Butter Ball Chiffons Recipe

Problem-Solving Pointers for Cookies & Bars

Even the best bakers sometimes run into trouble with their favorite cookie recipes! Here are some common problems and solutions for making your next batch perfect!


Cookies spread too much.

  • Place cookies on a cool baking sheet.
  • Replace part of the butter in the recipe with shortening.
  • If using margarine, check label and make sure it contains 80% vegetable oil.

Cookies don't spread enough.

  • Use all butter instead of shortening or margarine.
  • Add 1 to 2 tablespoons of liquid such as milk or water.
  • Let dough stand at room temperature before baking.

Cookies are tough.

  • The dough was overhandled or overmixed; use a light touch when mixing.
  • Too much flour was worked into the dough.
  • Add 1 or 2 tablespoons more of shortening or butter or sugar.

Cookies are too brown.

  • Check oven temperature with an oven thermometer.
  • Use heavy-gauged, dull aluminum baking sheets. Dark baking sheets will cause the cookies to be overly brown.

Cookies are too pale.

  • Check oven temperature with an oven thermometer.
  • Use heavy-gauged, dull aluminum baking sheets. Insulated baking sheets cause cookies to be pale in color.
  • Use butter, not shortening or margarine.
  • Substitute 1 to 2 tablespoons corn syrup for the sugar.

Bars baked unevenly.

  • Spread batter evenly in pan.
  • Check to make sure oven rack is level.

Bars are overbaked.

  • Use pan size called for in recipe, too large a pan will cause batter to be thin and dry.
  • Check oven temperature with an oven thermometer.
  • Check 5 minutes sooner than the recommended baking time.

Bars are gummy.

  • Use pan size called for in recipe, too small a pan will cause batter to be thick and may be gummy or cake-like.

Bars are tough.

  • Stir in dry ingredients with a wooden spoon. Overmixing will cause the bars to be tough.

Crust is soggy.

  • Crust was not baked long enough before placing filling on top.

Crumb crust is too crumbly.

  • Cut in a little more butter so that the crust will stick together.

Brownies crumble when they are cut.

  • Cool completely before cutting. Use a sawing motion when cutting. Warm blade of knife in hot water, then dry and make a cut. Clean and rewarm knife after each cut.