Cookies have a strange aftertaste


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I was wondering if anyone has any suggestions. I have been trying to make Italian butter cookies and they keep coming out with a strange aftertaste. The recipe only calls for confectioners sugar, butter, vanilla, corn starch, salt and flour. The texture is perfect, but they have a strange aftertaste that I can't quite figure out. I even tried switching the vanilla extract for lemon extract to see if it was the vanilla, but they came out the same way. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
 
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I don't know what strange aftertaste you are referring to........but here might be some causes--

Old flour
Old butter
Old cornstarch

The salt, sugar, and vanilla usually won't have an impact, unless the dry ingredients have been stored in an area where they can absorb other strong smells or odors.

If you keep your flour out, or just in the paper bag it comes in, flour can absorb odors and smells just like baking soda, which can cause weird aftertastes in food.

Old butter can cause an aftertaste that just makes something taste out of date, old, bitter, or like cardboard.
Old flour can make something taste like dirt, cardboard, or just old and moldy.
Same goes for old cornstarch.

If you do not store your dry ingredients in plastic, air tight containers, then you should. Or at least giant zip lock baggies.

There isn't much you can do about old butter though. It will get old, no matter how you wrap it up or contain it.

If none of your ingredients were old, or had absorbed any other odors or smells, then more than likely it is the type of flour and vanilla you are using.

For some reason, I have found, some brands of flour and flavorings just do not work together. Artificial flavorings don't seem to have such a bad side effect on taste as the natural ones do. You might try different brands of flour and/or flavorings to see what works.

There are some butter cookie recipes out there, you just can't get away from the funky "greasy, cardboardy" after taste though....it's just the way the ingredients work together.

You might try using a couple of tablespoons of ground pecans in your batter next time....see if that helps the taste any.
 
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Maybe you do not follow the right measurement for the vanilla flavoring that is why the cookies had a strange aftertaste. I had experienced before that I had use the vanilla flavoring more than its measurement and when my cookies are already baked it had a strange aftertaste because of the vanilla flavoring. Just only thinking that it might be the possible reason for this thing.
 
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I was going to say that it was possibly the butter. Once when I used butter in a recipe that wasn't in an airtight container, the cupcakes I made had the aftertaste of the inside of a fridge. Not that I know what the inside of a fridge tastes like (of course), but the taste reminded me of the smell of a fridge. Not pleasant! Maybe it was that?
 
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I appreciate all of the advice. All of the ingredients were fresh within the last 2 weeks, and kept in airtight containers. I'm sorry, but I do not know how to describe the aftertaste. The one thing I did find strange is it called for 1 Tablespoon of flavoring (I checked it several times as it seemed like a lot to make sure I wasn't misreading it). Maybe I will try them again and use less Vanilla or lemon flavoring to see if that makes a difference.
 
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You can always adjust your recipes to see what works best for you.

Personally, I love extra vanilla in everything, and I've never had any problems with that.
 
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Make sure your butter has a nice, fresh taste and hasn't picked up anything from the fridge. Rancid butter will destroy cookies. Also, make sure your other ingredients are fresh as well. I don't think flour and stuff actually goes "bad" but it can start to taste stale.
 
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Also, make sure you're using natural vanilla extract not a fake one. Many of the flavorings these days are artificial. If you start with fresh butter, flour and sugar, as well as real vanilla, it may be time to consider the other ingredients. Are you using a plastic bowl to mix them in? If so, some plastics can store flavors from other foods. If it's a glass bowl, that shouldn't be the case. I'm not sure about metal bowls, because I don't have any of those, but if you are using a plastic one, try soaking it with a vinegar and water mix overnight, and see if that makes a difference.
 
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Thank you again for the additional information. I am using a metal bowl (the one on my kitchen aid mixer) but I have never had an issue before. Maybe I should try using a glass bowl and see if that makes a difference?
 
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Thank you again for the additional information. I am using a metal bowl (the one on my kitchen aid mixer) but I have never had an issue before. Maybe I should try using a glass bowl and see if that makes a difference?


If you are getting a "tin can" taste, then yes, it could be the bowl. If it is any other metal besides stainless steel, it could have a reaction to the chemicals in the dough. If the vanilla is pure natural vanilla, it will have some acid in it, and could pick up some after taste from the bowl. If the bowl IS stainless steel, then you might see if the beaters are stainless as well.

If you vanilla is from a glass or plastic bottle, then you shouldn't have a problem with the vanilla. If it is in a metal container, then that might be the problem.
 
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Hmmm that's a tricky one! I would have thought your bowl would be made from stainless steel, and given that you haven't had a problem with it before it seems unlikely that's the cause - that being said, it might be worth trying a different bowl just in case.

You could also try different ingredients - eg different brands to the ones you have bought previously.

Finally, bit of an odd question, but have you started taking any new medication recently? Some can affect your taste buds! Sorry for the personal question, it just occurred to me that the issue could be something random like that.
 
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The bowl is stainless steel. And no, no new meds, and I am not the only one who notices the off taste. But that is something I would not have necessarily thought of. I am trying to get up the courage to try them again, I just hate putting all the time into them just to have them turn out rotten.
 
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Brenda, Have you thought of just leaving the cornstarch out? Add a little extra flour to replace it but leave it out all together. I'm not sure why your recipe calls for it in the first place. I can't imagine what it is to be thickening. I for one do not like to use cornstarch, as I can taste it if I haven't sifted it with my dry ingredients. Perhaps the cornstarch was to be baking soda as you do add salt in this recipe? Check for a comparable recipe and see if the cookies may call for baking soda and salt rather than cornstarch or just leave it out and see if your cookies are the right texture with no after taste.
 
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Thank all of you for your suggestions. I finally got brave and made another batch of cookies today and all I changed was the flour. I bought a name brand, instead of the store brand, and my cookies came out perfect! Thank all of you again!
 
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Thank all of you for your suggestions. I finally got brave and made another batch of cookies today and all I changed was the flour. I bought a name brand, instead of the store brand, and my cookies came out perfect! Thank all of you again!


Did you just get a different type of flour, or just change the brand and got the same type of flour? Bread flour is a bit different from All Purpose flour, which is a bit different from regular Unbleached flour.....
 
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Thank all of you for your suggestions. I finally got brave and made another batch of cookies today and all I changed was the flour. I bought a name brand, instead of the store brand, and my cookies came out perfect! Thank all of you again!

That's great news, I'm very pleased to hear it! :D
 
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AOK

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I made Peppermint Chocolate Pinwheels yesterday and they also have a strange aftertaste. I would describe as almost plasticky. I made these with a friend at her house and I am pretty sure the flour was pretty old since she had a bunch of it she bought at Costco and it was stored in a big plastic storage container - not a food container. And she had a bay leaf in it to repel weevils. The recipe included Peppermint extract and chopped Andes candy and the peppermint flavor seems to maybe exacerbate the after taste. I did not notice anything strange about the flour while I was mixing it, but everything else was fresh. I quadrupled the recipe so we would each have 2 batches, 12 dozen, for a cookie swap, and now I am bummed because they don't taste very good after all that work and money. After reading this, I am thinking the flour is likely the culprit.
 

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