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I melted chocolate chips and a small amount of oil and coated cookies. Here's the problem: the chocolate won't harden up. Is there anything I can do NOW to help the situation, or is this just a sticky, melty, lost cause?

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    The best part about making a mistake with cookies is that you've now got an excuse to eat them all and start again.
    – Richard
    Dec 27 '20 at 15:58
  • Well, you could melt more chocolate, without the oil, and try over-coating the cookies. Basically, trying to encapsulate the still liquid spread. You could also try serving them frozen, or re-coating while frozen/cooled. What happens, or what would be a good idea, other than just eating the cookies, will largely depend on what you really did. You haven't described it in enough detail for us to know. Other than being able to say that the current coating isn't ever going to be hard at room temperature, there's really not much we're going to be able to say without more detailed information.
    – Makyen
    Dec 27 '20 at 16:43
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    why did you add oil to the chocolate? oil (what oil, btw?) is liquid at room temperature, so it would lower the melting point of the mixture.
    – njzk2
    Dec 27 '20 at 22:56
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    Cookies with gooey chocolate on top? I'm not seeing the problem... but I would be happy to taste it! Dec 28 '20 at 20:07
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The problem is the “small amount of oil”. If you measured wrong or just eyeballed it, you now have a chocolate spread instead of a solid coating.

Storing the cookies in the fridge may or may not be enough to solidify the chocolate coating, but apart from that, there’s nothing you can do to change the chocolate. Depending on what matches the cookie flavor, dipping the sticky part in something like grated coconut or ground almonds may at least protect your fingers somewhat.

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    A dusting of cocoa could help with the stickiness as well.
    – GdD
    Dec 27 '20 at 13:08
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    Also possibly what kind of oil, and how fresh is the chocolate. I made some chocolate-covered vanilla fondants as "favours" for people around the place using leftover chocolate a few days ago (without trying to add oil), and they were OK but inclined to "sweat". The really rough stuff- scraps and shavings of various types- I saved for myself and added a little olive oil since that's what I had to hand, it's ended up a bit gritty but still looks a bit sweaty. Dec 27 '20 at 14:55
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It may have something to do with the temperature that the coated cookies are stored at, I mean, some room temperatures can be significantly higher than others. Perhaps the chocolate will harden in the fridge?

If the temperature is not the case, get this: You can drizzle or brush on another, likely thin, layer of pure melted chocolate (who doesn't love more chocolate :p) over the existing chocolate coating.

If my calculations are correct, pure melted chocolate will harden on soft surfaces (like Nutella) just as well on hard surfaces (like more solid chocolate).

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In addition to Stephie's answer, when melting and re-cooling chocolate, it needs to be tempered properly. That refers to how the chocolate is cooled and "seeded". The fats in chocolate can have several different crystal structures. That affects the texture of the chocolate. The particular structure your chocolate has depends on how it's tempered. Here's one method from Ghirardelli:

Grate or chop the desired amount of chocolate. Place two-thirds of the chocolate in the top pan of a double boiler. Heat over hot but not boiling water, stirring constantly, until chocolate reaches 110°–115°F. Place the top pan of the double boiler on a towel. Cool chocolate to 95°–100°F. Add the remaining chocolate to the top pan, stirring until melted. The chocolate is now ready to be used for molding candies, coating, or dipping.

Adding the unmelted chocolate is adding a "seed" of the desired crystal structure so the melted fats will match the structure of the unmelted crystals.

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I would say take one cookie, turn it upside down and place it on another cookie. Unless the mixture is too fluid you should be able to eat the cookies this way.

Maybe try sugar powder or cocoanut flakes to bind the oil? If that fails you can still take one cookie, turn it upside down ....

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  • Welcome to SA! I'm afraid this answer isn't related to the actual question. The question asks for a solution to salvage the coating. Dec 29 '20 at 2:33
  • the second part is
    – Miarau
    Dec 29 '20 at 4:21
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Sounds like you might have messed up the tempering of the chocolate.

In order to get chocolate that doesn't melt easily at room temperature, you need to properly temper the chocolate. This is a very complicated process involving holding the chocolate at specific temperatures for a specific period of time. Additionally, adding oil to the chocolate might have resulted in the tempering time and temperatures being altered as a result of the adulteration of the chocolate.

You may need to throw away all of the chocolate and making new, unadulterated chocolate that has been properly tempered, but if the problem is that the chocolate hasn't been tempered properly and the adulteration haven't altered its characteristics too much, you might be able to save it by scraping it all off of your cookies, then melting down some chocolate and adding your adulterated chocolate into it before following a proper tempering process.

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