Cookie problems

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Joined Mar 24, 2021
Can anyone advise me on how to get my cookies to behave the same way every single time? I weigh all the ingredients, I use the same mixer and the same ovens and I cannot get a standard product. What am I missing? TIA. Stephanie
 
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Joined Mar 1, 2017
It could be any number of things. The more information you provide, the better. Post your recipe, including baking temps, time and details about the oven. Then, we can provide a better answer. :)
 
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Joined Apr 26, 2012
Also, please describe what is not happening each time that you need the cookies to do? For example, is it color? size? moisture? What is inconsistent? And is it inconsistent the same way each time?
 
11
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Joined Mar 24, 2021
Also, please describe what is not happening each time that you need the cookies to do? For example, is it color? size? moisture? What is inconsistent? And is it inconsistent the same way each time?
Thank you for replying. This is happening with every recipe, so I'll just use this week as an example. It's oatmeal raisin cookies using a 3.25 ounce scoop, so they are large. We had within the same dough batch some cookies that were completely flat, some that were normal height and some that barely flattened. Same batch, same oven and even the same tray in the oven with differences. We never know if the cookies are going to turn out as hockey pucks, frisbees or perfect beautiful cookies. My recipe:

1246 gr. Old fashioned oats
548 gr. Crisco
575 gr. AP Flour
4 eggs
500 gr. Raisins
9.6 gr. Baking Soda
16.8 gr. Vanilla extract
237 gr. Water
17 gr. Fine sea salt
1338 gr. Brown Sugar

We bake in a convection, 6 rack oven, 325 for 15 minutes. We do not chill the dough.

ideas?
 
11
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Joined Mar 24, 2021
It could be any number of things. The more information you provide, the better. Post your recipe, including baking temps, time and details about the oven. Then, we can provide a better answer. :)
Thank you. I posted the recipe and more info. 😊
 
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Joined Nov 27, 2012
also post the process of how you make the dough to just be perfectly clear on everything.
Some things that might be useful to check out:
  1. First impression is that maybe you have something messing up with the oven and the air is not circulating right. Different spots are giving you different temps because some kind of malfunction.
  2. Rotating the tray as the cookies bake might help or at least influence the end product without too much fuss, as would testing the recipe in other ovens. You just need to figure out the issue not really fix it at this stage.
  3. Maybe the dough could be another potential problem. But not sure as I don't know the process you go through.
hope this helps.
 

chefpeon

Kitchen Dork
808
221
Joined Jun 15, 2006
When troubleshooting baking problems it's easiest to find out what's happening via process of elimination and you start with the simple stuff first. In this case, convection ovens are notorious for wild temp variations. Try baking one pan of cookies in the oven and note how the cookies on that pan bake. Are the ones on one corner baking faster than the others? If so, it may give you some insight into the fact that the oven may be partly to blame, and remedies for that could be a simple as rotating pans. See how adding multiple pans to the oven affects the bake. I would think baking fewer pans at a time would provide better air circulation and even out temperatures a bit. Also, do you have an oven thermometer in the oven to make sure it is actually baking at the temperature you want? The number on the oven dial means nothing if the oven isn't calibrated.

Another thing.......cookies should always come out of the oven slightly underbaked since they continue baking on the hot sheet pan for a few minutes after they come out. You mentioned you bake them for 15 minutes which sounds about right for a large cookie, but maybe they are overbaked at that point. Maybe they only need 13 minutes or 12 or 11........and of course, the fuller the oven, the longer they take to bake, which increases your chances of overbaking.

I used to make huge batches of cookie dough on 60 qt mixer. I found out quite quickly that even after coming off the mixer, you still need to constantly scrape the dough up from the bottom with a bowl scraper to get a homogenous consistent mix. As I scoop, I keep scraping the dough up from the bottom of the bowl and mixing it in with the rest, otherwise, there's always those cookies at the end that totally suck.....too flat, no chips, etc.

Even though you said you don't chill the dough, I would still recommend it. You get a more consistent cookie if you allow the dough balls to sit and let the flour hydrate to its maximum capacity. Just mix the dough, scoop it, and refrigerate (or freeze) the balls. Pull out and bake as needed.

Once you eliminate the simple stuff and that hasn't solved your issues, then you can go deeper, like....is it the recipe itself? Has this issue been ongoing for some time? Is it a new recipe? Were there people who mixed and baked that dough other than yourself that had no issues? Is it just that one cookie dough you're having issues with or is it all other cookie doughs? What about other things you bake in that same oven? How do they come out? Finding the answers to those questions will help you narrow down the problem.
 
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Joined Apr 25, 2017
I second scraping the bowl of the mixer well, and doing a last mix by hand before scooping.

Otherwise, the last cookies will have too low of a ratio of the oats and flour to the fat and sugar leading to too much spread. The cookies from the center of the dough will have to high of the same ratio and not enough spread, and the ones between the two extremes will be the just right cookies. Good, consistent scraping and stirring will result in more just right cookies, and just 1 with too much spread (you know, for testing...).
 
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Joined Mar 24, 2021
Wow y'all! Great suggestions and information. We will give a final mix by hand before scooping, try chilling and rotate our trays. Hopefully this will fix the issues

We do have a oven thermometer to make sure the ovens are at correct temp - that was our first problem, the ovens were off. So we compensate for that.

The 40qt mixer had made us suspicious that it was mixing properly so we will scrape more.

Will be back in a few days with results!

Thanks so much everyone! :)
 
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Joined Dec 29, 2019
T This is happening with every recipe, so I'll just use this week as an example. It's oatmeal raisin cookies using a 3.25 ounce scoop, so they are large. We had within the same dough batch some cookies that were completely flat, some that were normal height and some that barely flattened. Same batch, same oven and even the same tray in the oven with differences.

Without a doubt...

They're not mixed thoroughly enough.
Question is , what size is your mixer?
I would use a 20 qt minimum size bowl.

Mixing sequence , if wrong, can make it worse.
Establish a homogeneous batter, then introduce the oats and flour.

Once the flour and oats are in the bowl it becomes difficult to scrape all the way down and up again.

If you have to, tip it onto a tray and knead it for a second. (wet your hands if its sticky.)
I bet my house that will fix the problem.
 
11
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Joined Mar 24, 2021
Without a doubt...

They're not mixed thoroughly enough.
Question is , what size is your mixer?
I would use a 20 qt minimum size bowl.

Mixing sequence , if wrong, can make it worse.
Establish a homogeneous batter, then introduce the oats and flour.

Once the flour and oats are in the bowl it becomes difficult to scrape all the way down and up again.

If you have to, tip it onto a tray and knead it for a second. (wet your hands if its sticky.)
I bet my house that will fix the problem.
Thank you. It is a 20qt. Mixer. We had a few good batches, but this week was a disaster so I took pictures. These are all from the same dough and they were on the same pan in the oven. I'll post but I do think it's a mixing issue, we're used to a small kitchen aid that generally never needed additional stirring. Again, thank you. Y'all have been so helpful.
 

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chefpeon

Kitchen Dork
808
221
Joined Jun 15, 2006
Thank you. It is a 20qt. Mixer. We had a few good batches, but this week was a disaster so I took pictures. These are all from the same dough and they were on the same pan in the oven. I'll post but I do think it's a mixing issue, we're used to a small kitchen aid that generally never needed additional stirring. Again, thank you. Y'all have been so helpful.
It might be helpful to tell us exactly how you go about mixing the cookies.
Standard cookie mixing procedure is normally the creaming method:
-Cream butter and sugars together (I also add in my salt and baking soda/powder at this stage too. When you mix large batches it's impractical to sift the flour and those things together. They get incorporated better when you add them in the creaming stage)
-add eggs and vanilla/other flavors, scrape down bowl, then mix til thoroughly combined
-add the rest (flour, oats, chips, nuts, etc) and mix WELL.
-scrape down bowl and mix a few minutes more.
-take it off the mixer, use some elbow grease and a bowl scraper and bring the dough up from the bottom up and over. Turn the bowl and do it again until you've gone all the way around. The dough should look very uniform when done correctly.
-as you scoop the cookies, keep scraping up from the bottom up and over.

It's fairly clear to me from the pictures you posted that the cookies are not uniformly mixed.
 
11
1
Joined Mar 24, 2021
It might be helpful to tell us exactly how you go about mixing the cookies.
Standard cookie mixing procedure is normally the creaming method:
-Cream butter and sugars together (I also add in my salt and baking soda/powder at this stage too. When you mix large batches it's impractical to sift the flour and those things together. They get incorporated better when you add them in the creaming stage)
-add eggs and vanilla/other flavors, scrape down bowl, then mix til thoroughly combined
-add the rest (flour, oats, chips, nuts, etc) and mix WELL.
-scrape down bowl and mix a few minutes more.
-take it off the mixer, use some elbow grease and a bowl scraper and bring the dough up from the bottom up and over. Turn the bowl and do it again until you've gone all the way around. The dough should look very uniform when done correctly.
-as you scoop the cookies, keep scraping up from the bottom up and over.

It's fairly clear to me from the pictures you posted that the cookies are not uniformly mixed.
Thank you. We've been using a spoon. We'll get a bowl scraper and given that feedback I've received here we think we are probably trying to make too big a batch in the mixer. We're going to cut it in half and see what happens. Back next week with hopefully perfect cookies!! 🤣🤣🤣

Thank you!!
 
11
1
Joined Mar 24, 2021
Thank you. We've been using a spoon. We'll get a bowl scraper and given that feedback I've received here we think we are probably trying to make too big a batch in the mixer. We're going to cut it in half and see what happens. Back next week with hopefully perfect cookies!! 🤣🤣🤣

Thank you!!
Oh, yes we do the creaming method just like you describe. 😊
 
193
44
Joined Dec 29, 2019
Thank you. It is a 20qt. Mixer. We had a few good batches, but this week was a disaster so I took pictures. These are all from the same dough and they were on the same pan in the oven. I'll post but I do think it's a mixing issue, we're used to a small kitchen aid that generally never needed additional stirring. Again, thank you. Y'all have been so helpful.
its still severely under mixed, thats sugar making the batter melt out.
 

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