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Mar 25, 2012 08:53 PM

Cookies that don't go flat

Anyone know what makes cookies chunky, not flat? Mom used to make oatmeal and chocolate chip cookies but they never flattened out. Wondering if she used shortening instead of butter?

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  1. For puffy or chunky cookies, use shortening or margarine (not butter) and cut back on the amount of fat; add an egg, cut back on the sugar, use cake flour or pastry flour, use baking powder instead of baking soda and refrigerate your dough before baking. And, finally, don't overmix.

    1. Shortening does help. Butter (relative to shortening) will flatten the cookies a bit, but there are many other things as well. The amount of egg, flour, sugar.... all play a role in the texture of the cookies.

      Sugar and fat overall will flatten the cookie (along with other texture change).
      Eggs give a stronger binding, and enough will give you a cake like texture.
      Flour and oatmeal will give more body.

      I would cut down the amount of sugar and/or fat, increase the amount of egg and/or flour. Increase the baking temperature just a bit and decrease the bake time to make that up. ....etc. You don't see to do all at the same time, just select your choices. Although decreasing sugar and decreasing fat will both make your cookie rise more (less flatten), the two options produce different texture, so you have to play around.

      Now, the baking temperature and bake time and even the baking sheet makes a big difference too.

      If you are using those air insulated baking sheets, you will find your cookies to be more spread out.

      2 Replies
      1. re: Chemicalkinetics

        Wow great answer I do sometimes use insulated baking sheets and always use butter. I switched to non-hydrongenated shortening but haven't tried that in the chocolate chip cookies or even the oatmeat cookies. I'll let everyone know if that helps.

        Wouldn't cake or pastry flour make the cookies more tender?

        1. re: missangel99

          Yes, the cake flour will make it more cake like but it will make a taller cookie. Kind of a give and take. Shortening will make the cookies not fall but I prefer butter in my cookies. Half and half would also work and give you some butter taste but I still don't like that hydrogenated oil coating in my mouth.

          I'd also add refrigerate the dough--from cold will flatten less quickly. Overnight would be ideal. If you don't want a cakey cookie, try half cake and half bread flour. Don't use silpat mats but use parchment instead. Start w/ a cold cookie sheet. You can also use stacked cookie sheets to bake. Also, make sure cookies are fully baked. Undercooked cookies will always flatten, although there are merits to underbaked cookies, too.

      2. I recommend making a slurry with the baking powder and add it in that way, vs. dry.

        1 Reply
        1. re: monavano

          What is a slurry? Never heard of it.

          1. Doing a GOOD job of creaming the butter and sugar, then adding the egg and beating until the batter gets lighter in color helps too.