SHOP BY DEPARTMENT
Houzz Logo Print
dreamplanter

Flat Chocolate Chip Cookies

blueheron
12 years ago

I made the cookies this morning and most of them were flat! I made a test cookie, added more flour because it was flat, made a second test cookie, it was ok, so I made the rest.

Unfortunately, they came out flat, too. They rose in the oven and then flattened as they cooked.

The baking soda was fresh (expiration date 2/11), so I don't know what else could cause this. The only other thing I could think of was that I didn't chill the dough before baking the cookies. Although I never chilled it before and didn't have this problem..sigh.. I called the number on the Toll House morsel package and they referred me to the web site. I checked it out and the tips weren't any help. Anybody ever had this problem?

Comments (29)

  • netla
    12 years ago

    At a guess I would say the butter (margarine, shortening, whichever you were using) was too soft.
    I had this problem when I first started making choc-chip cookies, but after I learned never to let the butter soften more than about an hour at room temperature it has not happened again.

  • wizardnm
    12 years ago

    There once was a day when I purposely almost melted my butter so that they would come out flat, I liked them that way.

    Nancy

  • Related Discussions

    RECIPE: Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookies

    Q

    Comments (3)
    Lucky you. Ginger! My neighbor waits for me to bake them and give her some! LOLOL These do sound wonderful. Thanks!
    ...See More

    Why can't I make chocolate chip cookies????

    Q

    Comments (17)
    I bake little to nothing other than cookies so I'm no baking expert but I finally got a recipe from a friend that works for me. Pillowy, chewy cookies vs. some previous pancake flat or rock hard recipes I've tried. I don't refrigerate the dough, I use butter and I bake using convection. What I have noticed after using this recipe many times is that the outcome in terms of plump vs. flat does seem to have something to do with how soft the butter is. Yesterday I made them and remembered to take the butter out early so it just softened on the counter. It wasn't all that soft when I made them and they turned out perfect in my opinion. Other times I've had to carefully soften the butter in the microwave. The softer the butter the flatter the cookies. And the harder the butter the more ball shaped the cookies end up. I can also tell the difference in the consistency of the dough - even though all the ingredients are the same. If the dough is "dry" enough that I can form the cookies into a ball then they turn out great (I do make them into balls rather than dropping by spoonful). If it's stickier they end up flatter. If my theory is true, then chilling the dough in the fridge makes sense as the fat would harden as it chills.
    ...See More

    Toll House chocolate chip ghost pepper cookies

    Q

    Comments (4)
    Hi Karl, use less butter / lard in the cookie mix next time. That's the usual cause of cookies going a bit flat and not keeping shape when baked. i first heard about chocolate chili cookies about 10 years ago, in a Discovery channel documentary about chili addicts & growers. The cookies were part of the buffet spread at a convention. Always wanted to try them.
    ...See More

    My favorite recipe for chocolate chip cookies has competition!

    Q

    Comments (34)
    Another vote for good old fashioned flat pure aluminum cookie sheets. I didn't mesn to imply that warmth was the only cause of spread—just that no matter what you bake on, if the butter is too warm and soft in the dough, you will have spread. That's also why oil doesn't work well in most cookies. Chloebud, what I do know about a long chill/rest time is that the flour soaks up the water from the butter (and eggs if there are eggs). The result is just druthers. The different level of absoption will give you a different texture, though the difference might be subtle. One problem is that in a long soak, gluten will develop more, making your flour choice more important. You need some gluten for loft and chew, but you don't want tough! I know Chloebud has this down. I'm just pointing out some places where the complexity of it all can trip up people who just change things. I can't even fathom how many thousands of lovely cookies I've baked, but I've know people to use the exact same recipes and fail.
    ...See More
  • blueheron
    Original Author
    12 years ago

    I don't think the butter was too soft, but maybe it was. I just softened it in the microwave.

    LOL, Nancy, I wish I could give you my cookies!

  • annie1992
    12 years ago

    It happens to me sometimes too, and I can't tell you why. I can use the same ingredients at the same temperature and one pan will be flat and one pan will be puffy and cakey and one pan will be chewy. Maybe oven temp? Or the amount of time the pan sits on the counter waiting for its turn in the oven?

    I do find that if I freeze the dough and thaw it before baking it's nearly always chewy and seldom flat, so the temperature of the fat used is probably a big consideration.

    Annie

  • jojoco
    12 years ago

    I've always been told it has to do with butter vs. other shortenings (margerine or butter flavored shortening). Butter is said to melt at a lower temp, so the cookies spread out before they can rise. Also, overbeating can break down the butter so that it is even quicker to melt. I've always wondered why some of my friends swear by mixing with a wooden spooon.
    Alton Brown did a special about different textures of cc cookies. It, like so many of his shows, offers great advice almost hidden in a campy dialogue. The link is the transcript from the show.

    Jo

    Here is a link that might be useful: Alton Brown's science of chocolate chip cookies

  • busylizzy
    12 years ago

    I always make the choc chip cookie dough the day before and refrigerate at least overnight.
    On Sunday I made a triple batch and am going to bake tonight, will report if they get flat.
    I don't care for the Toll House Recipe, I use the one on the back of the Gold Medal Flour package. My DD and her friends asked me if I will make them just like last year, crispy edges and soft/chewy middle. Gosh I hope so, hate to pitch enough dough to make 20 dozen cookies.

  • blueheron
    Original Author
    12 years ago

    That's an interesting transcript. I noticed he added 1 1/2 tsps. of baking soda. But then he said more soda results in a spreading cookie???

    I looked up the Gold Medal CC cookie recipes on their site and the regular recipe was just like the one on the CC package. One doubled the ingredients but was basically the same. Which recipe do you use? I don't have a flour bag to check the recipe. I thought it would be on their site.

  • grainlady_ks
    12 years ago

    Softened butter (or other solid fat) is 65°-67°F, as measured with an Instant Read Thermometer. You can't easily control that by softening it in a microwave.

    Perfectly softened butter should give gently to pressure. You should be able to leave a fingerprint and slight indention on the stick, but not press completely through it. Butter that is too soft or is partially melted results in dough that is too soft, causing cookies to spread too much.

    Refrigerating the cookie dough will help to solidify the too-soft fat in the dough. Keep the dough in the refrigerator between batches. That warm kitchen will also pre-melt fat causing the cookies to spread, just as using hot/warm cookie sheets causes cookies to spread.

    -Grainlady

  • ann_t
    12 years ago

    You can send them to me. I prefer a flat cookie. The puffy ones taste too cakey to me.

    Ann

  • jojoco
    12 years ago

    I am with you, Ann. I prefer a chocolate chip landscape.

  • doucanoe
    12 years ago

    Mine always come out flat, too. And I prefer a little higher and chewier cookie.

    My sister in law swears by using half butter and half shortening in the recipe. Hers are always perfect, so I am gonna try that.

    Lord knows, I have tried everything else, from subbing bread flour, to chilling the dough, to trying a gazillion different recipes looking for the perfect cookie....all to no avail.

    Linda

  • vacuumfreak
    12 years ago

    I just made some chocolate chip cookies the other day... and like EVERY time I've made them, they were flat. I got the "bright" idea to throw a cup of marshmallows in the dough with the chocolate chips. Not only were they flat like always, but the marshmallows popped and left big holes in the cookies. They were the ugliest cookies I've ever seen in my life. Tasted fine though.

    The only time I made cookies that didn't sink were with Sol's brown sugar chocolate chip cookies, but that was only the first time I made them. I usually let my butter come to room temperature on its own without using the microwave, but I leave it out for an hour at least, maybe that's too long.

    Blueheron, thank you for posting this... I needed it too! Hope your (and my) cookie troubles are over from the point on. I will stick the thermometer in my butter next time and take its temperature. I even have refrigerated the dough overnight, and bought fresh baking soda, and neither helped the situation. It can be frustrating! Mine look good right before I take them out of the oven, but then they "deflate"!

  • mariend
    12 years ago

    I noticed that many of the margrine products contain more water, and even some of the butter products are watery. Maybe it is the milk they are using. Wonder if that could cause the problem. Can't remember if they call for baking powder? if not, maybe a 1/2 teaspoon would help?

  • vacuumfreak
    12 years ago

    I was wondering if baking powder would help too... I've not seen a chocolate chip recipe that had baking powder. I think I've had better results with margarine (like Imperial) the few times I tried it, but not perfect. I don't use it and won't buy it just to make cookies with.

    My snicker dooodles and peanut butter cookies aren't flat, what gives?

  • sushipup1
    12 years ago

    I really think that several earlier posters are correct. The butter was way too warm/soft. Softened butter means, at least to me, room temperature. Definitely not what you could achieve in the microwave.

    Try the recipe again.

  • busylizzy
    12 years ago

    here is the recipe I use

    Chocolate Chip Cookies
    1 1/2 cups Blue Bonnet Margarine
    1 1/4 Cups Granulated Sugar
    1 1/4 Cups packed Light Brown Sugar
    1 TBsp Vanilla
    2 large Eggs
    4 Cups All Purpose flour
    2 Teaspoons Baking Soda
    1/2 Teaspoon Salt
    3 Cups Semi Sweet Chocolate Chips

    In large bowl beat margarine,sugars, vanilla and eggs on medium speed until fluffy. Stir in flour, baking soda and salt. Stir in Chocolate Chips (dough is stiff)
    Refrigerate dough overnight

    Next day Rpe heat oven to 350 degrees
    On ungreased non stick cookie sheet, drop by tablespoon, or I use a #40 ice cream scoop. Place cookies 2 inches apart.
    Flatten slighty using. I use a small bowl of sugar, dampen a tumbler glass dip in sugar and lightly flatten cookie dough.
    Bake for 11 to 13 minutes, or until light brown. Cool 1 or 2 minutes and transfer to a cooling rack, Cool completly before stroing in a conatiner. I also add one slice of cheapo white bread in tins or containers to keep the cookies fresh.
    Makes about 6 dozen cookies

    Here is some I baked tonight, will be a good baking session for the next 3 nights, temperature is suppose to be 17 degrees at night. My daughter likes them a bit darker, with crispy edges and soft middles. So, that's closer to the 13 minute baking mark

    Here is a link that might be useful: {{!gwi}}

  • dirtgirl07
    12 years ago

    The day that I read that margarine was just one molecule away from being pure plastic, I never used it again. The switch to butter in my cc cookies was the first time they came out flat.

    Never thought of the temp of the butter since I just pulled it out first thing in the mornings so that it would be ready to use.

    Also... tried subbing whipped butter once, definitely flat!!

  • partst
    12 years ago

    This has come up several times, usually at Christmas, and I have tried everything, half margarine, half Crisco, freezing the dough, keeping it in the refrigerator for 36 hours before baking and nothing as worked.

    I canÂt remember on what thread but just a week or so ago there was a discussion about flat cookies and someone mentioned they thought it had something to do with water content of the butter. They said they switched to Tillamook butter and the cookies came out great and didnÂt flatten out. I put Tillamook on my shopping list and just bought some today. I always buy butter from Costco and have for years and for years I have had the flat cookie thing going. I am going to make CC cookies this weekend so IÂll let you know if the Tillamook make a difference.

    Claudia

  • stir_fryi SE Mich
    12 years ago

    Not to brag (it took me years) but my CC cookies turn out awesome every time.

    I use the recipe in my old Betty Crocker cookbook which is like the Tollhouse recipe but only calls for one egg.

    3/4 cup granulated sugar
    3/4 cup packed brown sugar
    1 cup butter or margarine, softened
    1 egg
    2 1/4 cups Gold Medal® all-purpose flour
    1 teaspoon baking soda
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    1 cup coarsely chopped nuts
    1 package (12 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips (2 cups)

    I also use Margarine, usually Land O Lakes brand which is more expensive but I like it. Soften, DON"T melt the butter!

    Use a cookie scoop to form cookies not your hands. My BC cookbook also recommends HAND MIXING -- it makes better looking cookies!

  • partst
    12 years ago

    Well I just looked in the refrigerator the Costco butter ingredients says" pasteurized cream, salt then says allergy information made with cream, milk or milk derivatives" the Tillamook ingredients just says cream (milk) and on the front of the package it says made with milk from cows not treated with artificial growth hormone.

    I should pay more attention to ingredient on everything itÂs like sour cream I really never looked until someone here said Daisy was the only one that just had cream and nothing else in it.

    Claudia

  • ritaotay
    12 years ago

    For what it's worth... Years ago, when I made the worlds best chocolate chip cookies ( the Toll House recipe ), on a regular basis, they were tall and crispy enough to melt in your mouth... I used half Imperial stick margarine and half regular Crisco... I never brought the fats or eggs up to room temperature, only mixed the fats and sugars until it was all one color, kept the rest of the dough in the fridge while one batch was baking and cooled the cookie sheet between batches.

    Rita

    P.S. - fridge - a refrigerator
    ...... - frig - Vulgar Slang. v.tr. 1. To have sexual intercourse with.

  • jojoco
    12 years ago

    I made some this weekend which my dh said were the best ever (too dense for me, but not cakey. I like cc cookies where the chips are the highest point of the cookie). The recipe called for two tablespoons of water and 1 tsp of vanilla. I bumped the vanilla to two tsp. and reduced the water to 5 tsp. water.





    Wegman's Recipe:
    1 cup butter
    1 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
    2 large eggs
    1 tsp vanilla
    2TBS water
    2 1/2 cups flour
    1 tsp baking soda
    1 tsp salt
    12 oz chocolate chips.

    Bake at 375, 12-15 min.

    These benefit from being plopped in the microwave for 12 seconds the next day.
    Jo

  • Cathy_in_PA
    12 years ago

    IÂm sorry to report that IÂve taken a serious break from the Chocolate Chip Cookie quest. The journey has cost me pounds of butter, sugar, and weight, only to realize that each individualÂs pursuit is unique and personal i.e. "my cookie may not be your cookie." That said, IÂm enjoying reading everyoneÂs success and that picture is enough to make me rethink the issue, Jo.

    Confession: I grew up on Crisco cookies (with the ½ tsp. Water), with enough cookie to match chocolate, puffy yet chewy, etc., and I loved them. I now make "Marvelous Marble Squares" from my old "The Happy Cooker" Jewish cookbook, which are butter based, chocolate chips swirled on top baked in jelly roll pan. Big bang for the time, crowd pleaser and closest to my memories.


    Cathy in SWPA

  • blueheron
    Original Author
    12 years ago

    Thanks for all your responses. They are certainly food for thought, pun intended..lol.

    I ran into a friend in the baking aisle at the supermarket today and mentioned my flat CC cookies. She said hers came out flat also. DH was with me and remarked that there must be a CC virus going around..lol.

    I recall that I used to use half Land O Lakes Country Morning Blend and half butter for my cookies and they turned out perfectly. I couldn't fine CM Blend and emailed the company and asked where to buy it. They responded with two places, Wegman's and another store, I can't thing of it, it's an organic supermarket Fresh Foods? Neither one is near me, so I used all butter. I am going to keep trying until I get it right!

    Happy Baking

  • 3katz4me
    12 years ago

    I often wonder about this. I've made a few batches that were beautifully plump but recently more flat. DH likes them plump and mentioned that mine are not like his mothers - which were fantastic. I've quit using Crisco though and I'm sure she used Crisco - she's no longer with us or I'd ask her for advice. I've had good results sometimes with butter but because I don't plan ahead I've sometimes had to soften in the microwave. My theory is that they're flatter if the butter is too soft and that they'd probably turn out more reliably plump with Crisco than with butter. I don't bake cookies that often so I'm about ready to return to Crisco - since cookies aren't good for me under any circumstances - butter or Crisco.

  • blueheron
    Original Author
    12 years ago

    DH's mother used Crisco for her cookies, too. They were always crisp. I thought Crisco wasn't too healthful, so I stick to butter.

    Well, the virus struck again! I made oatmeal cookies today and they were flat, too! What gets me is the fact that I make a test cookie that turns out fine but the rest of the batch is mostly flat. The butter was firm and the soda was fresh, so I have no idea what is causing the flatness..sigh..

  • partst
    12 years ago

    Success finally perfect CC cookies cooling on my kitchen counter. Lightly browned on the edges and high in the middle. I mixed them up yesterday using stir fryiÂs recipe, old tollhouse recipe using 1 egg not 2, refrigerated and baked today. I canÂt say for sure it is the Tillamook butter but itÂs the first time in years that my cookies havenÂt been flat. No more Costco butter from now on only Tillamook will be used in my baking.

    Maybe like everything else they are adding water to make the butter weight more. God only knows what we are eating these days and how much we are paying for water added in everything.

    Claudia

  • blueheron
    Original Author
    12 years ago

    I'm not familiar with Tillamook butter. Where do you get it?

  • partst
    12 years ago

    blueheron, Tillamook, famous for their cheese, is made in Tillamook Oregon. There cheese and butter is available in just about every store here in Ca. I donÂt know if itÂs nationwide or just on the west coast. You could ask the manager where you shop and see if he can get it. There cheddar cheese is the best but I donÂt buy their sour cream it has much more than just cream in it.

    Claudia

Sponsored
Star Home Improvements
Average rating: 5 out of 5 stars8 Reviews
Broadlands Purpose-Driven Remodeling & Construction Firm