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Old 10-27-2005, 05:18 PM   #1
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I can't make cookies

Hello all

I need help, everytime I make cookies they end up very cakey. They are more like muffin cookies. What I want is flat somewhat chewy cookies. What am I doing wrong. My last recepe called for 3 cups all purpose flour, 1 cup sugar, 1 cup brown sugar, 2 tsp vanilla, 1 tsp baking soda, 1 cup butter or margarine, 2 eggs, 1/2 tsp salt, 2 cups chocolate chips, 2 tsp hot water (for dissolving baking soda)

The only thing I did do is I used bread flower. I do live in Florida if that makes a dif.

Thanks Tim


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Old 10-27-2005, 05:36 PM   #2
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I would think that bread flour would make a big difference in how your cookies turn out. Here is what I found on the difference. Have you tried making the cookies (same recipe) using AP flour?
Bread flour is a high-gluten flour that has very small amounts of malted barley flour and vitamin C or potassium bromate added. The barley flour helps the yeast work, and the other additive increases the elasticity of the gluten and its ability to retain gas as the dough rises and bakes. Bread flour is called for in many bread and pizza crust recipes where you want the loftiness or chewiness that the extra gluten provides. It is especially useful as a component in rye, barley and other mixed-grain breads, where the added lift of the bread flour is necessary to boost the other grains.
All-purpose flour is made from a blend of high- and low-gluten wheats, and has a bit less protein than bread flour 11% or 12% vs. 13% or 14%. You can always substitute all-purpose flour for bread flour, although your results may not be as glorious as you had hoped. There are many recipes, however, where the use of bread flour in place of all-purpose will produce a tough, chewy, disappointing result. Cakes, for instance, are often made with all-purpose flour, but would not be nearly as good made with bread flour.

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Old 10-27-2005, 05:38 PM   #3
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hmm, I have never used bread flour, so I am not sure if it has additional leavening agents or yeast in it? I would try standard white flour. What kind of cookies are you making? I personally think the recipe using butter flavor crisco ALWAYS turn out great for me- no-fail when you have little helpers. The nestle recipe seems like a "chewier" recipe, too. These are basic recipes though, I am sure everyone around here can give you some great recipes!!!
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Old 10-27-2005, 06:02 PM   #4
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I'd say omit the margarine and use only half vegetable shortening and half butter in your recipes. Avoid using cake flour which contains leavening agents that will make the cookies rise and have a cake texture. Try using one egg white instead of two to avoid the cookies from rising. Also, too much flour will prevent the cookie from spreading well while baking. So add just a tad less flour than what the recipe calls for. I know I use 1/2 cup shortening/butter for every 3/4 cups of flour. Additionally, too much baking soda will cause the cookies to rise too high too quickly and keep from spreading.

I hope these tips help.

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Old 10-27-2005, 09:15 PM   #5
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Yes, I have used this and other recepes with all purpose with the same results. Thanks for all the help and tips. I will try the butter/shorting and egg white idea. I really think it is being at sea level that is making these boys fluffy.

Thanks again

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Old 10-28-2005, 10:59 PM   #6
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On Good Eats, Alton Brown made 3 different versions of Chocolate Chip Cookies (chewy, thin, and puffy if memory serves) by changingthe type/amount of flour and fat. Perhaps you could go the foodtv.com and do a search in the recipe section.
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Old 10-29-2005, 12:52 AM   #7
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Alton Brown covered this on Good Eats (Food Network channel) in the episode, "Three Chips for Sister Marsha". By altering the fats, flour, sugars, eggs and milk, etc. you can take a basic recipe and get thin and crisp, puffy and cake-like, or chewy.

If you have a copy of Shirley O. Corriher's book CookWise, or can find it at your library, read the section on cookies in chapter 2, pages 128-133. She discusses what each ingredient does and what and how to make adjustments to change the spread, texture, color, etc. She, too, uses the chocolate chip cookie to demonstrate how alterations to a single basic recipe changes the outcome by a side-by-side comparison of the three recipes.

Here is a link to Alton's recipes.

Note: AP flour is blended differently in the North than it is in the South and Pacific Northwest. If your recipe is from a Northern source, then you might want to use a National brand AP flour, like King Arthur. Regional Southern blends of AP flour tend to be softer.
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Old 10-29-2005, 12:21 PM   #8
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tworx, just melt your butter in the microwave a bit first. If you cream the butter and sugar together before it is melted then you will have more air in the batter which will make the result "cakier". If you melt the butter first, then the cookies will be soft, chewy and flatter. I just experimented with this yesterday. Good luck.
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Old 10-29-2005, 12:33 PM   #9
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One day when I was making chocolate chip cookies I realized (once I was already into the recipe) that I did not have enough butter or shortening, so I combined what I had of both of them and added some margarine to make up the remainder of the fat require. It produced a wonderful, flat (but not wafer thin) chewy cookie, and I've made them this way on purpose several times now!


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