troubleshooting problems when baking

If your cookies turned into flat puddles when baking, check the following issues:

  •   The dough may have been too “wet.” Make sure you are correctly measuring your flour. You can add in an additional tablespoon or two of flour.
  •  Were the butter and sugar overbeaten? Remember you only need to beat for 1 to 2 minutes on medium-high speed. Overbeating can cause the butter to warm up too much. Warmth weakens its ability to hold air, and therefore hold its shape.
  •   Did you add too much baking powder and/or baking soda? Too much chemical leavened can cause the cookies to deflate. Remember to check  if it is expired by testing the freshness of these items.
  •  Was the baking pan coated in too much nonstick cooking spray? This can cause the cookies to spread in the oven.
  •  Was the baking pan hot from baking a previous batch of cookies? Be sure to use room temperature baking pans. Bring pans to room temperature quickly by carefully running the bottom of the pan under cool water.
  •   Was the butter too warm? If the butter is too warm and soft, it can cause the cookies to spread too much in the oven. Remember to use cool room temperature butter. Try chilling the balls of dough before baking.
  •   Scoop tall mounds of dough instead of  disks before baking.

My cookies didn’t spread at all.

  •   Remember to measure your ingredients accurately, not enough fat will cause this to happen.
  •   Is the oven too cold? Be sure to thoroughly preheat the oven for at least 10 minutes before baking.
  •   Was a dark nonstick baking pan used? This can prevent the cookies from spreading.
  •  Was the dough at a cool room temperature? Sometimes if the dough is too cold the cookies won’t spread.

My cookies are hard and tough.

  •   Was the dough over mixed? Remember to mix in the dry ingredients until just incorporated, then stop mixing.
  •   Measure accurately the amount of flour called for.  Try using all purpose flour.
  •   Were the cookies over-baked? Check the times to cook, and monitor each batch in the oven..

My cookies didn’t bake evenly.

  •   Try baking only one sheet at a time in the center of your oven.
  •   Make sure you are scooping balls of dough that are as similar in shape and thickness as possible. Using a cookie scoop will help do so.

The bottoms of my cookies are burnt.

  • Avoid using dark nonstick baking sheets, which promote browning and can lead to burning.
  • Only use the middle oven-rack, anything too close to the heat source may cause burning.
  •  Start checking on your cookies at the minimum baking time.
  •  Remove the cookies from the cookie sheet and onto a wire rack 2 minutes after baking, the cookies will continue to cook on the hot pan.