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cookies behaving oddly

Okay, so I made a batch of "Batchelors Buttons" the same way I made them the last time. The only things different are that I had the oven on convection, and the flour. This batch didn't spread out nearly as much as the last one; like twice the height and half as big around didn't spread. Do I blame it on the oven or the flour? Can gluten REALLY make that much of a difference in cookies? um, butter might have been different too, but really, how much difference can that make? It's all american style butter, right?

oh yeah, recipe:

1 c butter
1 1/2 c brown sugar
2 eggs
vanilla
2 c flour
1/2 t baking soda
1/2 t baking powder
salt
1 T hot water

cream butter, sugar. Add egg, vanilla. Sift dry, and add to mix. Add water, drop by spoonfuls onto cookie sheet. Cook, cool on rack, and when cool, smear with nutella, rasberry jam, whatever, and sandwich together.

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  1. what exactly was different about the flour? usually the butter content in cookies is enough to prohibit gluten development, but other factors could contribute to them not spreading: oven at lower temperature, ingredients at lower temperature, undermixing/creaming, eggs of differing size, how the flour was measured, etc.

    1. "Do I blame it on the oven or the flour? "

      Oven. Convection oven mode cooks faster, but that also means the cookie dough has less time to spread before setting in. Next time, split your cookie dough into two and bake them differently, one in normal conventional oven mode and the other in convection mode.

      1. Gluten and butter can make a big difference in spread but I think Chemicalkinetics hit the nail on the head.

        1. Flour can make a big difference. Different flours, even different all purpose flours absorb different amounts of liquid. Relative humidity can affect your flour, and measuring by cups is often inconsistent.

          1. Was the temperature of the butter different? I've had cold butter, not quite creamed enough, do that before.