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Spreading cookies, Help!!

post #1 of 25
Thread Starter 
I have made two batches of sugar cookies today, one with margarine and the other 1/2 margarine and 1/2 butter and they both spread so much while baking. My recipe has sour cream in it but I still use a lot of flour. I even freeze the cut out cookie dough 15-20 minutes before I bake it. Any suggestions please let me know.
Thanks, Ruth
post #2 of 25
icon_sad.gif Sorry that happened to you.
I really don't have *the* answer as to why - but might it be the sour cream ?

I use the NFSC recipe - and am thirlled with how it never runs/spreads.
Have never been happier since finding it on here.
After i have cut the shapes out i just pop them in the fridge for 5 minutes and then straight into the prepped oven.

Are you able to post the entire recipe - so as we can see what other ingrediants are in the mix....maybe then someone will be able to gauge why this happens to your cookies.


Bluehue. icon_smile.gif
post #3 of 25
Your all butter and half butter/margarine recipes are identical since margarine has the same amount of water content as butter) so the results were the same.

Have you tried the No Fail Sugar Cookie recipe on CC:
(Uses all butter, but doesn't spread.)

http://www.cakecentral.com/cake_recipe-2055-0-No-Fail-Sugar-Cookies.html

HTH
post #4 of 25
I just started school for baking but according to my course book these are the reasons for spreading too much.
Baking temp too low
Not enough flour
Too much sugar
Too much leavening(chemical leaveners or creaming)
Not enough liquid
Pans greased too much

Hope that helps
post #5 of 25
Thread Starter 
here is the recipe I used
2 cups margarine
3 cups sugar
2 eggs
2 teasp vanilla
1/2 cup sour cream
1 teasp salt
2 teas baking powder
1 teas baking soda
8 cups flour

I usually cut them about 1/4 inch thick. I really like recipe because they stay soft but maybe I will try NFSC and see how that works.
post #6 of 25
Thread Starter 
JanH- would it be best to try all butter next time?

Liv6- I bake at 375 but sometimes I add 1/2 cup more sugar, do you think that is to much? What if I left out the soda?

thanks for the tips and I may play around with things when i get more time.
Ruth
post #7 of 25
Just a note -
When i started baking *seriously i went and checked out all the butters at my local supermarket - and i was icon_surprised.gificon_surprised.gif at the ammount of water in them and how that ammount varied from Brand to Brand.
Then i found a Brand that has NO WATER - mind you it costs about AUS$1.50 more per 250 grams.
But when i bake for customers - i use that and calculate that into my end cost.

Have you ever looked at the water content on your butter/margarine wrapping?

Just thought i might mention it -
Some people don't even realise that some butters have alot of water included in teh end product.
Perhaps it is different where you come from - *shrugs*
Don't mean to sound bossy icon_redface.gif just a little snippet of info.

Bluehue icon_smile.gif
post #8 of 25
Thread Starter 
Bluehue-
Thanks for the info. I never thought about checking for water content and this is going to make me sound like a total idiot but where does it tell me how much water is in the butter? No you are so not bossy, I need all the help I can get.
post #9 of 25
It doesn't make any difference if you use all butter, margarine or a combination of butter and margarine - the amount of fat and water is exactly the same.

Using shortening which has is 100% fat (no water content) and has a higher melting point than butter/margarine would decrease the amount of spread, but the flavor & mouthfeel wouldn't be the same.

Science of Cookies:
(Lots of great info with lots of hints and tips.)

http://www.post-gazette.com/food/20011129cookies1129fnp1.asp

http://whatscookingamerica.net/Cookie/CookieTips.htm

http://www.cookies-in-motion.com/Baking.html

http://recipes.howstuffworks.com/questions-about-making-cookies.htm/printable

HTH
post #10 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by ebwmom

Bluehue-
Thanks for the info. I never thought about checking for water content and this is going to make me sound like a total idiot but where does it tell me how much water is in the butter? No you are so not bossy, I need all the help I can get.



Over here in Ausatralia it is law that every food product has Every ingrediant listed on the packaging...along with quantities and all numbers relating to food colourings.
A few years ago they also passed a law stating whether anything contains nuts & eggs - due to people having allergies.
Our butters are either wrapped in a grease proof paper or foil.
Come in blocks of either 250 grams or 500 grams - and the list of ingrediants are printed clearly on the side...post a link for an example
http://images.google.com.au/images?hl=en&q=western%20star%20butter&cr=countryAU&um=1&ie=UTF-8&sa=N&tab=wi

Margarines and butter/margarine blends come in plastic tubs - as do butter/olive oil blends.

The taste is also differant when there is no water content -
Something so small and insignificant can make such a differance.
Don't know if you have ingrediants listed on all your food stuffs - or whether it is law or not -
Googling might assist you if it isn't listed

Bluehue. icon_smile.gif
post #11 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bluehue

Just a note -
When i started baking *seriously i went and checked out all the butters at my local supermarket - and i was icon_surprised.gificon_surprised.gif at the ammount of water in them and how that ammount varied from Brand to Brand.



Quote:
Originally Posted by ebwmom

Bluehue-
Thanks for the info. I never thought about checking for water content and this is going to make me sound like a total idiot but where does it tell me how much water is in the butter?



The production of butter in the United States is standardized according to USDA guidelines so that the fat content can be no less than 80%. icon_smile.gif

Eveything you ever wanted to know about butter and margarine:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Butter

U.S. standards for grades of butter:

http://www.ams.usda.gov/AMSv1.0/getfile?dDocName=STELDEV3004470

Difference between butter and margarine:

http://www.ochef.com/864.htm

Found a composition breakdown of Australian butter:

http://tinyurl.com/cbv6xt

The fat and water components don't appear to be significantly different than the composition breakdown for American butter:

http://tinyurl.com/ceut8s

HTH
post #12 of 25
Have you tried baking without the baking powder & soda?
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post #13 of 25
Thread Starter 
sweeteecakes,
I never thought about leaving out the baking powder a
& soda. I always thought you needed those when you baked something.
post #14 of 25
I had trouble with my cookies spreading too much and I was using the NFSC recipe. I cut the baking powder back by half and it works beautiful now! I think that can make a big difference. My cookies were spreading so much before I did this that some of the shapes were nearly unrecognizable. Hope this helps! icon_smile.gif
post #15 of 25
I don't use any baking powder or baking soda at all. I cut them both. They are both leavening agents which are used to help baked goods rise. My cookies taste the same without them.
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