The Secret To Soft, Chewy Cookies From Chef Brooke Lenderman

An easy shortcut to tender cookies

This month, Tasting Table is sweet on holiday cookies. This is the eighth in our 12-part series, the 12 Days of Cookies:

Cookie fans generally fall into two camps.

Some people like crunchy cookies, and some like chewy cookies. For those in the second camp, Brooke Lenderman has a foolproof secret.

Lenderman is the head baker at The Bakery, a just-opened bread-baking annex to the outstanding Decatur, Georgia, restaurant Cakes & Ale.

For the Bakery's first holiday season, Lenderman has been busy churning out all of the classics: linzer, gingerbread and, of course, the ubiquitous sugar snowflake cookie. Although Lenderman's sugar-cookie recipe doesn't veer far from the classic (click here to see), she incorporates an unorthodox twist to make sure that the final product stays chewy: She places the edible artwork on a sheet pan with a piece of white bread, then covers the pan with plastic wrap and lets the cookies sit overnight.

The cookies absorb the bread's moisture through the power of flour and osmosis and gives the treats an incredible soft and chewy staying power.

Who said white bread was boring?