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Baking question about store bought butter.
December 16, 2013
11:22 am
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Squeegees Mom
South Texas
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I just made chocolate chip cookies from the same recipe I always use.  All the cookies turned out flat as a tortilla. Very tasty, but the appearance makes them not suitable for company.

I tried baking them a bit less, I tried putting the cookie sheet on the bottom rack, I tried refrigerating the dough between batches.Nothing helped. The only thing I can think of that is different is I used store brand butter from Kroger. Perhaps it has more water in it like margarine does. Has any one had this happen to them? And is there any thing else I could have tried to salvage the batch?

Thanks for your help!

PS My hubby said he was willing to eat the cookies so I would not worry about their appearance. Isn’t he the most helpful guy?

December 16, 2013
2:38 pm
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Pete
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In my limited cookie baking experience, yes, it can make a difference.  But we really need to have a few more experienced cookie makers weigh in.

But, in the interest of keeping your BP down, I volunteer to help get rid of the evidence!  You know, just as a public service.  What with it being the holiday season and all.   happy-flower

Am also thinking that perhaps this is why so many recipes call for shortening or some such?  Perhaps there is less variation from one container and another??  I dunno.  Just a thought.

Anulos qui animum ostendunt omnes gestemus!

December 16, 2013
2:58 pm
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Joelle
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Squeegees Mom said
I just made chocolate chip cookies from the same recipe I always use.  All the cookies turned out flat as a tortilla. Very tasty, but the appearance makes them not suitable for company.

I tried baking them a bit less, I tried putting the cookie sheet on the bottom rack, I tried refrigerating the dough between batches.Nothing helped. The only thing I can think of that is different is I used store brand butter from Kroger. Perhaps it has more water in it like margarine does. Has any one had this happen to them? And is there any thing else I could have tried to salvage the batch?

Thanks for your help!

PS My hubby said he was willing to eat the cookies so I would not worry about their appearance. Isn’t he the most helpful guy?

 I have had this problem before and found that using half butter and half Crisco made for a better cookie. You still have the butterery taste but a thicker cookie.

  "Be kinder than necessary, everyone is fighting some sort of battle."

December 16, 2013
4:11 pm
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MrsFuzz
Colorado
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It can also make a difference on whether you cream the butter/sugar together, or add melted butter.  Alton Brown did an awesome episode on it.   :)

Wearing cowboy boots does not make one an agriculturist….Having at least 3 varieties of poop on them does.

December 16, 2013
4:24 pm
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mamajhk
South Central Kansas
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Like the previous posters I have found that using shortening instead of butter (or margarine) results in a better (IMO) cookie.  Although the recipes often call for butter/margarine I heard or read somewhere that butter causes a flatter cookie (not sure that I am remembering this correctly but I think it has something to do with the fat content).   I use butter flavored Crisco for my chocolate chip cookies.

December 16, 2013
4:35 pm
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Squeegees Mom
South Texas
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Very enlightening. I honestly have never used shortening to bake with. Always used butter or margarine. Can’t you taste the shortening? I was using the standard Toll house recipe on the back of the chocolate chip bag. Same one I have always used. Hmm. Have to think about shortening.

 

Oh, and by the way, Pete, I really must thank you for volunteering to finish off the cookies for me. So very kind. But after sampling a few, err many cookies, we think we have discovered a new and favored cookie recipe. Since the cookies flattened out completely, the edges taste like the Brulee on Creme  Brulee. Oh, man are they good!

 

 

December 16, 2013
5:27 pm
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Squeegees Mom
South Texas
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Well, that was interesting. I went to the Nestle’s site. They have a chat room and I asked them why my cookies went flat. Two reasons according to Kelly. One: I allowed my butter to soften more than I should have. Two: I did not use nuts in this batch. According to Kelly, the nuts are  required. I should substitute something else like cranberries or add one to two tablespoons extra of flour.

 

Never had this problem before. I like nuts in my chocolate chip cookies, and hubby doesn’t So I alternate. This was  his turn for no nuts. I have used this recipe for years, with and without nuts, and have always used butter. Strange that it failed. Maybe it is just the butter was too soft, and I used a butter that did not compare equally with the butter I normally use.

 

Isn’t the internet wonderful? You can do so many neat things with it. I would hate to be an encyclopedia sales person nowadays!

December 16, 2013
7:39 pm
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Pete
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You are entirely welcome!  Of course.

We both like nuts in them, but he likes walnuts and I like pecans.  So, we alternate on the kind of nuts.  But, we do them as bar cookies.  Got that version from the back of the big bag of Guittard chocolate chips some years ago.

Just noticed that Nestlé’s big bag of chips from Sam’s also has a bar cookie version on their bag now. 

Anulos qui animum ostendunt omnes gestemus!

December 16, 2013
10:34 pm
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Squeegees Mom
South Texas
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I almost always put pecans in my baked goods. We live in an area that used to be a Pecan Orchard. Tons of pecan trees everywhere. Free for the picking and shelling of course. So why spend $ on dubious freshness store bought nuts?

My hubby’s favorite bar cookie is called Congo Squares. He does like nuts in those. They are similar to blonde brownies, but much richer. Yum! Bar cookies are a lot faster to make. I like that!

Thank you to all who offered your wisdom and advice on my butter issue. I sure appreciate it. smile

January 29, 2014
9:45 pm
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Ross
Bel Air Maryland
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Just increase the flour by a couple of tablespoons.

January 29, 2014
11:09 pm
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holstein woman
Yankton, (St. Helens)Oregon
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Try using lard. I find it is the best and most any recipe will improve.

January 30, 2014
11:05 am
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cityMouse
Vancouver Canada
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You know, I had an experiment this past holiday season with butter.  I made my usual sugar cookie recipe and they were awful.  So I tried three recipes with three different kinds of butter.  I finally found a sugar cookie recipe I really liked that didn’t need chilling, and I discovered that buying salted butter was too much a variable, and that unsalted butter was bound to be fresher and lighter tasting due to how it is transported and stored by the sellers.  The sugar cookies made with the unsalted butter were far superior and I no longer buy the salted butter.  I just keep it in the fridge…. I don’t use much anyway as a solo person, but I love to cook and it’s nice to have in the fridge/freezer!

 

Just a thought, as it’s not only the water content that can vary, but of course the freshness of the butter can vary wildly and with salt who’s to know?

 

February 1, 2014
11:15 am
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Squeegees Mom
South Texas
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I found this photo on my face book and thought it appropriate for this particular question.

 

February 4, 2014
1:04 am
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bonita
north east IL
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@city Mouse  The actual butter fat content of butter can vary as well. European style butter (e,g, Pleugra) has a higher fat content than (premium) American style butters!

Save the Earth. It's the only planet with chocolate.

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