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Dec 24, 2011 01:24 PM

High Altitude cookie question...8250

Hi. We are above 8000 feet and I usually stick to the recommendations for altitude adjustments at 7000 feet. Cookies never turn out right (flat, oily, weird) unless I adjust.

I have a recipe that calls for 1/8 teaspoon baking powder. No baking soda is listed.

Since I usually reduce baking powder/soda each by 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon, should I just leave out the baking powder?

It is such a small amount but I don't want to muck up my recipe. We have been eating super-healthy for a couple years so I haven't baked in a long time. Kind of out of practice!

If it helps, here is the recipe:

1/2 C butter
1 C flour
3/4 sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
1/8 teaspoon baking powder

Thank you for your ideas!!

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  1. I solved it myself.

    For anyone who searches in future:

    I just left out the baking powder and they turned out wonderful!

    6 Replies
    1. re: MinkeyMonkey

      It is likely that the 1/8 tsp doesn't do much even at sea level. For cake and muffins, the usual ratio is 1 tsp/cup of flour. Many cookie recipes don't have any.

      1. re: paulj


        If we have a recipe that calls for a larger amount of baking powder, it is horrendously bitter if we don't cut out at least half of what it calls for. I assumed it wouldn't matter and I'm glad it didn't both taste and consistency wise.

        It is nice to hear confirmation too.

        1. re: MinkeyMonkey

          I thought the reason for reducing baking powder at altitude was to reduce the lift - lower air pressure reducing the amount of CO2 needed to produce the desire texture. Though I've read that it is actually steam that does most of the lifting; the CO2 provides the evenly distributed seed bubbles. Altitude also affects the rate at which steam is produced (lower boiling point), and produces more evaporation.

          I can't think of why you would get a bitter taste if you don't reduce the baking powder. I wonder if the brand of baking powder matters (double/single acting, aluminum or no aluminum etc).

          1. re: paulj

            Hmm, neither can I, it just always seems to relate to the baking powder. Has happened with more than one container so I don't think it had gone off.

            I'm not really sure how all that works. But, we usually add a touch more water which does help with the lift.

            We don't adjust the fat but the fat seems too much if we don't add extra flour.

            Really, it gets kind of complicated sometimes!

            Still, cookies so great, all gone...


              1. re: paulj

                Thank you!!!!! + ten more exclamation points...Wow, I've got to cut back on the punctuation.

                I checked out a couple recipes and it looks like good stuff. I'm surprised I've never come across this site as we've been up here for over five years now. I usually check out Susan Purdy's Pie in the Sky from the library. Plus, she answers my emails with my dramatic questions about muffin-height and other life or death questions.

                9000 is perfect for us. Recipes for 10,000 would be a bit much and might not turn out perfect, at least for cookies, breads and muffins.

                Thanks for sharing.