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finlayson

Converting Cookie Recipes

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Calling all experienced bakers out there. I have just made a big batch of cookies which have spread out way too much on the tray - I know you've all been there - it's happened to me more times than I care to count. The recipe is one which I converted from my old days of eating gluten. The only changes I've made is to add gluten free flour and some xanthum gum. Any ideas as to why these conversions do not always work? It is a great recipe when made with wheat flour. The recipe calls for 1 cup butter - could this be the problem? Can I change butter to oil if maybe the butter is too heavy for the recipe? Has anyone come up with a fairly sound proof conversion method?

Thanks in advance.

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Add extra flour. I usually add at least half a cup. Also chilling your dough on your cookie sheet can help the cookies not spread.

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Chilling the dough definitely helps.

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Who's flour are you using. I have been working on cookies for six weeks. At first the cookies just spread and spread no matter what. I'm now using Authentic Foods Flours and I'm not having that problem. Actually I have cut out baking powder and have cut guar or xantham gum down to 1/4 t and think it may be too much as cookies are not as flat as I want them. I went from one problem to the other problem. Will be trying CCC and adding back some more shortening.

Good luck!

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Chilling the dough and not using butter are the two cures I have found for excessive spreading. And when I say chilling, sometimes overnight :o

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Thanks for all the replies. I've been making a flour mix from kinnikinnick. It's a standard mix of 2parts brown rice flour, 2/3 parts potato starch and 1/3 tapioca. This mix works for most baking so I can't say for sure it's the problem with the cookies. I still wonder maybe too much xanthum gum (or too little) - I put 3/4 tsp in the recipe (2 cups flour). Should I maybe reduce the amount of butter slightly (1 cup currently)? It's definitely trial and error.

Thanks for the suggestions.

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I add extra flour . . . somewhere between a 1/4 to 1/2 cup on the original tollhouse cookie recipe (which normally calls for 2 1/4. You can achieve the same effect by cutting back on the butter. When I first started with the gluten-free baking, I started off by baking a test cookie or two to see how much it spreads and to see if more flour is needed. Now I can pretty much tell just by the consistency of the dough if I need to add a bit more.

Refrigerating works well also. Something that has happened by accident . . . I had to make cookies for something and didn't have much time. I mixed the dough early in the day, ran some errands and then baked the cookies later. I think just giving the flour time to absorb some of the liquid in the dough also help and made a better consistency cookie.

As far as levening goes . . . whenever I convert a former recipe, I use about twice as much and I use both baking soda and powder. Back to the tollhouse cookies . . . it originally called for 1 tsp baking soda, now I use 1 tsp baking soda and 1 tsp baking powder. In general, I also double the amount of vanilla.

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bump!

I'm starting a gluten-free bakery out of my house. I'm happy to share what works for me! While I've been baking for awhile, it occurred to me a few months ago that a lot of gluten-free recipes/substitutions have minimal nutritional value. I have tested a lot of recipes using healthier substitutions and have gotten some really great results.

Flour conversion:

I divide the flour in half and use two separate flours. For example: if your recipe calls for 2 cups of flour, use 1 cup of gluten-free all purpose flour mix & 1 cup of rice flour (or whatever else). This makes for a more mellow flavor and becomes more palatable, since gluten free flours can have a different taste and texture.

Fats: I only use coconut oil (can be purchased inexpensively on (Company Name Removed - They Spammed This Forum and are Banned)) for my fat. It can be used as a solid or melted. The thing about using oils is that you need to adjust your liquid ratio because butter is a solid. This can work, too, though!

If you need to convert eggs, any of these can work well:

* Ener-G egg replacer is awesome. It doesn't have one stitch of nutritional value, though. But, it works great! Not for use in pudding, though.

* In a coffee grinder, grind 1 T of Chia Seeds or Flax Seeds and add 3T boiling water for EACH egg you need to replace. Both seed types are chock full of good stuff! Whisk in a bowl until a gel forms. Add to recipe. Works awesome for puddings, too! (I just made flan using coconut milk to sub cow milk & chia seeds to sub eggs - YUM!) Because of the water content, you will need to increase your baking times, but do not increase your flours. If the dough seems a little to 'binded', add some more melted fat (coconut oil is my preferred fat).

If Xanthan Gum isn't your thing (too expensive, sensitive to it, just run out of it...), I have found that Chia or Flax seeds also make a great substitute for this. Lately I haven't been using any Xanthan Gum, subbing Chia seeds/water for both my eggs and gums. I don't increase the amount of the seed mixture. Instead, I just substitute my eggs and call it good.

Improving flavors:

* Double your vanilla and slightly increase your other seasonings to mask or decrease the different flavor of gluten-free flours.

* Liquid extracts (vanilla, for example) tend to evaporate in heat. I've been using powdered vanilla. It ain't cheap (vanilla.com is the cheapest I've found), but you need LESS and the flavors pop when exposed to heat.

Hope this helps!

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