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Old 04-27-2012, 06:42 PM   #1
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Why aren't my tollhouse choco chip cookies nice and soft and chewy anymore?

In the U.S. I was famous for my choco chip cookies...used the standard tollhouse recipe and cookies came out soft and chewy every time. About 14 years ago, I moved to China, and ever since then my cookies have come out like little disks. I can rule out measuring issues and oven temp, but after that, everything needs to be scrutinized! I am in Taiwan now and find that access to good quality baking resources is good, though sometimes it takes a little bit of digging. What is/are the most likely culprit(s)?

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Old 04-27-2012, 06:54 PM   #2
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Hi Pengyou.

I'm not much of a baker but I know if cookie dough is too warm, or the cookie sheets are warm, tollhouse cookies will be really flat. Could that be the problem?

Members with more baking experience than I have will be here soon to help.
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Old 04-27-2012, 07:03 PM   #3
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Hard Tollhouse cookies are usually the result of:

1. cooking too long
2. not enough moisture in the dough (use butter, not shortening or lard.
Butter has water in it.
3. Not enough egg (egg adds both water, and an almost elastic protien, and
emulsifies the butter into the water)

Most probably, the culprit is either cooking temperature is too hot, or the cooking time is too long. This results in the water steaming out of the cookie, leaving the sugars, and cooked flour hard.

Seeeeeya; Chief Longwind of the North
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Old 04-27-2012, 09:06 PM   #4
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Good thoughts...I use butter and I watch the time pretty carefully. The eggs here are noticeably smaller than the Grade AA in the U.S. What happens if I put too many eggs? Can I try 3 instead of 2? In terms of cups or tablespoons, how much volume should 1 egg occupy? They also do not seem to brown at the usual time.
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Old 04-27-2012, 10:14 PM   #5
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I believe, and I may be wrong in this so anybody can chime in, 1 large egg in the U.S. = about 1/4 cup in volume.

But let's face it. Water in China just isn't as wet as it is in the U.S. Oh wait, there is no added water in the tollhouse recipe. Wll, there goes that explanation.

Check your oven temperature as well, especially if the cookies are browning at a significantly different time range than is usual. We cook our Tollhouse cookies for no more than 8 minute or so, to insure that they are soft and chewy.

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Old 04-30-2012, 05:39 PM   #6
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My oven has a heating element on the top and the bottom. I have a choice as to which to use, top, bottom or both. Which should I use?
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Old 04-30-2012, 05:41 PM   #7
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Bottom, that's the one for baking. The top one runs hotter and is for Broiling.
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Old 04-30-2012, 06:57 PM   #8
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I would look at the flour as a possible culprit. Poor quality flour could certainly result in cookies with poor texture.
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Old 05-04-2012, 06:45 AM   #9
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Thanks...all ideas that are food for thought :)
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Old 06-13-2012, 07:43 AM   #10
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Ohhhhh you are right about the temperature! But in a different way than I thought..my oven's thermostat is ok..but I am using a convection oven...so the temp should be set 25 degrees lower, and cooking time also reduced.
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