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brooksms

Cookies spread more when doubling recipe...?

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Hi! I'm trying to figure out what's going wrong when I double my chocolate chip cookie recipe. The standard 1 stick butter, 1 egg etc..comes out perfectly thick and round every time. Not always but frequently when I double that amount, they spread a lot more. I keep having to push the edges back in while still hot to make them presentable. The starting butter temp is the same, process is the same, dough is chilled the same. I thought the issue might be adding both eggs at once but I tried fully incorporating one at a time and it didn't help. My only other ideas are potential over-creaming or under-mixing.

I watch the butter/sugar and stop when it's light and fluffy, typically 3-4 mins on kitchenaid level 4 starting from cold cubed butter. It doesn't take as long when making a single batch but the texture looks the same to me. I add the eggs and mix on level 2. The texture is mousse-like once the eggs are incorporated. Then I add dry ingredients by pulsing first before continuing on low until almost incorporated, add mix-ins and turn on high very briefly to distribute them. Do I just need to mix the flour in longer? I'm wondering if I'm being too cautious during that step. Cookie recipes always mention being careful not to over-mix so I try to keep it minimal. This doesn't cause any issues with the original quantity though. Could it be something with the aeration process instead? How do I know if I'm over-creaming? Does it have to do with how long the eggs are mixed into the butter/sugar? Thoughts? 

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Are you using a scale for the dry ingredients? If you're using cups and teaspoons for flour, sugar, baking powder, etc. your are probably experiencing the compounding of errors inherent in the highly flawed and outdated system.

 

Also, don't mix the creamed butter and sugar very much with the eggs. The creaming gives lift to ma cookie. If you mix with the eggs too long the sugar starts to dissolve in the egg instead of remaining encapsulated in butter.

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41 minutes ago, Pastrypastmidnight said:

How long are you chilling them? Could it be that they’re not getting as cold because of the greater mass of the dough?

 

Overnight! However, when I make the smaller batch, I could even just briefly chill them in the freezer for say 10-20 mins and they come out perfect.

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41 minutes ago, Lisa Shock said:

Are you using a scale for the dry ingredients? If you're using cups and teaspoons for flour, sugar, baking powder, etc. your are probably experiencing the compounding of errors inherent in the highly flawed and outdated system.

 

Also, don't mix the creamed butter and sugar very much with the eggs. The creaming gives lift to ma cookie. If you mix with the eggs too long the sugar starts to dissolve in the egg instead of remaining encapsulated in butter.

 

Yes, I weigh everything! I'll try mixing the egg less next time and see if that helps! I do my best to keep everything the same visually as far as how incorporated the eggs are etc. The double batch does make total egg mixing time longer though.

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I can think of a couple of other things:

 

Did you recently buy a new can of baking powder? -Maybe the old one was too tired.

 

Did you change brands of flour recently? There's no industry standard for AP flour. It varies by brand, and with a brand it can vary by region.

 

Professionals weigh out the eggs, partly because they are often purchased already shelled in cartons as a liquid. For each egg size, there's a (small) weight range. I'm sure you've seen larger and smaller eggs in the same carton. Try cracking the eggs into a small bowl and weighing them before adding and write down the result. Once you hit a good number, if one day, say 4 eggs weigh a tad too much, remove a little of the yolk. (yolks are part of an egg's magic, but, they add tenderness while whites add structure)

 

Good luck!

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10 hours ago, Lisa Shock said:

I can think of a couple of other things:

 

Did you recently buy a new can of baking powder? -Maybe the old one was too tired.

 

Did you change brands of flour recently? There's no industry standard for AP flour. It varies by brand, and with a brand it can vary by region.

 

Professionals weigh out the eggs, partly because they are often purchased already shelled in cartons as a liquid. For each egg size, there's a (small) weight range. I'm sure you've seen larger and smaller eggs in the same carton. Try cracking the eggs into a small bowl and weighing them before adding and write down the result. Once you hit a good number, if one day, say 4 eggs weigh a tad too much, remove a little of the yolk. (yolks are part of an egg's magic, but, they add tenderness while whites add structure)

 

Good luck!

 

Thanks for thinking this through with me! It's the same container of baking powder and flour. I think I might've figured it out though! One thing I usually do with the double batch is add baking powder/soda to wet ingredients BEFORE adding flour. I've only been doing it with larger batches because I keep flour pre-weighed in containers. It was a tip I saw on a video which said it ensures the leavening gets evenly incorporated. I think it's an issue with the baking powder hitting the liquid before flour goes in.

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5 minutes ago, brooksms said:

It was a tip I saw on a video which said it ensures the leavening gets evenly incorporated. 

I have certainly never heard of this and it doesn’t sound wise to me. I would expect that you would exhaust the power of your leavener doing it this way.  If you are concerned about your leavener being properly distributed then I think sifting it together with the flour is a better way to go.  I look forward to input from others.


Edited by Anna N (log)
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I'll second that. I usually whisk my leavenings into the dry ingredients to incorporate them evenly, or - if they happen to be on the counter anyway - use my stand mixer or Cuisinart to do the same thing.

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I have to preface this by saying that I'm not an experienced cookie baker. Does the spreading happen from the beginning or only after a couple of sheets-worth of cookies? Could it be that the baking sheets are retaining heat and causing the dough to melt faster than it should? This is purely an equipment issue rather than an ingredients issue, and it may be completely wrong.

 

Nancy in Pátzcuaro

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On 12/7/2018 at 12:17 PM, Nancy in Pátzcuaro said:

I have to preface this by saying that I'm not an experienced cookie baker. Does the spreading happen from the beginning or only after a couple of sheets-worth of cookies? Could it be that the baking sheets are retaining heat and causing the dough to melt faster than it should? This is purely an equipment issue rather than an ingredients issue, and it may be completely wrong.

 

Nancy in Pátzcuaro

 

I wish the fix were that easy! The pans are not warm but if they were that would definitely make it worse. 

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On 12/7/2018 at 9:07 AM, Anna N said:

I have certainly never heard of this and it doesn’t sound wise to me. I would expect that you would exhaust the power of your leavener doing it this way.  If you are concerned about your leavener being properly distributed then I think sifting it together with the flour is a better way to go.  I look forward to input from others.

 

 

I started doing it because I pre-weigh the flour and store it in containers. A few times, when I went to make the dough, I forgot to add the leavening! Now I've gone back to mixing it in with the dry and that did help. However, the cookie bakes thicker when there is only one on the pan. I think the other issue is putting a cold pan in the oven with multiple cookies. Maybe that is lowering the oven temp more than when I just bake one?

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I'm recalling something I heard on ATK Radio regarding doubling recipes.  They found that leaveners (particularly) didn't double very well.  So you need to adjust up or down to find the right balance.

 

I imagine it's a rounding error (because of the small quantities) regardless of measuring by weight or volume.  Or, perhaps it's a matter of a leavener's effect not being linear.

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38 minutes ago, brooksms said:

Maybe that is lowering the oven temp more than when I just bake one?

 OK. I’m reaching now but I know I had this issue and it’s only fair to share and see if it has any relation to what is happening to you. I discovered that just because my oven said that it had reached the temperature set (that is the preheat cycle was complete) my oven was nowhere near the temperature that it should have been at. I’m only throwing it out as a thought.  If you don’t already have an oven thermometer in there it would be a worthwhile exercise.


Edited by Anna N (log)
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