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Sugar Cookies Spreading

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
Hello,
I need help! I have always used the NFSC recipe from this website and loved it but last time I used it a couple of weeks ago the cookies spread into unrecognizable blobs. I switched today to the Wilton sugar cookies recipe and that is spreading as well. Any ideas as to what is causing this or what I can do about it? The only thing I can think of is that my butter is too soft. Could that cause it? I always leave the butter on the counter for a little while to bring it to room temperature first. Of course with NFSC the dough is refrigerated before rolling it out. Any suggestions are appreciated.

Thanks!
deborah
post #2 of 15
Try the Karen's cookies recipe. Www.karenscookies.com
I like this better than NFSC. NFSC spread a lot for me and I didn't let the butter soften all that much.
post #3 of 15
I don't use baking soda at all. I learned this from Sweetapolita who has a recipe similar to NFSC. I don't let my butter get too soft. I also refrigerate my dough after mixing, then I roll it out and refrigerate it again, and then I roll it out and cut my shapes. After that, I pop them in the freezer for a couple of minutes before baking. I've never had any spreading in the time I've made them.
post #4 of 15
I always put my cookies in the fridge for 10 minutes before baking. Once they're cut, I put them on a parchment covered cookie sheet and put the whole thing in the refrigerator and then take them right from the fridge to the oven. No matter what recipe I use, I never have problems with spreading.
post #5 of 15
I use the NFSC, but I leave out the baking soda as well. And I actually don't chill my dough before rolling (that makes it harder to roll!). Instead, I roll at room temperature, straight on a piece of parchment paper. (Put a silpat beneath it to keep it from sliding around). Then cut out your shapes, and lift away the excess dough. Then I freeze the cookies.

I can do this a couple weeks ahead of time, which is a life-saver sometimes! I bake them straight from the freezer, and they hold their shape perfectly. No extra browning on the edges, either, if that's important to you.
post #6 of 15
How come some of you leave out baking soda from the NFSC recipe? Do you use the recipe as is and just omit baking soda or you subsitute for taking this out? I used this recipe a few times already and it worked quite well with the baking soda.
post #7 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pearl645

How come some of you leave out baking soda from the NFSC recipe? Do you use the recipe as is and just omit baking soda or you subsitute for taking this out? I used this recipe a few times already and it worked quite well with the baking soda.



Some people report that their cookies rise too much or spread. Sweetapolita as I mentioned before suggested omitting the baking soda or just using a small amount. I don't add anything to compensate for no baking soda. The cookies don't rise or spread. To test this, I put the cutter on the baked cookie and it is almost the same as when I cut it.

If you can use baking soda with no issues that's great but honestly I don't want to worry about another ingredient if I've had perfect results every single time without baking soda.
post #8 of 15
Thanks ibee. I ought to give this a try next time. I wouldn't mind cookies that bake exactly like I cut them. They do rise a bit and I don't get a completely flat surface with the baking soda in.
post #9 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pearl645

How come some of you leave out baking soda from the NFSC recipe?



I use the sugar cookie recipe on Sweetopia.net which calls for baking powder, not baking soda. I omit the baking soda alltogether. Both baking powder and baking soda are leavening agents - something helpful when you want a nice fluffy cake, but nice and fluffy isn't ideal for cookies.

Omit the powder/soda, don't substitute anything. Chill, chill, chill your dough!! This is the hardest part for me as I am so impatient. But you will save yourself a lot of headaches. I roll it out at room temp and put it in the fridge. Roll out the next sheet, put it in the fridge and repeat these steps until it is all rolled. Then I take the first one out of the fridge to cut shapes - usually it has been about half an hour in the fridge. After the shapes are cut I put them on a cookie sheet in the freezer. By the time I am finished cutting all the shapes, I can take the first tray out of the freezer and bake it from there. No spreading!

And in a pinch I have just re-cut the shapes when the cookies are hot if there was still too much spreading. Work quickly though before they set. Sweetopia also has an article on her site for reducing spreading. icon_smile.gif
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post #10 of 15
i use the nfsc recipe as is and freeze my cut out shapes then place in the oven I have zero spreading. everytime.
24 years old, Mom to no one and damn proud of it lol. 
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24 years old, Mom to no one and damn proud of it lol. 
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post #11 of 15
I always chill my biscuits in the freezer before I bake them, about 10mins is all you need.
I have used this method with heaps of different recipes , including sugar cookies, gingerbread and shortbread.
They all keep their shape and don't spread.
post #12 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lovelyladylibra

i use the nfsc recipe as is and freeze my cut out shapes then place in the oven I have zero spreading. everytime.



How many minutes do you add to the normal baking time when you cook from frozen, please?
post #13 of 15
I too omit the baking powder. Works like a charm.
post #14 of 15
I too use the NFSC and omit the baking soda. I also make sure that i don't let my butter get too warm or soft before mixing. I normally make the dough the day before baking so i leave it in the fridge overnight. I have used it within an hour of being in the fridge and it works the same, so no need for it to be overnight in the fridge. Just my preference. ALSO...and a big ALSO...the more you roll and rework your dough and roll/re-roll, will cause spreading. I divide one batch of NFSC in half and tightly cover in plastic wrap. Once my oven has been warming for a good amount of time, i take half of the dough, and cut it in half again. I'm in California...so the heat and humidity with the weather and the oven together is not good on my dough. Keep your dough chilling in the fridge till you're ready to roll. Cut and place on the cookie sheets and into the freezer for a few mins. Straight to the oven from there and i have not had to add baking time because the dough should not be frozen, just chilled. Trial and error has proven to be a learning experience as well! good luck!
<3 Monica
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<3 Monica
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post #15 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by blueskies

Hello,
I need help! I have always used the NFSC recipe from this website and loved it but last time I used it a couple of weeks ago the cookies spread into unrecognizable blobs. I switched today to the Wilton sugar cookies recipe and that is spreading as well. Any ideas as to what is causing this or what I can do about it?



Your flour and/or sugar have probably absorbed a good amount of water as humidity.

I store my flour and sugar in plastic bins right after I get them home, it prevents both lumping and this problem.

So I hope you didn't throw away that good dough, just warm it up and mix in a little more flour. Try about 1/4 cup for each 2 cups you used originally.
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