Spreading biscuits

mel92, Sep 3, 9:59am
Hi all, need a bit of advice from the bakers out there.I made a batch of black forest cookies from the recipe below but they spread quite a bit (one quarter of the tray was covered in mixture and i had to cut it into squares!).i think i converted the measurements properly but I'm pretty sure I used salted butter.Also I used glace cherries, not dried.Could there have been too much moisture?

I'd really like to make them again but want to have them looking like proper biscuits.Why do they spread and how do I stop it from happening again?



245sam, Sep 3, 10:41am
How much butter did you use mel92?:-))

mel92, Sep 3, 10:49am
i think it was about 85grams if i worked it out right.the butter gets melted with the chocolate.

seb28, Sep 3, 11:04am
Before I looked at the recipe I was going to suggest refrigerating the mix.... but I see that is part of the method!!!

I honestly can't see anything in that recipe that would cause the cookies to flatten. I don't think using salted or unsalted butter would make a difference... neither using glace cherries instead of dried??

Perhaps muck about with it and do the usual cream butter and sugar first.. then add the melted choc and dry ingredients?? I dunno....lol

245sam, Sep 3, 11:11am
If you used only 85g butter mel92, then that should not have been the reason for your biscuits spreading, although I thought that may have been a reason.I do however wonder about the cherries - depending on where glace cherries are bought they can sometimes be quite moist (e.g. the glace cherries I have seen and bought from Bin Inn are definitely more moist than the packeted ones e.g. Tasti).
Back to the butter conversion.....½ cup butter actually weighs 125g while 1 stick weighs 4oz/115g (or the more common conversion of 4oz which is 125g).How much chocolate did you use though? - 1oz = 28•4g so 8oz = 227•2g and 12oz = 340•8g.

Hope these thoughts help.:-))

seb28, Sep 3, 11:18am
I was looking at the chocolate too. I can see that it looks to be a "dense" biscuit considering there is only 1 cup of flour... but it does seem like an awful lot of chocolate?? I realise one part is melted and the other is chocolate chunks folded in, plus you have 2 T of powdered cocoa..but still!!??

mel92, Sep 3, 10:30pm
i thought about the chocolate too - they are certainly rich in the eating!245sam - your conversions with the chocolate are about what i got too (god bless google!) and i wonder if there might be too much chocolate.logic says to me that they are spreading because there is too much liquid and not enough solid to hold it in one place?i might just have a play around with it - nothing like experimenting!thanks all.:)

paghan, Sep 3, 10:39pm
Mel92 would you mind sharing the recipe :)

mel92, Sep 3, 10:50pm
absolutely - http://www.marthastewart.com/recipe/black-forest-cookies
i hope you have better luck than i did!

buzzy110, Sep 3, 11:03pm
Here is the recipe. This will save everyone else having to use up precious internet allowances to go looking for it and is easier to refer to.
Black Forest Cookies

Makes 36

* 1 cup all-purpose flour, spooned and leveled
* 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
* 1 teaspoon baking powder
* 1/2 teaspoon salt
* 8 ounces semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, chopped
* 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
* 1/2 cup granulated sugar
* 1/4 cup packed dark-brown sugar
* 2 large eggs
* 1 package (about 12 ounces) semisweet chocolate chunks
* 1 1/2 cups dried cherries


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line three baking sheets with parchment paper; set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa, baking powder; and salt; set aside.
2. Place chopped chocolate and butter in a large heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water; stir until melted and smooth. Remove from heat; whisk in sugars, then eggs, until smooth.
3. Whisk in dry ingredients just until combined (do not overmix). Fold in chocolate chunks and dried cherries; press plastic wrap directly onto surface of dough, and refrigerate until firm, 30 to 45 minutes.
4. Drop mounds of dough (equal to 2 level tablespoons) about 2 inches apart onto prepared sheets. Bake just until edges are firm (but not darkening), 11 to 13 minutes. Cool on baking sheets 1 to 2 minutes; transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

buzzy110, Sep 3, 11:16pm
One stick of butter is about 4ozs or 120 grms.

Maybe you forgot to add in the baking powder.

Or, did you know that the sugar does have to be completely combined? So when the recipe calls for 'smooth' it means that you must not be able to see the grains of sugar anymore. This little fact is often unknown by people who spend their entire cooking life making biscuits that 'spread' rather than hold their shape.

That is all I can suggest.

gardie, Feb 24, 3:56pm
Looking at the recipe, there does not seem to be enough flour for the quantity of other ingredients.Try making it with 1 1/2 cups flour.