Baking is not without its aggravations! Even though you could have sworn you followed the cherished recipe to a T, there can still be problems. So here is a troubleshooting guide to remedy any missteps made along the cookie trail.
Problem: Cookies appear burned on the bottom.
Solution: This can be two different things. If you are using dark cookie sheets, they will absorb heat quickly and cause the cookies to overbake on the bottoms. Or you might have placed the baking sheet on a rack too low in the oven. Remember that the middle of the oven is the best place for baking cookies.
Problem: Cookies stick to the pan.
Solution: There are certain ingredients that can cause the cookies to literally grab the baking surface if allowed to cool too long on the sheet. Candy pieces and raisins are common culprits. If you notice this happening, transfer the cookies to a wire rack immediately after removing them from the oven. And always abide by the instructions in the recipe regarding greasing or not greasing the baking sheet.
Problem: Cookie dough balls are the same size but bake unevenly.
Solution: Heat at the back of the oven is typically more intense than the front merely because you are opening and closing the oven door. If you notice uneven baking, turn the baking sheet around halfway through the cooking process. Also, do not open the door of the oven except for placing the sheet in, turning and taking it out. If you need to take a peek, turn on the oven light and look through the window.
Problem: Cookies are flattening out too much while baking.
Solution: This can either be a problem with using a warm baking sheet or not measuring the ingredients properly. Always start with a baking sheet at room temperature. Cookies can also spread because you utilized too much fat or liquid or not enough flour. Measure accurately!
Problem: Cookies are dry and crumbly.
Solution: Either the batch was overbaked or the ingredients were not measured properly. Make sure to use large eggs unless the recipe states differently. Dry texture can be caused by using eggs that were too small.