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Jan 5, 2013 03:24 PM

Why don't my cookies spread?

I've never been able to make soft, chewy chocolate chip cookies (Like the ones at the store), and I'm not sure why. I kept trying the tollhouse recipe, but that never worked, so I switched to a different recipe I found online, and that worked a little better:

2c flour
1/2t salt
1/2t baking soda
1c brown sugar
1/2c white sugar
3/4c butter
1 egg
1 egg yolk
1T vanilla

I combine wet ingredients, then mix for about 8 mins (which has improved the quality), add the dry ingredients, and refrigerate. I've tried refrigerating everywhere from 1 hour to 4 days, but I don't see any difference in the quality. I also rolled them into balls before refrigerating, and took them straight from the refrigerator to the oven, while they were still kinda stiff and cold. Then I bake at 375, around 30 min. The recipe says 15-20, but they don't look done, so I keep postponing, and when they come out, they come out not having spread at all, and bready, and tasting okay. Is there a way to get them to be moist, flat, and chewy?

(edit: Whoops! I was supposed to bake at 325. Will that fix it, do you think?)

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  1. When I use the Tollhouse recipe, the cookies come out moist, flat, and chewy. I do not refrigerate.

    1. What kind of flour are you using? Also, if you want butter based cookies to spread more, let them warm up a bit before baking. Not hours though.

      Check out Alton Brown's Good Eats episode - Three Chips for Sister Marsha - for good info about what makes cookies do what they do. It should be available on you tube.

      Edit to add link:

      1. I use "Unbleached All-purpose flour" from Trader Joes.

        Also, I just realized that I was supposed to back at 325, not 375.. Whoops! Do you think that will fix it?

        1. Sounds like they are cooking way to long. When I use the Tollhouse recipe I only bake them about 10 minutes. I take them out while they still look slightly moist in the center. Let them rest on the cookie sheet for a few minutes. They are always great. But I will share a secret with you: The best chocolate chip cookies I have ever made - the ones that my family and friends refer to as "Those Cookies!!!" is the recipe from the butter flavor Crisco and it's called Ultimate Chocolate Chip Cookie. It is awesome. Again, take them out while just slightly moist in the center.

          1. I think you have too much flour. If you are measuring flour by the cup, you may be packing too much into your cups. Try either: really fluffing up your flour before dipping the measuring cup in and gently leveling off, or using a little less flour, say 1-3/4 c.

            For done-ness, you want the edges set and lightly browned, and the center puffed but still soft. This will depend on your oven, but 30 minutes at 375 would make most cookies pretty crispy.