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Problems with Chocolate Chip cookies

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
I recently moved my baking company to the central Oregon coast. I've had to readjust baking times and temp for the cookie recipes, but still can't get the chocolate chip cookies to bake perfectly. They are over browning, but are nearly raw in the center.

I've used the same recipe for years. We use a 4oz scoop and slightly flatten the cookies, bake 8 to a pan and rotate the pans half way through the baking time. I've even indented the centers before baking. Ovens are Hobart (old, but in good condition).

I've talked to another baker in the area. She's given up making chocolate chip cookies because they never turn out right. That's not an option for me.

Any ideas?
post #2 of 13
please excuse me if this is going to be a rediculously simple answer; however I would suspect the problem is the oven being too hot.

Is it a different oven for when you moved?

perhaps the thermostat or 'deadband' (courtesy of a previous BDL post) is less accurate than the previous?
I know alot of people would recommend enough preheating time and trail and error, but I would say the best solution is to use an oven thermometer and see for yourself.

If one simply looks at the facts and the recipe hasn't changed, and the ingredients are relatively identical (?) then the only thing left the baking temp.
post #3 of 13
Thread Starter 
I agree - it should be the oven temp. However, I've never relied on an oven thermostat and have separate gauges in each oven and the oven temp is accurate. I make the other varieties at 325 or 350. I've tried both temps with the chocolate chip and they over brown (with undercooked centers) either way. I guess I'll try 300 degrees.
post #4 of 13
i would certainly think that a lower temperature would solve this problem; but perhaps the reason why this is happening has something to do with the physics of the chocolate chip cookie;
It would seem the problem is that the sugars are browning too much before the centres are cooked. This could be your recipe; the kind of sugar you're using may caramalise at a lower temperature than desired; fructose for example will caramalise at 110 degreesC while maltose won't caramalise until 180 degreesC. This may mean other ingredients are reacting to the sugar or are contributing to the sugar.

Have you tried lowering the amount of sugar?

Another aspect of what you're describing seems to be the thermal insulation properties of the cookie itself; that is to say how well the cookie holds the heat or prevents the passing of heat. To understand that we need to first consider exactly how heat travels;

it is no secret that liquid is a much more efficient carrier of heat than air and solids are an insulator of heat; therefore if we consider the result of your cookie; perhaps what we can see is too much dry matter. Unfortunately the water evaporates at a lower temp (not all) therefore we must rely on the oil in the cookies to transmit the heat at the higher temperatures.

I would increase the oil (or butter) in your recipe to account for about 25% of the total weight. Proportions of about 85g per 100g of flour. This would mean your cookies may spread more, so therefore could be chilled before baking.
post #5 of 13
Thread Starter 
Since I haven't changed anything about the recipe - even the brands of ingredients are the same (C & H brown and white sugar) - I'll try the lower temp first.

I really apprecaite your help. Thanks!
post #6 of 13

This may sound overly simple, but there has got to be someone in your area that has no problem making CC cookies. Approach some of the home bakers and ask how theirs turn out. If no help there check with one of the strictly baking web sites. (baking911.com has been a great resource for me...the forum members share tips and knowledge quite readily)

Edited by dillonsmimi - 1/4/11 at 6:52am
post #7 of 13
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the web site information.
post #8 of 13
I agree, it just might be the temp of the oven, its just too hot.
post #9 of 13
My first question is where did you move from.  If you moved from a dry climate to the much more moist Central Oregon coast, could it be moisture that is causing your problems?  I'm just a beginning culinary student, but steam helps a baguette form a good crust, maybe the excess moisture in the air is causing the dough to be a little too moist before going into the oven.  This could cause some of the starches in the flour to convert into simple sugars and caramelize early.  If the oven temperature doesn't help (always keep a good oven thermometer in there), perhaps try a dehumidifier in the kitchen or reduce the liquid content of your dough slightly. 

Although, with cookies, the amount of sugar that's already in the recipe shouldn't be affected too much.  Sugar is hygroscopic and tends to absorb moisture though.  I'll leave that to the food scientists.  Worth a test at least.
post #10 of 13
Camille, do not forget to update us. How was your CC cookies working now. We are willing to give the best solution to your problem.
post #11 of 13
Thread Starter 
Sorry I haven't responded sooner.

I moved from Corvallis (about 50 miles east) - not too dry there either.  If it was a climate issue, wouldn't it affect all the cookies?

I do have good thermometers in the ovens to assure the temp is accurate.

I've also contacted the chef contact at Guittard.  They don't think it's a chocolate issue.

I recently researched cc cookie recipes and found one with baking powder (no baking soda) so I tried that.  The cookies baked beautifully, they look great, but are a little cakier than the original.

Someone mentioned using baking soda mixed with milk.  Does anyone have experience with this?  What would be the outcome?

What's interesting is that a friend who has a deli in the same complex as my kitchen has the same problem with her chocolate chip cookies.  However, she doesn't make hers from scratch.  She purchases them pre-made/pre-scooped/frozen from Cash & Carry. She buys and bakes about 4 other varieties w/o any problem.
post #12 of 13
I agree...all of your cookie doughs would be affected.  You may be on to something with the baking powder. Next try adding something in to get the chew back. Corn syrup, brown sugar, both attract moisture. Baby amts until you get good results. Another thought...remove one of the whites from the eggs called for.I also like chewy cookies and so add my drys by hand...I find that the less I work my dough the more tender the results.
post #13 of 13

Just a question from a rank/newbie/amateur. Is there much of an elevation (above sea level) difference between your old and new location?



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