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Desi83

Flat Cookies

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I have had this chocolate chewy cookie recipe since I won a blue ribbon for them in 4H in the fourth grade, and everyone loves them when I make them. I tried making them last night at a Christmas party with my new Red Mill gluten free all purpose flour. However, they would not rise at all. They flattened out and ran into each other, becoming a huge glob on the pan instead of cookies. My fiancee, God love him, created "Brownie balls" or as I renamed them "Brownie Bites". But, I would like to be able to make my cookies again. Without having to buy 4 different types of flour/starch as suggested on many gluten free recipe sites, how do I solve this problem? My friend suggested adding more baking soda, but that didn't help. They don't spread out like that w/ gluten flour, and they puff up. Any suggestions?

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I had a similar experience but I used Pamela's flour which called for ! 1/2 cups. The fix was to add more flour just under 2 cups. They turned out great with the extra flour. It also helps if the dough chilled for 1/2 hour & placed down like a ball & flattened slightly. Give it a try.

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Some possibilities (in addition to the suggestion of adding a little more flour): 1- Baking soda/powder gets old and quits working. Perhaps getting a fresh box would help. 2-The oven could have been too hot, causing the cookies to spread out/melt before they had a chance to start cooking. 3-Using real butter in place of shortening/margarine can cause the cookies to spread/melt before they start to cook. 4-Using an egg substitute or larger eggs can cause dough/batter to be wetter than normal. Refrigerating the dough after mixing & before baking can help with #2, 3, and 4.

There are a lot of variables in "normal" baking, much less when we have to use a totally different flour. You make me want to go mix up something sweet. Good luck!!

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I find it's generally the liquid or fat ratio.

I made some chocolate chip cookies too wet (I know the recipe works since I've used it before) and they did that.

Also, some gluten-free recipes need to have the fat reduced by a bit - maybe 1/4?? It's really trial and error.

I also have luck separating eggs and whipping the whites stiff and folding them in at the end (yolks mixed in earlier).

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I suggest Tom Sawyer gluten free flour mix. It has gelatin in it, which can help a gluten-free cookie hold its shape.

The other place to consider is the fat to flour ratio. It can be an issue of the temperature of the fat, like someone said. Slighty chilled but room temperature butter is the way to go for most cookie recipes.

I've got 4H kids too!

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I think the way I'd approach it would be as others have already mentioned - adding additional flour and/or reducing the fat content. The fat in particular can be a problem for gluten-free baking, since the amount a traditional wheat flour recipe calls for is often chosen to kinda do a tango with the gluten. That is to say, gluten holds the dough together, while fat will reduce the adhesive ability of the gluten. So when you consider that gluten-free flour already doesn't have such cohesion, it makes sense that much less fat is needed to obtain a somewhat similar balance.

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Thanks for the advice, I will start experimenting. The original recipe was so perfect as it was, so this was quite disappointing lol. I think I can get it right, though with some practice. The good news was that they still tasted spectacular. I've read in many recipes that they use more eggs to hold the batter together, and I liked the idea of whipping the whites. Hmmm, we'll see.

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I made brownies and the recipe cooks at a very low temp. The whipped egg whites and an additional egg worked like a dream. Same with cornbread.

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If you do much baking, you will probably end up using something other than the gluten free "Bob's Red Mill All Purpose" flours, but a mix you've made yourself, just to get consistent results. There are two kinds of basic mixtures, some suitable for things like cookies, and the kind that works better with breads. The stuff I would take to serve to somebody else would be more like a "white flour" substitution, and the mixture for breads would be much higher proteins and whole grains. The multiple grains are more work, but always perform much better than single ingredient mixtures. The problem with "Bob's AP" is that some people really hate the stuff and claim they can taste it, this isn't me, but I know that bean flour mixtures store better in a refrigerator.

Sometimes this is made to seem more complicated than it has to be.... I will take an equal wt/size bag of each kind I want in the mixture, dump it into a heavy ziplock bag, and seal the top and shake it to get it mixed up. I will do this with 2 kinds of flours in each bag (sometimes 3), such as one bag having garbanzo bean and potato starch, another having a sorghum and amaranth mixture, and then measure out the proportions I want for each batch by spooning it into a large measuring cup. If I wanted to add nut and/or seed meals, I put that in. Then if gum or a thickener was needed, I would add that, also. I then mix all the dry ingredients together first, before adding them to the wet ones. Bean, amaranth, almond, and buckwheat flours are "stickier" than rice, cornstarch, etc which are crumbly without gums.

A lot of the gluten free flour mixes then do work at being baked a slightly lower temperatures for longer periods of time.

If you have trouble with baking soda not adding enough rise, you can add a bit of pure apple cider vinegar to the recipe, soda + acid = bubble reaction. But it sounds like, as others mentioned, it was just too wet. You could also, with the Bob's and this recipe for the cookies, try adding to the dry ingredients a tiny amount more of either guar gum or xanthan gum, maybe a 1/4 teaspoon, before adding to the wet ingredients.

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