Hello I usually no trouble with any of Nigella's recipes but this one is proving very difficult to get right! I've followed it exactly, even using expensive chocolate chips instead of chopped up chocolate. I've made them a few times but the chocolate always melts completely and the texture of the cookies is then ruined! Plus they spread out a lot and end up kind of puffy instead of crisp or crumbly. They don't look anything like the ones in the book! What could I be doing wrong? My electric oven is quite old, although it's never really a problem when I bake other cookies or cakes. I'd really love to get this recipe right as choc chip cookies are my favourite cookie to eat. Would swapping the kind of sugars used in the recipe do any good? Please any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thank you. x
We have not come across this problem with the cookies but the cookie dough should be quite stiff when it is scooped into balls. If your kitchen is very warm then it may be worth chilling the shaped cookie dough on the baking sheets for 20 minutes before baking. The recipe in Kitchen also gives instructions on how to bake the cookies from frozen and it may be worth trying this method too. We are sure you are following the recipe exactly but please also check that it is plain flour (all purpose), not self-raising, and only 1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda (baking soda) being used as too much leavening will cause the cookies to spread and become puffy.
It is also possible that your oven is running slightly slow so the cookies spread out when baking. You could try and offset this by increasing the oven temperature to 180c. There is a risk that the base of the cookies will brown too quickly at a higher temperature so we suggest baking a couple of cookies as a tester at this temperature. If the shape holds but the bases are too dark then you can line the baking sheet with a double layer of foil or use 2 stacked baking sheets to reduce the browning on the base of the cookies.