Substituting flour with whole wheat flour in cookies

When I do this in cakes and breads, usually I use less whole wheat flour (about 3/4 cup WW to every cup AP that the recipe calls for) because WW flour absorbs more water. However when I do it with cookies, even a 1-to-1 substitution results in cookies that spread way more than they should and the cookies end up with those really thin edges. Any ideas on why and how to deal with that? And if I up the WW flour in cookies, will it affect the taste/texture too much?

  • Posted by: Kylie
  • December 17, 2014

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garlic&lemon December 18, 2014

Hi Kylie -
I usually sub out 1/2 the AP flour for WW flour in cookies. I find that using all WW flour in a recipe that was developed for AP flour changes the texture and density of the cookie. And yes, upping the amount of any flour in cookies affects the texture. On the other hand, you might just want to experiment. I like substituting 1 Tablespoon of cornmeal for 1T of the flour to shortbread cookies for a little crunch. Substituting 1 Tablespoon of potato starch for 1T of the flour to cookies adds a lovely tenderness. I found that when cookies spread more than I want them to 1) I might be using too much butter; 2) the cookie dough might have to be chilled; 3) I might be using too much sugar; 4) the oven temp might be a little too low - the cookies spread before they set.

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Barbara Wurster
Barbara Wurster February 3, 2017

the cookie mix calls for 3T of flour, So can I sub 3T of corneal, or 3T of potato starch? I have those ---

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