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Baking Cookies

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
I need some help. Everytime I bake cookies, such as chocolate chip cookies, they always come out too hard, even though they are soft when I first remove them from the oven. I like my baked cookies nice and chewy, but can never achieve that. How long should you bake cookies for in the oven, and at what temperature. I would like to have some sort of a general guideline. I've tried waiting until they are just golden but that never turn out chewy. And my chocolate chip cookies always turn out flat, any suggestions for my problems....

Any advice would be appreciated...Thank-you.

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post #2 of 18

softer cookies

not sure what your recipe is, I assume something close to the standard tollhouse recipe.
change the ratio of white to brown sugar. More white sugar increases crispyness where increasing brown adds chewiness/softness due to the added molasses. I tend to use 1/4 white 3/4 brown but 1/3 to 2/3 also works if you don't like the extra molassas flavor. Also be sure to wipe down the cookie sheet between batches or use parchment to prevent over-spread. use fresh soda and powder (less than 4 months old) for best results

here is my standard Chocolate chip cookies - Never had a batch last more than 3 days so not sure how long they stay soft but at least 3 days;)

1 lb unsalted butter (room temp)
1 cup white sugar
3 cups packed light brown sugar
4 eggs
5 tsp vanilla
1 tblsp honey

Optional spices I use and cream with the liquids. feel free to use none, some, or all to your taste.
1 tsp cognac
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground clove
1/4 tsp ground fresh nutmeg

cream together until light about 3 minutes.

separately mix
5 cups AP flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp salt

add 1/2 dry ingredients into butter/sugar beat until well mixed
add 1/2 of remaining dry ingredients beat until mixed
add remaining dry and beat until mixed

stir in 1 bag of mini choc chips (more if you want)

preheat oven to 350

cover bowl with damp towel and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
scoop out about 1.5" to 2" balls place them about 3" apart on a ungreased cookie sheet and bake for exactly 12 minutes (the edges will just be starting to dry/brown, and they will appear not done)
then remove and set cookie sheet on cooling rack. let sit on cookie sheet for 5 minutes then remove to a separate cooling rack, cool completely store in tightly sealed container.

Wipe down cookie sheets between batches to remove as much oil as possible to prevent over-spreading of next batches.
Should be done with at least 2 sheets so the sheets can cool completely before putting next batch on.
post #3 of 18
Newfie-chick, please post your recipe and method for preparing it. I suspect the amount and type(s) of sugar, the type of fat and baking time. But we'll see when you post it. :)
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post #4 of 18
Use all, or mostly all brown sugar. MasterSniper covered this. Better still, cut down on the amount of sugar by 1/4 and replacing it with molasses. This doesn't increase the moisture content so much as allow it to disperse more evenly.

Measure the flour sufficiently carefully that you are not using too much flour. Fluff the flour with a fork before measuring. If you measure by volume instead of weight, use a dry-measuring scoop and not a glass measuring cup (made for liquids). Don't tamp your scoop, before wiping the tip with a knife. A little bit less flour than the recipe calls for is ideal to make a softer cookie.

Don't use hard flour. No "better for bread." You can use AP, cake, or a 50/50 mix of AP and cake. In most parts of the country a 50/50 mix is the best choice; but AP flour in the South is pretty close to a 50/50 mix everywhere else. Paranthetically, that 50/50 mix is great for biscuits too.

If your recipe calls for all shortening and no butter, replace at least half the shortening with butter. Use good butter, not generic. When you soften the butter, don't let it sit on the counter too long or it will start to "sweat." Not a good thing. 30 minutes of softening out of the refrigerator and on the counter is enough.

Mix thoroughly but don't overhandle the dough. You don't want to put too much heat into it.

After mixing the dough, roll it into logs, wrap it cling wrap, and store it in the refrigerator for at least one hour before baking.

You can cut logs into cookies which are very round and bit extra thick. That's much better for the purpose than dropping the dough by the spoon or scoop.

Bake on clean parchment or, preferably, a silpat.

Bake at a relatively high temperature (for cookies) like 375F. This will cook the outside enough to hold its shape, before the chilled interior has a chance to spread out.

The three biggest changes, each of roughly equal impact, are:

1. Sugar plus molasses instead of either plain white sugar or commercially made brown sugar -- this puts moistness in the dough in a way which stays in the cookie.

2. Chilled dough -- this prevents the cookie from flattening too soon in the cooking process.

3. 375F.

Hope this helps,
BDL
post #5 of 18
BDL's suggestion of adding straight molasses is a good one. :thumb: Not sure why I didn't think about doing that, before. There will be a few experimental batches of molasses goodies in the house this weekend.
post #6 of 18
I bake at 350 and set the timer for 10 minutes.. I only allow the edges to start to brown before removing from the oven. They might not look fully cooked but once they cool down.. they're perfect.

I've used this recipe many times..

Award Winning Soft Chocolate Chip Cookies
BY: Debbi Borsick
Original recipe yield 6 dozen

4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 cups butter, softened
1 1/2 cups packed brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
2 (3.4 ounce) packages instant vanilla pudding mix
4 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
4 cups semisweet chocolate chips
2 cups chopped walnuts (optional)

DIRECTIONS
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Sift together the flour and baking soda, set aside.
In a large bowl, cream together the butter, brown sugar, and white sugar. Beat in the instant pudding mix until blended. Stir in the eggs and vanilla. Blend in the flour mixture. Finally, stir in the chocolate chips and nuts. Drop cookies by rounded spoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets.

Bake for 10 to 12 minutes in the preheated oven. Edges should be golden brown

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Don't forget to feed the pig...

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post #7 of 18
Thread Starter 

Baking Cookies

Thank you everyone for all of your suggestions and recipes. I will try these ans see if it works for me. I do not have the particular recipe that I tried last, as I have tried many, but I will definitely try the Soft chewy recipe on here. Also, I would have thought that molasses would make your chocolate chip cookies taste molasses like, so I would be afraid to try, but if thats what you're suggesting, I am going to try that as well.

Thank-you to everyone...
post #8 of 18
"Brown sugar" is not a natural or rawer form of sugar than white. All brown sugar is a mix of white sugar and molasses. So you're not adding molasses so much as making your own, fresh brown sugar. They will not take any more "molasses like," than they would using ordinary brown sugar. On the other hand, you'll put a bit more moisture in the dough and more evenly at that.

BDL
post #9 of 18
Thread Starter 
oh ok. I will definitely try that. How will I know how much molasses to add to my recipe. Sorry but my question mark button does not work.

Thank-you for your help.
post #10 of 18
Thread Starter 
oh, ok I see it there now. Cut the sugar amount by 1/4 and replace it with molasses. I got it now. Thank-you
post #11 of 18
4 parts sugar to 1 part molasses = dark brown sugar
7 parts sugar to 1 part molasses = light brown sugar
5 parts sugar to 1 part molasses = generic brown sugar.

Suppose your recipe called for 1 cup of brown sugar, and you wanted to do the molasses + white sugar thing.

A cup of sugar is 16 tbs. So to get something close to that 5 : 1 ratio, you'd measure 1 cup of white sugar and take out 2-1/2 or 3 tbs of white sugar, then replace it by adding the same volume of molasses to your "wet" ingredients.

BDL

PS. Don't forget to bake with chilled dough. That makes the biggest difference.
post #12 of 18
Thread Starter 
ok, I understand...Thank-you.
post #13 of 18
Vanilla pudding makes chocolate chip cookies fluffy and soft.
post #14 of 18
I've made cookies with instant pudding inside, as well. While my family loves them and I think they're pretty good, I don't think they're necessarily a substitute for a "real" chewy chocolate chip cookie.
post #15 of 18

you sould just let it brown on the bottom an thenits nice and delisious!

post #16 of 18

you know i have the same exact problem.

seriously its quite annoying, i know.

but i think it would help if you put it in the refridgerator for a while.

i mean because thats better then practically sitting in front of the oven watching them. right?

so i would just give that a shot.

post #17 of 18

Try my recipe for a Chocolate chip Cookies. I've been using this recipe for years and I've got problem about the finished products.

 

Chocolate Chip Cookie

Ingredients

• 3/4 cup sugar
• 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
• 1 cup butter, softened
• 2 large eggs,beaten
• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
• 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
• 1 teaspoon baking soda
• 3/4 teaspoon salt
• 2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
• if desired, 1 cup chopped pecans, or chopped walnuts

Directions

* Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Mix sugar, brown sugar, butter, vanilla and eggs in a large bowl by hand.  Stir in flour, baking soda, and salt.  The dough will be very stiff.

* You can even use a Kitchen Aid mixer for this first step.  I use the batter attachment and mix on a lower setting.  Just be sure that the dough is well mixed before moving on.

* Stir in chocolate chips by hand.  You'll need to use a sturdy wooden spoon for this and a bit of muscle.  You can add the pecans, or other nuts, at this time if desired.  Keep stirring and folding the chocolate chips and nuts into the dough until they are evenly dispersed.  (This makes sure you have enough chocolate in each cookie!!)

* Drop dough by rounded tablespoonfuls 2 inches apart onto ungreased cookie sheet.  The  chocolate chip cookies need to be this far apart because the dough spreads during cooking.  No one wants to cut the cookies apart after baking.

* Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until light brown.  You may even think that the chocolate chip cookies are underdone, but they will finish cooking through out of the oven.  If you leave them in too long, the cookies will be tough or crispy.  (My kids eat them anyway.  I always over cook at least one sheet because of the phone, a child wanting some attention or some other reason)

* The centers will be soft.  Let cool completely then remove from cookie sheet.  I use a flat spatula to remove the cookies from the sheet.  It helps to get them off quickly.  If you try to remove the cookies while they are still warm, the chocolate chips are still very soft and this can cause a very big mess as well as messy looking cookies.

post #18 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Newfie Chic View Post

I need some help. Everytime I bake cookies, such as chocolate chip cookies, they always come out too hard, even though they are soft when I first remove them from the oven. I like my baked cookies nice and chewy, but can never achieve that. How long should you bake cookies for in the oven, and at what temperature. I would like to have some sort of a general guideline. I've tried waiting until they are just golden but that never turn out chewy. And my chocolate chip cookies always turn out flat, any suggestions for my problems....

Any advice would be appreciated...Thank-you.

You say they;re soft when they come out of the oven but then are hard later.  Just because you don;t mention how you store them, how DO you store them?  If you leave them out or in a container that is not air tight, then they will dry out (if the climate is dry) and become mushy (if the climate is humid). Make sure you keep them either wrapped very well in plastic bags or in tupperware that seals well.  Leave them on racks just until cool (don;t wrap them warm) and then wrap immediately. 
 

"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
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"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
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