Butter Cookies Not Spreading Out

I've made butter cookies for years but in the last few years sometimes they don't bake right. I use an oven thermometer and test my baking powder/soda. They seem to retract instead of spread out. On the same cookie sheet I'll have some that are fine. Any suggestions? I thought maybe the flour is old?


Bester from Albany, NY

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December 11, 20070 found this helpful

Baking soda will make cookies spread whereas baking powder will make them rise. Baking soda and baking powder are not interchangeable.

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By auntchele (Guest Post)
December 11, 20070 found this helpful

I had a problem with my chocolate chip cookies spreading too much and moving my oven rack up one level helped. Maybe moving your rack position down a notch would solve it.

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December 10, 20070 found this helpful

My cookies are not spreading at all. What is going on? This just started happening in the last year. Can any one help me?

Marleen from Las Vegas, Nevada



Cookies Not Spreading When Baking

You didn't mention the cookie recipe you were baking. Spoon out teaspoonfuls on your baking sheet, and press cookie dough with the back of a spatula.

Or maybe you need a new can of baking powder, which is a leavening agent. (12/05/2007)

By Marjorie

Cookies Not Spreading When Baking

Check your oven temp with an oven thermometer! Do not trust the dial! Calibrate it if possible (12/05/2007)

By Eileen

Cookies Not Spreading When Baking

Could it be you were using regular flour not self-rising? (12/07/2007)

By Crystal

Cookies Not Spreading When Baking

Have you moved from a different altitude. Some cake mixes tell you to use less flour at a certain altitude. Have you gone from cane sugar to beet sugar. May make a difference too. (12/07/2007)

By siris

Cookies Not Spreading When Baking

Something must have changed -- the type of flour you are using? The shortening or butter or margarine or oil? Are you using the same recipes you have always used? Perhaps if it is a new recipe, it is not supposed to spread out, but needs to be flattened with a fork or a sugared glass or a spatula as others have mentioned. (12/07/2007)


By Louise B.

Cookies Not Spreading When Baking

Just curious what type of margarine you were using when you were having your cookies "spread out". On a cooking website once about a year ago I read that a chef said not to use Imperial Margarine as it caused flat cookies. Wondering if that is the effect you are going for? I quit using Imperial , I use Blue Bonnet and have better cookies I think, but not what I call "spread out". (12/08/2007)

By lori macDonald

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