Making flat cookies thick

jennFebruary 1, 2008

I tried a cookie recipe from the back of an old bag of C&H sugar. They taste great and everyone at work who tried them came back for more. Based on the name, I assumed they'd be thicker than they were.... in the last few minutes of baking, they went flat.

I'm wondering if anyone can offer advice for making this a thick cookie. I'd try turning down the temp by 25-50 degrees and baking them a little longer. (Our oven does run hot so I had already adjusted the dial and used an oven thermometer to achieve the recommended temperature.)

Here's the recipe. The only important modification is using brown sugar in place of 1/2 of the white sugar. But that should only make them browner.... right?

Oatmeal Cinnamon Drops

1 cup (2 sticks) butter

2 cups C and H Granulated Sugar (*** I used 1 cup white and 1 cup brown)

2 eggs

1 Tbsp. molasses

2 tsp. pure vanilla

2 C all-purpose flour

2 tsp. cinnamon

1-1/2 tsp. BS

1/2 tsp. salt

2 cups quick oats

2/3 cups raisin (*** I omitted them)

1 cup chopped nuts

1/2 cup chocolate pieces (*** I used 1 cup)

Cream together butter and sugar; add eggs, molasses, and vanilla. Combine flour, cinnamon, soda, and salt; gradually add to creamed mixture. Stir in oats, raisins, nuts, and chocolate pieces. Drop by teaspoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheet. Bake in 350 degree oven for 12 minutes or until light brown. Makes 6 dozen.

I'm not adverse to thin cookies.... I'll eat 'em no matter what shape or size! I'd just like to know how I might make them thick, if I can.


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How did you soften the butter? If is is too soft or partially melted the cookies can come out thinner. An easy way to get thicker cookies is to chill the batter before shaping the cookies. They will stay thicker and not spread as much. I do this because I like my cookies thick and chewy.

    Bookmark   February 1, 2008 at 2:39PM
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Brown sugar will alter the chemistry of the cookie and make the leavening work differently.
Addi g extra chocolate will allow the chocolate melt and make the cookies moister and omitting the raisins is omitting an ingredient that will absorb some of the moisture....
Try making them as stated....if you want an oatmeal cookie that uses brown sugar and chocolate chips and has no raisins, find another that has more flour than oatmeal and less sugar.
Linda C
Try the one below

Here is a link that might be useful: cookies

    Bookmark   February 1, 2008 at 2:50PM
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I left the butter sit out overnight in the foil wrap (in a cool house without the heater on), then unwrapped and put it in the mixer when I made them the next morning. It was soft but I wouldn't describe it as "too soft", and definitely not melted at all. I've baked cookies for most of my life and always used butter softened overnight... some cookies turn out thick and others don't, so I'm assuming these did because of the particular combination of the ingredients and/or cooking temperature/time.

    Bookmark   February 1, 2008 at 2:52PM
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Linda (our posts crossed in the mail), thanks for explaining how each of the changes may have affected the outcome. I have lots of recipes of this type, I just wanted to know how to modify this one using the same ingredients..... or, the generalities of converting a thin cookie to a thicker one. I think Cook's Illustrated seems to have nailed it with their "Thick and Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookie" which I have yet to try.

    Bookmark   February 1, 2008 at 2:58PM
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Brown sugar will make the cookie spread out more. It does alter the final product.

Also, use half the butter and the rest shortening. Shortening will give you fatter cookies. Using room temperature butter or shortening is great, it will blend well and incorporate into the dough. Using melted butter will cause a problem obviously.

Also, chill your dough before you make them, and place the drops on a room temperature cookie sheet, not one that is warmed from the last batch. I almost always make my dough in the morning, clean up the mess, then bake in the afternoon after my dough has rested in the fridge for a few hours.

And, baking is one of those things that the recipe has to be followed really right to the measurement and directions. I know. I have blasted enough recipes into a weird result to finally agree wiht myself to follow the directions and ingredients of the given recipe.

Only, I will add things like chocolate chips or nuts to things all the time! I must be ready for the baking detention program. Lock me up!

    Bookmark   February 1, 2008 at 3:41PM
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Nancy zone 6

It is my understanding that using shortening or margarine instead of butter will make a thicker cookie, butter tends to make them flatter. Adding a spoonful of flour will also make for a thicker cookie. I've used the flour trick, works for some cookies, some it changes the texture. As far as using shortening or margarine instead of butter, I like the flavor of butter, although I have used a mix of butter & margarine or shortening & that does seem to help without altering the taste for me.

    Bookmark   February 1, 2008 at 3:42PM
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Baking soda makes the cookie spread out. Baking powder makes to cookie puff up. Try omitting the baking soda or use baking powder instead.

    Bookmark   February 1, 2008 at 3:50PM
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Baking soda or powder doesn't necessarily make cookies spread out of puff up....that depends on what other ingredients are in the cookie...soda and bp are different chemicals....and different bp's have a different chemical make up as well and they react differently with different ingredients like brown sugar or molasses or fruit or apple sauce or cocoa.....also flour is a subjective thing...and in measuring 2 cups of flour is would be very very easy to vary by as much as 2 tablespoons and even more.
That's why you have to cook a lot by feel which only comes from experience and observation.
And with a new recipe, I always bake a test 3 or 4 cookies...if they flatten too much, I add flour or chill the dough....if they are cakey...I add a bit more butter or Crisco.
Linda C

    Bookmark   February 1, 2008 at 4:01PM
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I beg to differ from experience. Here's some info I found too.

Leavening ingredients help to control spread or size, produces volume and promote proper crust color through regulation of acidity or alkalinity (pH) of the dough. Cookies that are hand dropped, deposited with a pastry tube, or machine deposited, need the spread control of leavening agents. An alkali such as baking soda exerts a weakening effect on the flour proteins (gluten) and helps to promote spreading. Since most cookie ingredients are neutral to slightly acid, they are usually sufficient to neutralize any reasonable quantity of baking soda added.



Puffy For light, puffy cookies, use shortening or margarine and cut back on the amount of fat; add an egg, cut back on the sugar, use cake flour or pastry flour, use baking powder instead of baking soda and refrigerate your dough before baking.


Also over-mixing can incorporate too much air into the dough, resulting in flat, overly spread-out cookies.

    Bookmark   February 1, 2008 at 4:54PM
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Okay but may give up a little in taste if you sub margarine for butter.
I did a test maybe a year ago..I shared my results here.
I made Sol's Brown Sugar Chocolate Chip Cookies. The recipes were exactly the same except I used butter in one and Golden Soft Margarine in the other. As far as appearance, they looked the same(neither rose more than the other), texture: the margarine were a bit "softer" longer.(I under bake CC cookies.)But taste...HUGE difference..My oldest son took one bite of the margarine based cookie..said.."what did you do wrong?"...I said nothing I was conducting an experiment. I used margarine in that batch...His response...DON'T EVER DO THAT AGAIN.

My thought is the biggest "issue" was the use of brown sugar..I've never noticed the texture of an oatmeal raisin cookie recipe made without raisins and chocolate chips instead being any "looser" than with raisins. In my kitchen anyway.

    Bookmark   February 1, 2008 at 5:09PM
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Wow, this has turned into an interesting discussion!

For the sake of experiment, I am willing to make them again but do the brown sugar substitution (but still omit the raisins since Hubby doesn't like them in cookies, and double the chocolate chips). I'll report back with the results.

I never bake using margarine. I can detect a non-butter cookie a mile away.

Oh, and regarding baking soda controversy.... when a little tsp. of BS is added to the 4-ingredient peanut butter cookie recipe (peanut butter, egg, sugar, and vanilla), they do rise a tiny bit and are a little puffier.... and better.


    Bookmark   February 1, 2008 at 9:50PM
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If I were using brown sugar, I would leave out the tablespoon of molasses. If I were using molasses then I would use white sugar.

    Bookmark   February 1, 2008 at 10:06PM
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soonergrandmom: I considered omitting the molasses since I was using brown sugar, but I decided to leave it in. I chose to use brown sugar only because we had so much left over from Christmas and I was trying to use it up. I wondered if it might affect the outcome..... I think I'll just make these again this weekend, this time using only white sugar, and see if that makes a difference. I'll never know unless I try! :-)


    Bookmark   February 1, 2008 at 10:11PM
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Dagnabbit, now I am going to give my few recipes a shot at the old cookie sheet and see what I can do!

Where is Shirley Corriher! (I do have her book, "Cookwise", and I might have to look this little corner of the cookie baking world up and see what she says!)

    Bookmark   February 1, 2008 at 10:19PM
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I had a recipe that made thin cookies. It only called for BS, not BP. I split the BS into half BS and half BP and it made them much puffier. I learned to do that when I was learning to bake for a kid who had an egg allergy--had to look up how to replace the leavening action of an egg.

Not melting the butter is also important, but you've already addressed that.

Good luck with your experiments!

    Bookmark   February 2, 2008 at 11:52AM
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OK, I made these cookies again today. This time I didn't use brown sugar, I used a brand-new unopened box of BS (the other one wasn't old, but just in case it was...), I chilled the dough, and turned down the oven a few degrees and baked them until just beginning to turn brown (11-12 minutes).

The results are in:

These cookies are destined to be flat. This time, they didn't flatten in the oven, but they did while cooling. I can taste the cinnamon in these more than the others, probably because it's not displaced by the taste of the brown sugar. The other ones had a more burnt-brown (like burnt sugar) look to the ones at the back of the oven. These didn't get that brown and I like them even better.

Oh well.... they're very tasty, no matter how I make 'em! :-)


    Bookmark   February 3, 2008 at 10:25PM
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