Keep Them Sealed
The key to keeping cookies fresh and soft is to seal them in an airtight container, like a resealable freezer bag. And here’s a nifty little trick: add a piece of bread to the bag. You might think that the bread trick works because the cookies absorb moisture from the bread.
Underbaked cookies are the secret to softness. Using cornstarch in the dough is another secret to softness, as well as the secret to thickness. Using more brown sugar than white sugar results in a moister, softer cookie. Adding an extra egg yolk increases chewiness.
Put the cookies in a sealed bag or cookie jar and add a half-slice of bread. Let it sit there on the counter overnight, and by tomorrow, the cookies should be almost as good as new. Another method sanctioned by moms everywhere is using a slice of apple instead of bread. Otherwise, it’s the same trick.
How long does it take to bake cookies at 350? Place one baking sheet at a time onto center rack of preheated 350 degree F oven. Bake until cookies are golden around the edges, still have pale tops, and are soft in the center, about 8 to 10 minutes. ( Do not overbake!
O’Brady is specific that the butter be melted slowly, over low heat to prevent any evaporation. In its liquid state, butter mixes readily with both the sugar and flour, making for a softer dough that actually develops more gluten (thanks to the butter’s moisture hydrating the flour).
Why are my cookies tough? The most common reason that cookies are tough is that the cookie dough was mixed too much. When flour is mixed into the dough, gluten begins to form. Gluten helps hold baked goods together, but too much gluten can lead to tough cookies.
When a light-colored cookie is done, it should hold its shape. However, it may look a bit puffy or soft in the center, too. This is normal and simply means that the cookie may continue baking on the sheet and rack once removed from the oven.