Secret to stop Toll House cookies spreading?

Baking By Dayti Updated 16 May 2013 , 12:35pm by Annabakescakes

Dayti Posted 15 Mar 2011 , 6:38pm
post #31 of 82

OK, so if anyone is willing to help me troubleshoot still, here are some pics. I guess my problem is I have nothing to compare my cookies to really - cookies from advertisements are generally photoshopped to oblivion to look perfect. So it would be great if you could have a look and tell me what looks right/wrong...

This is how much I mix the butter, sugars, vanilla and egg, before adding the flour and choc:
Image

This is what it looks like after I have very briefly mixed in the flour and choc:
Image

And this is what they look like just out of the oven. This batch included baking powder, and I decreased the baking soda. They still don't look particularly mounding, still a bit tortilla like as someone mentioned earlier...

Image

Reimagining_Confections Posted 15 Mar 2011 , 6:44pm
post #32 of 82

It's still not the BS or BP. It is the butter and you need to increase the flour. I had this same problem and have corrected it from this. I like half and half(butter and crisco) because I like the butter taste, but the crispy edges from the crisco. Thus half and half, but you STILL need more flour (1/4- 1/2cup).

Try it, it works. i use silpat too!

Dayti Posted 15 Mar 2011 , 6:57pm
post #33 of 82

Thanks for replying. I'll try more flour next time then and see.

lilmissbakesalot Posted 15 Mar 2011 , 7:00pm
post #34 of 82

Looking at your batter it looks like you A. need to mix your sugar and butter more and make sure it is not lumpy after you add the eggs and B. need more flour. I don't use the Toll House recipe, but the leavening in mine is 1/4 tsp BP and 1/2 tsp BS to 2 2/3 c flour. Looking at the Toll House recipe it calls for 2 1/4 cups... I'd add a 1/4 c more flour and see where that gets you and use only 1/2 tsp BS.

She already stated she doesn't want to use the crisco because she is in Spain and shortening is expensive so that's not going to solve her issues without causing her to spend more money that she needs to. It is very possible to make a decent not flat chocolate chip cookie without crisco... I do it all the time.

lilmissbakesalot Posted 15 Mar 2011 , 9:26pm
post #35 of 82

Here's a link to some photos I just took of the process of making chocolate chip cookies. Please ignore most of them since they are more for the oooh how pretty factor... LOL... but you can see the batter after creaming the butter and sugar and after addign the eggs and you can see the resulting cookies.

I hope this helps a bit... icon_biggrin.gif
http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=107099&id=1556970851&l=9952eb4e6c

stlcakelady Posted 15 Mar 2011 , 9:51pm
post #36 of 82

I either use the Toll House recipe or Ghiradelli and by following the instructions from the Mrs. Field's Secrets you'll get a perfect cookie. I only use real butter when making cookies and we're never disappointed. I never tweak the recipe unless I'm simply lowering the temp (slow and low gets you a chewy cookie).

langranny Posted 15 Mar 2011 , 9:53pm
post #37 of 82

I read this in the Mrs. Fields Cookie Book. Use 1/2 butter and 1/2 Crisco Butter Sticks (not the stuff in the can). Then mix the fats, sugars, eggs and flavorings with the mixer until light and fluffy. Sift the flour and leavenings together and gently mix in with a wooden spoon just until blended. Never mix the dry ingredients with the mixer. Makes the cookies tough.

Another trick is to vary the ratio of white to brown sugar. More brown, chewier cookie, more white, crisper cookie.

That's how I do it and everyone loves my CC cookies...

Dayti Posted 15 Mar 2011 , 10:08pm
post #38 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by lilmissbakesalot

Looking at your batter it looks like you A. need to mix your sugar and butter more and make sure it is not lumpy after you add the eggs



Ah, that would be because the recipe I was using said to mix the butter, sugars, vanilla and egg all at the same time. Will try mixing (but not creaming) the butter and sugars before adding the egg.
Thanks for sharing your pictures, it helps seeing how others do it!

lutie Posted 15 Mar 2011 , 11:03pm
post #39 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dayti

Thanks for all your help everyone! I will try one adjustment at a time and see how things work out.




Dayti, do you have self-rising flour in Spain? If so, why don't you start with that first...it may be what you need.

lutie Posted 15 Mar 2011 , 11:09pm
post #40 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dayti

I have some in the oven now, have decreased baking soda and subbed it for baking powder. I'll report back with pics!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Narie

Just use parchment paper.



Instead of a Silpat? Does it make a difference? (I hate using parchment paper, I only use it in cake pans)




Yes, I would never use a Silpat for cookies...I save it for my candies...parchment paper is absolutely the best...I agree with Narie...I buy it by the box of 1,000 sheets...it can be used over for several pans of cookies.

I found a blog where a girl made the chocolate chip cookies I think you want... try h t t p : / / b a k i n g b l o n d e .w o r d p r e s s . c o m / 2 0 0 9 / 0 5 / 0 3 / a l t o n - b r o w n s - c h o c o l a t e - c h i p - c o o k i e / (do not know if this will stay on CC, as it is a blog)...if you do not get this, pm me and I will send it to you...it is worth you looking at it!

scp1127 Posted 15 Mar 2011 , 11:21pm
post #41 of 82

I am a scratch baker and I use the finest ingredients available. Maybe it is my palate, but those butter sticks are terrible tasting, like fake butter on popcorn at the movie theatre.

lilmissbakesalot Posted 15 Mar 2011 , 11:42pm
post #42 of 82

I'm with yout scp1127... I can't stomach the butter flavored crisco. It's very artificial to me. I feel the same about margarine. I don't even use chocolate chips... LOL. I chop chocolate bars.

scp1127 Posted 15 Mar 2011 , 11:47pm
post #43 of 82

For school cookies, I use the "chunks" (Nestles or Hersheys, I forgot). They are pretty good. But the real does take them to a higher level.

indydebi Posted 16 Mar 2011 , 12:11am
post #44 of 82

For years, my family ate the Toll House Cookies that I made, but I honest to god think they changed the recipe or something because it seemed like SUDDENLY they were baking all thin and (loved the above description of....) llike a taco shell! icon_lol.gif
That's why I spent 6 months experimenting and coming up with my own recipe that I was willing to put my name on. Seriously, I refused to take orders for choc chip cookies until I worked this out. Whatever they did to the good old 'regular' toll house recipe ruined a classic recipe and it just SUX now.

The happy ending to this story is I came up with an AWESOME choc chip cookie, if I do say so myself! icon_rolleyes.gif
I also agree that the butter-flavored-crisco is nasty. I used it once in cookies, and well ...... lets just say I used it ONCE. About 6 months later, I finally threw out the almost-full can of it. I won't even fry eggs in this crap.

Reimagining_Confections Posted 16 Mar 2011 , 12:16am
post #45 of 82

Here is a link:http://cakecentral.com/gallery/1973810 (in my pics if this doesn't work). How did you guys get your pics to post? I am still doing something wrong. Oh well, different topic different board.

I posted a pic of the cookies I made today using the Toll house recipe and half crisco half butter(at room temp) with 1/4 cup more flour than the original recipe calls for. I also use vanilla paste instead of extract.

love to try all the different cookies and see what the variances are.

[/img]

scp1127 Posted 16 Mar 2011 , 1:14pm
post #46 of 82

Indy, you are right!!! We did grow up on those cookies. Moms just pulled out the bag and the recipe was right on the back.

gbbaker Posted 16 Mar 2011 , 1:39pm
post #47 of 82

You can over cream the butter and the sugar, that will cause spreading, along with baking soda. So make sure your butter is not warm and mush, cold enough so you can push a finger into it , and replace 1/2 tsp of baking soda with baking powder. Do you live at a higher altitude?

KathysCC Posted 16 Mar 2011 , 1:44pm
post #48 of 82

Dayti, from your picture of your batter I can tell that you aren't whipping your eggs, butter and sugar enough. The recipe says to make it fluffy. There is a chemical change that takes place when you beat the sugars, butter and eggs together. Your batter at that point should not be lumpy but light and airy and fluffy.

scp1127 Posted 16 Mar 2011 , 1:55pm
post #49 of 82

Kathy, isn't it air that gets trapped in the spaces the sugar makes during mixing?

lutie Posted 16 Mar 2011 , 5:34pm
post #50 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by scp1127

Kathy, isn't it air that gets trapped in the spaces the sugar makes during mixing?




The sugar crystals are tearing little holes in the butter. The holes are filling up with air. In order to achieve the best rise in the oven, you'll want the maximum number of little air holes possible. I cream way over 8 minutes on medium to medium low...to make sure the sugar has done its job with the butter.

Dayti Posted 16 Mar 2011 , 8:47pm
post #51 of 82

So you cream your butter and sugar about as much as you would for making a cake? I totally got the wrong end of the stick for making these cookies then!

lilmissbakesalot Posted 16 Mar 2011 , 9:57pm
post #52 of 82

You aren't supposed to over cream the butter and sugar for cookies. Definitely mix them until combined and uniformly creamed, but you don't want to make them fluffy like you would when making a cake unless you are after a cakey cookie. I don't like cake-like cookies at all... they have a dry mouth feel for me.

You want to make sure that your butter is soft, but not soupy soft like gbbaker said and mix until there are no traces of butter left and you have a uniform mixture. Then add your eggs and vanilla and mix until combined and you have a nice uniform mixture but not a fluffy one... again you will get too much air in your cookies and they will be more cake-like. Add your dry ingredients and mix until almost combined and then toss in your chips and finish mixing.

That's what I do anyway and it makes for a really nice cookie.

KathysCC Posted 16 Mar 2011 , 10:46pm
post #53 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by lilmissbakesalot

when making a cake unless you are after a cakey cookie.




I think a more cakey cookie is what she is after. A more "cakey" cookie is not going to spread and be chewy. My Toll House cookies don't spread and they have a firm consistency. I suppose everyone's taste is different. Dayti, I think you should do some experimenting. Hope you have lots of guinea pigs to eat the results. icon_lol.gif

lutie Posted 16 Mar 2011 , 10:55pm
post #54 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dayti

So you cream your butter and sugar about as much as you would for making a cake? I totally got the wrong end of the stick for making these cookies then!




Yes, creaming is part of the science of baking icon_biggrin.gif

lilmissbakesalot Posted 16 Mar 2011 , 11:08pm
post #55 of 82

I think she said she wanted something that was chewy and didn't turn into a cookie taco... LOL... I love that description. I don't think a cakey is quite what she's after, but I suppose it could be lost in translation at this point... LOL.

lutie Posted 17 Mar 2011 , 4:26pm
post #56 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by lilmissbakesalot

You aren't supposed to over cream the butter and sugar for cookies. Definitely mix them until combined and uniformly creamed, but you don't want to make them fluffy like you would when making a cake unless you are after a cakey cookie. I don't like cake-like cookies at all... they have a dry mouth feel for me.

You want to make sure that your butter is soft, but not soupy soft like gbbaker said and mix until there are no traces of butter left and you have a uniform mixture. Then add your eggs and vanilla and mix until combined and you have a nice uniform mixture but not a fluffy one... again you will get too much air in your cookies and they will be more cake-like. Add your dry ingredients and mix until almost combined and then toss in your chips and finish mixing.

That's what I do anyway and it makes for a really nice cookie.




Never wishing to contradict people's opinions as their opinions are very important to them, I will say that some may not quite understand that creaming is an essential to the science of baking...as a professional foods teacher for years, I must respectfully disagree with the above explanation of creaming. The basic science of food has not changed, even though we have new innovations in the commercial world of additives.

The creaming of the fat and sugar is what makes the bubbles for the cake or cookie to rise...the temperature of the fat is what is the key...thus, if you want a flat cookie, more butter is used (due to its melting point and also, its temperature when it is incorporated into the sugar). If one wishes to halt that spreading of this particular recipe, then the fat must be altered (that is why shortening is added or other fats). The sugar is what is cutting into that fat to make the bubbles...it takes a while to do that...not less time as purported... (and some sugars react different depending upon their size).

This was a forum on the Toll House Cookie that was around before most of us were born. I notice that some kept insisting that people change a recipe and add more leavening...it is important to remember that leaveners simply enlarge the air bubbles that already exist in the batter; they do NOT create more.

*A cake or cookie will rise when leaveners, such as baking soda and/or baking powder, are moistened from liquids and heated. They release carbon dioxide which is attracted to the air bubbles and expand or 'blow' them up like balloons. If not done the way it should be, the result will be a baked item that has not risen to its fullest capacity or potential... or one that will first rise really puffy in the oven and then fall, causing it to be flat. That occurs with this cookie recipe quite often.

It is baking science; sometimes people who watch cooking shows on the TV get that confused. There is a distinct difference. We do not see any pure "baking" shows because those in the know, are positive that they would be boring to the masses and those with short attention spans...they make "decorating food" shows...

Please understand that this confirmed information comes from several decades of successful baking and making every mistake in the book because I always thought, "I can do/make this better"... hope this helps when trying to bake new recipes. One can pretty much know that certain types of baked goods are successful when they are done in the science in which they were designed...

Sorry to go on about this, but since the food arts have not been incorporated into the curriculum for years now, most of us are learning by trial and error in the kitchen or by someone on YouTube. Hope that helps!

scp1127 Posted 17 Mar 2011 , 4:40pm
post #57 of 82

I have new books from celebrated chefs that totally contradict the two creaming methods. I think all of these methods work for a particular recipe.

To you bakers with great recipes who would be willing to share, your particular methods for that recipe would help. I understand the ones directed to the Toll House recipe.

My cookies are good, but they can certainly be improved. I think we are all in a lifelong search for perfect recipes.

KathysCC Posted 17 Mar 2011 , 10:14pm
post #58 of 82

Thanks for that explanation Lutie. My mom always substituted Crisco for butter in her Toll House cookies and I thought she made the best cookies I ever tasted. I knew the shortening behaved much differently than butter but didn't know the exact science of why.

Of course everyone has different tastes when it comes to their sweets but I prefer them made with shortening.

nickshalfpint Posted 18 Mar 2011 , 12:29am
post #59 of 82

Thank you lutie! It's GREAT info to have!

Narie Posted 18 Mar 2011 , 12:57am
post #60 of 82

Lutie- thanks for backing me up on the parchment paper. Judging by the look of her cookies on the silpat they spread like mad with crispy edges. That never happens for me on parchment paper. My cookies may spread more than some would like but they always have a rounded edge rather than that flat cripsy edge.

Quote by @%username% on %date%

%body%