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Thread: Cookie Question

  1. #1
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    Cookie Question

    Hi!

    This is my first post to the board, but I have been reading and scoring great recipes and tips for a couple of years. A belated thank you to all of you who post and review. My family has been happier at meal and snack time!

    I have two questions really. First: Lately I have been trying to bake cookies with Earth Balance butter-flavored baking sticks in an effort to lessen or avoid the dairy in my baked goods. I have had partial success, but I am noticing that my cookies are very flat. Because I havenít been totally consistent using Earth Balance (sometimes I still use butter or even a stick of each) and because sometimes I am using new recipes, I am not sure if it is the Earth Balance that is causing the flatness. Alternatively, I have wondered if I might be measuring my flour too lightly. What are your suggestions? Does anyone have exprience baking cookies with EB? What were your results?

    Today I baked a half batch of ABís Puffy CC Cookies. They came out of the oven puffy, but fell flat as they cooled. They have a delicious flavor and they are buttery and tender. My husband and DD love them, but they are not at all what I was hoping for. I made them once before with similar results but realized after the fact that I used baking soda instead of the baking powder the recipe called for!

    Second: In general I like cookies that are substantial, cakey, and dense, but not buttery. I donít like cookies that melt in your mouth. (I like to have one bite of cookies like that, but they are too rich for me to finish.) Most baked goods I like are things my husband would describe as dry! I am having such a hard time finding recipes to suit my taste. A stick of butter to 2+ cups of flour is probably the right ratio for my taste, but I have never seen a CC cookie recipe like this. Low fat or fat free recipes tend to yield a sweeter or smaller cookie where I am looking for a less greasy cookie! Do any of you have recipes (chocolate chip or other) that might fit the bill?

    Thanks so much!

  2. #2
    Welcome! Maybe this recipe will appeal to you...

    * Exported from MasterCook *

    Bev's Chocolate Chip Cookies

    Recipe By :
    Serving Size : 0 Preparation Time :0:00
    Categories : Cookies/Brownies

    Amount Measure Ingredient -- Preparation Method
    -------- ------------ --------------------------------
    3/4 c rolled oats
    1 c whole wheat flour
    1/2 tsp baking soda
    1/2 tsp salt
    1/4 c butter -- softened
    1/4 c canola oil
    1/3 c sugar
    1/3 c packed brown sugar
    1 egg
    1 tsp vanilla
    1 c chocolate chips

    Grind oats in a blender or food processor. Transfer to a bowl and stir in flour, soda, and salt. Beat butter in a large bowl until fluffy. Add sugars, oil, egg, and vanilla and beat until smooth. Add dry ingredients and beat until just combined. Stir in chips. Drop by heaping teaspoonfuls onto pan. Bake at 350 for 15 minutes or until cookies are firm around the edges and golden on top. makes 30 cookies

    Per cookie: 99 calories, 5 g fat (2 g sat, 2 g mono), 12 g carb, 1 g protein, 1 g fiber

    Source:
    "Eating Well, Spring 2004"

    NOTES : I used whole wheat pastry flour and didn't have any semi-sweet chocolate chips, so I used milk chocolate chips and butterscotch chips. These were best on the first day. They were a bit drier on day 2 but still tasted good. I baked some on a reg. cookie sheet and silpat and the others on an airbake pan. I liked the ones baked on the reg. cookie sheet/silpat the best. MIght try to decrease the baking time by a minute next time.

  3. #3
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    Thanks! This looks like a good way to get a chocolate fix with out all of the butter. I do like oatmeal cookies! Even though I subscribed to EW last year, I still have not tried any of their recipes for baked goods. Maybe I will scan through to see if I can find any other cookie recipes to try.

  4. #4
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    You might like these too. My friend sent me the recipe. They are delicious but I'm not sure where they come from. Definitely use a stand mixer for them.

    Choc Chip Cherry Biscotti

    2 cups flour
    1 cup whole wheat flour (Or you could use all white whole wheat flour)
    1/4 t. salt
    1 cup sugar
    3 large eggs
    2T. vege. oil
    2 t. vanilla extract
    1 1/2 t. almond extract (I used amaretto)
    1 cup dried cherries
    1 cup choc chips
    Cooking spray
    Preheat oven to 350"
    Combine flours and salt in bowl stir well w/ whisk
    Beat sugar and eggs w/ mixer at high speed until thick and pale (about 4 minutes). Add oil and extracts, beat until well blended.
    Add flour mixture; beat at low speed until just blended.
    Stir in cherries and choc. chips
    Divide dough in half; turn out onto baking sheet coated w/ spray.
    Shape each portion into a 10 inch long roll and flatten to 1 inch thickness.
    Bake at 350' for 25 minutes or until lightly browned.
    Remove rolls from the baking sheet, cool 10 minutes on a wire rack.
    Reduce oven temp to 325'
    Cut each roll diagonally into 20 (1/2 inch slices.)
    Place slices; cut side down, on baking sheet
    Bake at 325' for 10 minutes.
    Turn cookies over and bake an additional 10 minutes (cookies will be slightly soft in center but will harden as they cool)
    Remove from baking sheet, cool completely on wire rack.
    Yield 40 biscotti.

    Suz

  5. #5
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    These aren't chocolate chip cookies, but I think they would fit your cakey dense preference. They are delicious. I got the recipe from Healthy in MN.

    they are fairly healthy (for a cookie that is).


    * Exported from MasterCook *

    Ricotta-Cheese Cookies

    Recipe By :desert culinary
    Serving Size : 30 Preparation Time :0:00
    Categories :

    Amount Measure Ingredient -- Preparation Method
    -------- ------------ --------------------------------
    Dough
    1/2 c butter -- softened
    1 cup sugar
    1 large eggs
    7 1/2 ounces lowfat ricotta cheese
    1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
    1/2 teaspoon almond extract
    2 cups all-purpose flour
    1 tablespoon baking powder
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    Icing
    3/4 cup confectioners' sugar
    1 tablespoon milk (may need more if not thin enough)
    1/4 teaspoon almond extract
    colored sanding sugar


    Preheat oven to 350

    In large mixing bowl, cream together sugar and butter until light and fluffy at least 3-5 minutes. Add egg and mix until combined. Beat in ricotta, vanilla and 1/2 teaspoon almond extract.

    In a medium bowl, sift together flour, baking powder and salt. Add to the butter mixture and beat just until combined.

    Using a tablespoon cookie scoop, drop dough ontop parchment lined baking sheets - about 2" apart. If you want a slightly smaller, but domed shaped cookie leave as is. If you would like a larger, but flatter cookie - gently flatten the dough balls with your finger. Bake for 13-15 minutes or until cookies are very lightly golden and the center springs back when lightly touched. Let cool for 1 minute on the baking sheet and carefully move to a wire rack to cool completely.

    In small bowl, combine confectioners' sugar, milk and almond extract. With small metal spatula, spread icing on cookies. Sprinkle sanding sugar while the tops are still wet. Set aside and let dry completely.


    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

    Per Serving (excluding unknown items): 93 Calories; 4g Fat (33.6% calories from fat); 2g Protein; 13g Carbohydrate; trace Dietary Fiber; 17mg Cholesterol; 150mg Sodium. Exchanges: 1/2 Grain(Starch); 0 Lean Meat; 1/2 Fat; 1/2 Other Carbohydrates.



    my notes: I made with all vanilla (no almond extract) and full fat ricotta. very good!! soft and cake like. they do NOT have a springy or spongey texture. more dense than that. great taste if you use real vanilla. just a smooth soft tender fairly dense cookie.

  6. #6
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    I'm not familiar with the product you were using for "butter", but I've been going through all my old CL magazines and found this bit of information in the November, 2004 issue (page 32) called "A Better Butter" -

    All butters are not created equal. By the U.S. Dept. of Agri.'s definition, butter must contain at least 80 percent milk fat. but some premium brands, such as Plugra' and Land O' Lakes Ultra Creamy, have a higher fat content - 82 and 83 percent, respectively. That means more flavor, which is great when you're spreading it on fresh, warm bread. But when it comes to baking, fatter isn't always better. "The difference is in the water content," says biochemist Shirley Corriher, author of Cookwise: The Hows and Ways of Successful Cooking. Higher-fat premium butters have less water, she notes, and the water in recipes "gives baked goods puff." The moisture in regular butters makes biscuits lighter, while higher-fat versions may produce denser results. Flavor is where higher-quality butters-such as those labeled Grade AA over A or B-gain an edge, says Dieter Schorner, associate professor of baking and pastry arts at the Culinary Institute of America. "If I make something where butter is the main ingredient, I choose the best grade," he says. "But if there are lots of other ingredients, as in coodies, then the flavor won't show as much."

    I don't know if this will help you, but I thought it was interesting. Just a side note: as I'm typing this, I'm wondering: is "Dieter" Schorner the person's name? or what's he's doing?? "dieting" ?? LOL

  7. #7
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    Dieting with butter! Interesting approach...LOL

    That was informative, though. I have really been trying to figure this flat thing out. I know that if butter is too soft or even melted, it will cause cookie flatness, and I know chilled dough helps so I have been taking all of these steps. It must be the Earth Balance product that is contributing to my deflated cookies.

    That said, I tried Bev's Chocolate Chip Cookies (using butter) posted by Linda in MO and straight from the oven I thought they were the answer to my cookie dreams. I took them out when they looked to be just set, still very soft to the touch but not wet. After a couple of minutes of cooling, but while they were still warm, they were perfect--great consistency, appearance, and flavor. I packed one for my DD's snack (a big treat since she usually brings fruit or yogurt) and I was excited to hear her review when I picked her up from school. Imagine my disappointment when she told me she'd asked her teacher for one of the back-up snacks they keep on hand (a bag of pretzels). She said the cookie was too hard for her to eat--it hurt her teeth!!

    I've got them packed up in tupperware, and I'm hoping they will soften up a little over the course of the day. I guess my results are similar to Linda's--but mine didn't even last a couple of hours! I did bake them for 18 minutes because I used my cookie scoop and only got 12 cookies from a recipe that is supposed to yield 30. As I said, when I took them out they looked just barely done.

    I've browsed around on the Earth Balance web site to see if there are any baking tips posted. The package says it should perform just like butter, but you know how packages are! For anyone who is interested, you can visit the website: www.earthbalance.net.

    I can't wait to try the other two recipes posted. The ricotta cookies will be a real departure for me, but they look yummy. I love biscotti, but I've never baked them myself. I am eager to try those as well!

    Thanks so much for all of your suggestions!

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by cookiecrazed
    That said, I tried Bev's Chocolate Chip Cookies (using butter) posted by Linda in MO and straight from the oven I thought they were the answer to my cookie dreams. I took them out when they looked to be just set, still very soft to the touch but not wet. After a couple of minutes of cooling, but while they were still warm, they were perfect--great consistency, appearance, and flavor. I packed one for my DD's snack (a big treat since she usually brings fruit or yogurt) and I was excited to hear her review when I picked her up from school. Imagine my disappointment when she told me she'd asked her teacher for one of the back-up snacks they keep on hand (a bag of pretzels). She said the cookie was too hard for her to eat--it hurt her teeth!!

    I've got them packed up in tupperware, and I'm hoping they will soften up a little over the course of the day. I guess my results are similar to Linda's--but mine didn't even last a couple of hours! I did bake them for 18 minutes because I used my cookie scoop and only got 12 cookies from a recipe that is supposed to yield 30. As I said, when I took them out they looked just barely done.
    Oh no! That's a bummer. I don't remember them getting that hard. You can always use a trick my mom used...put a piece of soft bread in with the cookies and that should soften them up. The cookies absorb the moisture from the bread.

  9. #9
    Join Date
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    here is a ccc recipe I like even though I generally don't like soft cookies. maybe it is what you are after.


    The Quintessential Chocolate Chip Cookie

    Recipe By :Julie Hasson
    Serving Size : 29 Preparation Time :0:00
    Categories : Cookies Desserts


    Amount Measure Ingredient -- Preparation Method
    -------- ------------ --------------------------------
    3 c flour
    1 tsp baking powder
    1/4 tsp salt
    1 c butter -- at room temperature
    2 1/3 c packed brown sugar
    2 tsps vanilla
    2 eggs
    2 1/3 c semisweet chocolate chips
    1 1/2 c walnut pieces (I omitted)

    In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, and salt.

    In a large bowl using an electric mixer beat butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Add vanilla, mixing well. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add flour mixture and beat until just combined. Fold in chips and nuts.

    Drop by 1/4 cup measure on parchment-lined baking sheets, about 2 inches apart. Bake in a preheated 350 oven for 15 to 20 minutes until puffed and pale golden. Cookies will be soft to the touch and look somewhat undercooked. Let cool completely on pans on racks

    Source:
    "125 Best Chocolate Chip Recipes"

    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -


    NOTES : The taste of these is excellent. you can really taste that great brown sugar flavor. they are a bit sweeter and a bit less salty than an average ccc, but really delicious! The cookies stayed nicely thick and they were dense and soft/chewy. The bottoms and edges of the cookies were slightly crisp, but overall, I would categorize this as a soft cookie.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by peachykeen
    Just a side note: as I'm typing this, I'm wondering: is "Dieter" Schorner the person's name? or what's he's doing?? "dieting" ?? LOL
    I think that's a German name, pronounced DEE ter.

  11. #11
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    Here is my chocolate chip cookie. It is on the package of Bob's Red Mill Muesli! The original recipe asked for 3/4 cup of flour, but 1 cup makes the cookie a little more firm.

    * Exported from MasterCook *

    CHOCOLATE CHIP M‹SLI COOKIES

    Recipe By :Bob's Red Mill
    Serving Size : 50 Preparation Time :0:00
    Categories : Cookies Low Fat

    Amount Measure Ingredient -- Preparation Method
    -------- ------------ --------------------------------
    1 Cup Unbleached flour -- Sifted
    1/2 Teaspoon Soda
    1/2 Teaspoon Salt
    1/2 Cup Butter (1 stick) -- Soft
    3/4 Cup Brown Sugar
    1 Large Egg
    1/2 Teaspoon Vanilla
    1/4 Teaspoon Water
    6 Ounces Chocolate Chips (1 Cup)
    1 Cup Bob's Red Mill Muesli

    Heat oven to 375į (350į convection).

    Sift flour, soda, and salt together and set aside.

    Blend butter, sugar, vanilla and water. Beat in egg. Add flour mixture, mix. Stir in Muesli and chocolate chips.
    Drop by teaspoonsful on lightly greased cookie sheet.
    Bake for 3 minutes switch pans and bake 3 minutes more. Watch closely, they burn easily.

    Yield:
    "2 "
    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

    Per Serving (excluding unknown items): 10 Calories; trace Fat (8.1% calories from fat); trace Protein; 2g Carbohydrate; 0g Dietary Fiber; 4mg Cholesterol; 23mg Sodium. Exchanges: 0 Lean Meat; 0 Fat; 0 Other Carbohydrates.

    NOTES : The original recipe was for 3/4 cup flour, but 1 cup flour works out better!
    Curleytop

  12. #12
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    I've made some Biscotti in the past, but find I like it better if I don't re-bake it after it's sliced. I know the purpose of re-baking it is to make it crispy or hard, but I prefer the softer version, so I just slice it and enjoy with a hot cup of tea!

    P.S. to LakeMartin Gal: Thanks, I never would have known!!

  13. #13
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    Ohhhhhhh! That muesli recipe looks promising. Any excuse to make another batch of cookies, right?

    I will also try the "soft" cc cookies this weekend. We have a dinner party to go to and I can bring all of the leftovers of both batches so I don't have to fill up the freezer!

    Peachykeen: I would never have thought to only bake the biscotti once, but what a good idea! Sounds like a great treat with tea.

    I used Linda's tips and Bev's cookies softened up quite a bit. And it ended up being a good thing that DD didn't like them because then I didn't have to share! I did have to fight DH over the last two (I wanted to have one AND save one for later!!)

  14. #14
    Welcome to the boards!

    For a rich, chocolatey cookie with a bite, you might want to try these. They're delicious and super simple to make. I usually keep some dough in the freezer for last minute needs. The 10-minute baking time is very important, fyi.

    Mocha Truffle Cookies
    1/2 cup butter
    1/2 cup chocolate chips
    1 tablespoon instant espresso
    3/4 cup sugar
    3/4 cup brown sugar
    2 large eggs
    2 teaspoons vanilla extract
    2 cups flour, all-purpose
    1/2 cup cocoa
    1/2 teaspoon baking powder
    1/4 teaspoon salt
    1 cup chocolate chips

    Melt butter and 1/2 cup chocolate chips. Add instant coffee and blend well. Allow to cool for 5 minutes. Add sugars, eggs, and vanilla to coffee mixture. Add dry ingredients. Stir in chocolate chips. Drop by tablespoon on greased cookie sheets. Bake at 350 degrees for exactly 10 minutes. Do not overbake.
    Visit my website (mostly cooking, with life thrown in for good measure):
    http://www.sweetnicks.com

  15. #15
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    Cookiecrazed,

    I wanted to say "welcome" and, I'm with you. Everyone here loves my Toll House cookies, but I think they are buttery and gross! I much prefer a fluffier, drier cookie as well. The two things I've tried with a bit of success are refrigerating the dough overnight (I think you said you do this anyway) and adding a bit more flour than the recipe calls for. I use half butter and half Earth's Balance shortening for most cookie recipes that call for butter. I, too, am on a quest for my ultimate CC cookie.

    I think I will try Val's Quintessential CC cookie recipe and see if I like that.

    I have a neighbor who bakes the absolute BEST cookies, always high and fluffy, and she WILL NOT give away her recipe. Grrr.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
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    Western Pennsylvania
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    I have been using Earth Balance in lieu of butter for 3 years now (complete substitutions - no 1/2 and 1/2) and while it could be attributed to the particular cookies I'm baking, I can honestly say that I haven't noticed that the cookies are any "flatter" than when I baked those same recipes with butter. In fact, I would say that of all the substituting I've done on the road to "dairy-free", using Earth Balance in my baking has been the most foolproof. I use it in every cookie and cake recipe where a "buttery" flavor is not required and so far no one to whom I've served these goodies has commented on the difference. I myself can't tell the difference.

    I'm not sure that helped with your question, but I thought it might help to know what others have experienced with this particular product.

    Something that may make a difference in the flatness of a cookie (although I tend to doubt it myself) is "softening" the Earth Balance so much so that it's more "liquid" (oil) than "solid". I know that when pressed for time, I use the microwave for softening and it takes mere seconds to go from "softened" to "puddle of oil". Can't say that I've noticed a difference in the final products, though, but it may be something to look out for.

    -- GG

  17. #17
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    Dec 2005
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    Orange, California
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    I started to take a baking class at one of our local community colleges last year (had to drop because of time constraints) and learned that the amount of sugar in a recipe contributes to the amount of spread and butter does to. Temperature is also a factor. When I get home today I'll pull out my notes and see if there is more information that might help you.
    In the few classes that I did attend, we scooped all of the cookies onto sheet pans and all the sheet pans went into the refrigerator before being baked. They all turned out great...'course this was using a commercial convection oven!!

    I was watching one of Alton Brown's shows last year and he is an advocate of weighing dry ingredients. I was also exposed to weighing ingredients in the class that I took. I thought this would be a hassle at home, but I am so used to weighing my dry ingredients now I don't give it a second thought.
    But before I was ready to 'buy in' to the whole weighing of ingredients I wanted to conduct my own experiment. I went to Bed, Bath and Beyond and bought a relatively inexpensive digital scale. I experimented by measuring and weighing the flour for a cookie recipe and found there to be a rather significant difference between the two methods. As I recall, there was less flour by weight than by measurement. I also measured and weighed the sugar and was surprised to find a difference in those amounts as well. Again...probably sounds like a hassle to most, but I love to bake and experiment around.

    I've bake many cookies out of the Williams Sonoma Cookie book and have had wonderful results. Especially with the chocolate chip recipe.

    I'll rummage around in my class notes and see if I can find more tips for you!

    Happy Baking!

  18. #18
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    I think the flatness is from the fat in the recipe. Alton Brown has explained this before. I think from what you describe you would be better off making bar cookies. They are cakey and dense and usually can't flatten. Good luck in your quest.
    I wear my toolbelt in the kitchen...

  19. #19
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    Massachusetts
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    Lots of great tips--thank you to all of you, and thanks for the warm welcome. I just realized last night, as I was browsing the Earth Balance site, that I should probably give the EB shortening a try. The ingredients of both products are similar, but isn't shortening supposed to limit cookie spread? Maybe the shortening version is made to do this better than the butter version. I went with the buttery sticks originally because I thought I would miss the flavor of butter in my baked goods.

    Missindi: Thanks for posting the Mocha Truffle Cookies. I have made them and they are TDF!! I am pretty sensitive to caffeine, so I don't make them too often. That Penzey's instant espresso powder seems pretty high octane to me. I used it in the One Bowl Mocha Cake (which I LOVED as well!) and each slice kept me up hours past bed time! Do any of you use a different product? Maybe if I could find something more towards the de-caf side of the spectrum!!

    bakegirl: My husband just suggested the very same thing. I'm having a hard time imagining myself weighing my ingredients, but I think that's the only way I'll know for sure if I'm measuring my flour too lightly.

    laurelhiker: Good to know! I am glad to hear that it can be done. Once I get to the bottom of this, I can go butter-free and be happy! I appreciate your tip about softening. I have run into that several times with butter, so I've been really careful to allow the Earth Balance to soften on the counter--which, fortunately, it does pretty quickly.

    pambrack: You remind me of another question that I often wonder about. If one is willing to watch baking times closely, can any drop cookie dough be turned into a bar cookie just by throwing it into a pan? I always wonder, but have never tried. I've made bar cookies before, of course, but always using a recipe intended to make bars.

    Phew...I think that covers everything...this is turning into such a useful thread for me. Thanks again!

  20. #20
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    Orange, California
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    Keep in mind that butter contains more water than shortening - so you would have more spread with butter than shortening. It will be interesting to see what your results are using the Earth Balance Shortening.

    Here is what I found in the text book we used in that baking class regarding what causes spreading:
    1. High sugar content increases spread. Coarse granulated sugar increases spread, while fine sugar or confectioners' sugar reduces spread.
    2. High baking soda or baking ammonia content encourages spread.
    3. The creaming of fat and sugar contributes to spread by incorporating air. Creaming a mixture until light increases spread. Blending fat and sugar just to a paste reduces spread.
    4. Low oven temp increases spread. High temp decreases spread becuz the cookie sets up b4 it has a chance to spread too much.

    Here is the Williams Sonoma CC cookie recipe that I really like. When I bake them they are not greasy and are not overly sweet. 'Course this won't help your quest to reduce dairy!!

    1 1/3c all purpose flour (7 oz)
    1/2 tsp baking powder
    1/2 tsp baking soda
    1/2 tsp salt
    1/2 c unsalted butter at room temp
    1/2 c granulated sugar (4 oz)
    1/2 c firmly packed light brown sugar (3.5 oz)
    1 large egg
    1 tsp vanilla extract
    1 c semi sweet choc chips (6 oz)
    1 c toasted and chopped walnuts (4oz) (Optional)

    Preheat oven to 350.

    Sift flour, baking powder, baking soda & salt, set aside.

    Cream butter until fluffy and pale yellow. Add both sugars and beat to incorporate. Add the egg and vanilla on low speed and beat until blended.

    Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture and beat just until blended. Add cc and walnuts and mix/stir until just blended.

    Drop by rounded TBSP (I use a scoop) onto baking sheet.

    Bake until golden brown around the edges about 12 mins. Transfer cookies to wire racks to cool completely.

    Makes about 4 dozen cookies.

    Have fun!!
    Last edited by bakegirl; 03-23-2006 at 07:43 PM.

  21. #21
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    please keep us posted on your results. I find this to be an interesting thread!

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