How To Make Store-Bought Cookies Seem Freshly Baked

When you're walking past the bakery at a grocery store, it's hard to resist picking up a package of pillowy sugar cookies with pastel frosting. You know the ones — they look soft, fluffy, and like they could give you a toothache just from glancing at them. But oftentimes, when we buy cookies at the store, they end up tasting less than satisfying when we eat them at home. What looked like a soft treat turns out to be crunchier and harder than expected.

Why does this happen? Cookies are fresh right out of the oven because of the ingredients used to bake them — butter, brown sugar, and egg yolks all contribute to a chewy texture. Unfortunately, once they're left to sit out on the counter, their moisture begins to evaporate as their sugars and starches start becoming solid. This isn't just a cookie problem, as muffins, bread, and a plethora of other baked goods face the same dilemma. However, this doesn't mean you have to avoid the package that's calling your name in the bakery because it's pretty easy to make your store-bought cookies taste fresh at home.

Pop cookies in the oven for a minute

If your first bite into a store-bought cookie is more cold than heavenly, you may want to use this quick trick to bring it back to life. All you have to do is pop it in the oven for one minute at 300 degrees Fahrenheit, and your cookie should already taste better than when you bought it. Not only will it be warm and smell delicious, but any chocolate chips should be slightly melted, making for a gooier cookie.

While it is convenient to only re-heat your cookie for a minute, the low oven temperature and short warming time are also important to make sure you're not overbaking or burning it. If you leave your cookie in there too long, it may actually end up drier and more crumbly than what you started with. If one minute isn't doing the trick, you can try keeping it in the oven for up to five minutes, but make sure to take it out after that.

For an even quicker method that will bring moisture back into your cookie, try wrapping it in a damp paper towel and microwaving it on a plate at 10-second intervals. The water will turn into steam, which will absorb back into your treat. But if you just want to warm your cookies, you don't need to bother with all that — a quick stint in the oven will do.