Not home made cookies
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Fats and initial shape are the big impact factors on final shape and texture.
Fats first. Margarine has more water than butter that has more water than shortening. The higher the water content, the more the cookie spreads.
With a ball of dough, you get thicker cookies than if you use a slice from a roll of dough, all other things being equal. usually you use a ball for a dough that spreads a lot and preflatten cookies that spread less in baking.
Sugar choices also impact the final cooked texture with brown sugar usually being more tender than the same cookie with white sugar. This has to do with the higher initial moisture of the brown sugar from the molasses added back to white sugar to make brown sugar.
Other things enter into it as well. Commercial dough may well have texture additives, converted starches and such that make the cookie behave differently.
very interesting reply. I always use butter and the recipes either are all brown sugar or mix of white and brown. funny how scoop behaves differently from slice so next time I'll roll the dough up in wax paper and chill in the fridge. its safe to say home made are better than store bought brands.
thanks for all the info, baking.