why are my chocolate chip cookies so cakey?
- jennifer w.
Help! I am not a baker by any means, but thought I'd give the recipe off of the Nestle Tollhouse chip bag a try since my fiance is in town and he has a big sweet tooth. Aren't the recipes off of the bags supposed to be foolproof?? Well, I tried this recipe TWICE and the results were the same: cakey cookies! It worked better when I smooshed the cookie dough and lessened the cooking time (thereby underbaking) but the cookies really never flattened. The oven was set to 375, as instructed. Is that too high? A friend thought the baking soda was too old, maybe that's the culprit. Or was the sugar ratio off? I also used a Silpat sheet on a dark cookie pan...does that do anything?
As you can see, I am a novice at baking and have no idea what affects what, so please help! I don't want to be known as a bad cookie maker!
I do the same thing: half butter, half shortening and I use the butter flavored (it's one of my dirty little secrets). I never get 'cakey'.
Cookies come out best on a shiny, metal serface. They will not burn and spread out beautifully. You can get gorgeous and cheap pans from a local restaurant supply store that will last forever. I threw away all of my non-stick sheets and never burned my cookies again!
Maybe you used a little too much baking soda. It sounds like an effect from the baking soda.
And, using a silpat for cookies is not ideal in that it often decreases the crispy edges desired on some cookies; another slight effect to make them "cakey."
Adding a little more oil or butter will decrease cakiness a bit, too.
Be sure you measured exactly and not "almost" just by sight.
It might be one of a few reasons....
1. too much baking soda, they rise higher (maybe decrease it slightly from the recipe)
2. too much egg (sizes of eggs differ at times) and too much egg in a recipe tends to make things "cakier"
3. maybe the silpat is not letting the cookies "crisp" on the bottoms, I bake my cookies directly on a metal cookie sheet
4. over baking - I tend to take my drop cookies out when they are just slightly golden around the edges and still "raw" looking in the center, they set nicely as they cool, let them cool on the pan for a minute before transferring to a rack
5. not enough sugar (I like to use dark brown and solidly packed into the measuring cup) sugar affects texture of baked goods, usually less sugar = tougher not as soft baked goods
6. over blending butter, sugar & eggs with a hand mixer. I've read in one of my cooking magazines (Cook's or Fine) something about overblending sugar & eggs for too long sort of "cooks" them. Something with about about a chemical breakdown in the proteins. I'm not 100% on the 411 but I think that might be a culprit too?
I hope this helps.
Too much flour in proportion to the butter/sugar mixture might also be the culprit. You might (working in small batches) cutting the flour back by 1/4 to 1/2 cup (proportionately) or more.
I would bet on not enough sugar. A quarter cup more white sugar can make a huge change in how crisp things are - the more sugar the drier, thus crisper, cookies.