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Feb 7, 2005 08:07 AM

What happened to my cookies?

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I made a batch of cookies last night using a recipe I've made before, with terrific results (Cooks Illustrated thick and chewy chocolate chip cookies). But, they turned out terribly, and I can't figure out why. They didn't spread very much, and they were much harder (not to mention more tasteless) than they should have been. I used a professional cookie sheet (one from william-sonoma - pretty heavy and thick), and I am wondering if this has something to do with it. I also didn't use parchment paper (the recipe called for it, but I didn't have any on hand). Does the type of cookie sheet (or lack of parchment) make that much of a difference?

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  1. I don't think the type of cookie sheet or lack of parchment would make that much of a difference. Is it possible you got distracted and left out or (mismeasured) an ingredient?

    2 Replies
    1. re: GG Mora

      That's the weird thing - I didn't leave anything out (I checked multiple times!). I can't figure it out..

      1. re: alliknight

        Tritto on the sheets not making this kind of a difference. (Different sheets might give _slightly_ different cooking times or at worse give you burnt edges and just-cooked middles, or cooked edges and undercooked middles, but that's about it. And the parchment would just make them easier to remove.)

        Did you use the same brands of ingredients? Are you sure did everything right - weren't rushed or distracted?

    2. chocolate chip cookies are a fickle and mysterious thing.

      1. I had a very bizarre baking experience some time ago with some carrot muffins. Now, I'd made muffins with this recipe before and they'd come out gloriously, but this time, the centers sank crazily and they were so moist that they were almost wet. What? I scratched my head, I went through the recipe, and still I could find no dang explanation.

        Several hours later it hit me like a bolt from the blue: I'd somehow halved the flour. Er, um, what?!?!

        Which is not to say that you are guilty of the same silly act that I was, just that there may have been a momentary distraction and some resultant mismeasurement. It happens.

        1. Is your baking powder stale? It often goes stale pretty quickly.

          1. Sounds like maybe the oven temperature was way off

            1 Reply
            1. re: jill

              Yes. This could be. I have a thermometer in my oven. Almost all home ovens need regular calibration to maintain a good temperature (which they never get). My oven is usually 25 degrees hotter than the dial says. And lately it has been rocketing up to 500 when set at 400. It's good to have that oven thermometer in there.