Please fix this chocolate chip cookie recipe. Something is amiss.

What in the world is going on here. My wife made this exact recipe probably 10+ times when we lived in Ohio. She’s made it 4 times since we moved to Virginia and for some reason the cookies are ROCK hard by the next day no matter how we store them. In Ohio they were always nice and soft and chewy for the week after making them. We cannot for the life of us figure out what she is doing wrong now. Here is the recipe:

1 cup Sugar
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup butter
2 eggs
1.5 tsp vanilla
3 cups flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
chocolate chips

Bake at 350 for 8-10 minutes.

They taste real good and are nice and chewy and chocolatey the night she makes them but by the next day they are barely edible. She cools the cookies on cooling racks after taking them off the cookie sheet. Once cool they go into a ziploc or tupperware. Nothing exotic. And this worked perfectly in Ohio. But they are always ROCK hard by the next day.

Anyone see where this is going wrong?

(We really like the flavor of the cookies and aren’t trying to change the recipe to make them taste different)

Try putting them into a cookie tin with a slice of store-bought white bread.

Alton Brown’s “The Chewy” substitutes bread flour and only uses yolks not whites if I recall. Both help to retain moisture. Brown sugar was another key, but I see you’ve already got that.

From personal experience:

Don’t bake them quite so long. If the recipe says 15 -18 minutes, take them out of the oven
at the 15-16 minute mark.

OR check with an oven thermometer to find out if your oven runs hotter than it says it is.

Or don’t make the cookies so small. Or, if they are ‘so small’ take them out of the oven earlier.

With one batch of cookie dough you should be able to figure out the problem. Try different variations on the above. But #1 answer is probably ‘don’t bake them so long.’

an seanchai

The recipe you’re using is nearly identical to this toll house recipe.
One big difference is you’re using a lot more flour. I wouldn’t use more than 2 1/2 cups. 3 cups will really make a dry mix. That may be your problem. Try reducing the flour and see if that helps.

Are you using large eggs? Medium eggs may not give enough moisture.

Environmental differences between the two houses?

Outside/inside temp/humidity?

AC running?

How was your flour stored?
Is it the same flour from Ohio or have you bought new since?

Same brand? Age of flour?

I thought maybe environmental but these things are so hard by the next day that pinching them will explode them all over the place. No way are Dayton and DC that different.

Not sure on the eggs. Will have to check.

Does it seem like too much sugar? Wife thinks may e that’s it.

I found this recipe a couple of years ago, and now I make it all the freakin’ time. Always awesomely soft cookies. It calls for one full egg and one egg yolk. And it says to melt the butter in a saucepan instead of creaming it in a mixer. And bread flour instead of all-purpose. All designed to yield a softer cookie.

Here’s the recipe.

She just told me she only used 2.5 cups of floor last night. Bamboozled.

I use a Cook’s Illustrated recipe, and I notice a HUGE difference in next-day texture according to when I take them out of the oven. The recipe says they should look like they’re not quite baked. If I do that, they’re reasonably chewy the next day. If I wait too long, hockey pucks the next day. But you can store them with bread or just nuke them for a few seconds and they’ll be fine.

The tough thing is that you just have to watch and get a feel for when they look ready. No specific number of minutes called for in the recipe will help when 45 extra seconds can make the difference. So I say experiment with taking them out earlier.

If you’ve moved states, I can only assume you’re also using a different oven. Perhaps the temperature of the oven is just slightly different (ie higher) than stated on the dial or from the previous oven?

I once made the mistake of using old baking soda (over a year old). The cookies didn’t rise as well. That might make them get stale the next day too.

I use a box now for a two or three months. Then put it in the fridge as a deodorizer and get a new box for baking.

Your oven is hotter than at the old house. Reduce cooking time and this should solve the problem.

I’ve found butter can make cookies thin and crispy, and I like them thick and chewy. So I use butter-flavored Crisco and it is good. It does make the cookies very butter-flavored, though.

Stick a piece of bread in with the hard cookies and it will soften them back up. :slight_smile:

Interesting. I read awhile ago that unmelted butter was essential, as whipping it contributed to raising: the butter incorporates a lot of air, and those tiny air bubbles remain in the dough once the flour is mixed in and are expanded by the baking soda’s action. It helped me understand why my cookies were so awful when I softened the butter in the microwave; since then, I’ve always been sure to soften the butter the slow way (on the counter), and they come out deliciously every time.

Ohio’s hometown sugar, Pioneer sugar, is refined from sugar beets. Domino (more common on the east coast) is cane sugar.

I believe this may account for the difference, because they can act differently. Did your wife buy Pioneer sugar when you lived in Ohio?

Yep. The Chewy is foolproof. That and the Ben and Jerry’s recipe are the only chocolate chip cookies I’ll make.

I live in Ohio and I have never heard of Pioneer sugar. Domino is the major brand available at my local store.

What do you mean, your cookies have a next day? :wink: