How do I make food chewy? Specifically brownies and cookies, but if there is a general principal, I’d be glad to know it. Pizza and bread come to mind as well. Something about protein? Or gluten?

I am a pretty good cook, but I was never much of a baker, so I’d like to know what I’m missing in order to achieve this simple and delicious property of food.

Shape it like a Wookiee

Sorry - not a real answer. Couldn’t help myself.

As a *general *rule, more brown sugar and less white sugar will make baked goods chewier. Also, a liquid sugar (corn syrup, molasses, agave nectar) in place of some of the granulated sugar will do the same thing, but then you need to reduce the amount of other liquids in your recipe to balance things out, and things can get rather tricky. And of course, substitutions don’t always work in every recipe.

Alton Brown did a show on cookies - chocolate chip, I think. Anyway, he had three variations: the crisp, the chewy, and I forget the third. His advice was the same as SP’s above: adjust the proportions of brown and white sugar by upping the brown ratio to make things more chewy. A search for “the chewy Alton Brown” should bring up better details.

I’ve used AB’s recipe for a chewy chocolate chip cookie and made, bar none, the best batch of cookies I’ve ever had. Of course, I couldn’t repeat it a second time.* :frowning: Haven’t tried a third yet.

As Snickers said above, the recipe did call for more brown sugar than white, but the other very key part of making the cookie chewy: bread flour. Don’t use all-purpose flour, instead use bread flour which produces a more bread-y (chewy) cookie.

*I think I over mixed the batter the second time I tried it and that’s why they didn’t fluff up (or taste as good) as the first batch. So I would also recommend only mixing the batter until the ingredients are just combined.

Check out America’s Test Kitchen’s chewy brownie recipe where they try to replicate the chewiness of certain brownie mixes. (The site may require registration. If you don’t want to register and can’t see the recipe, let me know and I will send it to you.) They claim that the most important thing has to do with the fat:

The problems I find with replacing granulated sugar with brown sugar are (1) the change in flavor, and (2) the fact that this change can require further experimentation with the recipe.

Seconding Alton Brown: