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Old 09-23-2009, 05:58 PM   #1
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What's the deal with these cookies being flat?

Sorry for the long post.

Recipe
1 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup vegetable shortening
3/4 cup sugar
1 3/4 cups firmly packed brown sugar
3 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 (12 oz) packaged semisweet chocolate chips
1 cup milk chocolate chips
3 (1-oz) suares bittersweet chocolate, chopped

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Lightly grease baking sheets.

With an electric mixer, beat butter and shortening at medium speed until creamy; gradually add sugars, beating until fluffy. Add eggs and vanilla, beating well.

In a small bowl, combine flour, baking soda, and salt; gradually add to butter mixture, beating until blended. Stir in chocolate chips. Drop cookies (with an ice cream scooper or mellon baller) about 3-inches apart onto prepared baking sheet. Bake for 11 to 12 minutes or until lightly browned. Let cool for 2 minutes on baking sheets. Remove to wire racks to cool. Makes 3 dozen.

The first time I made these I got thru the steps until adding the flour and my mixer started smoking. It died to the point it could never be brought back to life....LOL. So 1 cup of the flour mixture was added to the butter mixer by hand and then we ran to the store and got a new mixer (I finally got my kitchenaid stand mixer that I had been wanting for a million years). We then added the rest of the flour mixture using the stand mixer and added the chips. The cookie mixture sat out on the counter the entire time we were gone to the store. I cooked the cookies and they were perfect. The thickest cookies I have ever seen.

Since then, every time I make these cookies they are flat with holes in them.

Things I have figured out:
1) use unsalted butter (did this the first time but other times did not)
2) let butter soften on the counter (other times I softened it in the microwave)

Today I use unsalted butter and let it softened it on the counter and the cookies are still going flat. I also used a hand mixer today and not the stand mixer.

Am I not flufflying the butter/sugar mixing enough? Any ideas?

Thanks

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Old 09-23-2009, 06:12 PM   #2
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Its likely the butter. They make flatter cookies. You can refrigerate the dough if you want them to be bigger. Otherwise use a different fat than butter.
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Old 09-23-2009, 06:49 PM   #3
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It's the butter. It melts at a lower temperature than other fats so the dough spreads out before it has a chance to set up as a higher cookie.

Chill the dough before starting, chill the cookie sheets and the dough between turns in the oven. All this will keep the butter colder so it takes longer to melt. It works great.
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Old 09-23-2009, 07:33 PM   #4
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Normally I would agree that it's the butter but the first time I made these cookies, the batter sat out on the counter for 30 minutes and baked perfectly.

I am not kidding when I said they were very thick and a beautiful golden light brown.

I just don't think it's the butter. I also used and continue to use a pampered chef cooking stone.

What else could it be?
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Old 09-23-2009, 09:12 PM   #5
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I'm pretty confident it was the fact that you microwaved your butter. If you're making a dish that uses the creaming method, microwaving doesn't work well. Even if you only do it a little, it changes the butter in a way that can cause your recipe to flop.

Try it again softening the butter on your countertop. I bet it will work.

If you need to soften butter on the fly, use a box grater and grate it into tiny shreds. It will come to room temperature and soften within minutes! It's a bit messy, but it's the only sure-fire way to soften butter quickly that I know of (for creaming).

All of the other suggestions here are also good ones. Chilling the dough, chilling the cookie sheet, and also rotating back and forth between a couple of cookie sheets will all help.
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Old 09-23-2009, 09:27 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by apple*tart View Post
I'm pretty confident it was the fact that you microwaved your butter. If you're making a dish that uses the creaming method, microwaving doesn't work well. Even if you only do it a little, it changes the butter in a way that can cause your recipe to flop.

Try it again softening the butter on your countertop. I bet it will work.

If you need to soften butter on the fly, use a box grater and grate it into tiny shreds. It will come to room temperature and soften within minutes! It's a bit messy, but it's the only sure-fire way to soften butter quickly that I know of (for creaming).

All of the other suggestions here are also good ones. Chilling the dough, chilling the cookie sheet, and also rotating back and forth between a couple of cookie sheets will all help.
I agree that microwaving the butter is not a good idea and this time around I didn't do that.

I do appreciate all the advice. i just cannot figure out why I can't make these dang cookies when the first time I made them they were perfect with the mixer issue.
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Old 09-23-2009, 11:50 PM   #7
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Ah, I missed that you had already tried that. Sorry. Old baking soda? Different shortening? Different cooking sheets? Anything?
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Old 09-23-2009, 11:59 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by apple*tart View Post
Ah, I missed that you had already tried that. Sorry. Old baking soda? Different shortening? Different cooking sheets? Anything?
I'm not sure. I buy name brand and non-name brand items. The first time I baked the cookies, I was not baking a lot. It's quite possible that I used Land O lakes butter and the other times I've had non-name brand butter.

I did put the batter into the fridge and baked one batch (8 cookies) and they still came out flat. I've also noticed that the cookies have been darker than they were the first time around. Not sure what that means.
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Old 09-24-2009, 12:21 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jonjaktez View Post
I'm not sure. I buy name brand and non-name brand items. The first time I baked the cookies, I was not baking a lot. It's quite possible that I used Land O lakes butter and the other times I've had non-name brand butter.

I did put the batter into the fridge and baked one batch (8 cookies) and they still came out flat. I've also noticed that the cookies have been darker than they were the first time around. Not sure what that means.
Have you checked the accuracy of your oven temperature with a good thermometer? It may be runnning too high. Also, the lower quality butter could be contributing to the problem.
In addition, check your baking soda and/or baking powder, regardless of the expiration dates. Here's how:

BAKING POWDER AND BAKING SODA TESTS

BAKING POWDER
To test baking powder's effectiveness: mix 1 tsp (5 grams) baking powder with 1/2 cup (120 ml) hot water and the mixture should bubble immediately and vigorously. The fresher the baking powder, the more active the bubbles. If no reaction occurs or if the bubbles are weak, the baking powder is not strong enough to raise whatever you are planning to bake.

Store in a cool dry place and it should be replaced every 6-12 months.

BAKING SODA
To test baking soda's effectiveness: mix 1/4 teaspoon baking soda with 2 teaspoons of vinegar and the mixture should bubble immediately.
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Old 09-24-2009, 01:00 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by merstar View Post
Have you checked the accuracy of your oven temperature with a good thermometer? It may be runnning too high. Also, the lower quality butter could be contributing to the problem.
In addition, check your baking soda and/or baking powder, regardless of the expiration dates. Here's how:

BAKING POWDER AND BAKING SODA TESTS

BAKING POWDER
To test baking powder's effectiveness: mix 1 tsp (5 grams) baking powder with 1/2 cup (120 ml) hot water and the mixture should bubble immediately and vigorously. The fresher the baking powder, the more active the bubbles. If no reaction occurs or if the bubbles are weak, the baking powder is not strong enough to raise whatever you are planning to bake.

Store in a cool dry place and it should be replaced every 6-12 months.

BAKING SODA
To test baking soda's effectiveness: mix 1/4 teaspoon baking soda with 2 teaspoons of vinegar and the mixture should bubble immediately.
Thank you for this information. I will print this out and keep it for future use. I decided that tomorrow I'm going to go buy fresh and name brand ingredients and rebake the cookies.

I'm determined to get these cookies to bake the way they did the first time because they were the best cookies.
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