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I am trying to recreate a cookie my grandmother made. She helped me with the ingredients. I have the taste right, but the texture is wrong.

I need a dense, smooth top, crunchy cookie. One that browns well and is good for dunking.

What I end up with is a crisp to crunchy cookie with a crackle top. I don't like the crackle top, or the crisp texture. My husband loves them, but I crave the old hard dense cookie.

This is a basic sugar type cookie,
2 cups shortening or butter,
2 eggs,
3 1/2 cups sugar,
7 cups flour,
3 tsp baking powder,
1 tsp soda,
2 tsp salt,
vanilla,
nutmeg.

I bake at 350 until well browned.

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A crackly top is indicative of plentiful sugar, as is brittle crispiness. If you want to diminish those qualities, try backing off on the sugar. It sounds to me like you want a cookie with a more "shortbready" character. Perusing shortbread cookie recipes on the internet I see their butter-to-sugar ratio somewhat larger than yours (mostly greater than 1). So experiment with less sugar (even just down slightly from 3.5 cups to maybe ... 3c. at first). You don't say if you are rolling out these cookies for cutting, but if you are, you will likely need to adjust the flour a little bit for the correct texture.

I realize you don't want to make shortbreads or else you would just use one of those recipes. The flavor of the cookies (which you are happy with) seems to be coming from the soda-nutmeg-vanilla-salt, so don't change any of those. In fact, try leaving all ingredients the same, except just lessen the amount of sugar, and adjust the flour, if necessary, to get a workable dough texture. See what happens & proceed with experimentation from there.

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