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How can I get chewy chocolate chip cookies?

I've become basically addicted to these cookies at work; I believe they're Otis Spunkmeyer, based on the branded bags we're given to put them in. They're chocolate chip cookies with candy-coated chocolate (ala MnMs), but they're soft and have that "slightly underbaked cookie" taste to them despite having been stored at room temperature for god knows how long. Even the chocolate is still soft and gooey! What causes that? Is this quality replicable for the home cook?

  • Are they soft when they're room temperature, or only when warm?
    – KatieK
    Mar 1, 2012 at 17:18
  • @KatieK Room temperature. These are purchased and consumed at room temperature without my ever heating them, though it's possible they've been heated behind the scenes (after the initial bake) and have cooled off by the time I purchased them Mar 1, 2012 at 17:19

2 Answers 2


There are a few ways to achieve this technique.

1) Make the dough by creaming the fat (I always use butter for flavour) with the sugar then mixing in flour, not rubbing the flour into the fat which creates a crisp with a short texture. This is because when you rubbing the flour into the fat it traps the flour and coats the gluten preventing a tough texture, when you cream the fat and sugar this does not a occur and a softer texture results. Additionally adding more fat creates a softer dough although chill the dough first to prevent the cookies spreading too much.

2) This sounds a bit obvious but just bake the cookies less. Try baking them until only the outside is golden brown, leaving the centre soft. If you do want them to be golden all over before they bake give them an egg wash (an egg beaten with some milk) or milk and sugar wash if that's preferable. Remember don't over bake!

3) After you've made the cookies, put them in an airtight container with a slice of bread. The moisture from the bread keeps the cookies moist although change the bread every few days to prevent mould.

4) Finally if all else fails warm the cookies up in the ovens for a few minutes or even, if they're really tough, sprinkle a few drops of water on the cookies before warming up.

On a side note don't increase the proportion of sugar as this creates a crisp cookie. Have a look at this website for cookie troubleshooting: http://baking911.com/learn/baked-goods/cookies/problems-and-solutions.

  • @Mien Thanks, I found it when I myself had a problem with cookies (spread way too much). Mar 1, 2012 at 20:01
  • I would add that the sugars you use are important. Use fudgy, soft brown sugars (and in a high ratio to the flour) and you will have a fudgy, chewy cookie. Mar 2, 2012 at 9:12
  • Actually, adding more sugar (even brown) generally makes the cookie crisper although it does all depend on the cooking time Mar 2, 2012 at 18:41

Sebiddychef has an excellent set of tips on how to make soft cookies at home. I thought I'd answer the other part of your question, which is "How to big companies like Otis Spunkmeier and Mrs. Fields make perpetually soft cookies?"

One word: chemicals

I don't have production experience with Otis Spunkmeier, but I used to bake cookies for Mrs. Fields, and we added a witches' brew of laboratory chemicals (bag #3, as I recall) to every batch of cookie dough. These chemicals allowed the cookies to be perpetually soft, unnaturally aromatic, and sturdy and long-lasting despite large quantities of butter and oil.

So, not necessarily something you'd want to reproduce at home.

  • Well, I used to like Mrs. Fields....
    – rfusca
    Mar 2, 2012 at 6:17

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