The Butter Technique That Chewy Cookie Enthusiasts Need To Know

Chewy or crispy, warm and gooey, soft and cakey — homemade cookies come in all consistencies. While there's never a wrong answer when it comes to your preferred texture, there are a few right ways to achieve any desired consistency. If you're a fan of ultra-chewy cookies — and, let's face it, who isn't? — the key is in the butter. In particular, melted butter will result in the chewy cookies of your dreams.

Yes, it's really that simple. To chew on your favorite cookies, opt for melted butter in lieu of, say, cold cubes of butter or a softened, room-temperature stick. Different kinds of butters affect a cookie's texture in different ways, and melted butter yields the chewiest of the bunch. You can easily melt butter via microwave or stovetop, and swap the liquid result for whatever form your recipe suggests. Truly, this trick is that easy to implement, so pick any of your favorite cookie recipes, whether chocolate chunk or gingersnap. For the best results, choose a recipe for a drop dough, though you can use melted butter in most standard cookie recipes.

As for why melted butter does the trick? It's all about the ultimate structure of your cookie.

Melted butter develops more gluten in homemade cookies

Eating cookies surely isn't a science, but baking them may as well be. The reason melted butter leads to chewy cookies is complex. Butter contains fat and moisture, and this composition contributes to the amount of gluten that develops. When melted, butter better combines with the other ingredients, meaning it mixes more harmoniously with flour, sugar, and the like. Because the butter adds moisture to the flour, gluten develops, and it is this gluten that bears responsibility for the chewy cookies of your dreams.

It's for this same reason that you want to avoid softened butter in your endeavor for an ultra-chewy dessert. When you mix softened butter in with sugar, you have to cream them together, which results in the addition of air. That air causes cookies to rise and lighten rather than combine into a chewier texture.

Experiment with the consistency of your butter, and you'll affect the texture of your entire batch. Beyond that, if you want your batch to be even chewier, consider adding agave syrup or replacing granulated sugar with light brown sugar. Cookies swing open the door for personal preferences; you not only get to pick your desired flavors but also your favorite textures.