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Anna N

Help with spreading cookies

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Anna N   
15 minutes ago, blue_dolphin said:

Yes, that TJ's stuff is still in cans.  I bought one not long ago because I like the small size and snap cap for baking.  Edited to add:  the fact that it's alarmingly similar in size and color to the can of Rumford Baking Powder does give me pause o.O!

I've got a big ol' box from Smart & Final in the laundry room for cleaning the oven, etc.  

 

 Yes. I was drawn to it because it was in a can and not in a box. And yes I have TJ's baking powder too and I have to be careful to keep the two distinct in my mind. But I do always question the use of baking soda and look specifically for the acidic ingredient that would make it more appropriate than baking powder.   There was a time in my foolish youthfulness when I might quite easily have mixed the two up. 


Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

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ElsieD   

We were sitting in our hotel here after having gone to Taste of Syracuse with some time on our hands, so we decided to go to TJs tonight.  The baking powder and baking soda were side by side, picture below.  There were, sadly, no cocktail cookies, nor were their any mango joe-joe cookies.  But, I more than made up for it in what I did get.  Thank goodness I wasn't hungry.  This is a great store, really friendly and helpful.  We have a one bedroom here which means we have a full fridge which is why we were able to shop tonight.  We have one of those plug in coolers in the car which should keep frozen stuff frozen until we get home tomorrow.  Looking forward to eating our new haul.  I will post about new items on the TJ thread.

20170602_184816_resized.jpg

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Anna N   
2 hours ago, ElsieD said:

 

We were sitting in our hotel here after having gone to Taste of Syracuse with some time on our hands, so we decided to go to TJs tonight.  The baking powder and baking soda were side by side, picture below.

 

Thank you!

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Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

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Anna N   

 Another week of spreading cookie syndrome. Different recipe (From Fine Cooking that I have used many, many times) similar but different origin chocolate as last time, all ingredients carefully weighed.  I am beginning to suspect the culprit is the flour.  I normally bake with Robin Hood all purpose which has a gluten content of 13%.   But I was gifted some American all purpose flour with a gluten content of only 10%.   I don't know how much that kind of science holds up as worthy of consideration.   I have never before had an issue with the Fine Cooking recipe.  

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Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

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JohnT   

Anna, I doubt it is the flour. However, what is different from the last time you baked this recipe? Is your leavening agent perhaps old? Are you now using a Silpad instead of just old fashioned parchment. Cookies are very similar to baking a pizza – they need to bake from both the bottom and the top and unless you have adjusted your oven to accommodate a Silpad in your recipe, your results are not going to be that great, as a Silpad acts a bit as an insulator, preventing your cookie from baking properly from the bottom, where a cookie needs this heat as soon as the tray is put into the oven.

 

Anyway, I hope you solve your frustrating dilemma as your baked goods shown on eG have, in the past, been droolishus!

(If there is such a word).


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Anna N   
48 minutes ago, JohnT said:

Anna, I doubt it is the flour. However, what is different from the last time you baked this recipe? Is your leavening agent perhaps old? Are you now using a Silpad instead of just old fashioned parchment. Cookies are very similar to baking a pizza – they need to bake from both the bottom and the top and unless you have adjusted your oven to accommodate a Silpad in your recipe, your results are not going to be that great, as a Silpad acts a bit as an insulator, preventing your cookie from baking properly from the bottom, where a cookie needs this heat as soon as the tray is put into the oven.

 

Anyway, I hope you solve your frustrating dilemma as your baked goods shown on eG have, in the past, been droolishus!

(If there is such a word).

Let me document the whole morning of baking for you. First let me tell you that I normally use silpat and have been for some years.  My baking soda is as fresh as the day is long because if you remember I used the last of the old stuff on the other cookies that gave me problems. 

 

image.jpeg.8a8dfaa0387b4138450d2a745c480aef.jpeg

 

 Part of the first batch after they had been in the oven for 14 minutes!   The dough had been chilled for more than 30 minutes before I scooped them.

 

image.jpeg.03306f5366d177c90d5956d79ee9c3ab.jpeg

Part of the second batch. The only difference between this and the first batch is that the dough was colder and I scooped them and then chilled them for a further 30 minutes. I cooked them for only 10 minutes. image.jpeg.a2ade8b5debed72d5279ae43e46128b3.jpeg

 I came within an inch of tipping the first batch into the bin. But they contained some expensive ingredients including butter which came out of my pocket and chocolate which was a gift  but still expensive for someone else.    And furthermore I was going to be short cookies!   I was especially concerned because some of these had been promised to my granddaughter to take to an art show where some of her own art was being displayed.

 With nothing else to lose I took the ones from the first batch that had mostly held together, put them back on the cookie sheet, this time lined with parchment rather than silpat, and put them back in the oven for a further eight minutes. If you look at them  carefully you will notice they have developed just a little bit of a loft and are now, as far as I'm concerned, quite edible. 

 I know without any doubt that my oven temperature is stable and steady but what I am not too sure about now is whether or not I can trust its signal that it has truly pre-heated.   It will take hours to cool down properly so I will not be able to check on this for sometime.

The other question that arises is whether or not, for some strange reason, the baking is being affected by doing two sheets at once.  This is the way I have always baked my cookies in the past. At the halfway mark I swap shelves and turn each tray 180°.  But today, because I did not know exactly what was happening,  after the first two trays I baked only one tray at a time. 

 

 I think I now have enough cookies to supply my son-in-law his usual treats and to make sure my granddaughter has cookies to take to her art show.

 I, however, will be dipping into the scotch bottle. 

 

image.jpeg

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Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

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The second photo looks great, and the third doesn't look too bad.  Maybe the recipe is supposed to make flatter cookies.  Not everybody likes super chunky cookies all the time!  The lower photos look like totally acceptable cookies to me.  A little flat, but not oozing butter or turning to lacy caramel at the edges.  Better for ice cream sandwiches!

 

I disagree with John, the flour may make a difference.  Going from 13% protein to 10% is a stronger AP flour being replaced by more delicate AP or pastry flour.  (Usually referred to as the protein content, not the gluten content.  I think it only turns into gluten once you add water and agitate?)

 

http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/22310/high-gluten-wheat-flours-amp-gluten-percentage-table

http://www.theartisan.net/ProteinComparisons.htm

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Anna N   
36 minutes ago, pastrygirl said:

The second photo looks great, and the third doesn't look too bad.  Maybe the recipe is supposed to make flatter cookies.  Not everybody likes super chunky cookies all the time!  The lower photos look like totally acceptable cookies to me.  A little flat, but not oozing butter or turning to lacy caramel at the edges.  Better for ice cream sandwiches!

 

I disagree with John, the flour may make a difference.  Going from 13% protein to 10% is a stronger AP flour being replaced by more delicate AP or pastry flour.  (Usually referred to as the protein content, not the gluten content.  I think it only turns into gluten once you add water and agitate?)

 

http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/22310/high-gluten-wheat-flours-amp-gluten-percentage-table

http://www.theartisan.net/ProteinComparisons.htm

Yup,  tripped over my tongue!   It is protein content and I knew that.  The cookies should be thick and chewy.

Recipe.  But we got both kinds this time -- thick and chewy and thin and crispy.  I still don't understand how after 14 minutes that first batch of cookies was more or less raw.  And I'm anxious now for my oven to cool down so I can see if it is preheating properly. 


Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

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On 5/29/2017 at 9:28 AM, Anna N said:

I am making cookies from this (Dorie Greenspan) recipe.  I did not add the nuts but other than that I followed the recipe to a T including chilling the dough for an hour before scooping it. After 10 minutes in the oven I have a tray full of co-joined cookies!  I have returned the dough to the refrigerator  and wait with digits crossed for someone to suggest a solution. The trays are lined with Silpat. My oven temperature is good.  I just checked it.image.jpeg.538f2afbab3e738aea801bf369c58897.jpeg

 

 

 Edited to add they are not even firming up as they cool.

 

Those cookies look like the last ones I baked.....completely missed putting the flour in the recipe! Duh.  That's why I don't bake much. Something always seems to go wrong.O.o

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