General Question

bluesky's avatar

How do I make cookies that wont be hard as a rock the next day?

Asked by bluesky (32points) May 25th, 2009
Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

12 Answers

Jeruba's avatar

Mine are never hard the next day. Are yours too dry? Have you baked them too long? Are you using too much flour?

Try these oatmeal cookies and tell us if they are too hard the next day. They should be firm but mellow and chewy, not crumbly or hard. They will keep well for days and also freeze and thaw beautifully.

Oatmeal Cookies

½ cup (1 stick) butter, softened to room temperature
½ cup (1 stick) margarine, softened to room temperature
1 cup brown sugar, packed down
1 cup white sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
1 ½ cups flour
1 scant tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
½ cup chopped walnuts (about 12 whole walnuts, optional)
3 cups oatmeal

1. Heat oven to 350◦.
2. In large bowl, cream butter, margarine, and white and brown sugar.
3. Beat eggs.
4. Add eggs and vanilla to mixture and beat well.
5. Add flour, salt, and baking soda, sifted together.
6. Add chopped nuts.
7. Add oatmeal.
8. Drop by rounded spoonfuls onto ungreased baking sheet. Drops should be about walnut size and spaced apart. Do not press flat.
9. Bake about 9 -10 minutes, until golden brown and center is firm.
10. Remove to cooling rack.

You can add raisins, chocolate or butterscotch bits, other kinds of nuts, etc., if desired.

Yield: ~100. These cookies freeze well.

augustlan's avatar

How are you storing them? Some cookies need air-tight storage to stay fresh.

bluesky's avatar

I made cookies from the recipe on the nestle tollhouse bag. I have made it many times and I cant get it right! I store them in a bowl with plastic wrap over it. Thank You for the recipe, I will let you know how it comes out.

btko's avatar

It could be you are baking them too long. Take them out when they are still soft and let them cool on a rack.

Darwin's avatar

Don’t cook them quite so long, reduce the flour or increase the shortening a tad, and store them in a sealed metal cookie tin. Also, don’t over mix the dough, and some people suggest using a shiny cookie sheet instead of a black one (the black ones get a bit hotter).

Jeruba's avatar

You can’t beat the recipe on the Nestles package. For that one, do make sure your oven isn’t too hot, and again, put them on the cookie sheet in balls (I push them out of a teaspoon with a table knife) and don’t mash them down. Pressing them down gives you the burnt edges.

Also don’t use butter that is too soft. It should be room temperature, and the batter should be firm, not runny. If it gets too soft, stick the whole mixing bowl in the refrigerator for a little while. Batter that spreads too thin too fast on the cookie sheet will bake hard and dark. Mine come out soft but firm and chewy just like the oatmeal cookies.

An empty two- or three-pound coffee can with a plastic lid is a good storage container, and so are those metal cookie tins you can buy at the drugstore at Christmastime. I always put a napkin in the bottom of mine to collect any excess grease. Do make sure they’re thoroughly cooled before you put them away.

chyna's avatar

I had the same problem also. Someone on here suggested that I should not be using Pam or any other non-stick agent on my pans. It worked.

Jeruba's avatar

True, you don’t need Pam. There’s plenty of grease in the cookies to prevent sticking. I just use an ordinary aluminum cookie sheet and slide the cookies off onto a wire rack with a spatula.

bluesky's avatar

Thanks for the great answers everyone some things seem to be simple, I didnt even think about type of cookie sheet to correct storage to the consistency of the dough.

La_chica_gomela's avatar

Darwin said exactly what I would say. GA, Darwin!

To add my own two cents: the culprit might be that your oven is what we used to call “fast”—it gets hotter inside than what the thermostat reads outside. In the short term, I would suggest you either turn it down just a tad or pull the cookies out sooner than the recipe calls for. In the long term, I would buy a in-oven thermometer. I bake with so much more confidence and better results now that I have one! For an older oven, it’s a must!

Since you’re using such a proven recipe, it’s probably not your flour/shortening ratio, as long as you’re following the recipe exactly, but I’ve made the Nestle-Tollhouse recipe many times myself, and even when made properly, the cookies are slightly hard for my tastes when cooled. I either microwave them to serve, and/or increase the butter and reduce the flour just slightly (!) like Darwin recommends.

MissAusten's avatar

When I make the Nestle Tollhouse cookies, I usually add about 1/4 cup more flour than the recipe calls for. Otherwise they end up too flat for me and don’t stay soft. Whatever cookies I make, I store them in a Ziplock bag. They stay soft for as long as they last. Which isn’t long with three kids in the house.

I also use Silpat baking mats when I make cookies. They are awesome—if you make cookies regularly, they’re worth buying.

My oven runs hot. I know there’s a way to adjust it, but I just compensate by setting the temp about 25 degrees lower than the recipe calls for. I ruined a few batches of baked goods before breaking down and buying a cheap oven thermometer to find out what the heck my oven was doing. I like soft, chewy cookies and tend to bake them for the minimum time (or less) than a recipe calls for. I make cookies at least twice a week, and have found so many recipes that work consistently better for me than the Tollhouse cookies. Try going to and looking at cookie recipes. The reviews will often suggest changes that improve the recipe, or tips to help it come out perfect. Good luck!

La_chica_gomela's avatar

@MissAusten: You should go for it! Best cooking purchase I ever made! No more burnt crusts!

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