TRB to the Rescue: Too Brittle to Bear

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“Dear Rescue Baker,

I have a super duper oatmeal, dried cherry, chocolate chip cookie recipe that I love. The cookies themselves taste amazing (how can they not, right?) My problem is that the texture leaves a little bit to be desired — they’re a bit brittle when you bite into them. How can I tweak the recipe so the resulting cookies are softer and chewier? I tried the old applesauce trick and could have played tennis with the cookies that I took out of my oven. Any other ideas for balanced, crispy and chewy (but not rubbery!) cookies? More butter? More beating? Help!

— Andy”

Andy, the oatmeal, dried cherry and chocolate chip cookies certainly DO sound yummy, but TRB can understand your frustration with their hockey puck-like quality. You’re not alone in this particular dilemma — as anyone who has pulled “hard as rocks” cookies out of their oven can attest!

Without knowing the particular recipe you’re using, TRB would consider the following potential fixes:

  • How much baking soda does the recipe call for? Too much can flatten your cookies. If you are substituting baking powder, you’ll need to use more than the baking soda measurement the recipe calls for.
  • Typically, cookie recipes require a cup (2 sticks) of butter. The trick is to ensure that your butter is softened – NOT melted – when you begin making the dough. This generally yields “fluffier” cookies.
  • What kind of oatmeal are you using? Generally, for baking, you want to stick with the Old Fashioned (cook over the stovetop) oats; Quick or Instant Oats will yield flat cookies.
  • How long are you leaving the cookies in the oven? Generally, you want to start checking “doneness” on oatmeal cookies at around 8 minutes; you won’t want to let them go longer than 10 minutes. Also, be sure that all of your cookies are about the same size when you spoon them onto your cookie sheet. If some are much larger than others, it will take longer for them to bake, while the smaller ones will flatten and burn.

Well, Andy, TRB hopes that at least one of these potential fixes helps you to remedy your recipe. Please let us know how the cookies turn out next time!

In the meantime, dear readers, here is a link to one of TRB‘s favorite oatmeal cookie recipes from the good people at Quaker Oats and Nestle:

Quaker Oatmeal Scotchies

Not only is this recipe relatively quick and easy, these cookies are soooooo good!

Did you find this tip helpful? Post a comment.

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