Learn how to soften hard cookies so that you can enjoy your mouthwatering, delicious cookies even if they become too hard! With these tips and tricks, you'll never have to be disappointed in crunchy cookies again! These methods are simple and efficient and use things you already have at home.
How To Make Cookies Soft Again
Cookies, like other baked goods, can easily become hard if they are left out too long or overbaked. Unfortunately, a super-hard cookie isn't exactly the treat you were looking for.
Don't worry, you don't have to let them go to waste! Instead, try some of these super simple tips and tricks to restore them to their soft and tender glory!
Why Do Cookies Become Hard
Some varieties of cookies are definitely meant to have some crunch. However, there are plenty of reasons why your soft cookies are unfortunately hard. Ultimately, it all comes down to the level of moisture in the cookies.
As the moisture evaporates and leaves the cookies, they could become stiff and hard. This could be due to too much flour, overbaking your cookies, or not including enough butter, sugar, or water.
How To Make Cookies Soft Again
Luckily, there are a few different ways to revive your cookies and make them soft and tender again!
1. Using A Slice Of Bread
Grab a cookie jar (or a sealable container) and a slice of fresh white bread. Place your bread at the bottom of the container and then layer your hard cookies over top. Seal the jar and let it sit for at least 24 hours.
Over time, the bread will release moisture that will then be reabsorbed into the cookies. Typically, 24 hours is plenty of time. However, if you have found that your cookies are still stiff, swap the bread for a fresh slice and leave them in there for an additional 6 hours.
2. Microwave Them
Get a few damp paper towels (only damp, not wet) and wrap each of your hard cookies individually. Place them onto a microwave-safe plate and heat them at medium power for 15-20 seconds.
If they still aren't soft, replace the paper towel with a new one and try again using 10-second increments. Not only will they be soft, but they will be nice and warm, too!
3. Wrap Them
This method is perfect for cookies that are fresh out of the oven that you accidentally overbaked. If you've noticed they are hard straight out of the oven, go ahead and wrap them tightly with some plastic wrap.
The heat from the cookies will create steam that will then soften them. Alternatively, you could place all of your cookies into a container and seal it tightly with a lid. Let them sit for a while to soften up!
4. Use Sugar Cubes
Using sugar cubes is very similar to the bread method. Just place a handful of sugar cubes into the bottom of a container, layer the cookies on top, and seal it for at least 12 hours!
5. Apple Slices
Finally, apple slices also add moisture back into your cookies just like white bread and sugar cubes do. However, it may add a faint apple taste (which is exceptionally great for fruit-based cookies!)
Again, place some apple slices at the bottom of a container and add the cookies. Seal it tightly and let the magic happen for 24 hours.
What To Avoid When Softening Cookies
- Don't put your cookies back into the oven! This will dry them out further and cause them to become even harder.
- If you choose to microwave them, make sure that they are wrapped in a damp paper towel! For the same reason as the oven, if you heat them without adding moisture it will make the problem worse.
- Make sure you properly store your cookies in an airtight container at room temperature. Leaving them out on the counter will continue to harden them.
How To Store Cookies So They Stay Soft
If your cookies became hard because they were left out for too long, make sure you keep in mind the best ways to store them for optimal freshness!
Keep them in a sealed, airtight container at room temperature (not in the fridge!) They are always best enjoyed when eaten within the first 3 days.
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Your cookies will continue to bake and firm up during the cooling process. Make sure you take them out of the oven while they are still slightly soft, or you could risk overbaking them. Once they are completely cool, make sure you transfer them into an airtight container so that they don't harden up even further.
Make sure you are using a good recipe and not overbaking your cookies. If they've been properly baked, the best way to prevent them from becoming hard is to store them in a sealed container.
Sure! As long as they are not past their shelf life, your hard cookies are still completely fine. Just go ahead and try one of these methods to soften them back up, and then enjoy!
🍪 Best Cookie Recipes
- Sprinkle Cookies - Tender sugar cookies are rolled in rainbow jimmies before being baked to perfection.
- Sour Patch Kids Cookies - Classic sugar cookies are packed with this popular sour candy.
- Oatmeal Peanut Butter Cookies - Traditional peanut butter cookies are combined with chewy oatmeal cookies for the ultimate treat.
- Black & White Cookies - Large cakey cookies have one side coated in chocolate icing and the other coated in vanilla icing.
- Cowboy Cookies - Chewy and large cookies that are loaded with chocolate chips, coconut, and pecans.
- Chocolate Blossom Cookies - Sweet chocolate cookies are topped with a chocolate Hershey's Kiss.
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How To Soften Hard Cookies: Sour Cream Cookies (+Tips & Tricks!)
Sour Cream Cookies
Prepare the Cookies
- Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C) and line a couple of baking sheets with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat (silpat mat).
- Using a stand mixer or hand mixer, cream the ⅓ cup butter until smooth, and then add 1 cup sugar. Continue mixing until well combined, scraping down the bowl as needed.⅓ cup butter, 1 cup sugar
- Add 1 large egg, 2 teaspoon vanilla extract, ½ teaspoon baking powder, ¼ teaspoon baking soda, and ½ teaspoon salt and continue to mix until creamy.1 large egg, 2 teaspoon vanilla extract, ½ teaspoon baking powder, ¼ teaspoon baking soda, ½ teaspoon salt
- Add ½ cup sour cream and mix until well combined. Then, slowly mix in 1¾ cups all-purpose flour until the flour is only just incorporated.½ cup sour cream, 1¾ cups all-purpose flour
- Scoop heaping tablespoon-sized portions onto your prepared cookie sheets, leaving space in between them for spreading.
- Bake in the oven at 350°F (175°C) for 8-11 minutes, or until the bottoms of the cookies are a slightly golden brown color.
- Remove them from the oven and let them cool for 5 minutes on the baking sheet before placing them onto a wire rack to cool entirely before frosting them.
Make the Frosting
- Use either a hand mixer or your stand mixer to beat ½ cup butter for about 5-6 minutes, or until pale in color and fluffy.½ cup butter
- Add 1 teaspoon vanilla extract and a small amount of the 2 cups confectioners sugar.1 teaspoon vanilla extract, 2 cups confectioners sugar
- Mix at medium speed while alternating adding the remaining confectioners' sugar and small drizzles of 2-4 tablespoon heavy whipping cream (only using enough heavy cream to reach a firm, but spreadable consistency).2-4 tablespoon heavy whipping cream
- Once all of the powdered sugar has been added, beat the mixture on medium speed for 2-3 minutes. *You can add more heavy whipping cream to reach your desired consistency, starting with a very small amount.
- Use a spatula to spread the buttercream onto the cooled cookies and serve.
Equipment You May Need
- To make your cookies more even and uniform in shape, you can wet your fingers with water and pat the dough balls down slightly.
- Use gel food coloring to add some different colors to your buttercream frosting if desired.
- Check out all of my buttercream recipes if you want to try out a flavor other than vanilla!
- Your cookies need to be completely cool before adding any frosting or the buttercream could melt.
- To store: Keep your sour cream cookies stored in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
- To freeze: Freeze your cookies without any frosting for up to 3 months. Thaw to room temperature and then frost with fresh buttercream.
Angela is an at home chef that developed a passion for all things cooking and baking at a young age in her Grandma's kitchen. After many years in the food service industry, she now enjoys sharing all of her family favorite recipes and creating tasty dinner and amazing dessert recipes here at Bake It With Love!