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Spreading Problem

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
I'm really not sure if anyone can even help me at this point but either way I need to vent!

I started making cutout sugar cookies years ago. I started with Karen's Basic Rolled Sugar Cookie. It worked great and tasted delicious! Held it's shape so well. Went on a baking break for a year and when I started making cookies again, that recipe kept spreading, a lot! I have tried sooooo many recipes since then and have nothing but spreading problems. Tried, NFSC, Annie's Cut Out Cookies, Shortbread, etc....

What am I doing wrong?? I've made them thinner, thicker, lowered oven temp, made it higher, left out baking powder and so on....I have 100 cookies to do for an upcoming baby shower and I'm freaking out as I don't know what recipe to use anymore. Since Friday, I've made three different recipes and none have worked!

Any help or advice would be so appreciated!
post #2 of 17
Mija, I've only used the NFSC here on CC, which worked great. Are you chilling your dough before cutting -- see the "Hints" listed under the instructions for NFSC - and also chilling again before baking? The Flour Pot Cookie Book recommends re-refrigerating the cut out cookies for approx. 15 mins. so they set up, which should eliminate any running issues. (I do both -- refrigerate the dough after rolling, then the cut out cookies before baking, and I haven't had any problems.)

The only other issue might be the butter you're using . . . ??? I use Kerrygold, a little more expensive than other brands, but it yields a wonderful taste.

HTH! : )

PDX
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post #3 of 17
I have found that it helps to also chill the cookie pan before baking. It eliminates most all of the spreading. However, if I have one that does spread, I re-cut the shape about 5 minutes after it coms out of the oven.
I use the NFSC recipe as well.
post #4 of 17
... also, cookies may spread too much when there is too much sugar or not enough flour. Or the ingredients have changed, perhaps a different brand or supplier. Hope things work out...

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post #5 of 17
Thread Starter 
Thanks everyone. Yes, I chill my dough, cut, chill again in fridge and then throw in freezer for 5 min before putting in oven.

Maybe I'll try cutting them again once they come out of the oven.
post #6 of 17
This is the recipe that I use from the book "Cookie Craft".

3 cups flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup soft butter
1 cup sugar
1 egg
2 tsps vanilla

Mix flour and salt in bowl. Cream butter and sugar well, add vanilla and egg. Mix in flour/salt mixture. I refrigerate for 15 minutes or overnight.

After I cutout my cookies I refrigerate for a minimum of 15 minutes. Bake at 350. My cookies never spread. It is a great recipe that tast good and does not get rock hard. Try it, you will not be disappointed. HTH
post #7 of 17
The recipe that comes with the autumn carpenter cutters (the ones that come with the texture sheets), it doesn't spread at all. In fact I felt like it shrunk! I would type of the recipe, but I don't have it with me on vacation. I did like the taste of the NFSC on here better though.
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post #8 of 17
I use the recipe from Karen's Cookies, and they spread less than NFSC because of the lack of leavening. If it was working before, and now it's not, something has changed. Have you checked your oven temp???? A too-cool oven will affect spreading. Karen advocates using half butter/half margarine...have you changed brands or proportions? Some margarines and butters contain more liquid than others. Are you using different cookie sheets? Mine do better on light-colored pans. Other than the chilling that others have mention, that's all I can think of!
post #9 of 17
If NFSC spreads, just leave out the leavening. Also 5 minutes in the freezer may not be enough time. I do about 15 at a minimum.
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post #10 of 17
Are your cookies thicker than they used to be? The thicker I cut out my cookies, the greater the chance of spreading.
post #11 of 17
I also use the "Cookie Craft" recipe and love it. I never have a problem with spreading. I have tried a ton of other recipes and they all spread on me and I follow the same method as the "Cookie Craft" method and they just don't work for me. So in the end I always find myself going back to that recipe. They taste good and the texture is nice. Oh...and I have read that over creaming the butter and sugar causes air bubbles which will increase spreading. Are you over creaming the butter and sugar???
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Happy Decorating!!!
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post #12 of 17
You may be mismeasuring your flour. Try adding more until the texture of the dough is not sticky
post #13 of 17
The recipe posted from Cookie Craft is the same as the NFSC recipe without the baking powder- just halved.

I cream the heck out of my butter and sugar - I let it go until really light and fluffy, at least 3-5 minutes on medium speed, and I do not have much issue with spreading. But, I do refrigerate my dough (after rolling it out) for several hours.
post #14 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by breyes

I also use the "Cookie Craft" recipe and love it. I never have a problem with spreading. I have tried a ton of other recipes and they all spread on me and I follow the same method as the "Cookie Craft" method and they just don't work for me. So in the end I always find myself going back to that recipe. They taste good and the texture is nice. Oh...and I have read that over creaming the butter and sugar causes air bubbles which will increase spreading. Are you over creaming the butter and sugar???



Breyer is correct in her last statement. Beating this like you do a cake will create air bubbles that will rise once the leavening reacts.
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post #15 of 17
Thread Starter 
Thanks to everyone for the responses. I went back to Annie Eats sugar cookies and added a 1/4 cup of flour. Seems to do the trick! They aren't spreading at all. Once these cookies are completed I'm going to go back and see if I could fix the problem I've been having with Karen's cookies. They are by far the best tasting sugar cookie.
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