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Spreading Cookies


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I have just pulled a batch of molasses ginger cookies from the oven and instead of being nice and plump like the bakery cookies, they have really spread out. I portioned them out with an ice cream scoop, but they still spread.

If there is already a thread on this, I apologize, but I would love to hear how to fix this problem.

Thanks!

Patti

Patti Davis

www.anatomyofadinnerparty.com

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Have you made these before and they came out okay?

Did you change anything in the recipe? Did the recipe specify a specific flour? (If so, did you use that type?)

If the recipe called for shortening or margarine and you used butter, the cookies will spread more.

Likewise with flour - using unbleached flour, when a recipe calls for bleached all purpose, can cause the cookies to spread more.

Eileen

Eileen Talanian

HowThe Cookie Crumbles.com

HomemadeGourmetMarshmallows.com

As for butter versus margarine, I trust cows more than chemists. ~Joan Gussow

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I had a problem with my chocolate chip cookies spreading too much when I switched from margarine to butter. I scoop the dough into individual balls and freeze them although chilling is an excellent option as well. (I prefer to make a few cookies at a time.) I also use parchment paper because I understand that may help. It certainly makes for a nice cleanup.

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I have just pulled a batch of molasses ginger cookies from the oven and instead of being nice and plump like the bakery cookies, they have really spread out.  I portioned them out with an ice cream scoop, but they still spread.

If there is already a thread on this, I apologize, but I would love to hear how to fix this problem.

Thanks!

Patti

Baking at 375* instead of 350* can help -- the higher temp sets the edges of the cookies faster, curbing the tendency to spread.

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There are multiple reasons for cookies that spread too much.

One of the primary reasons is overcreaming.

I have found that many recipes state that you cream the butter and sugars til light and fluffy.

If you do that, you have assured yourself a cookie that will spread to it's maximum potential.

The simple step of just creaming to the point where the butter and sugars are smooth but

not fluffy is usually enough to stop an overspreading problem.

Chilling the dough is a wise idea too, but it doesn't prevent overspreading due to overcreaming.

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also, since these are molasses/ginger cookies, it is likely they have baking soda in the recipe (to react with the acid in the molasses). if it does call for baking soda and you put too much it can cause spreading because baking soda can interfere with gluten in the flour.

refrigerating does a couple of things: chills the fat so that when the dough goes into a hot oven, the starches and proteins have a chance to start setting up a bit before the butter melts completely but it really allows the flour a chance to hydrate before baking. the absorption of moisture helps to keep the cookies from spreading too much.

also, ditto what chefpeon said about the creaming. i find that recipes call for too much creaming (cookie recipes in particular). it just sets you up for disaster.

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I'd suggest adding a copy of Shirley Corriher's Cookwise to your collection. She offers a good explanation of why cookies spread. It depends on several factors: flour type, fat type, sweetener type, leavening type, etc. Since I prefer a thicker cookie, I always consult her book for potential changes.

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