drakegore Posted 13 Feb 2011 , 2:48am
post #1 of

i've made these a thousand times and never had this happen!
i don't want to change recipes (i use the cookie craft sugar cookie recipe) and made them like i do everytime...) This time they baked up with elephant skin tops!

what would you think caused this?

i fridge the cookies before baking them each and every time i bake.
i bake em' at 350 each and every time.
same recipe each and every time.

this one time they look like this and i can't figure out why? any guesses?

thank you!
diane

18 replies
drakegore Posted 13 Feb 2011 , 2:49am
post #2 of

ok, photo didn't come thru. trying again.

drakegore Posted 13 Feb 2011 , 2:53am
post #3 of

ok, i can't get it to show. i'll put it in my pictures.

cheatize Posted 13 Feb 2011 , 6:02am
post #4 of

Too much flour when rolling them out, possibly. I use a pastry brush (old style, not the silicone ones) to brush off excess flour before I place them on the cookie sheet.

motherofgrace Posted 13 Feb 2011 , 6:19am
post #5 of

I dont use flour at all to roll mine out, I use silicone mats

JudyDP Posted 13 Feb 2011 , 6:30am
post #6 of

I've had this happen to me, too, and I don't use flour. I roll on parchment or wax paper. I have NO idea why this happened, but if someone can tell us, it would be great!

catherinejanuary Posted 13 Feb 2011 , 7:09am
post #7 of

This has happened to me as well. I always thought it was because the tops dried out while I was chilling them. If I stick them straight into the oven, I'm fairly sure this doesn't happen.

drakegore Posted 13 Feb 2011 , 1:40pm
post #8 of
Quote:
Originally Posted by cheatize

Too much flour when rolling them out, possibly. I use a pastry brush (old style, not the silicone ones) to brush off excess flour before I place them on the cookie sheet.




i don't roll out with flour. i roll out on parchment without flour. so that can't be it for me, but thank you!

drakegore Posted 13 Feb 2011 , 1:42pm
post #9 of
Quote:
Originally Posted by catherinejanuary

This has happened to me as well. I always thought it was because the tops dried out while I was chilling them. If I stick them straight into the oven, I'm fairly sure this doesn't happen.




that sounds reasonalbe, lol. but i always chill, and only on time out of a thousand have i got elephant cookies. i really hate baking mysteries icon_smile.gif.

artscallion Posted 13 Feb 2011 , 2:46pm

Was your butter too soft? This kind of thing is something I associate with recipes that call for melted butter as opposed to room temp butter. It's why brownies get that shiny, elephant skin surface. I also have two different recipes from Cooks Illustrated for chocolate chip cookies. They are pretty similar except one calls for creaming room temp butter and sugar and the other calls for melted butter. The first always comes out like normal chocolate chip cookies, the send comes out with that same elephant skin.

Room temp butter, in cooking terms for creaming, does not mean the temp of the room you're in. From The Joy of Cooking: "The temperature of the butter is very important in baking. When room temperature butter is used in your recipe this means your butter should be between 65 degrees F (18 degrees C) and 70 degrees F (21 degrees C). This temperature allows the maximum amount of air to be beaten into your batter. This creaming or beating of your butter or butter and sugar creates air bubbles that your leavener (baking powder or baking soda) will enlarge during baking. Most experts recommend 4 to 5 minutes of creaming the butter for maximum aeration."

At those temps, your butter will still be cool and firm, not squishy. This is just a guess. But if your butter was too soft, it may not have allowed enough air incorporation and taken on the qualities you get with melted butter.

drakegore Posted 13 Feb 2011 , 5:19pm

i actually start with cold butter. cream it until it is soft enough to add the sugar and cream for about 2 minutes after sugar is added. i try not to cream to much longer than that because i don't want to encourgage too much spread.

then they are in the fridge for about 30 minutes.

you know, i did add on extra teaspoon of extract this time, but that wouldn't do it...would it?

frankdiabetes Posted 13 Feb 2011 , 5:57pm

Did you beat the dough a little longer than usual? I know brownies develop a shiny crust when you beat the batter more. Also what kind of sugar did you use? I'm browsing through my BakeWise book by Shirley Corriher because she usually has the answers to this sort of thing but not having much luck icon_sad.gif.

I've definitely had that happen before too- without having done anything notably different when preparing the recipe. I don't think the additional extract could have done it, I've added a TON of coconut flavor to some chocolate cookies and it had no effect whatsoever. Mystery!

Emmar308 Posted 13 Feb 2011 , 6:27pm

Did you roll out your dough, leave for a few minutes (enough time for a skin to form on the dough) then finish rolling the dough a little thinner? I've had this happen with sugarpaste.

drakegore Posted 13 Feb 2011 , 7:41pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by frankdiabetes

Did you beat the dough a little longer than usual? I know brownies develop a shiny crust when you beat the batter more. Also what kind of sugar did you use? I'm browsing through my BakeWise book by Shirley Corriher because she usually has the answers to this sort of thing but not having much luck icon_sad.gif.

I've definitely had that happen before too- without having done anything notably different when preparing the recipe. I don't think the additional extract could have done it, I've added a TON of coconut flavor to some chocolate cookies and it had no effect whatsoever. Mystery!




i think you may be on too something, lol.
i normally use my store brand (market basket) sugar, but this time i used DOMINO sugar.
i also got distracted by my family and the dough went for an extra minute...do you think that would be enough to do this?

luv2bake6 Posted 13 Feb 2011 , 11:50pm

I've had this happen as well. I was thinking it may be from mixing scraps of dough after rolling with a piece from a new batch? I'd love to know the answer to this dilemmna too.

drakegore Posted 14 Feb 2011 , 12:02am

the rerolls are never as pretty are they icon_smile.gif.
this photo was from my first roll out.

luv2bake6 Posted 14 Feb 2011 , 12:05am

hope someone has the answer; it didn't bother me much when it happened, cuz i was icing the tops anyway, but now i'm really curious why this is happening at all. icon_smile.gif

frankdiabetes Posted 14 Feb 2011 , 12:43am
Quote:
Originally Posted by drakegore


i think you may be on too something, lol.
i normally use my store brand (market basket) sugar, but this time i used DOMINO sugar.
i also got distracted by my family and the dough went for an extra minute...do you think that would be enough to do this?




Did the extra mixing take place before or after adding the eggs? Shirley Corriher mentions seeing the shiny crust on cookies (even chocolate chip cookies) if the dough is mixed more AFTER the eggs were added. Also, different kinds of sugar "migrate" to the surface differently and might contribute to any crusting/shininess/cracking on the top.

It would be an interesting experiment to make two different batches of cookies, one where you mixed the eggs just enough to incorporate them and one where you mixed them like crazy to see if there is any noticeable difference.

drakegore Posted 14 Feb 2011 , 12:50am

it was AFTER....

interesting about the sugar! it really does LOOK like a sugar problem...

i didn't mix it that much longer than normal, just a minute or two.
will make my next batch with my regular sugar and mix the same as this batch and if it doesn't have this issue, the domino's is going in the garbage....

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