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10 Tips for Perfect American Cookies: How to Make Them Chewy and Thick

A few weeks ago I made another large batch of cookies (more precisely my Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies, Rainbow Cookies and Double Chocolate Cookies) because I brought them to a wedding. By the way: I also contributed my heart-nut corners to the cake buffet. Since I was busy mixing the dough, rolling the dough balls and baking them, I had enough time to think about what makes good American cookies like Subway and Co. (just without the chemistry 😉). So I wanted to give you my most important tips here! Because so that the cookies are really soft and thick, you have to pay attention to a few things….

Even if cookies actually look quite inconspicuous: They are quite demanding! Baked a little too long - zacky, dry and crunchy. Ingredients too cold - the dough runs apart. Whipped ingredients too long - cookies flatten. Sugar not dissolved properly - cookies also flatten out ... and so on and so on. It took a few tries before I managed to get my cookies at least mostly thick and chewy!

I would like to share my experiences along this path with you - maybe you can avoid some mistakes and get really nice, thick, juicy American cookies faster than me! So let's go on a journey through food chemistry and cookie magic!

Tips on the ingredients for American cookies

The success of cookies starts with the right ingredients. Sugar and butter in particular play a very special role - no wonder, because they make up the majority of cookies 😉

Tip 1: the right sugar

The right sugar is really super important! Basically, you can use two different types of sugar: white sugar makes the cookies more crispy, brown sugar more chewy.

But be careful: A.American brown sugar cannot be compared with our sugar! Therefore, please only use the coarse brown cane sugar that we are familiar with in emergencies! I often have American brown sugar brought in bulk because Mr. BackIna's brother is often in the USA for work. Alternatively, you can use a fine brown sugar (e.g. muscovado). It is important that it has fine crystals (that is, it dissolves well, more on that below) and that it is a little "damp". You can also add some molasses (the sweet one!) Or sugar beet syrup to the moisture. I take a teaspoon for every 250 g of sugar.

In many cases I use a mixture of white and brown sugar so that the cookies are not too dark in color and the taste remains neutral (and the "bitter" note of the dark sugar does not get through too much. This is already noted in the recipe.

By the way: If you lower the amount of sugar on your own initiative (“is otherwise much too sweet”), the consistency changes too! The cookies then tend to dry out and spread more apart.

Tip 2: choose butter, eggs and other ingredients correctly

The second important ingredient for good cookies is: butter! Vegan alternatives like margarine usually don't work that well.

So use really good butter, even if it's expensive. There are basically two ways to get the butter into the cookie:

  • Melting butter: This makes for totally soft cookies, but is not suitable for every recipe. I use it v.A. for classic chocolate chip cookies. Melting means that there is very little air in the dough, which makes the structure firmer and “chewier”.
  • Whip butter with sugar: This will bring some air into the cookie and ensure that the sugar is completely dissolved. This creates a cookie that is crispy around the edges and stays soft in the middle.

However, there are also a few things to consider here:

  • Your butter has to be at the right temperature: Room temperature means that you can make a small dent in the surface with your finger, but the butter still keeps its shape. If the butter loses its shape, it is already too warm and can no longer be whipped properly. If it is too hard, it cannot combine with the sugar.
  • Do not mix butter and sugar too briefly and not too long: Beat butter and sugar until the sugar is completely dissolved! Then the connection is optimal. If you stir longer, more air will get into the mixture and the cookies will collapse as they cool. If you beat too short, there are still sugar crystals in the dough - then it might crunch while eating 😉 But we want a soft biscuit.

The following applies to the other ingredients:

  • 405 flour is perfectly adequate. Also spelled flour type 630 (then add a tablespoon of milk, as spelled absorbs water more strongly) or 550 flour (slightly stronger) are fine. You can't get the classic cookie structure right with whole wheat flour, sorry.
  • The eggs should be at room temperature! So take it out 1 hour before baking! I often use an additional egg yolk in my recipes, which provides more "creaminess", as the egg yolk has a higher fat content than the egg white. But the effect is minimal. By the way, I use size M eggs.
  • With regard to chocolate and the like, it is best to use chocolate chips or morsels, as they do not melt as much during baking. This keeps the cookie more compact and taller. But I know that these chocolate chips are very expensive here and therefore I often use “only” roughly chopped chocolate. But then you have to live with slightly thinner cookies. Nuts, dried fruits or smarties can have a balancing effect!

Tip 3: which ingredients make it chewy and which make it crunchy?

To sum it up again: To get a really "chewy", i.e. soft American cookie, you can do the following:

  • Melt the butter
  • Use a high proportion of brown sugar or add molasses / sugar beet syrup to the white sugar
  • add additional egg yolk
  • Another tip is to replace 1 tablespoon of the flour with cornstarch: This makes the bite even more tender and "chewier"!

The reverse applies to crispy cookies:

  • Whip butter with sugar (longer than indicated)
  • no extra yolk
  • Use strong flour (spelled or 550) and do not add any additional liquid

Tips for shaping and baking American cookies

Even if you got everything right with the dough - the baking and shaping make a huge difference! You will see that when you try to bake the same dough once and once without cooling. It looks like they're two completely different recipes!

Tip 4: the right shape for cookies

Cookie dough liquefies a lot during baking due to the high butter and sugar content. So that the cookies don't get too thin, we have to help with the shape. That's why I always shape balls.

Because anyone who has paid attention to geometry lessons knows that spheres have the smallest surface area in relation to their volume. Less surface = less risk of stretching and the center stays nice and chewy. So do not form flat slices, but real "dough balls"!

Tip 5: Cool or freeze before baking

Cooling is essential to make the cookies nice and thick and soft!

I first put the finished dough in the cold for about 1 hour so that it becomes firmer. Then I shape the dough balls and put them in the cold again for at least 1 hour. When I have time or want to prepare, I freeze the dough balls.

Then bake the frozen balls directly and allow for 2-3 minutes more. In my experience, the cookies stay particularly thick. So if you have the time, please freeze the dough pieces and put them on the tray, frozen.

Note: If you are "only" cooling the dough balls, it is particularly important that you really only remove them shortly before baking! You really have to go really cold in the oven so that the dough doesn't run too much!

Tip 6: the right base for baking

The underlay also makes a huge difference. Please never bake directly on the baking sheet!

Baking paper is a bit better. But also not optimal, because it has a very smooth surface. This allows the dough to melt more easily and the cookies become wider.

A silicone mat specially made for cookies is best. I use the [amazon_textlink asin = 'B077XTPWZ5 ′ text =' cheap baking mats from Amazon 'template =' ProductLink 'store =' ifdigital-21 ′ marketplace = 'DE' link_id = 'a673d810-4d96-4aca-9dcb-f43d24893630 ′] ( * Affiliate Link) - the [amazon_textlink asin = 'B005WWRZ04' text = 'Backmatten von Silpat' template = 'ProductLink' store = 'ifdigital-21' marketplace = 'DE' link_id = '6d3c66b9-ffb6-433d- adc5-3b4f50b3acbc '] (* Affiliate Link). The cookies then have some “grip” and therefore diverge more slowly. Diverge less = thicker cookies. So invest the few euros in a good baking mat!

Tip 7: take them out before they're done!

This tip is particularly difficult to heed: take the cookies out before they are done! The edges should already be firm, but the middle should still appear a bit soft. As the cookies cool down, they become firmer (and also a little flatter), i.e. removing them early ensures that they still remain soft. Because the cookies cook a little longer on the hot tray.

By the way: If you think the cookies are too “spread out”, you can carefully “push them together” a little with a spoon when you take them out. This makes the shape even more beautiful.

Tips for storing and freezing American cookies

The nice thing about cookies: You can prepare the dough or the finished cookies long in advance and then conjure them up on the table if necessary. So an ideal recipe to prepare!

Tip 8: freezing raw dough

You can freeze the raw dough at any time. Either you freeze the dough as a whole and let it thaw overnight in the refrigerator or you can freeze the dough balls as described above. If you have frozen the dough as a whole, simply form balls after thawing and then refrigerate them again. You can put the dough balls directly frozen on the tray.

Tip 9: freezing finished cookies

To keep finished cookies nice and soft, you can also freeze them until you need them! Simply freeze them next to each other on a tray. Once they're tough, you can put them in a bag together. As soon as you need them, simply let them thaw at room temperature or briefly (!) Heat them up on the heater or in the oven at 50 ° so that the chocolate melts slightly. As delicious as freshly baked!

Tip 10: storing cookies

In general, you shouldn't store American cookies for too long: Then they get hard and don't taste really good anymore ... In addition, the risk of the butter going rancid is also high if stored for a longer period of time. Therefore, you should eat them in airtight packaging within 2 - 3 days so that they are still quite soft. If you cannot eat the cookies in time, you can freeze the unbaked dough or the finished cookies (see above).

As airtight packaging, I either use a normal metal cookie jar, which I lined up with baking paper beforehand, a glass jar or simply the sheet metal over which I put cling film. Since the cookies have to be used up very quickly anyway, this is also possible.

So many tips from my side on the subject of cookies! I hope you were able to take something with you 🙂

By the way: Despite all the tips, I sometimes still fail cookies…. Because, for example, the humidity also determines how absorbent the flour is. Therefore, on rainy days you may need 1 - 2 tablespoons more flour in your dough, otherwise it will get too moist and the cookies will spread apart. Baking is a mixture of science and a bit of magic 😉

My favorite cookie recipes

Of course you can already find some recipes for American Cookies ("Subway Cookies") on my website. What are the individual recipes?

I used these products *

*) The links shown are so-called affiliate links. If you buy something through it, I will receive a small commission. There are no additional costs for you.

Which of them have you already tested?

10 tips for perfect American cookies
Would you like to bake really thick, chewy American cookies like at Subway and Co? With these tips you are guaranteed to succeed!

Published byBackIna

Food blogger team from Bayreuth, Upper Franconia with a love for fresh ingredients, simple recipes with a twist and sweet delicacies. View all posts by BackIna

Tags: American, Baking Tips, Cookies, Subway Cookies