# How does amount of flour affect cookies?

What will happen to my chocolate chip cookies if I add more or less flour than the recipe calls for?

• Depends on what you mean by "more" or "less"... How much more or less? Half? Double? A tablespoon? Give us some more information... Commented May 19, 2016 at 23:43
• @Catija Let's not force the question to be too specific. It'd be sane for an answer to say, hypothetically, you won't notice anything change til you add X, from X to Y they'll get crisper, from Y to Z they'll get crumbly, past Z they won't even hold together. If the OP limits the question to certain amounts, she could easily miss out on the big picture.
– Cascabel
Commented May 19, 2016 at 23:53
• The recipe used would be helpful in giving answers scaled to it.
– GdD
Commented May 20, 2016 at 7:45
• I think it's possible to write decent answers without knowing a starting point; if the OP's recipe is already in the "more flour" direction they'll just be farther along the continuum you describe. But if you really want to know a starting point, you could assume it's the canonical Toll House recipe from the US that's on the back of basically every bag of chocolate chips (2 1/4 cups flour, 1 cup butter, 3/4 cup each white and brown sugar, 2 eggs, 1 tsp baking soda, 1 tsp salt), which makes a generic kinda soft cookie. If the OP doesn't return to clarify eventually, I'll just edit that in.
– Cascabel
Commented May 20, 2016 at 16:11

A general answer, because a concise answer would need an entire recipe.

(all ratios that follow are by weight not volume measures)

Flour gives the cookie structure. The commonly followed ratio is:

Cookie dough = 3 parts flour, 2 parts fat, 1 part sugar

That 3:2:1 ratio results in the most common cookie texture.

Reducing the flour, like a 1:1:1 flour-fat-sugar will give a drop cookie and often chewy.

I Googled, and found this informative piece How to Invent a Cookie Recipe.

• Is this ratio actually correct? Based on the recipe posted by Jefromi in the comments above, that's certainly not a 3 to 1 ratio of flour to sugar (by volume, anyway). 2.25 cups flour to 1.5 cups sugar is 3 to 2 ratio. Considering that this recipe is for the "classic" Toll House recipe and it doesn't match your ratios, can you please explain a bit more about this? Commented May 20, 2016 at 16:19
• I edited in by weight. Toll House weights: 2-1/4 cups flour=306 grams, 1 cup butter=227 g, the sugars combined are 315 g. That's 3-2-3. The sugar is very high which is interesting because I consider Toll House to be too sweet. Ruhlman (the ratio guy), says rations are just the starting point. Commented May 20, 2016 at 17:39
• The Toll House cookies might be a little on the sweet side, but they're not the only ones (e.g. the Serious Eats chocolate chip cookies) are about the same ratio, so I too have a hard time imagining 3-2-1 as a canonical chocolate chip cookie base.
– Cascabel
Commented May 20, 2016 at 17:42
• This guy seems to think so. product.design.umn.edu/courses/pdes3701/documents/… Note: his ratio numbers are opposite the sequence of Ruhlman (I don't know how long that link will live) Commented May 20, 2016 at 17:46
• @Paulb That's a scan from Ratio, right? (here's the same chapter in Google Books) If you look at the example recipes there, the ones actually using the 3-2-1 ratio are likely crisper cookies, and then the chocolate chip cookie recipe is 1-1-1 and the sugar cookie recipe is 3-2-2. So while Ruhlman does say 3-2-1 for some kinds of cookies, for chocolate chip and sugar his recipe is pretty darn close to the Toll House one.
– Cascabel
Commented May 20, 2016 at 19:49

More flour will result in a "breadier" cookie. It will have more structure and be less chewy. Less flour will do the opposite, resulting in a softer, flatter cookie.