Common cookie problems and how to avoid them
In the picture above there are six cookies. Five of them have a defect of sorts; the last one is beautifully baked. Let’s go through them and see what went wrong.
1. The dough contained too much sugar. This cookie is rock hard, too brown, and sticks to the baking sheet. The excess sugar has spoiled the texture, making it tough, and it has also caused the cookies to brown excessively.
2. The dough contained too much flour. This cookie did not spread out as desired, and is too dry. The excess flour caused too much gluten to form, preventing the cookie from spreading. It also dried out the dough, leaving the cookies dry and flavourless.
3. The cookies were baked for too long, or at too high a temperature. These cookies were made from good dough, but over baking left them too brown and too hard. If this is your problem, remove your cookies from the oven sooner, or get an oven thermometer to check that your oven temperatures are accurate.
4. The cookies were under baked. These cookies were also made from good dough, but under baking left them pale and slightly raw inside. Cookies should be baked until slightly golden, but not hard.
5. The dough had too much butter and/or the cookies were not chilled before baking. Warm cookie dough or excess butter will cause the cookies to spread too much, and bake quickly on the outsides but stay raw in the middle. Next time, chill your cookies in the fridge for 10 minutes before you bake them. If the problem persists, use less butter.
6. The cookie dough was perfect, and the cookies were baked beautifully. This cookie is slightly chewy, full of butter and chocolate flavour and beautifully golden brown.
Hopefully these explanations have set you on the right track, if you’ve been experience cookie woes. Remember, practice makes perfect. Everybody’s kitchen equipment and ingredients are slightly different, so it might take you a few tries to perfect your cookies even if you have a great recipe.
Here are a few parting tips for cookie making:
- Leaving your cookie dough in the fridge overnight will make for more delicious cookies, plus the dough will be easier to work with the next day.
- Watch your cookies very carefully while they are baking – you want to take them out at exactly the right moment, when they are golden but not hard.
- If you like thinner, crisper cookies, reduce the amount of flour you use slightly.
- Bake your cookies on baking parchment or on a silpat baking mat. This helps prevent sticking and burning.
Good luck friends, I wish you the best chocolate chip cookies Yuppiechef kitchen tools could make.