The Best Way To Reheat Cookies For A Soft, Chewy Result

Finding the perfect cookie is no easy feat. Whether you're baking your way through recipes or scouring your local bakeries, it takes time, effort, and dedication — and for those of us who prefer soft, chewy cookies, the task can be especially tricky if you aren't eating one fresh out of the oven. Fortunately, when it comes to reheating these particular pastries to perfection, the microwave is the way to go, but there are a few tips you need to know to avoid ruining your cookie completely.

Before placing the cookie in the microwave, grab a paper towel and run it quickly under clean water from your kitchen faucet so that it becomes damp, but not dripping wet. Then wrap the cookie loosely in the paper towel, and heat it in the microwave for 10 seconds on half or low power. This trick will revive the bendy, buttery consistency of your cookie, but only briefly, so be sure to enjoy it while it's still warm.

Why moisture matters for cookie texture

The paper towel trick might seem like an unnecessary extra step, but it's actually key to recreating the conditions for a perfectly chewy cookie. As the damp paper warms in the microwave, the cookie gets surrounded by steam, which causes it to soften. This is because the texture of a cookie largely depends on its moisture content, which comes from wet ingredients like eggs, butter, and brown sugar. A chewy cookie contains more moisture within its dough than is held in the air around it, but as it sits on your kitchen counter, the water in it will slowly evaporate. After about five days, this process will have significantly impacted its chewiness — it might even become dry, crumbly, and crispy.

If you don't have paper towels on hand to reheat and restore your cookie to its ideal consistency, you can also place it in the microwave with a glass of water to recreate the steaming effect.

Tips for baking and storing cookies

If you are looking to maximize the moisture content of your cookies from the get-go, there are a few key ingredients that you should have on hand. To start, it may surprise you that the best ingredient for chewy cookies may be stocked on your bar cart with cocktail supplies, rather than in your kitchen pantry: agave syrup. This sweetener contains a significant amount of fructose, making it highly hygroscopic, which means that it can hold a lot of moisture.

It's for this reason that you should also skip the granulated sugar and opt for brown sugar instead. If you're wondering how to make soft and chewy gluten-free cookies, you may want to experiment with cream cheese, which has a high moisture content and rich flavor.

When it comes to storing your cookies, you may want to invest in a terra cotta disk, known to some as a "brown sugar saver." The disk is made of clay, which can be soaked in water for a few minutes, and then placed in a container with cookies to increase humidity in the air, keeping them soft. In a pinch, adding a slice of bread to your container can yield similar results.