Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Home Cooking >
Jun 26, 2010 03:30 PM

Help w Choc chip cookies

Help! I'm a fairly good cook, but when it comes to baking I stink. My daughter have now racked up six failed attempts at simply chocolate chip cookies. They always come out as flat as crepes! What are we doing wrong?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Start with this Cook's Illustrated recipe:

    I use 1 cup of chips and add a cup of coarsely chopped nuts.

    There are other recipes I like a lot, but this is the recipe against which all others are measured.

    Don't ignore the pulling apart and pushing together part. It's what makes the cookies crispy on the outside chewy on the inside.

    After you've tried this one, come back and tell us what you liked and what you didn't and we can take it from there.

    1. I'm a sucker for the original Tole House recipe as on the Nestles package. However, I would use the Ghiardelli bittersweet morsels instead of the Nestles brand. Cooks Illustrated rated them, the best.

      1. Chill the dough first and it won't spread as much.

        4 Replies
        1. re: bluemoon4515

          Yep, let it sit in the fridge for a day or two. And bake on parchment paper. Oh, and add extra vanilla - just b/c it tastes good. :)

          1. re: lynnlato

            exactly my sentiments. resting and chilling allows flavors to meld and develop, and prevents spreading. and extra vanilla is just sound logic.

            i also use a combo of bread and cake flours. and a higher ratio of brown to white sugar.

            i bake at 350 for a length of time that is determined by their size. always crisp on the outside, chewy on the inside, and not like flat crepes/crackers in any way, shape or form.

            1. re: Emme

              You mentioned cake flour and more brown sugar and it reminded me of the article in the New York Times a couple of years ago about the quest for the perfect chocolate chip cookie. They interviewed Jacque Torres and adapted his recipe for what they deemed the perfect cookie. Many of the tips we've given are incorporated into their recipe. Here is a link to it:


              1. re: lynnlato

                my recipe is really close to this one...

        2. Mine always used to do that until i started mixing the dough by hand. I know you're supposed to "cream" the butter and sugar, but i find that when i mix by hand, the resulting dough is a little more dense which actually helps the cookies hold their shape better. Also, chilling the dough helps as well.

          1 Reply
          1. re: sarah75

            +1 to the suggestion of mixing by hand. I use the Toll House recipe and mix by hand, and the cookies do not come out flat.

            Good luck!

          2. I am assuming you are using the classic toll house cookie recipe on the back of the nestle chocolate chip bag.

            If the cookie is too thin, make sure you use 2 large eggs. They promote puffing. Don't use more than 1 teaspoon of baking soda. If you used 1 teaspoon cut it back to 3/4 teaspoon. Baking Soda = less acid. Less acid = higher set temperature which leads to a thinner cookie.

            Don't melt your butter. Make sure it is cool. Mixing half and half butter flavored crisco and butter will make a thicker cookie. Butter has a sharp melting point. It melts & spreads before rising.

            Finally, chill the dough before forming. You could even roll the dough into a cylinder and refrigerate. Cut the slices. This is probably the best thing you could do without changing the ingredients. Chilled dough takes longer to set giving more time to rise.

            The easiest would be to chill the dough and use chilled butter. That should result in a much thicker cookie.