“I am trying to achieve a thick, chewy chocolate chip cookie. Whenever I bake them, they flatten out and end up crunchier than I would like. What am I doing wrong?” —Angela from Sherwood
Solving cookie challenges is fun because it forces us to consider the function of each ingredient to determine what might be going wrong. If a cookie is flatter and crisper than what is desired, the first place to consider is the ratio of fat to flour. A cookie with too much fat and not enough flour will flatten excessively when the fat melts because there is not enough flour to maintain the structure of the cookie. Conversely, a cookie with too much flour and not enough fat will have too much structure and tend to stay upright as a cookie lump. Another possible cause for excessive flattening could be that the cookie dough is too warm when it goes into the oven, so the fat begins to melt immediately. A chilled cookie dough will first have to warm before the fat can melt, which reduces how far the cookie can spread while baking. Similarly, a warm cookie sheet will cause the fat to melt sooner as well. Another thing to consider would be to reduce the oven temperature by about 25 degrees.