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When I bake my date cookies they spread out and don't get high. They are very thin. I follow the recipe but this happens. There is baking soda and baking powder in the recipe. Any suggestions?

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This isn't enough information for us to help you. What is the exact recipe, has anybody else been known to get good results with it, did you measure by weight, and what are your baking skills (e.g. some recipes only list ingredients assuming that the baker knows the correct order of mixing, the correct ingredient temperature and which stages are sensitive to overmixing)? –  rumtscho Dec 7 '11 at 15:30
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3 Answers 3

Presumably, you're following a standard cookie recipe that creams together butter and sugar, mixes with some flour, and adds leavening and other stuff.

In my experience, thin cookies are usually the result of two things: too much liquid, and white sugar. The ratio of dry ingredients to wet ones should be pretty self explanatory: for thicker cookies you might want to try adding less liquid, and/or more flour.

More likely is that you're using too much white sugar. White sugar liquifies at a high enough temperature, and in cookies this translates to a spreading out of the dough while baking. Then when the cookies are cooled and the sugar crystallizes again, the cookies become hard.

To remedy this, start by substituting half of the white sugar in your recipe for brown sugar. You can also try experimenting with other sweeteners such as molasses and honey, which should also help the cookies stay thicker (and likewise more cakey). Just keep adjusting the ratio of white sugar to other sweeteners until you get the texture you like.

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Substituting half of the white sugar for brown sugar should work, but I've found that if I'm making a lot of cookies the temperature of the room rises due to the constant heat leaking from the oven. The problem with most recipes is that they assume that the dough and oven remain at a constant temperature and don't account for baking multiple trays of cookies with hot baking sheets, hot kitchen, etc.

First, make sure that you're using softened butter and creaming it properly with the sugar. I use a regular fork and press the butter and sugar together (if you have a pastry blender, even better). I know too many people that have your problem because they microwaved the butter until it became oil x_x

Second, if the room is a bit warm and the dough has a sort of slimy texture try sticking the dough in the refrigerator for an hour or so. Make sure that the dough is sealed airtight so that no nasty fridge smells mess up your cookies -- I use cling wrap pressed tightly against the dough in the bowl.

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I have to disagree with the two answers above in regards to the brown sugar. Brown sugar always have more moisture (unless you left it out and its dry as a rock. in which case its not very good brown sugar anymore) than granulated white sugar which makes the problem worse. What I would suggest is to throw the dough into the refrigerator for a hour or two.

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Brown sugar contains slightly more moisture, but it doesn't melt as easily as white sugar in the oven and tends to stay in crystals. –  rumtscho Dec 13 '11 at 18:21
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