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Chocolate chip cookies always turn out puffy

I use a hand mixer every time that I made them, and the cookies turn out too fluffy, perhaps cake-like. How can I adjust the ingredients to make it less fluffy and more crunchy on the outsides (but still soft in the middle)? I have a Kitchenaid Mixer now with a metro beater blade attachment, so I wonder if there will be a difference.

1 cup unsalted butter, room temp
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup light brown sugar
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsps vanilla extract
3 large eggs
3 cups all purpose flour
2 tsps baking soda
3 cups chocolate chips/chunks

Less eggs? Less baking soda? Less flour? Please help! :)

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    1. For comparison, here is the Nestle Toll House recipe, which will give cookies that are less cake like and more like you are asking for.


      You need more butter for that amount of flour, and much less baking soda.

      1. Google ny times cookies. I have had good luck with the recipe.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Monica

          +1, best choco chip cookie i have ever made.
          And i never ever use a mixer after adding the flour. Always by hand.

        2. 2 eggs
          1 tsp baking soda
          2.5 c flour
          1.5 c total sugar - 1.75 if you really want it really super sweet (YMMV on what constitutes "super sweet")

          1 Reply
          1. re: CookingForReal

            Hm, I think I'll try this and a bit of everyone else's suggestions. Thanks!

          2. I use Nigella's recipe from her book Kitchen. The butter is melted for this recipe? Maybe that's the secret? My cookies are crunchy out the outer sections and a bit chewy to the centre.

            I use my kitchen aid to make the cookies...

            1 Reply
            1. re: Soyabean

              Yes, most/all blond brownies use melted butter.

              I think using a mixer will add quite a lot more air than most of us achieve with hand-mixing so I would try creaming with a wooden spoon. Just start with soft butter! I was using a mixer for everything but have had mixer-burnout (that's me, by the way; the mixer's fine), and have been enjoying low-tech baking. I would start with another, more traditional (=Toll House) recipe for comparison.

            2. I prefer chewy cookies, so before the holidays did a little googling. In most "chewy" cookie recipes, butter was melted but not HOT when added to rest of ingredients.

              5 Replies
              1. re: kseiverd

                I melt the butter, and let it cool a little bit. I use 1 c. dark brown sugar and 1/2 c white sugar, and just mix with a wooden spoon, no mixer. I consistently get chewy cookies that way. I am going to cut the baking soda in half next time I make them, though, just to see what happens.

                1. re: Skippy1414

                  Precisely - One bowl, one wooden spoon. Melt the butter. Microwavable bowl, or metal bowl over pot of boiling water. It can still be hot if you stir the sugar in, which will cool it enough that the eggs won't set when you mix them in. Underbake a little. I do 13-15 min at 375F for 3" diameter cookies.

                  1. re: greygarious

                    Really? 13-15 minutes? I do about 8 minutes at 375, maybe 9 for the first batch. I probably make mine a little smaller, but not a lot, maybe 2 1/2 inches... Then again, my oven's a little crazy so that could be it.

                    (Oh, yes, and definitely one bowl, melting the butter in the microwave. I know some people brown the butter but I am shockingly lazy and can't drag myself to break out a pot to do melt the butter on the stove.)

                    1. re: Skippy1414

                      I could be misremembering since I haven't made them in a while and don't have my recipe notes handy. Maybe that was for the saucer-sized version.....

                      1. re: Skippy1414

                        I do mine for 20 minutes at 325, but then I like mine properly crisp. ;-)

                2. I agree with the previous posters, and will add that after adjusting the recipe, if they still look too tall when you take the sheet out of the oven, dropping the tray onto the counter will usually make them deflate.

                    1. does it matter if the butter is salted or unsalted?

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: LuluTheMagnificent

                        I'm not sure. I generally use unsalted butter.

                        1. re: LuluTheMagnificent

                          No. There's only about 1/8th tsp in a whole stick of butter - you won't notice any difference in your recipe unless it ALREADY has too much salt in it. And then you still won't notice a difference, because it started out too salty, LOL!

                          1. re: LuluTheMagnificent

                            I baked ny times cookies last night and I used salted Kerry gold butter. I didn't notice anything.

                          2. What kind of baking sheet do you use?
                            A previous thread had issues using an aircore baking sheet....

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: Ttrockwood

                              I believe it's a dark non-stick pan. I line my pans with parchment paper.

                            2. go down to one egg. When you mix the butter and sugar, mix for three minutes. Then add the egg and mix for...7 to 8 minutes. Really. use 1 tsp baking soda instead. The cookies should be much flatter with one egg.

                              5 Replies
                              1. re: jarona

                                With one egg they will be thin and crispy. Since she still wants a chewy center I'd stick with 2 eggs. But she could try it both ways and see which she prefers.

                                1. re: CookingForReal

                                  I suggested the one egg because 99 percent of the cookie recipes in the Momofuku Milk Bar cookbook all have that one egg--but you know--I also underbake my cookies by a minute or two so they are extra chewy..and with the amount of flour--the two eggs may be a better choice with a shorter baking time. It's weird but I don't think I've ever used 3 eggs in a cookie recipe that wasn't a bar cookie. Have you? I'm really curious about this:)

                                  1. re: jarona

                                    2 eggs sounds good. It could be the eggs and baking soda making them spread wide and thick. Too bad I can't use 1 1/2 eggs, haha.

                                    1. re: CamiKitti

                                      Sure you can. Just beat the 2 eggs with a fork and measure out 4 T, plus a tsp. Save the rest (it freezes fine) for a later recipe, or add it to your eggs in the morning.

                                      1. re: CamiKitti

                                        Don't screw around with the amount of ingredients. Just do the melting, as mentioned upthread. You'll thank us later ;-).

                                2. Also, the eggs were fridge cold. Nigella's recipe called for 1 egg plus 1 egg yolk.

                                  1. If you are interested in a VERY long explanation about what each ingredient does what in chocolate chip cookies, check out Kenji's dissection of his version of the best chocolate chip cookies. From there, you can alter your recipe to your own taste.


                                    2 Replies
                                      1. re: Heidi cooks and bakes

                                        I was going to post this as a response, too! What a great article that was. I find the "why-fors" behind cooking fascinating. :)

                                      2. If you start playing w/ a few changes, you won't know what contributed what. Start w/ one at a time. To begin w/, I'd cut the eggs to two. Then leaveners. If you want a crunchy on the outside, soft on the inside, why not ask for a recipe that is like that rather than trying to make this recipe something it's not? There's a science to the ingredients, even the different types of sugar and if you don't know what they each do, it's pretty random to play around w/ them, when it's the proportion to each other that matters.

                                        1. Alton Brown did a Good Eats episode that compared 3 types of choc chip cookies: thin, puffy and chewy. It taught me a lot!

                                          1. 3 eggs? I use 1 egg.

                                            1. Another vote for too many eggs. Go with two. Also possibly too much flour.

                                              Melted *and cooled* butter definitely results in chewier cookies. It has something to do with the % of water and the development (or inhibition) of gluten. It's OK if the butter actually resolidifies. You don't have to monitor it til it's any particular temp but it shouldn't be more than barely warm.

                                              1 Reply
                                              1. re: Erika L

                                                I agree. Two eggs, 2 1/4 cups flour, and 1 teaspoon baking soda.

                                              2. I spank them with a spatula.

                                                1. Maybe it's not the recipe but the cooking method? I have used the same recipe for chocolate chip cookies for 25 years with my mother and it creates a soft, but crumbly cookie (I don't like soft on the inside as much, just a preference). Anyway, I got my first stove with a convection fan in it and just had to try cookies in it the first day I had it. So I used the convection fan on my first batch and I got puffy, browned cookies with a chewy center. Not my ideal cookie but still very good. Again, they were puffy but I don't think it's the size you're worried about but the consistency. I turned off the convection fan for the next round and got the perfect cookie - slightly flat but still had some "rise" if you will, and evenly cooked inside and out. Soooo, long story short, do you have a convection oven by chance?

                                                  2 Replies
                                                  1. re: toddrhodes

                                                    I'm not sure. How would I be able to find out?

                                                    1. re: CamiKitti

                                                      Look inside the oven. If there's a fan, it's convection.

                                                      I take it you have either not made any further attempts at correcting your results, or they have not succeeded.

                                                  2. take out at least 1/4-1/2c flour. ditch 1 egg and the egg yolks. whats your temp and cooking time? cakey cookie usually mean to much flour.

                                                    1 Reply
                                                    1. re: daislander

                                                      I bake at 350 for about 12-15 minutes.

                                                    2. This article was also really helpful with its tips. (Although my personal favorite recipe is the NYTimes Chocolate Chip cookie recipe--as mentioned by several others above)


                                                      1. You may want to double check that you are using baking *soda* and not baking *powder* - if you store them in custom containers. My mom has made that mistake a number of times.

                                                        Also, you could try refrigerating the batter for a couple hours before baking the cookies to see if that helps.

                                                        I don't think you need to beat the dough that much either, a few times around the bowl with a wooden spoon to make sure everything is incorporated should be enough.

                                                        1 Reply
                                                        1. re: Atomic76

                                                          Thank you. I usually use a beater instead of a wooden spoon, so maybe I'll try that next time.