Baking 101: Solutions for Flat Cookies, Cracked Crusts and More!

Think you're no good at baking? All it takes are a few expert tips to release your inner pastry goddess. We'll show you the best way to make fluffy cakes, chewy cookies, perfectly golden pie crusts and more! (11 Photos)

Esther Carlstone on Sep 14, 2012 at 8:29AM

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Baking 101: Solutions for Flat Cookies, Cracked Crusts and More!

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Problem: Flat Cookies

You peek in the oven and see your cookies puffing up gloriously. Then you take them out and five minutes later they're as flat as pancakes. What gives?

Solution: “There are a few possible reasons for flat cookies,” says Laidlaw. “The dough might have been too warm or the butter might have been too soft when added.” Kelly Jaggers, author of Not-So-Humble Pies, agrees and also warns against taking the shortcut of warming the butter up in the microwave. (Who isn't guilty of that?). “Butter has water in it, and when baked, that water forms steam which helps puff your cookies. Softening [it] in the microwave releases the water too soon.” Remember to keep your dough as chilled as possible, and let butter and eggs come to room temperature before you use them. This may take a bit of planning, but the end result will be oh-so-worth it.

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