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Old 01-10-2017, 04:51 PM   #1
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Basic Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe - what went wrong?

Hi everyone! New here and hoping some advice would help me become a better cook and baker!

I bake as often as I can. I still live at home and my mother does all the cooking, so trying to find a time to have the kitchen all to myself is scarce! And sometimes with work i get too busy or tired to do anything. I don't have any formal training and nor have i taken a class, though I'd love to someday.

I like baking more than cooking. I enjoy making cookies as well. Here is my problem with them - they end up getting hard too fast after they are baked. Can someone tell me why? I follow the recipe as it is in front of me. I remember only one time have i made them soft and moist, but don't remember how that happened.

The recipe is a basic one, as I remember it: 2.5 cups of flour - i used unbleached because it just said 'flour,' 2 eggs, 3/4 cups brown sugar & white granular sugar, 1 tspn vanilla, 1 cup butter, 1 cup ch. chips, salt and baking powder. I believe that's all.

The only thing i did wrong was, the eggs, although they were room temp, one however smelled when i had cracked it in a separate cup, it tainted the other egg so i threw them both out and used 2 others from the fridge. I should have removed back up eggs but did not. I always crack my eggs in a separate bowl before entering them. The recipe did not say room temp eggs, but i know when baking, that what we do.

The other thing is, I did not sift the flour, baking powder, salt - the recipe did not call for it. But is that what needs to be done?

Also, the recipe did not call for convection baking of 375 degrees, but I did anyway. Was i wrong?

And the baking time said 10 - 12 min, which I kept, however, they came out a little over done, and more brown. Would it be wise to take them out before 10 minutes? I do remember the ones I made that were soft and moist, that i might have cooked them under 10 minutes and they were very fragile and soft, the way I like them, because i tend to toast them for a minute each time I eat them so I prefer them soft. But was I wrong to convection bake them? And is under ten minutes too little baking time?

Any advice or corrections are appreciated :)

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Old 01-10-2017, 04:58 PM   #2
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Also, I noticed when I opened the door to see them, the back row were cooked more than the front row, so I turned the baking sheet around. Is that something we need to do?

And lastly, (sorry!), the recipe said they were 'drop' cookies, so i took a cookie scooper and dropped them as balls onto the cooking sheet. Why is it that they NEVER come out completely flat??!! So now i use the bottom of a cup and flatten them and the shape comes out great. So I never understood that as balls, they never spread out completely flat...anyone know why?
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Old 01-10-2017, 06:47 PM   #3
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If you used convection and cooked the cookies at the same temp for the same time, you probably overcooked them. That would make them hard and crunchy right off the bat.

If you want the cookies to spread out more, use all butter. It melts at a lower temperature so the cookies can spread out before they set.

How you measure the flour can also make a difference. The side of the flour bag where the nutrition facts are will tell you that cup of flour weighs 30 grams (approximately). That makes a cup = 120 grams. Depending on how you measure a cup of flour, you can wind up with a great deal more. Last time I tested this, I got a 25% difference!

If you don't have a scale to weigh the flour, try the following. Fluff up the flour in the bag with a fork or spoon then gently scoop it into the cup and level it off. No packing it down or shaking it.

If the recipe calls for sifting before you measure, do that. It's important to the amount of flour you end up with.

I don't think the cold eggs made a difference.
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Old 01-10-2017, 08:42 PM   #4
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I don't do much baking other than cookies now and then...but yes, if you used convection for the same temp and time as regular baking, it's likely they were overcooked. If you want to use convection, reduce the temp by 25 degrees, and check them a little earlier for doneness and you should be good.

Also, if you put a slice of bread in the container your cookies are in, it helps a LOT to keep them soft. The bread will get dry and hard and the cookies will stay soft.
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Old 01-10-2017, 09:05 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy M. View Post
If you used convection and cooked the cookies at the same temp for the same time, you probably overcooked them. That would make them hard and crunchy right off the bat.

If you want the cookies to spread out more, use all butter. It melts at a lower temperature so the cookies can spread out before they set.

How you measure the flour can also make a difference. The side of the flour bag where the nutrition facts are will tell you that cup of flour weighs 30 grams (approximately). That makes a cup = 120 grams. Depending on how you measure a cup of flour, you can wind up with a great deal more. Last time I tested this, I got a 25% difference!

If you don't have a scale to weigh the flour, try the following. Fluff up the flour in the bag with a fork or spoon then gently scoop it into the cup and level it off. No packing it down or shaking it.

If the recipe calls for sifting before you measure, do that. It's important to the amount of flour you end up with.

I don't think the cold eggs made a difference.
Thanks for your help. I think you are right with the convection bake - that was probably the main reason. With regards to measurements, I go by measuring cups and spoons. I level it off with a knife. I think I might go and buy a scale, it would be more helpful i assume, esp. when I use European recipes.
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Old 01-10-2017, 09:07 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Cheryl J View Post
I don't do much baking other than cookies now and then...but yes, if you used convection for the same temp and time as regular baking, it's likely they were overcooked. If you want to use convection, reduce the temp by 25 degrees, and check them a little earlier for doneness and you should be good.

Also, if you put a slice of bread in the container your cookies are in, it helps a LOT to keep them soft. The bread will get dry and hard and the cookies will stay soft.
Thanks for your advice. I think the convection bake was wrong to use. I will try making another batch in the next few days and see what happens. I forgot about the bread theory!
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Old 01-11-2017, 07:58 AM   #7
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Convection is a great feature but you do need to adjust the time down and usually the temp, too.


I managed to ruin a batch of roasted garlic the other day when I forgot and then proceeded to ruin the second batch when I forgot again!

Epicurious is a terrific resource. Here's their advice for convection cooking, including a chocolate chip cookie recipe

Cooking with Convection Ovens | Epicurious.com | Epicurious.com

Baking 911 was one of the most helpful websites for advice and quick answers to baking questions. It has a new name now but here's the link

CraftyBaking | Formerly Baking911
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Old 01-11-2017, 09:05 PM   #8
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Hmmm, I thought any cookie that spread out would get hard. Is a thin, hard cookie what you're aiming for? I prefer cake-like chocolate chip cookies myself.

I do know that cookies tend to continue baking for a minute or two on the sheet after they're out of the oven. I always pull mine out when they're "almost" done. That takes a little practice but since doing that, I haven't had any overly brown cookies.

My oven also cooks hotter towards the front, so I always turn around what I'm baking as well about halfway through.

I've also heard (not sure if it's true or not) that the amount of brown sugar will affect how soft or how hard a chocolate cookie will be, too. Most recipes call for pretty much equal amounts of white sugar and brown, but if the ratio of brown sugar is more than white sugar, the cookies will supposedly be softer.

As I said, I like a very soft cookie, so I use both white sugar, brown sugar, and also cream cheese. I fridge my cookies for a couple hours before baking them so they don't spread out while they bake, and I use a small ice cream like scoop to drop them on the cookie sheet.
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Old 01-11-2017, 10:58 PM   #9
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That's sometimes true, RR. If you're interested in the science, here's a great article: http://www.seriouseats.com/2015/12/f...g-cookies.html

And the science of baking perfect chocolate chip cookies: http://sweets.seriouseats.com/2013/1...p-cookies.html
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Old 01-12-2017, 12:47 AM   #10
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Good link, GG! Thanks!
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Basic Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe - what went wrong? Hi everyone! New here and hoping some advice would help me become a better cook and baker! I bake as often as I can. I still live at home and my mother does all the cooking, so trying to find a time to have the kitchen all to myself is scarce! And sometimes with work i get too busy or tired to do anything. I don't have any formal training and nor have i taken a class, though I'd love to someday. I like baking more than cooking. I enjoy making cookies as well. Here is my problem with them - they end up getting hard too fast after they are baked. Can someone tell me why? I follow the recipe as it is in front of me. I remember only one time have i made them soft and moist, but don't remember how that happened. The recipe is a basic one, as I remember it: 2.5 cups of flour - i used unbleached because it just said 'flour,' 2 eggs, 3/4 cups brown sugar & white granular sugar, 1 tspn vanilla, 1 cup butter, 1 cup ch. chips, salt and baking powder. I believe that's all. The only thing i did wrong was, the eggs, although they were room temp, one however smelled when i had cracked it in a separate cup, it tainted the other egg so i threw them both out and used 2 others from the fridge. I should have removed back up eggs but did not. I always crack my eggs in a separate bowl before entering them. The recipe did not say room temp eggs, but i know when baking, that what we do. The other thing is, I did not sift the flour, baking powder, salt - the recipe did not call for it. But is that what needs to be done? Also, the recipe did not call for convection baking of 375 degrees, but I did anyway. Was i wrong? And the baking time said 10 - 12 min, which I kept, however, they came out a little over done, and more brown. Would it be wise to take them out before 10 minutes? I do remember the ones I made that were soft and moist, that i might have cooked them under 10 minutes and they were very fragile and soft, the way I like them, because i tend to toast them for a minute each time I eat them so I prefer them soft. But was I wrong to convection bake them? And is under ten minutes too little baking time? Any advice or corrections are appreciated :) :chef: 3 stars 1 reviews
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