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Sep 26, 2012 08:45 AM

Why are my cookies spreading???

I have a tried and true chocolate chip cookie recipe (it's a knock-off of the Keebler Softbake Cookies). But the last batch I made, when I went to bake them, they spread in the oven and got flat. Generally they usually stay a little more formed and have more height to them.

What could have gone wrong? I chilled the dough, used butter, not margarine and followed the recipe exactly. Is there anything I can do to remedy the dough???

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  1. Add a little flour to some of the dough, bake the test amount and see if that helps. That is what works when I have that problem. Flour amount varies a lot if you do not weigh it.

    You use a plain baking sheet (not non stick) and do not grease it?

    2 Replies
      1. re: CurlieGlamourGirlie

        That should be fine. Try the additional flour.

    1. What's your weather like? If it's humid, rainy, or you're under a high-pressure system, it has a remarkably bad effect on baking -- things will spread instead of rise.

      1. Try 1/2 butter and 1/2 margerine or shortening next time. Butter recipes will spread more easily...

        5 Replies
        1. re: KSlink

          I was going to ask, do you usually use margarine? Because butter will spread like crazy.

          1. re: coll

            Grrrr.....I always get confused - I thought margarine caused the spread! Oy.

            1. re: CurlieGlamourGirlie

              I only remember because Crisco gives you the most fluff, so I think of margarine in a similar vein. Butter I reserve for something rich and crispy. I've subbed all of these for each other and gradually understood the benefits of each!

              1. re: coll

                Thanks Coll - this makes it much clearer for me. And reminds me that I have a recipe for "milk supply cookies" that specifically calls for margarine and those come out higher!

                1. re: CurlieGlamourGirlie

                  I've learned the hard way about subbing butter for margarine, and when you learn the hard way it sticks in your mind! I make a crumb sheet cake that calls for 2 sticks butter and 2 sticks margarine, any other way it just isn't right.

        2. Yep. Spreading usually has to do with the fat you are using.

          1. Gotta go with margarine and extra flour. I also find refrigerating the dough before baking helps.

            The last batch of CCCs that I made, I used this recipe:
            Seriously AMAZING and nice and "plump." I might try cutting back on the sugar just a little the next time, but they really were about the best CCCs that I have ever had in my life!