This Might Be How Chips Ahoy! Keeps Their Cookies Chewy

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There's no denying that nothing hits the spot quite like freshly-baked chocolate chip cookies. Whether they're homemade or ordered from a bakery, they're a crowd pleaser for sure. And, when they're straight out of the oven, it's hard not to devour them on the spot. After they've been sitting on the counter for a few days, however, the tasty treats start to lose their appeal. No one wants to eat a cookie that tastes stale or is as hard as a brick.

That's where store-bought cookies have homemade cookies beat. Take popular brand Chips Ahoy!, for example. Chips Ahoy! Original is crunchy, while Chips Ahoy! Chewy is soft. But, if you notice, both varieties retain their freshness and textural integrity for far longer than a batch made at home. So, if you want to enjoy cookies over an extended period of time without having to take out your mixer every time, you can't go wrong with Chips Ahoy! While you would probably assume that the reason for this is a recipe filled with additives galore, the truth is that you might actually have the secret ingredient in your pantry.

Corn syrup may be the secret ingredient in Chips Ahoy! cookies

If you check out the ingredients list for Chips Ahoy! Chewy (via Amazon), you'll find it is pretty standard for a chocolate chip cookie, aside from dextrose, one of the sweeteners found in Splenda, and lecithin, an emulsifier often used as an egg substitute (via Baking Business). Otherwise, the three main ingredients are flour, high fructose corn syrup, and sugar.

In an article from a 1984 issue of Times-News, Keebler, the parent company of Chips Ahoy!, was asked about which ingredient was directly responsible for the softness of their cookies and coyly replied, "It's elfin magic." Clearly, it's a trade secret. But the report went on to conclude that the secret ingredient is corn syrup, a liquid sweetener. Sure enough, Fine Cooking explains that corn syrup is scientifically proven to keep cookies chewy because it contains fructose, a sugar known for retaining moisture from the air. You might not have any "elfin magic" to spare, but it seems like corn syrup might be the next best thing if you want to keep your cookies chewy like Chips Ahoy!