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Some months ago, I found a recipe for cookies and made them in a big oven; they were delicious and cooked very well (soft cookies) at 180 °C (356 °F) for 7 minutes.

I recently tried the recipe again, but I have no longer a big oven, so I used my little one (with heat source at the top and bottom).
The cookies were still almost liquid after 15 minutes, and I though that was my oven that was too old and not keeping a good temperature; I tested on another oven that is new, and I got the same result.

Does the little oven heat less than the big one? If yes, what do I need to do to adjust the temperature and/or the time? If not, what am I doing wrong?

The recipe is:

  • 125 grams of soft butter
  • 125 grams of brown sugar
  • 175 grams of white flour
  • one egg
  • 1 cc of baking powder
  • 100 grams of chocolate chip

Mix all except chocolate chip. When you have a homogeneous substance, add the chocolate chip.
Bake them 7 minutes at 180 °C. they're still very soft after that delay but they will harden.

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3 Answers

up vote 6 down vote accepted

My guess:

With a little oven you probably don't preheat as long, and when you open the door you let ALL the hot air out. You need to reheat the air in the oven after the cookies go in for them to cook. Because the hot walls and rack are much smaller (and probably not as well heated to start with), it's harder for them to reheat the inside of the oven.

So the temperature is lower when you start the cookies. Some (maybe a lot) of the cooking time is spent getting the oven, the baking sheet and the air back up to temperature. Cooking them longer or at a slightly hotter temperature should help with this.

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but why after 15min (wich is more than the double of the 7min) it's still liquid , the idea of the all the heat getting out when we open the door crossed my mind , but i think this is too big to be only that. –  eephyne Jun 8 '11 at 13:47
5  
My next suggestion would be to use an oven thermometer and see what temperature you're actually getting. It's the only way to know for sure. –  bikeboy389 Jun 8 '11 at 14:08
    
i'll try to get one . i'll try too to cook them at lower temperature during more time (like 140 for 20min) , if the issue is the heat going out , this could help a bit i guess. –  eephyne Jun 8 '11 at 14:20
1  
Another thing to consider is that small ovens' heat has a higher proportion of radiation and a lesser proportion of convection, which means that 1. Smaller ovens are more affected by the cycling of heat, and 2. When both ovens are outputting the same amount of energy per amount of air (which should lead to the same air temperature) the rate at which the heat is transferred to the cookies is different. Together with the smaller thermal capacity bikeboy mentions, you'll probably need to change your baking times - but the exact time difference needs experimenting. –  rumtscho Jun 8 '11 at 15:08
4  
All possibilities. I think a key is that the thermostat (at least usually) monitors the air temp in the oven, and with a far smaller volume of air to heat, you get the thermostat saying, "hot enough" before much of anything else in the oven is hot. Also, depending on the kind of oven, a smaller one may have much lower thermal mass, worse insulation and be draftier (think about countertop ovens). At the end of the day, the only way to know what's going on is to measure the actual temperature of the thing (ideally in use). –  bikeboy389 Jun 8 '11 at 17:57
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It almost sounds like when you moved, you got a different recipe. The cookies before you moved were solid and the cookies after you moved were soft. I will try to bake cookies using the recipe you gave me this weekend.

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It could be that your oven's temperature control is off somewhat. Ovens aren't exactly scientific instruments, so you can't be sure how accurate they are with this kind of thing.

Get a decent oven thermometer and go by that rather than the temperature knob. You might be surprised. Mine runs about 10-15 degrees less: when I set it to 180 on the dial, it's often about 165 on the thermometer.

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yes i think of getting one , could be handy in many other situation . –  eephyne Jun 8 '11 at 14:19
2  
Yes. Generally you can get away with a bit of inaccuracy as long as the oven is 'hot' rather than 'moderate', but baking is a bit more scientific and thus needs more precision. –  ElendilTheTall Jun 8 '11 at 14:29
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