and storing it in the refrigerator.

Since a spherical has the lowest surface area of any mass, your cookie dough will warm up uniformly rather than in splotches. If your cookie dough is too soft to roll into balls, shape it into disks.

Chilling Cookie Dough–When “Enough” Becomes “Too Much”

Too much of anything is troublesome, and too much chilling is terrible for cookie dough since it becomes more tougher the longer it is kept in the fridge.

One hour in the refrigerator can transform cookie dough from too soft to manage to just about perfect. The cookie dough gets increasingly difficult to work with after an hour and a half.

After five or six hours in the fridge, cookie dough becomes as hard as rock and difficult to cut, let alone bend into interesting shapes.

Afterword: How to Soften Cookie Dough

When cookie dough is left in the fridge for too long, it becomes hard; nevertheless, cookie dough often needs chilling to get firm enough to mold into desired shapes.

Strangely, the remedy for too-soft cookie dough might overcompensate and make it excessively firm. Since cold causes stiff cookie dough, warmth is the remedy. Add enough warmth to cold, stiff cookie dough, and it will soften proportionately.

Frequently Asked Questions on How to Soften Cookie Dough

What is the Fastest Way of Softening Cookie Dough?

If you need to soften your cookie dough quickly, the microwave is your best choice. Microwave cookie dough in 10-second increments, checking after each interval to see whether it is soft and malleable enough. Microwave it until it is soft enough to work with.

Is it Bad to Leave My Cookie Dough In the Fridge?

Most chefs advocate refrigerating cookie dough to make it simpler to work with and to develop flavors in the cookie dough. If leaving for a longer period of time or baking on another day, make sure your cookie dough is tightly covered to avoid extra exposure that might cause it to dry out too much in the fridge.


How do you soften cookie dough quickly?

How to Soften Refrigerated Cookie Dough
Merrill suggests placing the dough on a hot burner and pressing it with a rolling pin as it begins to soften.
Trena uses a pastry cutter to cut the dough into smaller pieces so that it may come to room temperature quicker.
Additional information…•December 28, 2013

What is the secret to making soft chewy cookies?

Making cookies fast in a hot oven – at 375 degrees F rather than a lower temperature – will result in soft cookies. They’ll bake quickly instead of languishing and drying out in the hot air of the oven. Slightly underbaking your cookies will provide softer results than baking them according to the recipe’s instructions.

How do you soften hardened dough?

If your dough is still too stiff after kneading, move it closer to a heat source.
You may put them on a radiator for a few minutes, under a lamp (near the light bulb), rapidly heat them up with a hair dryer, or in the microwave oven for a few seconds in defrosting mode.

What makes cookie dough soft?

Eggs, especially egg yolks. Eggs contribute to the softness of your cookies in two ways: they provide a lot of moisture, and the proteins offer structure that keeps them from spreading. Instead of all-purpose flour, use cake flour. Cake flour, which is low in protein and rich in moisture, is used to leaven a variety of baked items.

Does chilling cookie dough make it softer?

Refrigeration causes the flour to completely hydrate and makes the cookie dough firmer. Chilling the dough is essential for cut-out and rolled cookies because it stops the cookies from spreading too much.

How do you make store bought cookie dough softer?

Reduce the cooking time.

According to one Reddit user, taking the cookies out of the oven two minutes before the suggested cooking time on the box would result in softer, chewier cookies.

Is it better to bake cookies with butter or oil?

Baking with fats creates a rich tasting experience and more flavor overall. Another plus: cakes and cookies will be moister when baking with fat. Overall, baked goods made with fat taste better, that’s a fact 😊.

What does extra brown sugar do to the dough?

Brown sugar results in a thicker, moister cookie. Brown sugar is more hygroscopic than granulated sugar, therefore it will attract and absorb the moisture in the dough.

What is the secret to bakery cookies?

Here’s How to Make Bakery-Style Cookies at Home
Don’t be cheap with the salt…
Feel free to top with flaky salt for texture, taste, and a cheffy touch.
Always start with room temperature butter…
Then cream it for a long time with the sugar.
Instead of chocolate chips, use chopped chocolate.
Additional information…•May 31, 2018

What is the secret to soft dough?

Increase the water content of the recipe.

A wet crumb is softer in the mouth. This indicates that increasing the moisture of a recipe’s dough results in a softer crumb. This also works for thin artisan loaves. Too much water may cause the gluten structure to collapse, resulting in an extremely thick loaf.

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