July 21, 2010

You have NO idea how important it is to me that you read this and respond

I need help.

Do you see the cookies pictured below? 
These cookies are what I want my chocolate chip cookies to look like. 
Yes, I want thick chocolate chip cookies.
Yet, I ask you, am I able to attain this seemingly simple goal?
And it's really starting to get annoying.  

I have tried recipe after recipe.  I have purchased new baking soda and baking powder.  I have used Crisco sticks, butter and margarine.  I have used all three items at room temperature so that they blended perfectly into the sugars.  I have used more flour.  I have baked them a little longer.  A little less.  They have baked at 350 and 325 and 375.   I've let them cool on the cookie sheet for 5 minutes.  10 minutes.  Not at all - just straight to the racks. 

What am I doing wrong?

Why, oh why do my cookies flatten after about 3 minutes out of the oven?

If you can tell me what to do, and it works, I will send you a prize.  Seriously. 
 I want cookies that not only taste good, but look good, too!  Come on, dear readers, help me to have this one thing in life!

I have a reputation for being a tad bit dramatic.  I have no idea why, though.  ;)


  1. You have tried everything I would have tried. One more question though -- have you refrigerated your dough? When I made cookies at my moms house this past week, they spread into a cookie bar instead of individual cookies. Her kitchen was too hot, so we put the dough into the fridge while the cookies were baking. The cold dough made prettier cookies. Good luck!

  2. I've read suggestions of putting the cookie dough batter into a muffin tin. But, I haven't tried it myself. I would think that they would be small cookies. Have you tried baking them on parchment paper instead of directly on a pan? Just a guess, but maybe the nonstick surface of a pan causes them to spread out. Oh, and I know the more butter/fat the more they spread out. Hmm...now you've got me guessing! Can't wait to hear the answer :)

  3. Nick's mom adds instant vanilla pudding to her cookies...freakin' delicious! I'm not sure if that will add to the thickness..but her cookies look pretty darn good.

  4. My aunt used to make cookies like that. She told me her secret was to use half shortening and half butter. (I have had good luck with Spectrum shortening in Kroger's health food section.) Then reduce the amount of white sugar by half and add one package of instant vanilla pudding mix (just add the powder directly) to the recipe. Hope that helps!

  5. Hey Bonnie,

    What's worked for me is to take one recipe that I can kind of make good (or know I can make really good) and master it! Make it a few more times, and "feel the constistency of the dough" use your intuition to tell you when they're done. That's what's worked for me :)


  6. **also,just to share, I've never used racks for my cookies (they always make my cookies dry out). I cover a counter w/parchment or waxed paper, or completely sterilize and let them cool. HAPPY BAKING :)

  7. I feel your pain - I went through a flattened chocolate chip cookie curse as well... Then, I changed the following and have had no further problems:

    I (like you) bought fresh baking powder and soda.
    Because I still forget to let the butter (and I use real unsalted butter) sit out to soften, I stick them in the microwave for 10-15 seconds at a time but change the power to level 3 (I'm not sure if you'll be able to do this, but I don't think it matters as long as the butter's not too melted - there in lies the problem). I also put the bowl of finished batter back in the fridge while I'm waiting for a batch to bake, then I take it out and refill the baking sheet.

    But I think this made the most difference, I stopped mixing so much. I think over mixing had a huge part in the rise of the cookie.

    I hope this works out for you! It was so frustrating for me, too. (I hope I win!)

    *Just thought of something, though I don't do it and don't know if it'll help or hurt... but maybe you should try sifting the flour first...

  8. Okay, so I have no real idea how to fix your problem (sorry). But, the only thing I can think of is your oven...maybe it's that. Hope someone really knows, though. Love, Em

  9. I've been watching a lot of America's test kitchen and I think the cookies spread because the pan is hot, or the dough is warm. I am at work now, but will look this up in my cookbooks when I get home and let you know what they say.

  10. Bonnie, I have no clue.

    However, I am more than willing to come test each cookie until we find the answer. :)


  11. I saw the link to your post from Cynthia's blog.

    I too, have had your problem... my husband's grandma makes 'THE BEST' chocolate chip cookies (according to my husband) and I went through a phase of refusing to make them because any attempt would come out tasting like 'nothing' (according to my husband). My cookies would flatten out horribly, while his grandma's cookies would always mysteriously be plump and beautiful. Even using the same recipe!

    It wasn't until recently that I discovered the secret... cold dough! I usually scoop out the cookies onto parchment paper and place the cookie sheet in the fridge until they are ready to bake.

    I would share the recipe, but I'm away from home visiting family. Enjoy your quest for the perfect cookie!

  12. I am going to say the same thing as Lisa refrigerate the dough. This is what a friend told me. Although the instant pudding thing has peeked my curiosity :)

  13. My great-grandmother always had nice, thick cookies and used sour cream. Those Mennonites know how to bake. :) If I can find her recipe I will forward it to you...

  14. Bonnie, I found this website: http://www.sunset.com/food-wine/techniques/perfect-chocolate-chip-cookie-00400000012170/

    that had some interesting things to say. On top of that, I have always found that the times that I accidentally added too much flour (or one time even using a mixture of wheat and white) they were much more thick than usual. I have always been told that when butter is too soft or your dough is too warm, they will flatten.

    Hope you find what you are looking for!

  15. Anita is a big fan of America's Test Kitchen. I'm bringing you a copy of their secrets when I see you tonight :)

  16. Thanks, friends!

    Quick question, should I lower the baking temp so the cookies bake consistantly when the dough is cold? I've used chilled dough before and had issue with cookies that weren't done inside but were brown on the outside. boo!

  17. Bonnie, my recent experience is no, don't change the temp. My dough wasn't really cold, it was just a little chilled. I just put it in the fridge between batches. But I've also learned that I need to pull my cookies out right before I think they are perfect, as they'll brown a bit more before they cool (I don't have cooling racks, maybe that's why they continue to cook)