When a light-colored cookie is done, it should hold its shape. However, it may look a bit puffy or soft in the center, too. This is normal and simply means that the cookie may continue baking on the sheet and rack once removed from the oven.
How to Tell When Chocolate Chip Cookies Are Done. Chocolate chip cookies are done when they have a firm golden edge or bottom and appear slightly set on top. If the edges become dark brown, they are overbaked. If edges aren’t golden and tops are soft and shiny, bake a little longer.
Most cookies are still soft when done (they harden as they cool) and will continue to bake on the cookie sheet once removed from the oven. Remove cookies from the cookie sheet as soon as they are firm enough to transfer, using a spatula, to a cooling rack or paper towels to finish cooling.
Why Do Cookies Get Hard? Like all baked treats, cookies are subject to getting stale. Over time, the moisture in the cookies evaporates, leaving them stiff and crumbly. It’s the same thing that happens to breads, muffins, and other baked goods.
Doing a Physical Check. Press the edges with your finger. Open up the oven, pull out the rack a bit, and push the sides of the cookie very lightly with a spatula or your finger. If the edge stays firm and doesn’t fall inwards, then your cookies are done.
The Mistake: If your tray of cookies bakes up unevenly—with some cookies tough and overdone and others too soft and raw—it’s probably because the cookie dough balls you started with were too varied in size. How to Fix it: As long as the cookies are not tooth-breakingly hard or raw, you can still enjoy them.
Most of the time, cookies need to cool for around five to ten minutes before they can be moved and consumed.
Undercooked cookies are still edible, don’t toss them! Some people prefer chocolate chip cookies underdone, but you can’t know for sure that the egg has fully cooked (although that wouldn’t bother me one bit unless the source was shaky).
Problem #4: Pale and soft cookies
They were probably baked from a good consistency dough but ended up a bit under baked and raw on the inside. Either the oven temperature is too low or they were taken out too soon. When baking always keep an eye on your cookies and take them out when they’re golden.
The heat of the oven will only dry them out more and make them hard as rocks. Microwaving them. If you cover your cookies with a wet paper towel and nuke them for a few seconds, they should soften up enough to eat.
Why are my cookies tough? The most common reason that cookies are tough is that the cookie dough was mixed too much. When flour is mixed into the dough, gluten begins to form. Gluten helps hold baked goods together, but too much gluten can lead to tough cookies.
Overworking the dough.
The more you mix and work the dough after adding the flour, the more gluten is formed, which can result in cookies that are tough and hard.
Cookies go from chewy to crunchy for exactly the reason you might expect: They start to dry out. “The loss of moisture to the air is what will turn soft cookies hard,” says executive chef Leah Henderson, who oversees the pastry and dessert program for D’Amico & Partners restaurants.