The Ingredient Swap You Need For Soft, Chewy Cookies

chewy chocolate chip cookies
chewy chocolate chip cookies - Franco Amian/Shutterstock

Applesauce is one of the most underrated baking ingredients. Chunky, thick, and with a subtly sweet flavor profile evoking the crispness of autumn, its homemade and store-bought iterations are frequently utilized by amateur and professional bakers alike to lend texture to muffins, doughnuts, and quick bread recipes due to its ability to add moisture and serve as a binding agent for the treats' ingredients. But as it turns out, unsweetened applesauce is also the unexpected key to a delectably soft, chewy cookie.

That's right, swapping in the fruit puree for butter in your cookie recipe is the texture upgrade you didn't know you needed. While butter lends a uniquely creamy richness, moisture, and consistency to most cookies, applesauce is the way to go for a well-balanced treat with a perfectly chewy texture. Applesauce is also not only a healthy alternative — boasting lower calories and fat than both butter and oil —  but when added to your favorite oatmeal or chocolate chip cookie recipe, for example, it results in a soft interior with a natural sweetness you want to return to again and again.

Read more: 8 Baking Sheet Mistakes You Want To Avoid

Swapping In Applesauce For Butter In Your Cookies

applesauce with cookies
applesauce with cookies - Mariemily Photos/Shutterstock

Making the applesauce-butter swap begins with choosing your applesauce. Unsweetened applesauce is recommended due to its neutral flavor that won't take away from the taste you're going for in your chosen recipe. An exception is if you're making oatmeal cookies, however, in which case you might reconsider, as the subtly spiced flavor of a cinnamon applesauce can be an excellent addition to the treat.

Swapping that applesauce in for butter in your recipe is relatively easy. Some bakers swear by a one-to-one substitution of applesauce for the melted butter in your recipe for a sweeter, moister cookie. But swapping applesauce for the whole amount of butter will also make your cookies more dense and slightly less flavorful, due to the reduced milk protein content, which is responsible for that rich flavor and browning that makes many cookies so incredible. Instead, swap half of your butter for applesauce to keep those cookies soft and chewy while retaining some of the creamy flavor butter provides.

But be sure to keep an eye on the consistency of your applesauce. If it's too liquidy, you can remove some of the liquid with a strainer before incorporating it into your recipe. Then you're free to prepare your recipe as normal, mixing your wet and dry ingredients separately, and then combining. And when it's time to store those freshly baked cookies, rejoice — due to the amount of water in applesauce, your cookies are likely to stay fresh longer.

Other Applesauce Cookie Swaps

spoon with baking powder
spoon with baking powder - EKramar/Shutterstock

When it comes to swapping in applesauce for other ingredients in your cookie recipe, you aren't limited to butter or oil. As it turns out, applesauce can be substituted for eggs if you need to make a vegan-friendly version of your favorite cookies. To do so, you can simply add a quarter-cup of unsweetened applesauce for each egg in your recipe — however, it's important to note that the applesauce in this case will also add density to your cookies' texture, so if you're looking for a lighter cookie, consider adding a little extra baking powder (about a quarter-teaspoon or so) to balance things out.

And if you're looking for a cookie lighter on sugar, you can easily swap in unsweetened applesauce for that, too. Simply substitute your applesauce in a one-to-one ratio with your sugar, then be sure to cut your liquid by a quarter cup to compensate for the extra liquid the applesauce adds, and enjoy a delicious batch of cookies with a more subtle sweetness and a much healthier kick.

Read the original article on Daily Meal