First Time Cookie Maker With Problems

Baking By kackie3 Updated 24 Jan 2009 , 11:41am by Honeydukes

kackie3 Posted 22 Jan 2009 , 6:16pm
post #1 of 15

I am using the NFSC recipe from the website. I made it yesterday and put it in the fridge. Today it is hard as a rock and crumbles when you try to roll it. As I worked with it, it softened, but I thought I was supposed to keep it cool? Also, the cookies flattened in the oven and the shapes are unrecognizable. I read that I should have put them in the freezer first and I will try that, but I am afraid that I should not have used real butter in the recipe. Is it OK to use butter or should I throw this batch out and use margarine? How long must they cool before you handle them?

14 replies
yankeegal Posted 22 Jan 2009 , 6:59pm
post #2 of 15

Hi Kackie,

I only use butter in the NFSC recipe. When I first take the dough out of the fridge, I let it soften for just a bit so I can roll it out and cut out my shapes. After I cut the cookies out, I put them back in the fridge/freezer for a least 15 minutes. This really is essential to a cookie keeping it's shape. After they bake, I leave them on the cookie sheet to cool for about 10 minutes before I move them to a cooling rack.
Don't get discouraged. Cookies are a lot of work, but once you get the hang of them, you will be hooked! icon_biggrin.gif

KHalstead Posted 22 Jan 2009 , 7:03pm
post #3 of 15

I can only tell you what works for me. I use that exact recipe (well, kinda) except I sub half of the butter for shortening (because it melts at higher temp. making the cookies not spread so much) I also add one extra cup of sugar because they didn't seem sweet enough, I use 2 tsp. of vanilla, and 1 tsp. of almond extract and I leave out ALL of the baking powder! I get rave reviews on my cookies for their flavor and now they don't spread out a ton and keep their shape........I'll show you the difference between nfsc before I tweaked and after I tweaked. Note that the cookies have fondant on them that was cut with the exact same cutter the cookies were cut with for size reference.
Oh and also, I roll them out immediately (don't chill the dough) between 2 layers of waxed paper and then push the cutter into the dough and then pop the "sheet" of dough into the freezer, once hard I break away the excess dough leaving just the frozen "cookie" and put that on a room temp. cookie sheet w/ parchment and throw in the oven for 10 min. they bake like a dream!

smbegg Posted 22 Jan 2009 , 7:08pm
post #4 of 15

I wouldn't use margarine. I only use butter. But I do not refridgerate my dough. I just roll it out and freeze it. The freezing part is key to help them from spreading. I am not sure what happened with yours, maybe you miss measured the flour? DOn't give up though. Give it another try! That recipe is really good and usually works.


cookieman Posted 22 Jan 2009 , 7:18pm
post #5 of 15

I do pretty much what yankeegal does and it works every time. I do not use the NFSC recipe (I use the Rich Rolled Sugar Cookie recipe from the Joy of Cooking cookbook), but it is quite similar. Use our hints, just keep at it, and before you know it, you will be cranking out perfect cookies every time!

misabel99 Posted 22 Jan 2009 , 7:30pm
post #6 of 15

I use butter But I think that you put a lot of Flour that why it's hard but one recipe that works perfect for me it's World's best sugar cookies they are delicious and easy to work. I don't chill the dough either for the NFS the World's best sugar you can find it here in CC under recipes. HTH

Dizzymaiden Posted 22 Jan 2009 , 7:45pm
post #7 of 15
Originally Posted by smbegg

I wouldn't use margarine. I only use butter. But I do not refridgerate my dough. I just roll it out and freeze it. The freezing part is key to help them from spreading. I am not sure what happened with yours, maybe you miss measured the flour? DOn't give up though. Give it another try! That recipe is really good and usually works.


Can you explain to me about the freezing part?
Thanks! Amy

cylstrial Posted 22 Jan 2009 , 8:29pm
post #8 of 15

KHalstead -- your cookie looks great before and after!!

kackie3 Posted 22 Jan 2009 , 8:39pm
post #9 of 15

Thank you all so much! I'm going to try again.

TracyLH Posted 22 Jan 2009 , 9:42pm
post #10 of 15

I use a recipe similar to the NFSC and roll it out with wide freezer paper underneath and plastic wrap on the top (two pieces side-by-side as I use large cookie sheets). I then slide it onto my cookie sheet and pop it in the fridge or freezer. (This is what Yankeegal is talking about unless I am mistaken). I then pull it out when it is nice and firm, flip it over, pull off the freezer paper and very, very lightly brush it with flour with a wide pastry brush. I then brush off any excess flour. I wipe down the freezer paper if it is slightly sticky, put the freezer paper back on, flip it and the dough is perfectly ready to cut. By pulling that freezer paper off and lightly brushing it with flour, any cookies come right off which is a big help with intricate shapes. I then put them on a cookie sheet, pop back in the fridge or freezer to completely firm up, then into a preheated oven they go! It sounds like a hassle, but it really helps my cookies with little intricate points to stay little by not spreading. Also, I only use 1/2 tsp. baking powder (credit goes to SweetDreamsAT for telling me that. Thanks, SweetDreams!).

MichelleM77 Posted 23 Jan 2009 , 1:21pm
post #11 of 15

I never have luck letting my dough chill before I use it. I always cut out my shapes before chilling. No problems. It's also a good idea to weigh out your flour if you can. It makes a huge difference.

jdelectables Posted 23 Jan 2009 , 1:38pm
post #12 of 15

I use NFSC and I always chill the dough. When I'm ready to roll it out, I pound on it with my rolling pin. I also let it sit out for about 1/2 hour. I have also found it is imperative for me to use parchment paper. This helps with the spreading.

tx_cupcake Posted 23 Jan 2009 , 1:57pm
post #13 of 15

Just in case you want to try a different recipe in the future, Penny's is excellent!

You don't even have to chill the dough before rolling it out (although it does make it easier), and you definitely don't have to freeze the cutouts in order for them to keep their shape.

I have been using this recipe for a year now and have never had a problem with it spreading, and I always use real butter.


kkitchen Posted 23 Jan 2009 , 2:04pm
post #14 of 15

When I make cookies I use that same recipe. I sub margarine for the butter. I was told it keeps it fresh longer which it does I think. And my cookies do not spread at all. The way it goes in, it comes out the same way. I bake on a silicone mat and I use a spatula without the spaces to life it from the mat to my cooling rack. My cookies do not get rock hard but they are not crumbly. People say it taste like a cookie that would come in a can from a store. I do not know if it is good or bad... but they keep buying so I guess it is good.
Tina your cookies are beautiful.


Honeydukes Posted 24 Jan 2009 , 11:41am
post #15 of 15

My recipe is also close to the NFSC. I use butter only. It is made to roll out as soon as it's mixed. After you roll and cut, refrigerate or freeze the cut-outs (for as long as it takes to chill them). This helps them keep their shape.

I keep half of the dough in the fridge while I'm rolling out the other. When you take it out of the fridge, let it sit out until it's easy to handle.

You do not need to throw out the dough!

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