How Do I Make My Cookies Fatter?

Baking By yellobutterfly Updated 1 Dec 2008 , 5:53pm by mandi1613

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yellobutterfly Posted 30 Jul 2007 , 1:08am
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I mean, puffier? I use the Nestle chocolate chip cookie recipe on the bag and for oatmeal I use the Quaker recipe on the box lid, everyone raves over the taste (if they only but I think they just look so flat. They don't look like professional cookies, "gourmet" cookies, like I want them to. They spread until flat - and very thin, sometimes break easily upon removal even when they've cooled along time. I've tried refridgerating my dough, using cookie scoops of various sizes, flattening the cookie slightly with the palm of my hands, none of this there an ingredient (baking powder?) that I could use to help (I think the recipe calls for baking soda, would it help if I switched?) or should I use criscoe instead of margarine? If you don't have ingredient advice, maybe you have a great recipe for a puffy chocolate chip or oatmeal cookie you'd like to share! TIA!

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cakes-r-us Posted 30 Jul 2007 , 2:33am
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go to for some helpful hints. hope you find solutions.

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yellobutterfly Posted 30 Jul 2007 , 3:36pm
post #3 of 36

thanks for the link, think I learned a few tips that might work!

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Cheesefairy Posted 31 Jul 2007 , 12:41am
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if you're using margarine, that may be part of the problem. crisco would help your cookies spread less.

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yellobutterfly Posted 31 Jul 2007 , 1:28pm
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thanks for the help, I can't wait to get baking again!

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suz3 Posted 31 Jul 2007 , 1:38pm
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When I make cookies like oatmeal, chocolate chip, peanut butter etc. I use an ice cream scoop to measure. The cookies come out looking just like the ones at the mall.

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yellobutterfly Posted 31 Jul 2007 , 1:41pm
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I love using the cookie scoops, but my cookies have still been flat even with them - think I need a new recipe or to sub in some ingredients.

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smbegg Posted 31 Jul 2007 , 2:00pm
post #9 of 36

I use the recipe from America's test kitchen (online). They tested all these different recipes and came up with one that is great. This may sound weird. but they also have found that if you take the scoop of dough and pull it apart at the middle, rotate the halves and connect it back together before placing on the baking sheet, it makes them puffier. I do it with all my chocolate chip cookies that they get great height!

Just another tip, but to keep your cookies from drying out, just keep a slice of bread in the container. They pull the moisture from the bread. Make sure to change the bread when it dries out! Finally a use for the bread butts!


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millicente Posted 31 Jul 2007 , 3:44pm
post #10 of 36

I use a scoop to. also it makes my cookies more unified looking

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BCJean Posted 31 Jul 2007 , 3:59pm
post #11 of 36

I add 1/4 cup of flour to most of my cookie recipes. Makes them stay nice and puffy.

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RitzyFritz Posted 31 Jul 2007 , 4:16pm
post #12 of 36

I'm so glad I saw this!!! I am at this moment cooking my THIRD recipe of macadamia nut cookies and they have ALL spread so thin! I don't like that! I want a puffy cookie too!! I have tried the recipes that I have received from friends on this site as well as well-known cookie makers and they all do the same thing - flat and greasy. What is up with this? I know the ones I eat at Subway do not look like that. What do you recommend for these? I do use a professional scoop and I also added extra flour. Any other tips??


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BCJean Posted 31 Jul 2007 , 5:33pm
post #13 of 36

Are you greasing your cookie sheet? I never do. Also, is your cookie dough cold when you dip it up....make sure it is chilled.

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RitzyFritz Posted 31 Jul 2007 , 5:34pm
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No, I never grease my cookie sheets (I use the insulated sheets with great success on my other cookies) and the dough was frozen (I pre-scoop them and put them on the pan frozen, as recommended in the recipe).

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ladefly Posted 31 Jul 2007 , 5:47pm
post #15 of 36

what is the website for americas test kitchen??
i never heard of it but it sounds like a good idea.

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RitzyFritz Posted 31 Jul 2007 , 5:48pm
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NancysFancy Posted 31 Jul 2007 , 7:17pm
post #17 of 36

Hi yellobutterfly and RitzyFritz, I too, have been going crazy for years with spread-out, greasy, easily broken chocolate chip cookies and a few other butter-rich cookies. ( Sure, they tasted great, if you don't mind a mouthful of greasy pieces!) I wanted my cookies to look like Mrs. Fields at the mall or like any photo you see of this classic cookie. One day my snotty husband said "Let me try!" I cursed at him and said "Okay, be my guest, smarta**!" So he took out the ingredients, did NOT let the butter come to room temp. and his cookies were gorgeous!!!! icon_mad.gif I was so mad and disbelieving that I immediately made another batch with cold butter and YEP--they turned out beautiful. All those wasted ( but eaten) batches of ugly cookies and HE, unwittingly, nails it !!! icon_cry.gif
And yes, in case you're wondering, I always chilled my dough balls completely--still didn't work. Something about that cold butter in the mixing stage made it right. Hope this works for you. If it doesn't, I'm truly sorry for another bad batch!

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RitzyFritz Posted 31 Jul 2007 , 7:28pm
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Thanks, Nancy! That is a great observation; however, I did exactly that on my cookies!! I put it in there cold (because I figure the mixer will cause it to warm and soften it). I have attached a picture that I took 2 minutes ago. Same recipe for each cookie. The one on the right was cooked ONLY 30 seconds longer than the one on the left. The remedy I came up with to fix this? I ground 1/2 cup of quick oats in my magic bullet until it was like flour and kneaded it into the already completely mixed dough. The one on the left is the result of that addition. They taste scrumptious too!!

By the way, I love your cookies! When I grow up I wanna be just like you! thumbs_up.gif

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NancysFancy Posted 31 Jul 2007 , 7:44pm
post #19 of 36

Thanks, RitzyFritz, for being kind with my lame help. ( It really did work, but obviously doesn't always!) Let's hope that yellobutterfly tries your excellent idea before mine! I'm definitely going to use your ground quick oats trick next time. That photo--hot off the press!--makes it very clear what a good idea this is.
Thanks also for your very nice comment. ( Think I'll just stick to decorated cookies icon_redface.gif )

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RitzyFritz Posted 31 Jul 2007 , 7:46pm
post #20 of 36

No, no!! Your idea really is good!! I wondered if the macadamia nuts have an oil to them that somehow you have to compensate for? I noticed them to leave an oily residue on my hands when I was chopping them. I really honestly do not know! I do know that the ground oatmeal helped so much! But, I won't let the butter get soft either. I think that would be worse for sure! No need to have that embarrased smilie. icon_biggrin.gif

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rhiannon1979 Posted 31 Jul 2007 , 8:03pm
post #21 of 36

I have had this same problem with my cookies. I think I have found out the problem. When I used tub butter they came out flat, but when I used stick butter they came out perfect. So from now on I only use tub butter for my cakes and use stick butter for my cookies. I hope this helps icon_razz.gif

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Hollyanna70 Posted 31 Jul 2007 , 8:17pm
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I have always had that problem, and I had always used the Nestle recipe. Same thing.. great taste, but too thin and look awful.

Until recently. Now, I'm not sure why, but the only thing I can come up with is one of two reasons. Normally, I had always used country crock sticks of butter (I just like the taste of it).. Until a few months ago, when I started using unsalted butter (yeah, it was after watching an episode of Good Eats that I decided to use unsalted in my baking). Nothing spectacular about it.. Just generic unsalted butter from walmart, AND I quit using my hand mixer to make them. I bought a Kitchen Aid with "returned gift" money from our wedding in April. I made cookies for my husband and son to christen the new mixer.

Now, I'm not sure if it was the butter or the mixer, but those cookies were fabulous. I just used a spoon to drop giant spoonfuls onto a cookie sheet. I didn't flatten them or use a scoop or anything, and they spread out to be almost perfectly round and had a great height on them. They looked store bought. I did notice there was a change in the batter as I was dropping them too. It seemed to be more full. It filled the bowl more, and made more cookies. I use to only get a dozen or so small cookies, this time I got over a dozen huge cookies. So, I'm not positive if it was the butter (which I let set to room temperature) or the mixer, but I'm going to guess it was the mixer.

If you're already using unsalted butter, and a Kitchen Aid mixer (or other stand mixer), then I'm unsure what it could possibly be. Maybe you aren't mixing it long enough between steps or something. I'm not really a cookie maker, only make them about once every year or so, so I'm afraid I'm not much help.

I do wish you the best of luck, and I will be keeping an eye on this thread to see if I can learn something myself. I might just have to add cookies to my list of baking favorites. icon_smile.gif


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mommachris Posted 31 Jul 2007 , 11:00pm
post #23 of 36

yep cold butter makes all the difference in the world.
Learned that when my husband bought me a new betty crocker cook book ( my old one had just fallen apart after 20 years).
Anyway the new one had all these lovely hints and pictures, how to's etc. One was of what a cookie looks llike when you use different types of butter/marg. The one made with melted butter was paper thin, the room temp was flat too. Cool butter=puffy cookies. icon_smile.gif

Also....someone said "bread butts"
BAHHAHAAA! icon_lol.gificon_lol.gificon_lol.gif

Never heard that one, we just called them "heals".
Not anymore, baby!


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BsKookies Posted 1 Aug 2007 , 2:55am
post #24 of 36

Which Betty Crocker book is that? My BC cooky book is 55 years old and falling apart. It might be time to update.

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bpshirley Posted 25 Sep 2007 , 8:20pm
post #25 of 36

I agree with Stephanie and Ritzyfritz. America's Test Kitchen's article describing their research on chocolate chip cookies is the best! I've used their recipe for years and have no more problems with flat cookies. Check out their site. You'll love it!

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bpshirley Posted 25 Sep 2007 , 8:30pm
post #26 of 36

Here's the recipe I use and love...

Chocolate Chip Cookies

Makes 1 1/2 dozen 3-inch cookies
2 1/8 cups bleached all-purpose flour (about 10 1/2 ounces)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
12 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled slightly
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 - 2 cups chocolate chips or chunks (semi or bittersweet)

1. Heat oven to 325 degrees. Adjust oven racks to upper- and lower-middle positions. Mix flour, salt, and baking soda together in medium bowl; set aside.

2. Either by hand or with electric mixer, mix butter and sugars until thoroughly blended. Mix in egg, yolk, and vanilla. Add dry ingredients; mix until just combined. Don't over mix. Stir in chips.

3. Form scant 1/4 cup dough into ball. Holding dough ball using fingertips of both hands, pull into two equal halves. Rotate halves ninety degrees and, with jagged surfaces exposed, join halves together at their base, again forming a single cookie, being careful not to smooth doughs uneven surface. Place formed dough onto one of two parchment paper-lined 20-by-14-inch lipless cookie sheets, about nine dough balls per sheet.

4. Bake, reversing cookie sheets positions halfway through baking, until cookies are light golden brown and outer edges start to harden yet centers are still soft and puffy, 15 to 18 minutes (start checking at 13 minutes). (Frozen dough requires an extra 1 to 2 minutes baking time.) Cool cookies on cookie sheets.

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CookieChef Posted 25 Sep 2007 , 10:00pm
post #27 of 36

A few helps.

* If you don't already have one, buy an oven themometer and check the accuracy of your oven. If the calibration is off, the cookies may spread too quickly. My home oven is off by nearly 50 degrees.
* I use only unsalted, stick butter. Occasionally (depending on the variety) some of my cookies also have a small amount of butter flavored Crisco in addition to the butter itself. Sounds like you are using a tried and true recipe, though.
* I let the butter soften but am careful not to melt it. Then I cream the butter and sugar with a mixer until it is light and fluffy. I know this may seem like common sense but I think a lot of people overlook or rush this step.
* I refrigerate my dough--often place it in the freezer--a minimum of 30 minutes. No matter what the cookie is.
* I always use a Silpat. My baking sheets were purchased from Sam's Club. I've been through dozens of different kinds of cookie sheets and these are by far the best I've ever used. Older cookie sheets may show signs of wear and may be contributing to your problem.
* I portion out my dough using a scoop and/or dampened hands. This really helps with a consistent looking cookie.
* I underbake slightly. The magic number on most cookies, for me, seems to be eight minutes. Of course, this will vary depending on the type of cookie and size that you are baking.

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yellobutterfly Posted 26 Sep 2007 , 2:52am
post #28 of 36

Wow, this thread has really taken off! (last time I checked it only had 3 or 4 replies - I stopped getting notifications for some reason)....

I just wanted to let everyone know I made some cookies the other day and used the usual quaker recipe but instead of the baking soda I used baking powder and my usual cookie scoop. The powder definitely made a difference, they were cute and fat but didn't spread much at all...I'll have to experiment with this a little, I'm thinking next time I'll use the powder and add some soda in addition to it...have to play a little...atleast we can eat the mistakes, right?

happy baking and thanks for all the recipes and advice, I'm off to check out that america's test kitchen article now!

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millicente Posted 26 Sep 2007 , 10:22pm
post #29 of 36

thanks for the link

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FromScratch Posted 30 Nov 2008 , 9:46pm
post #30 of 36

I was going to say.. recipes with mainly baking soda and nothing acidic to react with it, will yield thin cookies. Baking powder will make things puff up as it already has a reagent in it to make the baking soda in it work. I don't like cookies that have only baking powder in them as they are too puffy for me and don't get that chewy center that I love. My hubby loves paper thin crispy cookies.. I like them to have a little more substance to them, but not be super puffy.

Also.. if you over whip your butter and sugar it encorporates too much air into your cookies and that will make them fall too. I always use room temp unsalted butter and I have nicely puffed cookies, so cold butter isn't necessarily a fix-all.

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