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Why do my toll house cookies deflat once out of the oven?

Das Ubergeek,
I think gluten was the issue. I beat the flour an extra 10-15 seconds and viola, that solved the problem. It makes a lot of sense now thinking back on my problem because my cookies were not spreading in the oven, they deflated once out of the oven, implying insufficient structure to maintain the rise from the butter and eggs. I didn't even have to chill the dough or cook any longer than the 9 minutes. They came out perfect (at least from my perspective :), They were crispy and golden on the edges and soft and chewy, without being cake-like, in the center.

Thanks for all your great suggestions!!

Jan 30, 2012
dorymoments in Home Cooking

Why do my toll house cookies deflat once out of the oven?

Yaaay!!! Ok, everyone, success at last!!! As I stated in my initial problem statement, I've tried most everything, not just from this thread, but from many others found on the Internet. I didn't really want to change out too much the toll house recipe as others using the same ingredients achieved, crispy,thick, chewy (not cake like though) cookies. One reference to an old Sunset article noting how little tiny changes in technique could make the difference, not just from baker to baker, from from batch to batch by the same baker and I think that was the issue with me. I was very scientific about the measuring, chilling, calibrating the temperature, matching exact higher quality brand name ingredients (e.g. good quality butter for consistent butter fat content). So, the one thing difficult to interpret was specific technique, such as how long to cream the butter, mix the flour, blend the flour or beat the flour to incorporate. I believe all these nuances in techniques made the difference.

My last batch, using pretty much the same toll house recipe, just upped the flour by a couple of tablespoons) came out perfect! The edges were crispy toffee brown, the center slightly thicker, soft and chewy, and no deflating once out of the oven!!!! :)

I didn't even have to chill the dough and they did not spread or deflate. I think the key was Das Ubergeek's suggestion to beat the flour a little bit loner 10-15 seconds. I had been overcautious to not overbeat batters and I think the flour needed to more mixing to develop the gluten to provide the structure for the cookies. Again, my problem had not been spreading in the oven, that could be solved with chilled dough, less moisture via reducing part part of the egg white, etc). It was deflating once out of the oven, which makes sense there wasn't enough structure in the dough to support the rise from the butter and eggs.

So, success at last - thanks to all!!!

Jan 30, 2012
dorymoments in Home Cooking

Why do my toll house cookies deflat once out of the oven?

Visciole,
Yes, thanks for referring me to this Home Cooking board! I've received great response and wonderful suggestions. I will try making up a batch at my house and taking it over, hadn't thought of that option yet.

Thanks again to all for the great helpful feedback and the advantages of all these collaborative cooking minds :)

Jan 29, 2012
dorymoments in Home Cooking

Why do my toll house cookies deflat once out of the oven?

Jcattles,
My friend came over and baked one batch using all her ingredients/equipment, than one batch with all mine. Her's when done at home are beautifully thick and chewy. Both control batches done at my house, wafer thin, so it's not the measuring cups & spoons......

Jan 27, 2012
dorymoments in Home Cooking

Why do my toll house cookies deflat once out of the oven?

Chowser,
I don't think my oven is bigger than normal. It's a Thermodor professional series, which I got about 3 months ago during my kitchen remodel. My old Whirlpool also caused deflated cookies, but not to the level of my Thermodor.

Regarding my friends results, I conducted an experiment where she came over baked her cookies with all her ingredients/utensils and my oven, than with all my ingredients/utensils - her cookies deflated also!!!! It's not the altitude...checked that.

Also, I want to make a distinction in that my cookies aren't spreading caused by warm dough, cookie sheets, or expired ingredients. They are rising and look beautifully thick and chewy in the oven. But once out of the oven, all the air swooshes out and they are wafer thin!!

Jan 27, 2012
dorymoments in Home Cooking

Why do my toll house cookies deflat once out of the oven?

Ditto on Great article in your Sunset Magazine link, it poses all the same burning questions I have, why people using the same recipe can yield different results! I've tried the underbaking as suggested, but once deflated, the center of the cookie looks raw, while the outer edges have a nice crunch. I'm thinking about using a bigger "dallop" like the article suggest, perhaps pack the dough a bit more per teaspoon.

Jan 27, 2012
dorymoments in Home Cooking

Why do my toll house cookies deflat once out of the oven?

Another thanks to everyone for additional responses. One notable thing I had been doing was minimally mix the four into the cream butter mixture based on a life time of warnings on avoiding overbeating. But but the flour gluten development makes a lot of sense, so I'll try mixing the flour a good minute vs my 10 seconds just to incorporate the flour.

I'm appreciative of all the advice and hope one of the suggested techniques will work. Guess what still mystefies me is how the "thick and chewy" camp of cookies out have achieved their results without all these extra steps. Again, my friend hand mixes everything minimally, soften her butter in the microwave, doesn't chill her dough, uses cheap, thin aluminum pans, and her cookies are the best thick and chewy cookies with a good rich, toffee taste. Go figure.....

Jan 27, 2012
dorymoments in Home Cooking

Why do my toll house cookies deflat once out of the oven?

Chowser,
Thanks for the Alton Brown link. It's handy to have the written transcript. I have purchased several termometers to calibrate the oven and have modified the temperature lower and higher, than lower as you suggest, no success. The problem is not that they spread in the oven, I've got that controlled through chilling the dough, adding small increments of flour, reducing the baking soda, it's when they come out of the oven, they deflate.

Das Ubergeek made one suggestion of mixing the dough just 10-15 seconds longer to set the gluten. I haven't tried that yet, as there is so much caution to not overmix otherwise bake goods get tough, though I've exhausted all the variables, so will try that...

Jan 24, 2012
dorymoments in Home Cooking

Why do my toll house cookies deflat once out of the oven?

Thanks SerenaE! funny you suggest not creaming, as there are exact opposite suggestions within this thread and many outside blogs, that I'm not creaming enough :) My friend, whom I used to conduct my control experiment, swears by her method of hand mixing to avoid creaming too much, creating too much air, which than deflates. She used her method at my house, my oven, and her cookies, carefully "undercreamed" deflated

Jan 24, 2012
dorymoments in Home Cooking

Why do my toll house cookies deflat once out of the oven?

Splatgirl,
I have yet to chill the dough overnight and longer, definitely worth a try. I'm happy to hear you don't think it's my oven as it was depressing thinking I have to live with flat cookies the rest of my natural life (not about to replace the over having spent what I consider a small fortune on it).

Regarding you ability to bake thick chewy cookies in any oven, my friend said the same thing when she came over to bake. She baked using all her own ingredients, utensils, pans, applied her swear by hand mix method (her theory is to not to overcream the butter and sugar). Everyone raves about her toll house cookies being the best ever, she uses the toll house recipe to the letter and has made them successfully for 35 years, but at my house, her cookies deflated.
She's not convinced it's my oven either as she's baked the pre-packaged Nestle toll house dough at her house and they came out flat, so we're both determined to dissect ingredients, and methods until a solution is reached.

Thanks to all for replying and keep them coming in. I'm determined to find an answer....although I see there have been 4-5 threads dating back to 2004, and no one's solved it that I see :(

Jan 24, 2012
dorymoments in Home Cooking

Why do my toll house cookies deflat once out of the oven?

Thanks Das Ubergeek,
Tried all your suggestions and more from multiple blogs....I typically use Pillsbury or Gold Medal flour and perhaps you're right, they may have a lower protein content, but then, how to explain my friend whose cookies always come out thick and chewy using all my same ingredients with success at her house, but failure at mine.

Your response implies a scientific bent, which I always appreciate and drawn to. I submitted my question to American's Test Kitchen and hoping they will give it some serious thought and perhaps testing and provide a response.

Jan 24, 2012
dorymoments in Home Cooking

Why do my cookies go flat?

Kagey,
I was wondering if you ever solved your flat cookie problem? I've read about 4 different threads spanning the last 5 years and have tried every suggestion imaginable. I recently just posted a new thread asking the same question, hoping for additional ideas. I bake a lot my toll house chocolate cookies (deflating once out of the oven - they don't spread in the oven, cured that with chilled dough), has me really stumped.

Jan 24, 2012
dorymoments in Home Cooking

Why do my toll house cookies deflat once out of the oven?

I'm in the San Francisco Bay area where the whether is temperate without much extremes most of the year, I'll try the baking powder....

Jan 24, 2012
dorymoments in Home Cooking

Why do my toll house cookies deflat once out of the oven?

Hi Emme,
I have both a convection setting and regular setting. I've understand convection runs about 25 degrees hotter and tried cooking on convection at lower temperature and watching them like a hawk. As with the regular oven setting, they come out ok, but than deflate....

Jan 24, 2012
dorymoments in Home Cooking

Why do my toll house cookies deflat once out of the oven?

Saluti,
I tried dissolving the baking soda in 2 tsp hot water first and although it didn't make them thicker, they were slightly chewer, but still wafer thin flat. My cookies taste great, just like how toll house cookie recipes should taste. I haven't tried adding baking powder yet, mainly because I didn't necessarily want a cake like consistency. My town elevation is 352 vs my friends is 87.

A couple more interesting tidbits in this mystery is my friend purchased the pre-made Nestle toll house cookie dough and baked in her oven and they came out flat and crispy like my homemade ones. Also, my previous oven was a whirlpool and the cookies came out flat also, although not as flat as my Thermodor oven. Literally my cookies de-flat to the point where only the chocolate chips poke out, the dough is flat as paper. One other thing I tried which one armchair scientist on the another blog suggested was adding almost an extra cup of flour, thinking the cookies lacked structure, although they were slightly thicker, they too deflated once out of the oven. With the added flour, the toll house buttery, sugary sweetness was gone...and although still a good tasting cookie, was not the same.

I'm just curious on whether oven heat have varying characteristics, aside from the temperature as measured by the thermometer, that can cause this problem.

Jan 23, 2012
dorymoments in Home Cooking

Why do my toll house cookies deflat once out of the oven?

I've read hundreds of posts on suggestions to solve the flat crispy cookie problem. I know it's only a problem if you don't like flat crispy cookies, half the population like flat, the other half likes thick and chewy. Often the flat cookie populace strives for thick and chewy and vice versa.

I've tried everything, chill the dough, froze the dough, melt the butter, not melt the butter, change white/brown sugar combination, Alton Brown's recipe, 5 different other chocolate chip cookie recipes, added up to 3/4 cup more flour, used dark pans, light aluminum pans, preheated the oven, calibrated the oven with two different thermometers, tap the pan after I take them out of the oven.

The issue is I don't really want to change the tollhouse recipe as my good friend, and it seems many others, can achieve thick chewy chickens with the same recipe. I 've even checked elevation differences between our cities to see if elevations make a difference.

Finally, I conducted a control study where I invited my friend to come over to my house to bake them. She brought all her own ingredients, utensils, and battered aluminum baking sheet, and....redemption! Her cookies made at my house in my oven came out flat!!!

I've narrowed it down to my oven (but I don't want to discourage any other ideas). My question to all you Bakers, Chemist, Physicist (yes I think it's become more of a scientific questions) rather than one of technique or ingredients, is could it be the heat intensity on my Thermodor professional oven even though it calibrates correctly at 375 and correctly pre-heated. Could it be that the intensity, humidity of the professional oven could be melting the butter too quickly or differently creating the air bubbles I see when I take the cookies out of the oven, where all the air swooshes out resulting in flat crispy cookies???

Jan 23, 2012
dorymoments in Home Cooking

Induction Cooktop Recommendations Needed

Any commnents from induction enthusiast on why all chefs on all the cooking shows still use gas if induction is so much superior in terms of control and efficiency. Inductions been around since the 1930's I think I heard, and the consumer market has been slow to adopt because of the high cost. So why haven't all the chefs and restaurants adopted....

Aug 13, 2010
dorymoments in Cookware

Induction Cooktop Recommendations Needed

I heard of some frustrations with induction cooktops when the cookware is uneven or has dents. My brother just shared with me his experience where he was cooking an egg using a slightly dented fry pan on a Wolfe induction cooktop and could not get the egg to cook evenly. Also, problems with heat not reaching beyond the cookware bottom, no heat gets to the side of the pan, which could pose problem. What's been the experience out there regarding these issues???

Aug 05, 2010
dorymoments in Cookware

When using a rice cooker (Zojirushi), do you have to let the rice stand for 10 minutes after cooking?

Yes, ideally the rice should rest after cooking. I'm not sure the scientic reason, although I see a response referring to absorbing all the steam after cooking. I know my mom, who made the best rice and hailed from centuries of rice growing and cooking experience in China always instructed me to let the rice rest with the best outcome...

Aug 05, 2010
dorymoments in Cookware

Range/Range Top Redo?!

Caroline1,
Thanks, always love your thorough commentary!

Aug 05, 2010
dorymoments in Cookware

Induction Cooktop Recommendations Needed

Thanks to all for the in-depth pointers! Much appreciate it.

Aug 05, 2010
dorymoments in Cookware

Induction Cooktop Recommendations Needed

I'm in the process of renovating my kitchen and was pretty much sold on the BlueStar 36" gas cooktop. Then...I started seeing suggestions that induction cook tops are the way to go> I've been perusing a wonderful website http://theinductionsite.com/electrici..., on induction cooking and now looking for advice on brands for induction cooktops. Any and all advice appreciated. Thanks!!!

Aug 04, 2010
dorymoments in Cookware

Opinions on NXR or Bluestar gas range?

Blue Star cook tops seem to win hands down based on numerous postings I've read and I was leaning towards the 36" cook top. However, I've just started seeing rave comments about induction - can anyway advise on the difference between gas and induction? I do a lot of stir fry’s and know gas is the prevailing method in Chinese restaurants...

Aug 04, 2010
dorymoments in Cookware

Range/Range Top Redo?!

Thanks much for the response. I'll check out the Miele. What I meant by obtrusive is based on the large chimmney housing the air vent that goes up to the ceiling (about 12-14") Currently, my kitchen has a very open floor plan with an island where guests all hover and talk to me when I'm cooking. I had visions of this hood blocking our line of sight. However, your advice on downdraft seems to be universal, I might just have to learn to live with a hood unit.

Aug 04, 2010
dorymoments in Cookware

Range/Range Top Redo?!

Caroline1,
Thanks for all the wonderful advice. I'm just starting my kitchen remodel and evaluating appliances, your post was very valuable. Base on most of what I'm reading, I'm leaning towards the Blue Star gas range. The overwhelming advice is to make sure that I include a good hood. My range top is on an island all the hoods I've seen have been pretty obtrusive. You mentioned you had a decorative hood that was pretty powerful, can you share what that is? I currently have a downdraft which is worthless and I'm learning I need vent power of about 900 CFM's. Can you advise on any downdraft ventilation that is good or is my only option a hood above my rangetop? Thanks!!

Aug 03, 2010
dorymoments in Cookware