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The Hard Versus Soft Cookie Debate

October 4, 2010

One of the age-old debates existing in the culinary arena is the battle between soft cookies and hard and crunchy cookies. Some people just enjoy cookies, regardless of flavor or texture. Hardcore cookie fanatics however have taken sides, the soft and chewy versus the crispy. Be it home baked, store-bought or online cookies, cookies are still a confection that can be enjoyed in all its forms. Let’s take a look deeper in the two post popular cookie textures.

Most recipes that bakers use are for the crunchier variety. This style gives a little resistance when bitten. When you bite into a hard cookie, you feel a snap in your mouth along with a munching sound. Since this type of cookie has a firmer construction, they make the perfect edible treat for dunking in milk, tea, or coffee.

Hard cookies are achieved by reducing the amount of ingredients that function to trap moisture. Such ingredients include eggs, flour and brown sugar. Reducing their content allows liquids to evaporate, resulting in crispier cookies. They are also baked long enough to drive out the cookie dough’s moisture, producing a golden crisp and a toasty zest to its flavor.

Hard cookies are also favored for their malleable dough –it can be rolled out and cut into a variety of shapes. They can also be iced, frosted, and decorated for the perfect edible gift. They are also suitable for being sold as online cookies since they keep their shape and structure quite well.

Soft cookies are made from a more delicate type of dough. Its high moisture content makes for a stickier batter that clings to the mixing bowl and spatula. Unlike hard cookie dough that can be rolled and shaped, the dough of a soft cookie can only be spooned or scooped into baking sheets.

The soft and chewy quality is a result of the fat and moisture content of the butter or shortening used. Other special ingredients like chocolate, fruits, caramel, and peanut butter also contribute to an ultra moist cookie.

An increased mass of cookie batter helps the treats stay moist. Instead of tiny spoonfuls, big mounds of cookie dough are placed on the baking sheet. These thicker cookies are baked for a shorter time to minimize spreading and to prevent them from drying out. They are removed from the hot oven with centers still pale. Its center will be soft and moist. Adding more liquid in the form of water or milk will increase the steam in the dough when they bake, making them puffier and cake-like.

Whether soft or hard, the perfection of a cookie will really depend on individual preference.

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