I have made Rose’s Lemon Poppyseeds from “Rose’s Christmas Cookies” and instead of staying in a ball, they’ve spread out. All the measurements are correct, as is the oven temperature. Any idea why this is happening? I am not a novice cookie maker and I have never had a trusted recipe not ‘work’. Was there a typo? Have I somehow done something? I am at a loss to explain why this has happened. I have even double checked my measurements and made sure the oven is reading temps correctly. Ideas, anyone?
Well, in hopes of someone getting on here (ideally Rose herself since the recipe is one of hers) and clarifying what the issue might be, I have decided to make the entire recipe a second time. These are becoming very expensive cookies!!!
Thank you for responding and for your suggestions. Unfortunately, neither was an issue here.
The butter was cool; neither cold nor warm. It had been out of the fridge probably an hour. The dough was refrigerated overnight. The cookie sheets were, of course, cooled between batches.
I am making them a second time right now. For this batch I am using butter that sat out for 4 hours and is much softer. The dough has been in the fridge for an hour and a half (recipe says 1 hour minimum) and I am about to try again. If it fails again, I think Rose needs to clarify what the issue is.
Okee dokee. Same result with a second test. The recipe was published with some kind of error in it. There is either too much butter or not enough flour. Or an ingredient was left out altogether. They begin spreading by minute 1. By minute 6 they are a dome. By minute 10 the edges are getting too dark but the centers are not done. (FYI: The recipe has them baking 18-20 minutes).
If any of the admins communicate with Rose, can this be sent on to her please?
Measured the flour using dip and sweep. RE: the flouring of my hands before rolling the dough: It may have helped, but I am confident that this would not have prevented the cookies from collapsing into ‘regular’ cookies. Here, I took a photo of batch #2:
Yes. The photo accompanying the recipe shows a cookie with an appearance similar to that of a Mexican Wedding Cake. Secondly, the recipe gives a 20 minute cook time and these cookies are done in less than 10.
I feel that there is an issue here that would not be answered by weight vs volume, or by the oven being a little bit off. My two tests have indicated that the recipe as published will not produce the cookie in the photograph.
No, I do not sift my flour. I stir the flour before dipping and leveling. In order for this cookie to be a ‘ball’ cookie, we are talking at least another half a cup of flour; that would be an excessive variance produced by volume measurement, don’t you think? Oven temp: The fact that the cookie begins to go flat in the first 90 seconds would not be caused by a couple of degrees variance. The flattening is why it is done in 9 minutes instead of 18. I have my doubts that this result would be addressed by 3 degrees and/or using weight measure instead. (FYI: I did test my oven temp. for accuracy.)
When I made the recipe for a second time, in order to rule out user error I used a different set of measures; just in case the issue I had could be explained by the dry measuring cups I used the first time. I have several sets and have not encountered issues in the past, but I wanted to rule out other possible causes. My second result was identical to the first.
For myself, should I bother with this recipe again, I would have to test with weight measures, and most certainly add more flour to it in order to produce the cookie shown in the photo.
Rose, I felt this feedback would be of interest to you so you can check the recipe which appears to have been published with a typo. I was specifically looking for a ‘ball’ cookie and was disappointed with the result. I was sure that you would want to check the recipe before the cookbook is published again.
Perhaps, Charles. But since volume IS one of the measurement options offered in the recipe, and since I tried the recipe twice using two different companies dry measure cups (in order to eliminate that as a potential source of the problem), it would still seem that the measurement offered in volume will need to be looked at as possibly being inaccurate and resulting in the cookie not being as expected. But lets leave that up to Ms Beranbaum.
Thank you, Anne. Yes, there may be an issue with one of my ingredients. I am using a store-brand all-purpose flour. Unsalted butter. McCormick poppyseeds. I will send you a scan of the cookbook page to eliminate any possible mis-typing on my end. If you’re able to send me a private message with an email address, I will send that to you (I understand that we are not supposed to attach recipes here).
Allow me to start off by saying that my recommendation was for Rose to try her own recipe using volume measurement. I would not expect my word that there may be an error to be taken as fact and at no point did I ask it should be. I make a LOT of cookies (in the last ten days I have made eight kinds) and as I originally stated, I have never had a reliable recipe ‘not work’. Although it is unlikely that a comedy of errors caused this one recipe to fail twice, it is certainly not impossible. So, with that in mind, I felt it worth Rose’s time to test the recipe for accuracy when using volume measurement. It is clear that it is not a popular idea that there could be an issue with the published recipe when following the volume measurements. And you know what? Maybe there is not a problem with it.
In future most of you may want to indicate a willingness to try a recipe before intimating that the person experiencing the problem lacks the sense to test their oven temperature, use a set of measuring cups, or know the difference between sifted and non-sifted flour (and by stir, I mean one quick stir, I do not whip a bunch of air in my flour to make it fluffy.). Or assuming that the person with the query is authoritatively demanding that they are correct and want action taken. Yes, I am feeling defensive. Perhaps unnecessarily, but so far only ONE person has offered to try the recipe juuuuuust in case I am not an imbecile. An ongoing stream of proposed mistakes I’ve made has put me in a position of defense. Yes, it is certainly possible the error was mine both times, but lets find out.
I am sorry I bothered to introduce this subject and would not repeat the mistake if I had the choice of doing it again. The recipe twice provided an unexpected result (I was more than willing to try again because I too assumed that I had perhaps done something the first time). But because it was unexpected and because I consider Beranbaum an expert, I bothered to search for this website in order to discuss it.
Anne, thank you for offering to test the recipe using the volume measurements. I hope that it turns out exactly as expected and the fault lay entirely with me both times. Your willingness to try it yourself is certainly appreciated. I will send the cookbook photo along with the recipe itself. I will be looking forward to hearing how it turned out for you. Until then can everyone suspend their theories on what I did wrong?
I have been following this thread and I just made the cookies. I weighed all the ingredients,including egg yolks and lemon zest and the vanilla and my results were very similar to yours, perhaps a little more domed but still quite flat compared to the photo in the book. I am a good baker so I don’t think that’s the problem and I’ve made many of the other recipes in the book with excellent results. I have no answers but I got the same results using weight rather than volume so we can eliminate that as the problem.
No I didn’t flour my hands when rolling the cookies because in my edition of the book( it’s at least 20 years old) it says that you need to slightly warm to outside of the cookies so that the nuts will adhere. I did chill them before baking for about 1/2 hour because that sometimes helps them hold their shape.
My cookies were not completely flat. They were like shape” c” in your post. I thought that they looked significantly larger than the ones in the book so I wondered if that was my problem. In any case they are good cookies and my daughter loves them so I am happy.