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I'm making chocolate chip cookies. Am I doing something wrong if my cookies look flat on top, and soft, and brown on the bottom. They're soft on top and are crunchier at the bottom. They taste fully cooked and good, but not exactly like cookies should right? Am I undercooking them or preparing them a wrong way? Or is this normal?

Here's the recipe I used, and the picture that's on the page.

Ingredients:

1 1/4 cups granulated sugar

1 1/4 cups packed brown sugar

1 1/2 cups butter or margarine, softened

2 teaspoons vanilla

3 eggs

4 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 to 2 bags (12 oz each) semisweet chocolate chips (2 to 4 cups)

Directions:

  1. Heat oven to 375°F. In large bowl with electric mixer, beat granulated sugar, brown sugar and butter until light and fluffy. Beat in vanilla and eggs until well blended. Beat in flour, baking soda and salt. Stir in chocolate chips.
  2. On ungreased cookie sheets, drop dough by rounded tablespoonfuls 2 inches apart.
  3. Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until light golden brown. Cool 1 minute; remove from cookie sheets to cooling racks.

Picture of cookies from the Betty Crocker recipe

  • There are many different chocolate chip cookies out there - a recipe would help to give you better advice. – Stephie Nov 3 '16 at 18:16
  • I did use a recipe for the cookies they just turned out differently. Sorry for not saying that. – Dennis Ranish Nov 3 '16 at 18:22
  • @Jack what Stephie means is, post your recipe so we can see what you're doing... – ElendilTheTall Nov 3 '16 at 19:28
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    maybe your oven is not "calibrated" ? and that 350F (for example) is not really 350F (use a thermometer) and/or you put your cookies too low in the oven so that the bottom cooked faster than the top ? also, wait a little bit after you take the cookies out of the oven. – Max Nov 3 '16 at 19:59
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    Also what kind of cookie sheet? Cheaper ones made of thin metal will tend to cook the bottom of cookies excessively, especially if the oven does not maintain an even temperature. – user3169 Nov 4 '16 at 5:11
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What you're describing is something that I'd consider normal in a cookie. Some cookies are more cake-like, some are chewy, some are crunchy, some are flatter than others - but they're all good. Almost any factor - from the type of fat, to the type of liquid, to the leavener, to the temperature of both the oven and the dough can affect the cookie's texture. I'd make two recommendations if you want your cookie less flat: 1) chill the dough for a few hours, or overnight. Then, form them and get them into the oven quickly, while the dough is stone cold. 2) Try a different recipe. Do a visual internet search for the type of cookie that you're after. Good recipes are hard to find, and sometimes you have to kiss a few frogs...

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Here is a link to a site on 'the science of the best chocolate chip cookies'. It breaks down the different ingredients in standard chocolate chip cookie recipes and explains what they do.

One of the observations was this:

Making cookies with varying degrees of both soda and powder, I found that baking powder generally produces cakier cookies that rise higher during baking, producing smoother, shinier tops, while soda yields cookies that are craggier and denser in texture

The site also experiments with alterations (different flours, sweeteners, creamed butter vs melted, baking soda vs powder, etc) and shows/describes the results. Perhaps it can help you alter your recipe to achieve the cookie consistency you're aiming for.

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It sounds like you're describing cookies that aren't rising. Make sure you're using baking soda not baking powder. You can add flour a little at a time if the dough seems too wet. If your cookies still come out flat pop the dough in the fridge for about an hour before baking.

  • The recipe is linked in the post. – Marissa Wilson Nov 4 '16 at 20:13
  • Apologies, it was not included the last time I saw the post and I overlooked it just now. – Catija Nov 4 '16 at 20:15
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    I wonder why you suggest that using baking soda is better than baking powder in this case. The recipe has almost no acid (except for the brown sugar, but that's very weak), so actually baking soda can be expected to give very little rise, if any. – rumtscho Nov 4 '16 at 22:25
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Chocolate chip cookies very depending on your oven, altitude, and cookie sheet. I split the baking soda with powder for a thivk moist cookie! Play with your recipe until you have a cookie to your liking

  • Melanie, welcome to Seasoned Advice! Don't forget to take the tour and browse our help center to learn more about the site. Once you have a few votes, you might want to have a peek at our Seasoned Advice Chat and meet some of our regulars there. If you could give the asker a few pointers as to which adjustments could lead to which kind of change in the cookies, feel free to edit your post any time. – Stephie Jan 26 '17 at 21:34

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