What Am I Doing Wrong?

Baking By agentdorkfish Updated 7 Sep 2009 , 12:59am by agentdorkfish

agentdorkfish Posted 21 Aug 2009 , 1:28am
post #1 of 32

I bake cakes. I bake brownies. I can even make a mean old fashioned banana pudding.

But I cannot bake cookies. I following the recipes word by word. I preheat my oven. But they always turn out thin, crispy, and quite frankly.. they just suck.

This evening I baked a batch and my son, the cookie monster, didn't even want to try one. Gah!

31 replies
Misdawn Posted 21 Aug 2009 , 1:33am
post #2 of 32

Two things come to my mind first:
Have you checked the accuracy of your oven temp.?
What about your baking powder/ baking soda? Is it old?

Other than those two, I really don't know what else to suggest.

CupCake_Caitlin Posted 21 Aug 2009 , 1:43am
post #3 of 32

I dont know if I can Help, But I suggest you post the receipe you used. Atleats others can browes by and see what you may be doing wrong with the cookies!!

Depending how much/little of an ingrediant I use and the heat of the oven usually creates different outcomes of my cookies.
Its just Identifying the cause.

CupCake_Caitlin Posted 21 Aug 2009 , 1:52am
post #4 of 32

My Choc chip cookie reciepe calls for

Brown Sugar
White Sugar
Vanilla essence
Self Raising Flour (Plain flour with baking powder also works)
Choc chips

I Roll the dough into balls - place on try, cook 10mins - if oven is low, the balls melt and spread. if the oven is high, they come out all raised!! Same Receipe but many ways the damn thing turns out.

Either way they taste Yummy.... lol, so I'm sure you will perfect it one day

Texas_Rose Posted 21 Aug 2009 , 1:58am
post #5 of 32

Try an insulated cookie sheet and a cookie scoop. The cookie scoop looks like an ice cream scoop except it's smaller. Also, if your cookie recipe says butter, use butter, not margarine. I never knew what a difference it made until recently, but it does.

Misdawn Posted 21 Aug 2009 , 2:01am
post #6 of 32

True. It does make a difference between butter, margarine, and shortening.

tracey1970 Posted 21 Aug 2009 , 2:02am
post #7 of 32

I can't get cookies right either - never could. I have tried underbaking them (picture gooey and/or cake-like cookies) and if I leave them in the oven for another fraction of a second to make sure that they are not UNDER-baked, they come out like hockey pucks. I never find the in between, never. It doesn't even matter what kind of cookie I am making - drop, cutout, whatever... I've given up on cookies entirely.

Misdawn Posted 21 Aug 2009 , 2:05am
post #8 of 32

Ok the cookies should look slightly underbaked when you take them out of the oven. Let them rest on the sheet about 5 minutes thentransfer to a cooling rack. They shoot be soft enough when they come out of the oven that they fall apart if you try to take them off immediately.

CupCake_Caitlin Posted 21 Aug 2009 , 3:29am
post #9 of 32

I love making Cookies, and I always say - never over react when you try and pick a cookie up hot and it falls apart. after they cool they harder up. So its not always good to over cook them!!

When I said Butter up there - Sorry, I meant Marg. Its just a habbit that I call it butter!! I get a type of Marg that call its self "soft Butter" which is basically Marg. My cookies turn out fine!!

And stuff waiting for them to cool, I do a lot of batches... so i slide about three off at a time with my large spatula and place them on the bench.... hehe!! Well no one else it eating them bar me and the family... they are all gone within 3days, so I cook ALOT!!

Goodluck next time - agentdorkfish.
I say experiment, and take on everyones advice!!

matthewkyrankelly Posted 21 Aug 2009 , 3:51am
post #10 of 32

Check your oven temp - could be the culprit.

Also, do you use a stand mixer? I find that cookies can get over-creamed quickly in a stand mixer. (if that is even a word!) Try making the toll-house recipe with a hand mixer or by hand. Use regular flour. See what happens.

One last thing, you can scoop your cookies and refrigerate for about 10 mins before baking. That should help minimize spread.

agentdorkfish Posted 21 Aug 2009 , 5:51pm
post #11 of 32

Thanks, everyone! I'm going to try one more time. I'm going to try the sugar cookie recipe that's on here.

And I don't have a stand mixer. I'm asking for one for Christmas, haha. Most of my baking stuff I mix the old-fashion way.. by hand! Except for creaming stuff, of course. I have a hand held mixer for that.

Texas_Rose Posted 21 Aug 2009 , 6:01pm
post #12 of 32

Oh, if it's sugar cookies, just roll them thicker icon_biggrin.gif

Don't bake too long, take them out while they're still white on top and let them sit on the cookie sheet for a while.

gourmetsharon Posted 21 Aug 2009 , 6:14pm
post #13 of 32

I use parchment paper under my cookies. When I take the cookie sheet out of the oven, I slide the sheet with the cookies onto my counter. This stops the baking process so they won't continue to bake and get too crispy on the bottom.

You may need to add a touch more flour to your recipe since it sounds like a little too much butter/margarine to flour ratio. That makes thin and crispy cookies.

I use to be a Mrs Fields Cookie manager a long time ago and that's what she does.

cupcakelady64 Posted 21 Aug 2009 , 6:38pm
post #14 of 32

Also, you might want to read the wrapper of the margarine you are using. I was making triple chocolate walnut cookies, along with a bunch of others, and the triples were the only ones coming out flat and "hollow". i read somewhere that you need to make sure you are using a margarine that has at least 80% vegetable oil. I was using Parkay sticks, which is only 65%. That fact didn't affect any of the other cookies, but it sure changed the triples! Thick and delicious now! YUMMY!! icon_biggrin.gif

-K8memphis Posted 21 Aug 2009 , 6:45pm
post #15 of 32

How soft is your butter? Are you melting it first? Some people do that so it is easier to incorporate into the other ingredients not realizing it goes though a chemical change (omg I used the ef-word in baking chemical)

But umm where was I, melted butter turns into butter fat, some milk solids and some water so you have a much different composition to work with. If we do this we are adding water to our cookie dough and it's just not the same.

But I mean whatever fat you use even if it's shortening should not be melted.

Cookie making thoughts about melting moments. icon_biggrin.gif


cricket0616 Posted 21 Aug 2009 , 6:58pm
post #16 of 32

My thoughts is that it could be the type of pan you are using. If you are using a thin pan it really affects the cookies. I had a lot of issues with my cookies until I finally broke down and went to a speacialty store and bought good cookie sheet. It should have some weight to it. I found it made an amazing difference.

mightydragon663 Posted 21 Aug 2009 , 7:15pm
post #17 of 32

A couple of years ago, Alton Brown did a really nice segment on baking cookies and how to get the type you want, puffy, chewy, and thin, by varying the amounts of liquid and levening. I found it very helpful.


Good luck

agentdorkfish Posted 21 Aug 2009 , 8:03pm
post #18 of 32

Ok, so my son is taking his nap, so it's time for mommy to make a mess in the kitchen. One thing I have not been doing is chilling my dough. I'm going to give that a try! I have a feeling that was a big issue.

And I want to buy better cookie pans eventually. But the ones that I have work fine when I get the store-bought dough when I need a quick cookie fix. So, here goes nothing! And thanks, everyone! I don't know what I would do without you!

hellie0h Posted 21 Aug 2009 , 10:59pm
post #19 of 32

I am posting a link to cookie sheets, explains how using a dark cookie sheet vs shiny and insulated and what results you can expect from them. I ditto mightydragon in recommending Alton Browns cookie instructions.
Here is link to types of cookie sheets,

julzs71 Posted 21 Aug 2009 , 11:21pm
post #20 of 32

do you use butter, margarine, or shortening? They can change the texture.

agentdorkfish Posted 22 Aug 2009 , 1:15am
post #21 of 32

I had much better success this evening! I took them out of the oven right before the edges began to darken. After sitting for a minute, they were done and were barely brown on the bottom. I'm feeling pretty confident now. icon_biggrin.gif

agentdorkfish Posted 27 Aug 2009 , 3:55am
post #22 of 32

Ladies and gentlemen, I successfully made cookies today. They tasted good. They looked.. well.. mostly good. icon_smile.gif

I uploaded a picture of them to the gallery

-K8memphis Posted 27 Aug 2009 , 11:05am
post #23 of 32
Originally Posted by agentdorkfish

I had much better success this evening! I took them out of the oven right before the edges began to darken. After sitting for a minute, they were done and were barely brown on the bottom. I'm feeling pretty confident now. icon_biggrin.gif


But don't you time your cookies following the bakign time given in the recipe?

If I'm not 'in the cookie groove' where I haven't made any in a while I will bake one cookie to see how it does--kinda time it so I know what I'm doing--one cookie might bake faster than a pan full but I get a ballpark time frame that way.

agentdorkfish Posted 27 Aug 2009 , 3:28pm
post #24 of 32

I used the baking time as a guide. I started checking a couple minutes before the time was up. I took them out right as the edges darkened, but not browned. As soon as they were out, I slapped on the MMF. By the time they had cooled, they were firm but not hard. Perfect icon_smile.gif

toleshed Posted 27 Aug 2009 , 8:02pm
post #25 of 32

What kind of cookies did you make that came out awful? I agree on the oven temp. If your oven is old, get yourself a thermometer. I got a new oven and I just couldn't believe the difference in everything I made

cylstrial Posted 28 Aug 2009 , 5:32pm
post #26 of 32

Agentdorkfish - your cookies turned out great!

agentdorkfish Posted 29 Aug 2009 , 2:16am
post #27 of 32

Thanks! I'm making more next week icon_smile.gif

toleshed, every recipe I tried turned out awful before. I think my problem was I was leaving them in the oven too long.

-K8memphis Posted 29 Aug 2009 , 4:06am
post #28 of 32

Cookie thoughts~

Now you know for different recipes you can't always go by the look see method you're describing. Plus your oven cools off doing it that way too by opening the oven door repeatedly.

Which I mean if it's working for you great I'm just saying be careful---some cookies need more browning-- some cookes are ruined if they brown a bit so watch the times on your recipe--they are usually close.

And multiplied congratulations on your success!

Mme_K Posted 31 Aug 2009 , 5:17pm
post #29 of 32

In this thread:


Indydebi talks about putting MMF on cookies. She actually re-cuts the cookies when they are warm from the oven. You might want to take a look, if you are using MMF on your cookies.
Congratulations on your cookies BTW, glad they turned out so well! thumbs_up.gif
That's the next thing I want to try.

agentdorkfish Posted 6 Sep 2009 , 12:54am
post #30 of 32

Mme_K, I tried it! After I put the MMF on my last batch of cookies, I recut them and they looked awesome. I pure giggled when I saw them because they look so much better!

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