Why Are My Chocolate Chip Cookies Always Flat?

Why Are My Chocolate Chip Cookies Always Flat?

Do your chocolate chip cookies always come out too flat and thin?

It’s a common and annoying issue.

The good news is that it’s usually due to a few common mistakes that are easy to correct.

Let’s go through them:

Using Margarine Instead of Butter

This is the one that got me.

Margarine has less fat and more water than real butter.

That makes for thin, flat, and less flavorful cookies.

Use real butter.

Incorrect Butter Consistency

Another butter related issue.

If your butter is too soft or melted, it causes the cookies to spread too much during baking, resulting in flat cookies.

To avoid this, make sure your butter is at room temperature before you start baking.

It should be soft enough to smush when you press on it, but not so soft that it’s oily or melting.

Overmixing the Dough

Another common mistake is overmixing the dough.

When you mix the dough too much, it develops more gluten, which can make your cookies tough and flat.

To prevent overmixing, stop mixing as soon as you see no more streaks of flour in the dough.

Not Chilling the Dough

Chilling the dough is a step that many bakers overlook.

When you chill the dough, it solidifies the fat in the cookies.

This helps them hold their shape better during baking and prevents them from spreading too much.

Chill your dough for at least an hour before baking, or even overnight if possible. This will give you thicker, chewier cookies.

Using the Wrong Baking Sheet

The type of baking sheet you use can also affect the outcome of your cookies.

Dark-colored baking sheets absorb more heat and can cause the cookies to spread and flatten.

Light-colored baking sheets reflect heat and can help your cookies maintain their shape.

Consider buying a good quality, light-colored baking sheet for the best results.

Check out this collection of Nordic Ware backing pans  on Amazon.

Incorrect Oven Temperature

Finally, an incorrect oven temperature can lead to flat cookies.

If your oven is too hot, it can cause the cookies to spread out before they have a chance to set.

Always preheat your oven before baking.

Double checking your oven’s temperature with an oven temperature gauge is always a good idea.

Here’s a sampling of well rated oven temperature gauges  on Amazon.

Flat chocolate chip cookies be gone!

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Author Profile: Consumer Expert Cassie Sommers

Cassie is back! One of our founding writers, Cassie has returned to write for CP after taking some time off to travel across Asia. Cassie has a BS in Journalism and loves all things entertainment. If it has to do with games, movies, tv, or travel, she's on it.

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