Cookie conundrum

My cookies turned fine but the tops didn't crack and give that nice texture. I was wondering was my dough to warm or oven not hot enough? Any guesses would help for the rest of the season. Thanks.



Hilarybee December 17, 2011
I do two trays at a time in my home oven frequently. What I do, though is move the trays farther apart. I know this seems antithetical, but for cracked tops it really works. Move them closer to the top and closer to the bottom. My oven has 6 spaces, so I leave room for one space above and below.

If the cooking time is 18 minutes, I rotate top to bottom, front to back at the nine minute mark. I also find that the sugar that you use makes a huge difference. A finer grain sugar will hinder cracking. Bigger sugar crystals- like raw sugar or demerrara will help a lot. also make sure to smoosh the cookies with the palm of your hand if they are drop cookies.

I've been making molasses cookies about five times a week recently-- and I use this method, it works every time. I always, always use demerrara sugar. I have a standard, GE electric oven. Nothing special.
SKK December 18, 2011
Oh Hilarybee, I am lusting after your oven. Is it too late to make a request of Secret Santa?
Hilarybee December 18, 2011
SKK, this is what I have:

It works actually very well. I got it in 2007 when we remodeled our house. I really wanted two wall ovens, but there wasn't enough clearance in my house. It's not fancy nor super expensive. I don't love the cooktop, admittedly. I'd rather have gas, but there wasn't space for a new line.
Bil,Walker December 17, 2011
I did leave the dough overnight in the fridge and do two at a time. So I may have had two strikes against me. I have made them a few times before but this is the first time A) I've left them over night and not an hour and B) not had them crack the way I wanted. Thanks again guys your insight was quite helpful.
nutcakes December 17, 2011
This and the above mention of the baking soda give some insight perhaps. I just did a batch of molasses cookies and they all cracked beautifully well with the exception of the last batch. I even did 2 trays at a time. The last batch wasn't baked off until hours later. Guess what, no cracking. So now I'm thinking the soda was activated and too spent to rise the cookie enough to puff and sink, which makes the crackle top.
Cookie16 December 17, 2011
I just made some cookies with a crackly top and part of the instructions were to rotate them AND move them to a bottom rack halfway through, which probably does help get rid of any moisture but is dangerous burning wise. I've been testing back and forth but am also doing 1 tray at a time. My problem is more that my oven gets too hot, so I have to reduce the baking time after the first batch. Hard to say but if you have dough left, try 1 sheet at a time first. I suspect that may be the culprit.
Droplet December 17, 2011
I assume this is a recipe you have made before and you are just trying to troubleshoot an isolated case. If you don't bake too often, there is one other possibility of you leavening having lost some of its power over time, being baking powder or baking soda. Depending on how tricky the recipe is, a little excess moisture in the dough can also affect their ability to form cracks.
SKK December 17, 2011
I cannot bake two trays of cookies at once in my oven. Even when I rotate the trays, I loose too much heat when I keep opening the oven.
Bil,Walker December 17, 2011
No but I wanted them to have a similar top. I was power housing the cookies out today, maybe two trays was the problem. Some had it some didn't.
nutcakes December 17, 2011
Was this a molasses cookie? I've had that happen before. Not sure I've got to the bottom of it, but only placing one tray in the oven at a time helps. If you have a convection oven, activating that may help.
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