Why do my Toll House Cookies go flat in the oven?
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Beginners and Advice
Why do my Toll House Cookies go flat in the oven?
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Ok all you bakers out there, I need a little help here.  I am a divorced Dad with two teenagers at home. I grew up with baking a lot and remember  cookies coming out of the oven and being so
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Forums » Baking Forums » Beginners and Advice » Why do my Toll House Cookies go flat in the oven?

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Forums  »  Baking Forums  »  Beginners and Advice  »  Why do my Toll House Cookies go flat in the oven?

Re: Why do my Toll House Cookies go flat in the oven?

posted at 4/30/2011 5:04 PM EDT
Posts: 1417
First: 10/26/2009
Last: 3/15/2014
It's been my experience that using real butter makes the cookies flatter than using shortening, or half shortening with half margarine. But I keep using butter because I prefer the taste over the appearance of the cookie!

Re: Why do my Toll House Cookies go flat in the oven?

posted at 5/1/2011 12:56 PM EDT
Posts: 198
First: 12/29/2008
Last: 6/22/2011
Waiting to hear from Michael B. to see if any of the suggestions helped him with his cookies not being flat. 

Re: Why do my Toll House Cookies go flat in the oven?

posted at 5/1/2011 4:01 PM EDT
Posts: 658
First: 8/8/2008
Last: 6/5/2012
Chocolate is never offensive in my house!!!!

Re: Why do my Toll House Cookies go flat in the oven?

posted at 5/1/2011 6:55 PM EDT
Posts: 483
First: 10/5/2008
Last: 12/5/2011
You do not grease the cookie sheet. Leave the dough rolled in a ball when you put it on the sheet and too much sugar will flatten any cookie. If you use the extra spoon of flour in the mix it usually works well.   Good luck. It shouldn't be a problem anymore.

Re: Why do my Toll House Cookies go flat in the oven?

posted at 5/2/2011 9:47 AM EDT
Posts: 198
First: 12/29/2008
Last: 6/22/2011
Hope Michael was able to get better Toll House Cookies by now.  good luck

Re: Why do my Toll House Cookies go flat in the oven?

posted at 5/2/2011 2:13 PM EDT
Posts: 432
First: 2/2/2009
Last: 9/7/2012
Make sure you did not melt the butter.

Re: Why do my Toll House Cookies go flat in the oven?

posted at 5/4/2011 9:03 PM EDT
Posts: 1
First: 5/4/2011
Last: 5/4/2011
I
I too have experienced the flat cookie and have tried the cold dough and the extra flour ........neither one has been helpful.



In Response to Re: Why do my Toll House Cookies go flat in the oven?:
Hi Michael - welcome to VBB.  I don't want a flat cookie either ... I want a good, fat, chewy hunk!  I use only Nestles Original Toll House Recipe and I use 100% butter. To make certain I get a fat cookie I add a big spoonful of extra flour. And - it sure slows down baking - but I always make the dough, wrap it in plastic wrap and store in 'fridge until it's cold.  To make certain all the dough I bake is still cold I put the balls of dough on a sheets and while one sheet is baking I keep the next in the 'fridge. Never, never put dough on a warm cookie sheet. Keep watching this site - you'll have more responses.
Posted by Nancy G

Re: Why do my Toll House Cookies go flat in the oven?

posted at 5/6/2011 9:43 PM EDT
Posts: 7304
First: 6/23/2010
Last: 4/20/2014
Adeline -- oh, that's too bad.  I can't imagine why nothing will help.   I can't think of another suggestion except to make absolutely certain you're using the correct margarine or real butter.   Today so many margarines contain mostly water.
Good luck.

Re: Why do my Toll House Cookies go flat in the oven?

posted at 5/6/2011 10:18 PM EDT
Posts: 1
First: 5/6/2011
Last: 5/6/2011
I have had the exact same problem and it is extremely frustrating!!! I too remember the "old" Toll House recipe..it was the only way we made choc chip cookies.  I have tried the numerous suggestions but still don't have a good puffy cookie anymore. My husband thought that maybe my oven temp was not correct but I got a oven thermometer and got the oven to the correct temp before putting each pan in the oven but to no avail.  If anyone, anywhere, has the solution...I too would love to know what it is.

Re: Why do my Toll House Cookies go flat in the oven?

posted at 5/6/2011 10:31 PM EDT
Posts: 3406
First: 10/6/2010
Last: 4/15/2014
There was a great episode on the Food Network Alton Brown did an entire show of Good Eat's on Cookies the "Puffy VS Flat" cookie and how to alter a recipe to obtain the cookie that you desire.
The few pointers I picked up were:
Butter= flatter cookie
Margarine= puffier cookie
 Higher proportion of White sugar= Crisper cookie
Higher proportion brown sugar= softer cookie
I am pretty sure that is correct but I am sure the info is on the Food Network site.
There was also mention about adjusting milk or egg proportions as well.

Re: Why do my Toll House Cookies go flat in the oven?

posted at 5/6/2011 11:52 PM EDT
Posts: 1073
First: 11/14/2008
Last: 4/7/2014
I also use buttered flavored Crisco - works great! Smile

Re: Why do my Toll House Cookies go flat in the oven?

posted at 8/10/2011 10:54 AM EDT
Posts: 1
First: 8/10/2011
Last: 8/10/2011
Hi everyone, interesting ideas.  I don't like flat cookies either and I used to have this problem.  Not anymore - if you think about science.  I use the original recipe on the back of the toll house chips bag.  I don't change anything at all.  But let's think about science - when you make fried eggs or pancakes - you wait until the pan or griddle is hot so the batter or egg whites do not spread out too much.  So when I make cookies (gas oven) I put one pan in the oven on the bottom shelf ( they are closer to the heat) and they "set", put the timer on for 5 minutes, move that pan up to the top shelf and put a new pan on the bottom shelf, put the timer on for 5 minutes again.  First pan gets done and I move the bottom one up and continue in that pattern.  I NEVER have flat cookies.  So to summarize, start all pans on the bottom shelf and move up to top shelf for the last five minutes.  By the way I do use 100% butter and it's mostly melted from the microwave.  Please let me know if this helps anyone. 

Re: Why do my Toll House Cookies go flat in the oven?

posted at 8/10/2011 12:42 PM EDT
Posts: 7304
First: 6/23/2010
Last: 4/20/2014
Karen - what a great suggestion!!   Thank you - I'm going to try that in my next baking session.

I now bake my cookies one sheet at a time but I always turn the sheet around during the process .......
What I mean ----  If the cookie is to be baked, let's say, 10 minutes I bake it 6 minutes then open the oven and turn the sheet around.    Then I bake it 4 minutes more.

Re: Why do my Toll House Cookies go flat in the oven?

posted at 8/10/2011 2:22 PM EDT
Posts: 959
First: 1/20/2010
Last: 4/13/2014
I agree I never have extra choclate in my house.
Never have cookies that get stale either.

Re: Why do my Toll House Cookies go flat in the oven?

posted at 8/10/2011 2:39 PM EDT
Posts: 1203
First: 9/10/2008
Last: 4/18/2014
In Response to Re: Why do my Toll House Cookies go flat in the oven?:
I agree I never have extra choclate in my house. Never have cookies that get stale either.
Posted by Sara S


DITTO and DITTO!!!

Re: Why do my Toll House Cookies go flat in the oven?

posted at 8/10/2011 3:31 PM EDT
Posts: 3406
First: 10/6/2010
Last: 4/15/2014
Michael, welcome!  First let me introduce you to a lady that has "put her 2 cents" in here a few times Nancy G bakes cookies.  Like the Pope is Catholic Nancy BAKES cookies!! So my first inclination would be to follow her advice. 
I have also read that the use of margarine rather than butter will give you "puffier" cookies.  Refrigerating the dough before baking will also keep the cookies from going flat.  The butter will melt slower if it is cold and margarine has a different melting temperature that is why they don't go flat as much.

A while back Alton Brown on The Food Network did an entire episode of Good Eats dedicated to "Puffy VS Flat" cookies if you can search the Food Network site for the info there were a lot more hints to achieve the desired cookie.

Me..I like cookies I pay no particular attention to flat or puffy but I do prefer a hot Toll House cookie right out of the oven to be soft, gooey a bit on the thin side and as they cool they become a little crisp but still a bit soft and gooey.

Re: Why do my Toll House Cookies go flat in the oven?

posted at 8/10/2011 3:33 PM EDT
Posts: 5
First: 10/18/2008
Last: 8/10/2011
Add a bit extra flour.  Also make sure you are using a fat with at least 70% vegetable oil (or butter).  Most margarines in stick form are mostly water and that can destroy your baked goods.  So using crisco or butter is the best bet for baking.  In the summer you usually just need to add extra flour because the humidity affects your cookies.  In the winter, your cookies should be turning out just fine with the original amount of flour.  

Re: Why do my Toll House Cookies go flat in the oven?

posted at 8/10/2011 6:51 PM EDT
Posts: 3406
First: 10/6/2010
Last: 4/15/2014
Did not realize this was an older post until I read my post and saw that I had responded almost the same way a while back...

Re: Why do my Toll House Cookies go flat in the oven?

posted at 8/10/2011 9:31 PM EDT
Posts: 7304
First: 6/23/2010
Last: 4/20/2014
Jennifer C is absolutely right ...... If you choose to use margarine make CERTAIN it's REAL margarine - not "spread". 
You'll do much better with a mixture of Crisco and butter.
I choose to use 100% unsalted butter unless it specifies something like
1/2 cup shortening and 1/2 cup butter.  Then I follow directions,

Re: Why do my Toll House Cookies go flat in the oven?

posted at 10/19/2011 3:11 PM EDT
Posts: 1
First: 10/19/2011
Last: 10/19/2011
I'VE GOT THE FIX!!!

I had the same problem. The toll house cookies I remembered making as a kid were never flat like the ones I've tried making these days. I was so thrilled I figured out what to do that I joined this board just to share! The alteration to the Nestle toll house recipe I made was really simple...

* Instead of 2 sticks butter, I used 1 stick (unsalted) butter, plus 1/4 cup of the butter flavored Crisco (which was one quarter of the individual little bars they come in.) 

The only other small things I did differently... using a lower speed on my mixer, and sifting the all-purpose flour before measuring. I did pack it down somewhat when measuring also, but stuck to the 2 1/4 called for. I did not need to chill my dough. I tried with and without parchment paper. It worked fine both ways but slightly better with the paper. I reduced the time to 8-10 minutes.

The results were perfect, and the solution was so simple! I do believe the butter alteration was the one thing that made the difference. I was concerned that they wouldn't taste as good but they taste wonderful! Hope this quick fix helps anyone else facing the flat cookie dilemma!
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