There seems to be much debate and even more speculation on why some cookies are flat and crispy and some are soft and chewy. Both cookies taste delicious, but everyone has a preference. However, if you're trying to bake a soft and chewy cookie and it comes out flat and crisp, it can be frustrating! Well, there certainly are reasons why cookies turn out one way or another.
It has to do with the amount and temperature of key ingredients:
1. Sugar: The moisture in sugar affects chewiness. The relative amount of white sugar to brown sugar has a great effect on the baked cookie, as the brown sugar has a much wetter moisture content (approximately 35% more moisture). Therefore, using more brown sugar will result in softer, chewier cookies, while using more white sugar will result in cookies that are flatter and crisper overall.
2. Butter and Eggs: The temperature of these key ingredients helps control how much the dough spreads. Cool ingredients will keep you dough cooler, which results in the cookies spreading more slowly in the oven allowing the oven's heat to "set" the cookie while it still thick and therefore producing a denser, chewier cookie. Warm dough spreads more quickly in the oven, which makes the cookies thinner and crisper. Also, keep this theory in mind if you have the habit of dropping cookies onto still-hot cookie sheets. If you don't want them spreading quickly, use cool sheets.
3. Flour: A high proportion of butter to flour in the dough will also allow it to spread quickly. Makes sure you are measuring your flour correctly. Adding more flour to a recipe to produce a thick chewy cookie won't work for you. Too much flour will make the cookie, firm, dry and tough - you need to control the amount and temperature of all the key ingredients together and that includes the butter, eggs, sugar and flour. To insure that you are accurately using the amount of flour called for in the recipe, use a kitchen scale to weigh it or measure properly: use a dry measuring cup, not a pyrex cup meant for liquid measurements. Fluff the flour with a fork to avoid densely packed flour. Then spoon the flour into the measuring cup and level it with a knife. Never scoop right from the bag as that will compact too much flour into the cup and don't shale or tap the cup as you add the flour or this will pack the flour down as well.
· 1 decade ago