Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Got Flat Chocolate Chip Cookies?

My chocolate chip cookies were coming out flat.  And when I say flat...I mean F-L-A-T.  Like this:

My family assured me that even though my cookies looked like they had been run over by a steam roller, they still tasted pretty darn good so, for a while, I was okay with it.  But, my family loves chocolate chip cookies, so I was making them a lot and one day I just was not okay with it anymore.  I wanted my cookies to be pretty, too, LOL.  So, I started doing a little research and began looking for the perfect chocolate chip cookie recipe.

What I found was that pretty much every list of ingredients I came across was pretty darn similar. I read recipe after recipe and except for some minor variations in different things people like to add to their cookie, i.e.: walnuts, pecans, oatmeal, etc., etc., the other ingredients don't really change all that much.

I was almost ready to give up and just learn to deal with making flat cookies for the rest of my life when I happened upon some information that changed my baking life.  Literally.  And, now, just because I am that kind of person (and I hope that there might be some others out there who, like me, like to cook but are not yet proficient at all the ins and outs of the kitchen) I am now willing to bestow upon you this golden information that I have gleaned.

And here it is...
  • Use a stand mixer if you possibly can--they just do a better job mixing the thick dough (I only have an electric hand mixer, though, and it works okay)
  • Use dull aluminum cooking sheets; shiny sheets reflect the heat off the sheet and you want that heat in your cookie
  • the butter that goes into your recipe should be soft to the touch but no where near liquefied
  • the eggs you are going to be adding should be at room temperature--not cold right out of the refrigerator--and you want to add them one at a time and mix well after each one, this aids in the emulsifying process
  • Sift the dry ingredients together; you can use a simple large mesh strainer if you do not have a sifter.  You want air in your cookie dough--nothing compacted.
  • Creaming the fats (butter) together with the sugars is very important--you are creating air pockets. The sugar is forcing itself into the butter, this aids in the leavening and helps to create a tender cookie
  • and the last thing I did was add a wee bit of lard in place of a wee bit of butter (1/2 cup, I think)
Do these things... and, this is what you will get...

If you are still with me so far, this is the recipe I used:

1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter (soft to touch)
1/2 cup lard (soft to touch)
2 large eggs (at room temperature)
1 Tbsp vanilla extract
3 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1  12-oz pkg of semisweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Using electric mixer, beat both sugars, lard, and butter in a large bowl until light and fluffy.  Beat in eggs and vanilla.  Mix flour; baking soda and salt in large bowl.   Add dry ingredients to butter mixture and mix until blended.  But do not over blend.  Stir in chocolate chips.

Drop dough by heaping tbsp's onto heavy large baking sheets, spacing 2 inches apart.  Bake until golden brown, about 12 minutes.  Transfer to racks to cool.

Enjoy!!  And, by the way, I can make chocolate chip cookies for my family even though I am dieting because they are not my favorite cookie so I can eat maybe like one and I am done...it's all good...


  1. These all look wonderful!!! Even the flat ones!!! I love chocolate chip cookies (baked or not baked, I don't care) I think I need to bake this evening...

  2. haha...finally i find someone that doesn't love chocolate chip cookies. i make them for my family but never eat any myself. i just don't like them!

  3. Very pretty! Mine are usually flat too. I noticed that when I took my time (mix more, sift flour) they came out better - I didn't know why though. Thanks for the tips!

  4. I am so going to give your recipe a try. Thanks for sharing these tips with us. I love to bake and putter around the kitchen quite a bit and am always looking for ways to improve my "art"! ;-)

  5. Hi,
    Just dropped by to tell you I love your blog having just found it, will come by again.


  6. Hi,
    Your recipe is bang on!
    I was a Chef for many years (pastry was my speciality). The major problem with the "flat"
    cookies is resolved by taking the amount of
    butter called for & dividing it in half. Replacing the other half with shortening or "lard" - and of course proper creaming!
    Also adding just a wee bit more flour than
    the recipe calls for will give a thicker sturdier cookie.
    There is a fabulous book from Greystone Bakery -
    they make the best cookies & cakes - created
    by Monks!


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