What did I do wrong? (cookies)

amj0517November 8, 2011

I know there is a cooking forum, but I just feel more comfortable here. :)

I love to cook and bake desserts, but I've never been a fan of making cookies. They usually turn out okay when I make them, but something happened today.

My chocolate chip cookies were super flat after baking. They look like crepes with chocolate chips. I double-checked the date on the baking soda and it was fine. Did I over mix the butter and sugar? What did I do wrong?

My 4-year-old said they look funny, but "they taste good anyway".

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Bumblebeez SC Zone 7

There are a lot of things it could be and this is discussed occasionally on the cooking forum.

Here is a link that does discuss that.

http://ths.gardenweb.com/forums/load/cooking/msg0211441114499.html

    Bookmark   November 8, 2011 at 6:14PM
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trailrunnerbiker

here are a bunch of tips...if you didn't use baking powder they probably won't turn out right. Did you use the recipe on the bag of chocolate chips...Nestle' ? I have never had a problem with that one.

Here is a link that might be useful: trouble shoot chocolate chip cookies

    Bookmark   November 8, 2011 at 6:28PM
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natal

Hey BB, speaking of the CF ... saw your post on the vinegar thread. You could easily have kept that bottle. If you like fruity balsamics try Lucini's or Cuisine Perel's. I love CP's pomegranate balsamic.

    Bookmark   November 8, 2011 at 6:29PM
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amj0517

Thanks for the links. I'm glad I'm not alone! I have an excellent recipe for jumbo cookies that came on the inside of the Land-o-lakes butter box. I've always had luck with it. It must be the baking powder.

Today's adventure in cookie making started when my son begged for cookies before his nap. I had 1/2 bag of Nestle chips in the freezer, but the recipe was cut off the bag (of course). I had another bag of store brand chips and that is the recipe I followed. Maybe that was another part of the issue. Oh well; they're not very pretty, but at least they taste good.

    Bookmark   November 8, 2011 at 6:49PM
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theroselvr

Since most seem to be having issues using the same recipe; I wonder if Nestle changed the formulation of their chips? My friend uses Hershey's chips & doesn't have that problem. If I'm baking cookies; I soften butter over night by taking all the sticks out of the package & laying them on a cooling rack. I don't make chocolate chip cookies that often; my specialty is peanut butter & rolled cookies using cream cheese.

    Bookmark   November 8, 2011 at 7:26PM
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blfenton

What are "peanut butter & rolled cookies using cream cheese." Do I have to go to the cooking forum (which is waaay out of my league) for the recipe?

    Bookmark   November 8, 2011 at 7:39PM
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Bumblebeez SC Zone 7

I quickly looked blf but didn't find anything. I'm sure someone knows.
Natal, I haven't tossed it! I'll try it soon in something.

    Bookmark   November 8, 2011 at 7:59PM
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theroselvr

Sorry; I make peanut butter cookies as well as cookies that are rolled using cream cheese. The cream cheese ones are like old style bakery filled with raspberry or apricots; some call them bear claws; I've also put chocolate & crushed nuts in them.

The peanut butter cookie recipe I use came from Skippy about 20 years ago. They're a huge hit. I do all sorts of variations with those; peanut butter cups; mini M&M's; walnuts; white chocolate chips. The link below says I Can't Believe It's Not Butter!- I changed it to butter. I've found that the cheap Walmart butter is horrible for cookies

CLASSIC PEANUT BUTTER COOKIES link

Ingredients
2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1 cup Skippy Natural Creamy or Super Chunk Peanut Butter Spread
12 Tbsp. Butter
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla extract

Directions
1. Preheat oven to 350. Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in small bowl; set aside.
2. Beat Skippy Natural Creamy Peanut Butter Spread with Spread in large bowl with electric mixer until smooth. Beat in sugars, then eggs and vanilla until blended. Beat in flour mixture just until blended. (If necessary, refrigerate dough until easy to handle.)
3. Shape dough into 1-inch balls. Arrange cookies on ungreased baking sheets 2 inches apart. Gently flatten each cookie and press crisscross pattern into tops with fork dipped in sugar.
4. Bake 12 minutes or until lightly golden. Cool completely on wire rack. Store in tightly covered container.

Cost per recipe*: $4.32.

Cost per cookie*: $0.06.

*Based on average retail prices at national supermarkets.
TIP: For an extra special treat, dip or drizzle cookies with melted bittersweet chocolate.
Print Recipe Email Recipe Search Recipes
Makes: 5-1/2 dozen cookies
Preparation Time: 20 Minute(s)
Cook Time: 12 Minute(s)

Nutrition Information per cookie with Creamy Peanut Butter
Calories 70, Calories From Fat 35, Total Fat 3.5g, Saturated Fat 1g, Trans Fat 0g, Cholesterol 5mg, Sodium 70mg, Total Carbohydrate 8g, Dietary Fiber 0g, Sugars 5g, Protein 1g, Vitamin A 2%, Vitamin C 0%, Calcium 0%, Iron 2%

    Bookmark   November 8, 2011 at 8:11PM
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oakleyok

Okay, I thought it was just me. I haven't baked a good Nestle C.Chip cookie in years! I've always used their pkg. recipe, the best, IMO. But mine also have been flat as a pancake. I've used butter, margerine, all softened, not melted, and they still come out flat.

    Bookmark   November 8, 2011 at 9:11PM
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deeinohio

I've had the same problem with the Toll House recipe - I thought it was me, too! And, roselvr, that Walmart butter is the worst for baking: I think it has too much water in it.
Dee

    Bookmark   November 8, 2011 at 10:44PM
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dawnp

I make Nestles Choc chip cookies just about once a week! They usually do not turn out flat.

If the dough is warm, they will go flat. I put the dough in the refrigerator for a half an hour or so before baking. Also, don't put a second round on a hot cookie sheet. They will also go flat.

I don't think there is anything wrong with the recipe. Just chill that dough!

    Bookmark   November 8, 2011 at 10:52PM
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amj0517

If the dough is warm, they will go flat. I put the dough in the refrigerator for a half an hour or so before baking.

I let the butter soften on the counter for quite a while, so it was probably too warm. I'll remember the refrigerator step next time. My MIL is the cookie-queen and she always does that. I should have known!

Thanks.

    Bookmark   November 9, 2011 at 7:53AM
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theroselvr

I don't know what the difference is between the cheap walmart butter & say Shop Rite store brand butter; but I picked some up last year; left it over night; it seemed to have preservatives in it or something. I don't use Crisco; but that's what it reminded me of when the mixer tried to cream it.

    Bookmark   November 9, 2011 at 8:28AM
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goldengirl327

I was never thrilled with the way my Nestle tollhouse came out, but then a friend of mine (whose were always perfect) told me she adds an extra 1/2 cup of flour to the recipe --- perfect every time!

    Bookmark   November 9, 2011 at 9:05AM
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theroselvr

I just posted a chicken (or turkey) pot pie recipe over there if anyone wants it for left over turkey.

Here is a link that might be useful: Chicken or turkey pot pie

    Bookmark   November 9, 2011 at 9:15AM
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theroselvr

I'm such an idiot some days. I never checked the recipe I had typed out in my email recipe folder against my actual paper recipe. I ended up making a new post over there & of course after I did that; I got out my recipe book & find there is a difference; has more of both sugars. :( need to drink more coffee before I post. This is the one I make

From the Best Foods Creative Kitchens-

Crisp Peanut Butter Cookies

Ingredients
2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1 cup (2 sticks) Mazola margarine or Butter
1 cup Skippy Natural Creamy or Super Chunk Peanut Butter
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla extract

Directions
1. Preheat oven to 350. Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in small bowl; set aside.

2. In large bowl with mixer at medium speed; beat butter & Peanut Butter until smooth. Beat in sugars until blended. Beat in eggs and vanilla until blended. Add flour mixture; beat until well blended.

I then divide the dough; will add various chips or walnuts; heath baking pieces went over well last year; mini M&M's. You can also add M&M's or peanut butter cups after you flatten them

If necessary, refrigerate dough until easy to handle.

3. Shape dough into 1-inch balls. Place 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheets. Flatten with fork dipped in sugar making crisscross pattern. *Note; depending on what version I make; I do not flatten or use the sugar on the fork. I have a spoon that I use just to flatten cookies with

  1. Bake 12 minutes or until lightly golden. Cool completely on wire rack. Store in tightly covered container.

I normally rotate my cookie sheets 1/2 way through cooking

    Bookmark   November 9, 2011 at 9:46AM
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lpoint

I usually have the same problem with the Nestle recipe for choc. chip cookies coming out flat but still tasting good.

Last time I made them, I decided to try the convection bake on my oven and sure enough the cookies came out nice and fluffy. I lowered the baking temp by 50 degrees and if I remember correctly, they did take a little bit longer to bake than they normally do. I rarely use a timer, as I just keep an eye on them.

The texture of the cookies was more cake like and they did not brown much at all.

Maybe some of the more experienced bakers here can comment on the convection bake method.

    Bookmark   November 9, 2011 at 1:24PM
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rnmomof2

I just had this problem with a cookie recipe I found on a blog. The picture had these thick yummy looking cookies but that is not how mine turned out.

While researching why this happened I found an interesting answer. Over beating the butter and sugar was a cause I found several times. One place put the blame on our stand mixers, saying that we throw ingredients in the bowl and let it mix away while getting other things ready.

Did out cookies come out flat when we mixed them by hand? Anyone mix by hand and have flat cookies?

    Bookmark   November 9, 2011 at 2:34PM
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mjsee

Came in to say that the butter was probably too soft...but y'all covered that. Let me add--back when I could still make cookies with wheat flour (before I developed celiac disease) I read somewhere that the toll house cookie recipe was even tastier if one made the dough one day and waited until the next day to bake. (Dough in the refrigerator over night.) It's TRUE. They texture of the cookies is much better. (Might have heard it on Good Eats or some-such?)

    Bookmark   November 9, 2011 at 2:57PM
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theroselvr

Interesting about over mixing. Wouldn't it happen with all cookies though?

    Bookmark   November 9, 2011 at 3:06PM
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natal

Amj, apparently it's a common problem. You might find some help in this thread from the CF.

Here is a link that might be useful: flat as a pancake chocolate chip cookies

    Bookmark   November 9, 2011 at 3:13PM
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Bumblebeez SC Zone 7

I tried to find that thread Natal, and could not! Stupid search engine! I'm glad you found it.

    Bookmark   November 9, 2011 at 5:21PM
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natal

BB, I just checked the thread you linked. It's the same. I'm confused. ???

    Bookmark   November 9, 2011 at 5:29PM
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Bumblebeez SC Zone 7

Oh sorry. I did not click on your link yet and I should have. There is a another older thread about this and I thought you had found it.

    Bookmark   November 9, 2011 at 6:11PM
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kellyeng

My CC cookie recipe calls for melted butter and I beat the sugar & butter until it changes color and ribbons (which means a long time!) and they don't come out flat at all. It's a crispy edge, chewy center kind of cookie.

My guess is the baking soda was off.

    Bookmark   November 9, 2011 at 6:53PM
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trailrunnerbiker

Here you go...I never thought that bs went bad :) So here is how you test both bp and bs. c

Here is a link that might be useful: has your bp or bs expired ???

    Bookmark   November 9, 2011 at 10:07PM
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amj0517

Trailrunner - I just returned home from the store with new soda and powder. The geek in me will still do the test to see if the old ones are expired. I'll open the new ones too for a comparison. Thanks. My kids will probably like to do the "experiment" with me!

    Bookmark   November 9, 2011 at 10:37PM
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dawnp

Ok, I made a batch of Nestles tonight. I hand mixed the batter. They were not flat. They were puffier than usual.

I think there's a lot to the thought that over mixing makes the cookies flat. I would bet that that original recipe was made with the intention that the batter was to be hand mixed. That's a very old recipe - how common was it for people to have electic mixers when it was invented?

Amj - I will be interested to hear how your experiment works out! Let us know.

Dawn

    Bookmark   November 11, 2011 at 10:35PM
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trailrunnerbiker

amj: please post back when you get the chance. And Dawn I didn't know you could over cream the sugar/butter. Now I did know you could over mix the rest so I have always creamed with the mixer and done all the rest by hand. Never have I added the dry stuff with the mixer....and I have occasionally had flat cookies but it has been so many decades since I made a chocolate chip cookie that I can't tell you when LOL. If I made them we would have to eat them and DH can't resist chocolate. c

    Bookmark   November 12, 2011 at 2:46AM
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theroselvr

Dawn; thanks for posting that

    Bookmark   November 12, 2011 at 9:18AM
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dawnp

Trailrunner - Someone mentioned it in that post over on the cooking forum about over-creaming. That's why I gave the hand mixing a try. I still think you can use an electric mixer to cream the ingredients but just not too much.

My son came home from college with all his friends last night so I had an excuse to bake! I don't like to make them when it's only DH and I. They are tempting! Especially the batter!

Roselvr - you're welcome. This forum is the best for solving all life's problems! :)

    Bookmark   November 12, 2011 at 2:08PM
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cooperbailey

AH Hah! I over mix and my butter is always warm- so thats why my cookies are flat- but when I ate chocolate-I loved them that way! less cake like and more cookie-ish. but I will make the dough and refrigerate overnight. I do happen to have a bag of choc chips- been awhile.

    Bookmark   November 12, 2011 at 10:57PM
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terriks

I always mix cookie dough by hand, and only have the problem of too flat (but still delicious!) cookies when I don't let my cookie sheets cool down enough between batches, or if my butter is too soft. I also never bother with mixing my dry ingredients before mixing into the butter, sugar and eggs.
What I do is cream the butter and sugar together, mix in the eggs and vanilla, then all the dry ingredients except the flour. Then I mix in the flour and chocolate chips, bake and enjoy!

    Bookmark   November 12, 2011 at 11:31PM
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trailrunnerbiker

dawnp:" This forum is the best for solving all life's problems!"

It sure feels that way some days :) What a gift the friendships here have been . c

    Bookmark   November 13, 2011 at 12:22AM
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deeinohio

Okay, so my DGS is coming over for dinner so I thought I'd take the opportunity to make his favorite cookie (and, I confess, mine too) AND test out the theory of hand mixing versus kitchenaid mixing. The cookie is a peanut butter choc and peanut butter chip cookie, which never looked like the fluffy cookie in the recipe picture, much to my dismay. Of course, my grandson didn't care; the first time I made them, he asked me to write down the recipe for his mother and his other grandmother so everybody he knew could make them. (Love, love, love that boy!).

Anyway, I creamed the butter and peanut butter with a hand mixer, and added the sugars, egg, vanilla, milk and mixed them with the hand mixer. I then mixed in by hand the dry ingredients and the chips. I also, though, sometimes soften the butter in the microwave, and I didn't this time. I just creamed the somewhat soft butter. They were perfect!

Now that I think back, I think the flat cookies started with the kitchenaid. DS used to brag how my chocolate chip cookies were not flat.

Thanks for all the info.
Dee

    Bookmark   November 13, 2011 at 2:25PM
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