Granulated Sugar Vs Powdered: Which Is Best For Baking Chewy Cookies?

When it comes to baking the perfect batch of cookies, sugar plays a pivotal role in determining their texture, flavor, and overall appeal. One of the key debates in cookie baking is whether granulated sugar or powdered sugar is better for achieving that sought-after chewy texture. The answer? Granulated sugar takes the crown for chewy cookies, and here's why.

The quest for chewy cookies is all about moisture retention. Granulated sugar, which is composed of larger crystals, is your go-to choice for achieving this desirable texture. Here's how it works: Granulated sugar has a hygroscopic quality, meaning it attracts and holds moisture. When incorporated into cookie dough, it interacts with other ingredients, helping to retain moisture throughout the baking process. This moisture is crucial for creating a chewy, tender cookie.

On the other hand, powdered sugar, also known as confectioner's sugar, is typically used for frostings, glazes, and dusting. Powdered sugar has a much finer texture and a higher cornstarch content, which can absorb moisture and lead to a drier, crumbly cookie texture. If you use powdered sugar in place of granulated sugar, you'll likely end up with cookies that are more cake-like and less chewy.

Additional tips for making chewy cookies

To ensure you get super chewy cookies when using granulated sugar, there are several more tips you can turn to. Cream the granulated sugar and butter together thoroughly, ensuring that the mixture is light and fluffy. This step is essential for incorporating air into the dough, which contributes to a tender, chewy texture. Be sure to use the right flour too. Opt for all-purpose flour rather than bread flour or cake flour, as these flours have different protein contents that can affect cookie texture. Avoid overmixing the dough after adding the dry ingredients to avoid tough cookies.

Refrigerate the cookie dough for at least an hour before baking. This not only enhances the flavor but also helps control spreading during baking, resulting in thicker, chewier cookies. Keep a close eye on your cookies as they bake. They are done when the edges are set, but the centers still appear slightly underdone. The residual heat will continue to cook the centers, leaving them delightfully chewy.

So, stock up on granulated sugar, perfect your cookie dough, and get ready to savor the chewy delights that emerge from your oven.