Why are my chocolate cookies coming out flat as a pancake? I am following the recipe to a tee.
By Melanie from Chicago, IL
I use half butter and half Crisco in mine. That seems to help, and you might also try using different cookie sheets. There is a huge difference in using dark sheets, shiny sheets, etc.
The previous ideas are worth trying. I have found that when the recipe says butter (or stick margarine), softened, don't soften it in microwave or oven. Let it sit out on counter for 30 minutes. Too soft butter will cause the cookies to flatten. Never use tub margarine. Also, parchment paper on cookie sheets works better than without. Cookie sheets should be cool with each batch. CayC from FL
I've been trying to figure this out for a while. It baffled me because i used the exact same recipe as before. Tried all sorts of things with chilling the batter, convection/not convection, different oven temps, different flour, etc. But I finally found the solution: Use baking powder! I apparently was using baking soda when they all came out flat. Baking powder makes them more fluffy.
Refrigerate the cookie dough and make sure is cold before placing on the cookie sheet, and add a 1/4 extra flour. Guaranteed no more flat cookies :)
Check out this website to find your solution: http://www.baking911.com/cookies/problems.htm#Shrinks
I use half butter and half shortening in my recipe. Sometimes butter will flatten cookies.
After many years of experimenting I found that adding about a half cup of flour fixes that problem.
If I use tub margarine it will make my cookies spread out. Also, check to see if your baking powder or baking soda are old. That will effect how much your cookies raise too.
I am not sure but if you use Crisco in your cookie recipe, it might be that as they have changed the way Crisco is made.
No saturated fats are in it, I believe but it is not the same old Crisco we relied on before.
I use Crisco butter flavor shortening instead of butter. My cookies never come out flat no matter how warm the cookie sheets are or how much flour I use. Also, always make sure your baking powder is fresh.
Why do all my cookies come out flat? Please help.
By Ann from Tipp City, OH
Use a little bit of baking soda. (12/15/2009)
Well you might be using too little dough. Make sure that when you scoop up the dough, take more than what you need so when it spreads out you still have some there, but don't use too much or they won't cook thoroughly. (12/15/2009)
I have a cookie recipe book, and in the forward the author tells there was competition within the family for the best cookie recipe. Her cookies were crispier and flatter than her dad's. Eventually she found out that he was using shortening, while she was using butter. Maybe that's what's happening with you?
Also, if your fat (butter or shortening) is too warm/soft, it will cause the cookie to spread out too quickly during baking making a flat cookie.
My mom would probably love your cookies. She prefers a crisp cookie and thinks soft cookies seem undercooked. Best of luck finding the right solution. Hope you get your cookie groove back. (12/15/2009)
Website will answer all of your questions. (12/15/2009)
Try using baking powder or baking soda it will make it rise. You might try using yeast too. (12/16/2009)
These things might help:
I have worked very long and hard (if you call eating all the mistakes hard work) to solve the same problem and found a "cure" that I am happy with. I hope I can explain it well enough so it will work for you, too.
I use Crisco butter flavor cubes and follow the Nestles Tollhouse recipe. The adaptations I make are:
Shari in WA (12/17/2009)
By Shari Bo
If your cookies come out flat, add more flour to your cookie dough, try 3/4 to 1 cup more flour. It works for me. No more flat cookies. Try it.
Have butter about room temperature, mix dough, then pop in the fridge, always keep the dough cold, start out with a cool cookie sheet, line with parchment paper. Remove dough from fridge. I use a cookie dough scoop. Scoop out the cold dough onto the cool baking sheets, bake.
I take them out 1-2 minutes ahead of time, they continue to bake from the hot cookie sheet. Let cool, transfer to a plate or whatever you want them on with paper towels down to absorb the extra oils. While waiting for the cookies to bake put the dough back in the fridge then line with a new piece of parchment paper. Put the cookies on a cool baking sheet and continue doing that until all the dough has been baked. (02/02/2010)
I need everyone's help. I used to make the best chocolate chip cookies, everyone loved them. For the last 3-4 years, I cannot make a good batch. They turn out either flat as a piece of paper, or else like a cake with the cake texture.
My grandmother-in-law, neighbor, and a few other friends said they have been having the same problem. What is going on? Please give me your opinions on how I can make some good chewy, gooey cookies.
Thanks in advance.
Jenny in WI.
Something I found out about the "flat" ones is be sure to preheat your cookie sheets as well as your oven. If they get cool during the process, heat them up again. Work quickly so your batter doesn't melt too much as you spoon it onto your cookie sheet.
For gooier cookies, bake them the least amount of time the recipe calls for, or just until they hold together. Take them out of the oven, let them sit on the cookie sheet a moment or two, and remove to cooling racks. They might not look entirely done, but they are softer and better that way.
Something else you can do is put all the cookie batter in a shallow baking pan, about an inch thick, and bake them like brownies. Cut into cookie bars. Again, take them out when they aren't too overly done. Keep checking. Keep your cookie sheets toward the top of the oven and a baking pan toward the center.
There, that's all my secrets. Hope some of it can help you out. Whatever you do, don't stop baking cookies.
Try using 1/2 butter and 1/2 margarine. (09/23/2004)
By kiwi eema
Be sure you have fresh ingredients. I noticed if I used flour from the freezer or older baking soda or baking powder, my cookies came out bad. Try buying all fresh ingredients and see if it helps. (09/23/2004)
Do not put cookies on a very hot cookie sheet. They will spread a lot. And you might try keeping them in the oven for a shorter time then called for. They harden a little with time. (09/23/2004)
Do not put your cookie dough on hot cookie sheets, they will start spreading before you get them in the oven. I agree to use fresh ingredients. Sometimes high humidity will affect your baking. You could try to add a little more flour, just a little at a time. Is your oven temperature correct? Oven thermometers do not cost that much. What size eggs are you using, if using large or extra large, see if using medium eggs takes care of your problem. If all else fails go to the chocolate chip manufacturer website and pick their brains and see if they know why. (09/23/2004)
Jenny, are you using Imperial? I had the same problem years ago, and then discovered Imperial and some other brands are no longer labeled as margarine. They now have a high water content, and that causes your cookies to go flat. Try using margarine, such as Land O Lakes, or Jewel brand margarine. You can also use Crisco butter flavor for your cookies.
I catered for 21 years, and after I made this simple switch, my cookies come out perfect everytime. You can also use real butter, but you may have to lower the temperature 25 degrees, as the butter burns easily. Good luck, and let me know if this helps.
Using butter in cookies makes a crisper cookie. If you want them soft, try using Crisco. Also, I read somewhere that if you keep a slice of apple in the cookie jar it keeps them soft. I don't do this, as I prefer crispy cookies. (09/24/2004)
I use the recipe for Nestle chocolate chip cookies and I was having a problem too, with my cookies coming out flat. So I started refrigerating the cookie dough for one hour before I baked them and it worked. Also I return the cookie dough to the fridge while the other cookies are baking. I then take it out when I am ready to make the rest. Another tip may be not to over beat your cookie dough, at the end beat in half of the flour and stir in the other half. I got that tip from someone else and it does seem to help. (09/24/2004)
I used to have the same problem. My chocolate chip cookies would turn out very, very flat. I tried everything I could think of to try and solve the problem, but without any success, until I tried the following recipe. Now my cookies turn out perfect every time. They are absolutely delicious and they are nice and full and fluffy. Enjoy.
Heat oven to 375 degrees F. Mix thoroughly shortening, butter, sugars, eggs, and vanilla. Stir in remaining ingredients. (For a softer, rounder cookie, add 1/2 cup flour.) Drop dough by rounded teaspoonfuls 2 inches apart onto ungreased baking sheet. Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until light brown. Cool slightly before removing from baking sheet.
*If using self-rising flour, omit soda and salt.
Makes about 7 dozen cookies
I have noticed if you use, I Can't Believe It's Not Butter, in your cookies it's the best. Also soften your butter, don't melt it. These tips seem to help me. (04/28/2005)
Oh boy, have I been trying to figure this one out myself. I followed the back of the Nestle chip bag and they turned out like pancakes. It turns out that they just needed more flour. I added about another 1/3 to 1/2 cup of flour to the batch (even after the chips were already in there) and they turned out wonderfully: Firm, round, and slightly puffed yet still chewy.
I have learned that batter consistency is the best way to tell how they will turn out: if the batter sticks a lot to your fingers as you are trying to spoon them onto the sheet then they need more flour. With the right amount of flour, the batter should come off the spoon and your fingers easily, yet not crumble. (08/13/2005)
By Mama Munkie
Try melting the butter, not margarine, in a double boiler. Make sure that the butter doesn't burn or you can melt it in a plastic container in the microwave, make sure it doesn't burn. Also, try using a little more flour and maybe like an eighth cup less of sugar. I hope this all helps. By the way I heard that you should keep the cookie sheets room temperature or cooler to bake non-flat cookies, but I'm not sure about that yet. (12/09/2005)
I finally found the answer to this one after years of "flat cookies" following the recipe from Jane Snow, the Akron Beacon Journal food editor: Use "only pure cane" sugar. "Pure sugar" has a mixture of cane and other sugars and flattens the cookies. No more flat cookies. (08/30/2006)
I had the same cookie expert gone bad experience. I finally had to get a new oven, and I am back, full force, with the best cookies ever. (12/20/2006)
Make sure you are using fresh baking soda and butter rather than margarine. I noticed when I started using butter they came out better. (04/30/2007)
Problem solved. Use a bleached all purpose flour instead of unbleached. Bleached flour is lower in protein and allows for a puffier cookie. Don't worry they won't turn out cakie. Also, use an insulated cookie sheet with no sides. This allows you to cook the proper amount of time with out burning the bottoms. Cream the butter right out of the fridge while it is still stiff. It won't totally cream until you add the eggs and vanilla. Good luck. It worked for me. (09/29/2007)
I use half Crisco half Blue Bonnet sticks the ones that say "made for cookies". Also, with my flour I use half bread flour and half cake flour. They turn out perfectly every time. (12/12/2007)
Here is what I have found. I just made 3 batches of the flattest chocolate chip cookies ever. It turns out after some "baking research" it was the sugar I was using. I had bought some of the C and H Baking sugar and this is what made my cookies flat. It is superfine and melts way too fast in the oven, at least in my cookies it did. So, here is my recipe, that I just made 2 batches of yesterday, and they turned out pretty perfect, like they always had for years.
Mix these in a small bowl and set aside.
Cream these with a mixer, then add:
Mix together well, then add your flour mixture. Beat well until well blended. Then add one 12 oz. package Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips (milk chocolate chips melt a little faster).
Can also add:
1/2 package Peanut Butter Chips OR 1/2 package Semi-Sweet M and M's for baking or even another 1/2 bag Chocolate Chips. It depends on how chocolatey your family likes them. You can also add a cup of chopped pecans, etc.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
Place dough by rounded Tbsps. onto an ungreased baking sheet.
Bake for approximately 8 minutes, depending on your oven, it might take 10 minutes.
Also, after you place the dough on the cookie sheets, you can flatten the top a little bit. Let the cookies rest on the baking sheet for maybe 30 seconds, then transfer to a rack to cool. You have to let the baking sheet cool (or alternate using 2 sheets) before you do another round in the oven. (Dough shouldn't go on a heated sheet.) I also always wipe down the cookie sheet before I do another batch.
You can also place the dough in the refrigerator for a while if you don't want to bake right away and they still come out perfect.
Good luck with this recipe, it really does work for me. I was so upset the other day when all my cookies were so flat and to have the culprit be the special baking sugar just baffles me, but it just melts so much faster because it's so super fine. It does work great in my homemade ice cream, though.
I found a great recipe which suggested melting the butter in the microwave or stove top before mixing with sugars. I got my dough cool in the freezer to be quick and left my cookies on the cookie sheet for as long as the other batch was in the oven. I did not flatten the cookies out when I put them into the oven, just let them cook at they would. I have never had cookies disappear so quickly, ever. These looked and tasted like store bought. I also put in 3 teaspoons of vanilla instead of 1. (06/08/2008)
I've had the same problem with "flat" cookies, I started adding about 1/2 cup more flour and that seems to work. I also add a small box of vanilla pudding to make them soft, which helps. I put my cookies in a Ziploc bag after baking them and then add a slice of bread. The bread some how will make the cookies soft. It honestly works. Good luck. (01/04/2009)