Chocolate chips cookies disaster!

Baking By cakelove2105 Updated 22 Sep 2013 , 4:32am by cakelove2105

cakelove2105 Posted 11 Sep 2013 , 1:37am
post #1 of 38



I have made chocolate chips cookies twice, first one wasn't that bad, although they did not grow as i want them to, second one was a disaster! they grew and melted down. They even looked like fried eggs, that's how flat they were. They tasted really good but looked horrible.


What do you think might have caused this problem? I thought it was the whether as it was really hot and humid or maybe because they needed more flour or less butter. what can I do next time to avoid this? I like this cookies like Chip Ahoy cookies, big and hard.


Thank you :)

37 replies
karess Posted 11 Sep 2013 , 2:17am
post #2 of 38

There's a lot of different things that could have happened. Did you cream the butter until it was "fluffy?" If so, this could possibly be a reason why the cookies spread so much. Creaming butter and sugar until it's fluffy is good for cakes but when you're making cookies, you want to cream it until it's incorporated but still looks "pastey." This will help the whole cookie dough stick together. Chilling the dough before baking will also help the cookies from not spreading too much. In fact, I just learned in school that cookie dough is better to be made at least 24 hours ahead of time before baking because then all of the flavors can develop together. The temperature of the oven is another factor. If it's too hot then the outsides will be crisp but the middle will probably be raw. If it's too low then your cookies will most likely spread too much. HTH? 

IAmPamCakes Posted 11 Sep 2013 , 2:23am
post #3 of 38

AI bake cookies with bread flour, they bake taller. I also use part butter, part shortening. Shortening stops the severe spread of butter cookies.

SweetCarolines Posted 11 Sep 2013 , 4:22am
post #4 of 38


I once worked with a chef who absolutely REFUSED to bake cookie doughs that were made the day of. Even with fresh cookie dough that had been sitting in the fridge for two hours, he'd tell the front of the house that we were out of cookies.


karess is right, don't cream your sugar and butter too much. I stop when I no longer see any butter. Using butter that's at room temperature helps. Over-mixing goes for all the steps of making the cookie as well. Don't wait around until all your eggs are completely, 100% incorporated. Just go ahead and add the flour. Obviously you DO want everything incorporated, but don't overmix or your cookie will flatten. Use a spatula to scrape the bottom of your bowl often to help the process along. When I add the chocolate chips I only leave the mixer on for a second or two. You don't want to break them and you don't want to over-mix, either.


Then I take my batter out of the bowl and evenly incorporate the chocolate chips by hand (threre's always that ball of batter that gets wrapped around the paddle and doesn't get any chocolate chip cookies).


Roll your dough into little balls and refrigerate (scoop or weigh each one so they're all the same size and bake at the same time). Take them out of the fridge and bake them when they're cold. I find that greasing the bottom of my sheet tray tends to make the cookies spread too much, too, so I use parchment paper instead. Stack two sheet trays together if you can, to avoid overcooked bottoms.


Good luck! Chocolate chip cookies were the first thing we baked in culinary school. When our chef told us that we'd be working on chocolate chip cookies we all snickered. "I got this. I've been making chocolate chip cookies since I was a kid. This is a waste of time," people kept saying. Some guy even said that only an idiot could mess up chocolate chip cookies.


Guess what? We ALL failed. In fact, our very first practical weeks later was on chocolate chip cookies (among other things) and several of us would come to school on Saturday mornings so we could practice making them. Some people even failed the practical because they didn't practice enough and their cookies flattened.


Chocolate chip cookies, man. Chocolate chip cookies and biscuits. OMG, you'd think they'd both be so easy. Big fat NO.

cakelove2105 Posted 11 Sep 2013 , 4:29am
post #5 of 38

ALol thanks for sharing. All make sense now ;)

cakelove2105 Posted 19 Sep 2013 , 6:20pm
post #6 of 38

ACan I just make one big ball and put it in the fridge? And do i need cover the dough with plastic wrap or in a bowl?

IAmPamCakes Posted 19 Sep 2013 , 7:43pm
post #7 of 38

AI put mine in airtight containers. Plastic wrapped bowls work too, but be careful if there is something with a strong smell in your fridge because the dough will absorb odors.

SweetCarolines Posted 19 Sep 2013 , 10:02pm
post #8 of 38

AI'd rather not make one big ball, even though you could. It'll take forever to defrost and slow you down. If I'm gonna store cookie dough I'd rather scoop them up individually and put them in a cater wrapped sheet tray, or just roll it and wrap it several times.

cakelove2105 Posted 20 Sep 2013 , 12:35am
post #9 of 38

how's the dough suppose to look like? is the constancy supposed to be so stable that could even be knead? or in between?

cakelove2105 Posted 20 Sep 2013 , 7:53pm
post #10 of 38


Just wanted to share this photo of the ones I made today. This time they kind of wanted to melt down in the middle for some reason. They are really soft in the middle and harder in the edges.I did make the dough yesterday about this time. They do look better than the ones I've made previously but still don't get the shape I want (big and hard)

IAmPamCakes Posted 20 Sep 2013 , 8:08pm
post #11 of 38

AIf you don't like the way they turned out, Turn your oven down a few degrees. That way, the dough can bake properly in the middle without the edges getting too crunchy.

cakelove2105 Posted 20 Sep 2013 , 8:13pm
post #12 of 38

That's what I thought. I did for the last ones but they ended up melting whole.  I thought might be because I put a lot stuff in the dough in addition to the chocolate chips. Or maybe the chocolate I chose was not appropriate or maybe expired. :( dont know what else

cakelove2105 Posted 20 Sep 2013 , 8:57pm
post #14 of 38

Thank you :)

BrandisBaked Posted 20 Sep 2013 , 9:02pm
post #15 of 38

AThey spread so much because of the amount of fat in them. Add a couple of tablespoons more flour, or you can try the following trick: scoop out dough into balls and chill several hours, heat oven to 50 degrees higher than recipe calls for, stick cookies in oven and lower temp, check cookies about 3 min. before recipe says.

The higher temp will cause the outside to crust up and form a "shell" before the cookies have a chance to spread.

liz at sugar Posted 20 Sep 2013 , 9:16pm
post #16 of 38

AI also think you may have too much fat/liquid.

It took me forever (and I literally mean years) to find and tweak a recipe that would come out how I wanted. Here are what mine look like, but they are gooey in the middle, and crisp on the edges. If you want hard, dry cookies like Chips Ahoy, you should look at their ingredients and match them up with your recipe. Maybe try more of a brown sugar shortbread type base to get that crumbly quality.



cakelove2105 Posted 20 Sep 2013 , 9:16pm
post #17 of 38


Wait ! speaking of fat, these are the chocolate chips I'm using, I just heard chocolate chips that contain milk could melt the cookies down. Is it true?

cakelove2105 Posted 20 Sep 2013 , 9:21pm
post #18 of 38

yours look closer to what I want. I just touched mine and they're still wet in the middle and greasy at the touch :/

cakelove2105 Posted 20 Sep 2013 , 9:33pm
post #20 of 38

I don't think it's the fat (butter) cause I've tried three different recipes and I always get the same results. Here's the last one I've tried.


1/2 Cup of butter

75 g of brown sugar

75 g of white sugar

1 egg

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

140 g of all purpose flour

1/2 tsp of baking soda

Finally I added as much chocolate chips and nuts as I wanted

cakealicious7 Posted 20 Sep 2013 , 9:40pm
post #21 of 38

AOk I've never made cookies in my life but could it be the pan that you're baking in?

liz at sugar Posted 20 Sep 2013 , 9:41pm
post #22 of 38

ALooks like a little too much butter for roughly a cup of flour. Baking is all about ratios and chemistry - it is an exact science because a chemical or physical reaction is taking place in the oven. Maybe try 6 Tbsp of butter and see how it goes.


cheeseball Posted 20 Sep 2013 , 9:54pm
post #23 of 38

So what type of cookie is it that you want?  Hard and crunchy or thick and chewy?  I can totally help if it's the latter:)

imagenthatnj Posted 20 Sep 2013 , 9:58pm
post #24 of 38

I noticed there's not a lot of flour there, too.


BUT, she says she's tried 3 recipes and gets the same results. So either the 3 recipes have a lower amount of flour than the rest of the recipes out there, OR it is the pan (not lined, nonstick, etc.), OR there's a technique cakelove2105 is not following correctly. She might be creaming the butter for too long. Thoroughly creamed sugar and fat will give you a cookie that spreads a lot. When you want it to spread less, you have to cream for a shorter time.

cakelove2105 Posted 20 Sep 2013 , 10:05pm
post #25 of 38

My first time I bit the butter and the sugar for a very long time as I though it was the same process as in a cake recipe. But this time I did it for about seconds and did not creamy the mixture just until the sugar and butter were incorporated :/

cakelove2105 Posted 20 Sep 2013 , 10:06pm
post #26 of 38

I just don't want them to melt down or spread too much :(  

imagenthatnj Posted 20 Sep 2013 , 10:15pm
post #27 of 38

I was going to suggest you follow one of the easiest chocolate chip recipes I know. I like it because it has timings and speeds. It's not crunchy like you wanted (I'll tell you a little story in a minute). It's a bit crunchy outside, but soft (as I like them) inside.


I was going to suggest you follow it to a T. Don't try anything else but just make them as the recipe says. The recipe is from One Girl Cookies in New York. They have amazing cookies.


They came out exactly as they have them in the picture. You know I am in this not to make a living out of it, but because my sister in South America wanted to start a baking business. I speak English so I have a better access to all the yummy stuff in the world. I translate and test recipes. I sent her this recipe, translated. But in my haste, instead of saying "turn the cookie sheet around at half time" I said something like "flip the cookies". She got crunchy cookies, of course. Delicious crunchy cookies that she's now selling to a store, two days a week. I made her redo them as in the recipe, but people preferred them crunchy over there, it seems.


But follow the recipe to a T first.

cheeseball Posted 20 Sep 2013 , 10:21pm
post #28 of 38

To the recipe you posted: try adding another 70 grams of flour, reduce the baking soda to 1/4 teaspoon and add 3/4 teaspoon to 1 teaspoon of baking powder.  Your recipe could use more vanilla and depending on whether your butter is salted or not, 1/4 teaspoon to 1/2 teaspoon salt.  You're looking for a very thick dough.  375° for 10 to 12 minutes or so.

smittyditty Posted 20 Sep 2013 , 10:55pm
post #30 of 38

Two things.

1. Add more flour. Touch the dough if nothing stays on your finger you're good to go.

2. If the cookie is shiny its not done cooking. As soon as the shine is gone pull them.



If that doesn't fix it here are a few others.

9minutes is the amount of time it should at least take you to cook the cookie if its less than that your ratios are off

Try chilling your cookie sheet in between batches.

Leave dough in fridge in between batches.

If you are going to use your hands to scoop dough do it make a ball then put it in the bowl and put back in fridge.

More even cooking with parchment paper.

Cookie making is a science that took me about 6 months and 20lbs on my husbands waist line. lol

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