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Secret to stop Toll House cookies spreading?

post #1 of 82
Thread Starter 
I don't make many cookies, except for choc chip cookies using the Toll House recipe. But my problem is they seem to spread too much. I hardly beat the butter, sugars and eggs at all before adding in the flour, since I heard that overbeating makes them spread.
I use a trigger action metal ice cream scoop to portion them. I don't press down on the scoopful when they are on the baking sheets.
I bake at about 350F. Do I need to up my temperature? But then the outside edges get really dark. Or do I add more flour? I have also tried baking when the raw dough has been refridgerated/frozen, but I get the same problem. I bake on a silpat. Should I try parchment?
I really want my cookies to be a bit higher, rather than wider and flatter!
post #2 of 82
Thread Starter 
Oh, and for some reason, if I add white chocolate chips instead of dark chocolate, they spread even more icon_confused.gif
post #3 of 82
Check the temperature of your oven. Also, they may have too much sugar.
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Making life sweet!

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post #4 of 82
Toll House only uses baking soda right? Baking soda will make your cookies spread. I'd add a little baking powder. So if you use a tsp of BS (lol) use 3/4 tsp BS and 1/4 tsp BP... and keep adjusting until you get the cookie you like.
post #5 of 82
Hello try chilling your dough before baking them and that will prevent spreading.
post #6 of 82
Thread Starter 
Thanks. My oven temperature is spot on, it definitely bakes at what it says its baking at. I will try reducing the baking soda and adding baking powder. I had no idea it might be that! If that doesn't work, I'll try reducing the sugar a bit.
I had tried refridgerating or freezing before baking and it didn't work for me at all.
post #7 of 82
I looked this up to make sure, since it's different from what you said, but according to my baking science book, with cookies, spreading can be caused by UNDERmixing as well as too much sugar or too low a baking temp.
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"Begin at the beginning and go on till you come to the end; then stop." Alice in Wonderland
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post #8 of 82
I make all different types of choco chip cookies... some like really poofy cookies... I use mainly BP for that... some like a medium cookie and I use less BP... and some like really thin crispy one (this would be my hubby) and I use mostly if not all BS.

Mix your butter and sugar until combined... mix your eggs in until well combined... and then add your dry and chips. You don't want to overmix because you'll have a more cake-like cookie, but you don't want to undermix either.

Bake at 375...
post #9 of 82
Baking soda needs an acid to react and give you the leavening you are looking for. Chocolate chip cookies don't have a ton of acidic elements in them so there's not much for the BS to react with.

Baking powder is baking soda with an acidic agent (usually cream of tartar) and a starch to keep the moisture down. It has the acid in it to give you the leavening action no matter what.

Baking soda is usually used when there is an acid in the recipe... buttermilk, sour cream... things like that.
post #10 of 82
Don't use butter or margarine. My mom used Crisco shortening instead and this is how I've made them for years. I've tried it both ways and it is definitely the butter than does it. Crisco makes a less chewy cookie that does not spread. Try it. icon_biggrin.gif
post #11 of 82
Divide your fat into 1/2 butter and 1/2 Crisco...as an old Home Ec teacher, I can tell you that it is your fat, not the baking soda issue...the fats have different melting points and the combination of the two will allow the other ingredients to do their job when they are supposed to act...you will notice a tender cookie with some height...nothing worse than seeing a chocolate chip cookie that looks like puke on a floor when you use only butter icon_smile.gif ...and if you use only Crisco, it looks like a mound of concrete (and tastes like it)

I used to have the kids do the experiment in my classes and it is amazing how the fats combination makes the difference. You know your oven, and adjust accordingly...so, try and see if this does not make the cookie you envision.
post #12 of 82
Yeah, but I hate using crisco in my baking so if you get creative with your leavening you get similar results. I wouldn't want cookies made with crisco (no offense, it's just my personal preference) so I figured out how to rememedy the flat cookie without having to use crisco.

The baking powder will react and give you some rise before the butter melts away and give you the structure you need. You get a cookie that is much like you stated... tender with some height with a nice chewy center and all the great flavor of butter.

Then there's my husband who LOVES those pile-o-puke looking cookies... LOL. I add some extra butter and use the BS and they almost look like chocolte chip tuiles... LOL.
post #13 of 82
Thread Starter 
Yes, I really want to avoid Crisco, especially since it's soooo expensive over here. I only use it for bakers pan release and modelling.

I am going to try a batch with just baking powder. I never understood why it has BS in the recipe since there's nothing acidic in there. I just never thought to change it icon_rolleyes.gif

I agree I am getting choc chip tuiles/piles of puke. I want a nice chewy mound of buttery, chocolatey cookie icon_biggrin.gif
post #14 of 82
Thread Starter 
Meant to ask if I am currently using 1tsp BS, shall I just use 1tsp baking powder instead? Or less BP than that? I'm not a food scientist, sorry!
post #15 of 82
Butter causes the spread, crisco doesn't. Crisco will give a crispy crunchy outside. Butter is more chewy in texture. I do half butter half shortening. Also, try adding a little more flour. (1/4 cup- this should keep them from spreading).

i use a cookie scoop too. If you freeze them, you need to bake them 3-4 minutes longer.
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