Is crushed pineapple making my cookies cakey?? :-(

Discussion in 'Cookies' started by Bettysdesk, Aug 3, 2017.

  1. Bettysdesk

    Bettysdesk Member

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    I have a friend whose mom had a great recipe for pineapple cookies when he was a kid and I told him to get it from her and I would make them. He did and I baked them. They tasted just how he remembered them, :)which was very good. I loved the flavor as well. However, they are way too cakey for me :(and not chewy at all; they're more like a muffin than a cookie.

    I made them again and added some other ingredients that I thought would make them more chewy and crunchy. It did, but it got rid of most of the pineapple taste. :-(

    So I tried a different recipe, which was almost the same except it had ingredients that I thought would flatten it out more, such as butter instead of shortening and more pineapple, and the baking soda and baking powder amounts were the opposite, but it was also too muffin-like.

    Here's my question: is canned (crushed) pineapple the cause of the cookies rising like muffins?

    Because I was even considering going to one of my trusty cookie recipes and switching out the chocolate chips for the pineapple and seeing if they would just have the great pineapple flavor but not be so muffin-like.

    Please Help!!! I don't want to throw out any more batter/dough.
     
    Bettysdesk, Aug 3, 2017
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  2. Bettysdesk

    Norcalbaker59 Well-Known Member

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    Will you post the recipe please. Without the recipe it is impossible to know the cause. It's not just ingredients, but the ratio of each ingredient to flour that determines the texture of your cookie.
     
    Norcalbaker59, Aug 3, 2017
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  3. Bettysdesk

    ChesterV Well-Known Member

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    The acid in pineapple can work with some ingredients to make it act like cake, yes.

    If these are hard pineapple cookies, then you may be using "wet" pineapple instead of getting all the moisture out of it before you mix it in the batter.

    But, like Norcalbaker said, it's difficult to determine what might have happened, without the full recipe.
     
    ChesterV, Aug 4, 2017
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  4. Bettysdesk

    Bettysdesk Member

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    Ok. Here it is:

    PINEAPPLE COOKIES (from Scotty's mom)

    1 cup shortening (Crisco)
    1 cup sugar
    1 cup brown sugar, packed
    2 eggs
    1 cup drained pineapple (Crushed)
    2 tsp vanilla
    4 cups flour
    2 tsp salt
    2 tsp baking powder
    1/2 tsp baking soda

    Mix shortening and sugars.
    Add eggs, pineapple and vanilla. Beat well. Add remaining ingredients. (I mixed the dry ingredients together and folded it in. -Betty)
    Drop by rounded teaspoons onto ungreased sheets. Bake at 375° for 12 to 15 minutes. Cool and frost.

    FROSTING:
    2 1/2 cups powdered sugar, 1/4 cup crushed pineapple and juice, (?) 1/3 softened butter, 1 teaspoon vanilla. Drizzle on top of cookies.


    - Scotty said his mom made them small and they (as kids) just popped the whole thing in their mouths. (He said the texture and the flavor of mine were exactly like hers.)

    - I drained the pineapple pretty well when I made this one. Then, on the DIFFERENT recipe, which I referred to above, which is called Aunt Gerry's Pineapple Cookies on Pinterest, I drained the pineapple much more (using a smaller bowl inside the strainer) and they were STILL super cakey, still like a muffin. :-(

    Here's a link to that one:
    http://eatathomecooks.com/2009/08/aunt-gerrys-pineapple-cookies/

    Thanks all!
    Betty
     
    Bettysdesk, Aug 4, 2017
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  5. Bettysdesk

    Bettysdesk Member

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    I should also add that on Scotty's mom's Pineapple cookies, the dough was more like a batter. Super wet and liquidy. I chilled it and baked a couple samples. I froze it and baked a couple samples. I baked a couple samples at 350° and I baked some at 375°. They were all pretty much the same. Cakey. :-(

    I just want them to taste the same, but have a little crunch and the chewiness of a cookie.:)

    On "Aunt Gerry's pineapple cookies," the dough was more like regular cookie dough, so I was hopeful, but it was still the same cakey results. :-o
     
    Bettysdesk, Aug 4, 2017
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  6. Bettysdesk

    Norcalbaker59 Well-Known Member

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    Baking is a chemical reaction. A reaction between ingredients, ratios of those ingredients, and temperature. Without know what's in the mixing bowl, it's impossible to know why your getting the cakey results.

    There are somethings you can troubleshoot without seeing a recipe, like excessive spread of a cookie. But you cannot troubleshoot texture and flavor issues without know what's going in the mixing bowl, how it's going into the mixing bowl, the order it's going into the mixing bowl, and the temperature it's baked at. Again, baking is a chemical reaction of all the ingredients. And temperature is an ingredient.
     
    Norcalbaker59, Aug 4, 2017
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  7. Bettysdesk

    Norcalbaker59 Well-Known Member

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    Oh I need to know the brand flour you are using. Different brand flours have different types of wheat and different protein levels. The type of wheat and protein level will affect the texture. So knowing the brand is important to troubleshoot
     
    Norcalbaker59, Aug 4, 2017
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  8. Bettysdesk

    Bettysdesk Member

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    I posted the recipe but I'm not sure why it's not showing up. :-/
     
    Bettysdesk, Aug 5, 2017
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  9. Bettysdesk

    Norcalbaker59 Well-Known Member

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    That's odd...

    How about this, I'll list ingredients below and you can put the amounts next to the ingredient. If it's not in the recipe, leave it blank. There's only a handful of ingredients you can use to make a cookie. If I know what's in it, I can figure it out.

    Do you beat the fat with the sugar?

    If not, how is the fat added to the dough?

    Oven Temperature

    Estimated bake time

    Flour

    Brand of flour

    Butter

    Shortening

    Sugar granulated

    Sugar brown

    Egg

    Baking powder

    Baking soda

    Salt

    Vanilla

    Pineapple

    Any thing else not listed above:
     
    Norcalbaker59, Aug 5, 2017
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  10. Bettysdesk

    Ian Administrator

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    Ian, Aug 6, 2017
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  11. Bettysdesk

    Norcalbaker59 Well-Known Member

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    Betty, this cookie is designed to be cakey. It will need to be re-worked from the bottom up. I'll revise it and post revisions later. Everything from the sugar, leavening, and fat need to be adjusted to turn this into a chewy, crispier. It's in volume measurements, which is very inaccurate, so even after I revise it, you may have to tweak it.
     
    Norcalbaker59, Aug 6, 2017
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  12. Bettysdesk

    Norcalbaker59 Well-Known Member

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    Since the cookie was designed to be cakey, you have to rework pretty much the entire recipe to get a chewy, crisper cookie. You may have to play around with the revisions a few times as volume measurements are very inaccurate and it's impossible to determine the ratios of ingredients against the amount of flour. Here's the revision. I also included an explanation of the reasons for the changes. Please read through the explanations as I have a note in there about measuring the flour.

    Note: I indicate temperature of a couple of ingredients. Temperatures are important as they effect rise and texture.

    ====
    Preheat oven 350°

    1 1/2 cups unsalted butter (2 1/2 sticks), no higher than 65°
    1 1/3 cups granulated sugar (cane sugar)
    2/3 cup brown sugar (cane sugar)
    2 large eggs, 68° - 70°
    2 teaspoons vanilla
    4 cups all purpose higher protein flour (King Arthur Brand)
    1 teaspoon baking SODA
    2 teaspoons salt
    1 cup crushed pineapple, drained well
    • Cream butter and sugar on medium speed (kitchenaid 4) until it is light and fluffy. About 4 minutes.
    • Shift flour, baking soda, and salt to ensure even distribution of baking soda.
    • Beat in egg one at a time to incorporate.
    • Mix in vanilla
    • Mix in flour in 3 additions
    • Mix in pineapple
    • Chill the dough for 30 minutes
    • Drop rounded teaspoons of dough on ungreased baking sheet. Rotate sheet after 5 minutes. Check for doneness after another 4 minutes. Exact bake time depends on how caramelized you like your cookies. The more caramelization, the chewier and crispier the cookie.


    Explanations:

    Oven temperature: the changes from shortening to butter, plus an increase in butter means a lower fat melting point and more spread. So reduce the oven temperature to 350°.


    Leavening: the use of baking powder will create a cakey cookie. Replace the 2 teaspoons of baking powder with 1 teaspoon baking soda. Baking soda is more powerful than baking powder so you use less


    Flour: use a higher protein all purpose flour like King Arthur. Lower protein flours like Gold Medal and Pillsbury create a softer cake like crumb in a cookie.


    Sugar amount: White granulated sugar produces a crispier, thinner cookie. Brown sugar produces a chewier, thicker cookie. The combination of the two sugars is good. But to get a slight more crispier cookie, increase the white sugar and reduce the brown sugar. 1 1/3 cups granulated sugar; 2/3 cups brown sugar.


    Sugar type: cane sugar and sugar beet sugar do not perform the same. Cane sugar caramelizes very well. Sugar beet sugar does NOT caramelize well at all. Sugar caramelization is very important to flavor and texture. So using cane sugar will give you superior flavor and texture. Cane sugar is labeled as such. If the package does not state "cane", it will mostly like be beet sugar.


    Shortening: replace the shortening with butter for 3 reasons.

    • The creaming method is mechanical leavening. The fat traps air bubbles, causing the dough to rise.
    • The higher the rise, the more cake-like cookie as you have less baking surface to dough contact. You need to counter some of that leavening from creaming for a crisper, chewy cookie.
    • Shortening has a higher melting point than butter. So it hold the aeration longer in the baking. The aeration and slower melt time sets the dough faster so you get less spread. The lower melting point of butter will cause the dough to spread more. The more spread, the more baking surface to dough contact. The result is a chewer, crispier cookie
    • Shortening has no water. Moisture from the ingredients like butter and the pineapple will aid gluten development when baked long enough.

    Butter amount : since the recipe is in volume I can only estimate the ratio of fat to flour. The original recipe has approximately 25% fat to flour. That's a bit too low for spread. A standard cookie like a chewy chocolate chip cookie will have 60% - 70% fat to flour. But since this recipe is volume measurements, I'm being a bit conservative with 1 1/2 cups butter.


    Butter temperatures: The ideal temperature to cream butter and sugar is 68° to know more than 70°. There's no such thing as room temperature. Right now my house is nearly 80°. So technically that's room temperature. Tonight it's going to drop below 65°. And technically that will be room temperature. So you cannot use "room temperature" to determine the temperature of an ingredient. You have to use a thermometer.


    Dough temperature: in a commercial kitchen they talk a lot about finished dough temperature--the temperature of the dough after its mixed. It is a critical factor in determining the quality of your finished product. Finished dough temperature determines everything from fermentation rate in yeast dough to the spread of cookie dough during baking. In breadmaking they actually calculate for heat from friction to determine the starting temperature of the flour and water before they start mixing. That ensures a finished dough temperature within the desired range. Temperature really is an ingredient.


    My standard practice is to just chill my cookie doughs. I just cover the mixing bowl and stick it straight into the refrigerator after mixing. Even 30 minutes rest in the refrigerator will enhance flavor, color, and texture.


    But if you want to bake it immediately check the dough temperature. You don't wanted a dough temperature above 72°. Starting with too warm a dough will cause it to spread considerably more in the oven. They go temperature is it likely to be too cold. The mixing alone creates enough heat friction too warm the dough well above 70°.


    Measuring: this is a heritage recipe. When using a heritage recipe you have to consider the methods that would have been used at the time the recipe was developed and the brands of ingredients that were popular at the time. The method to measure flour by volume some 30 to 40 years ago was dip and sweep. In my home economics class, dip and sweep was the method taught. Chances are this recipe was developed using the dip and sweep. If you are not using the dip and sweep method to measure your ingredients I would recommend it for this recipe to ensure you use enough flour. If you use the spoon and level method, chances are you aren't using enough flour. Which would explain why the one recipe made a liquid batter like dough. Make sure you whisk your flour a bit before you dip the measuring cup. You want enough flour, but not too much.
     
    Norcalbaker59, Aug 6, 2017
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  13. Bettysdesk

    Norcalbaker59 Well-Known Member

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    Forgot to mention, use the paddle attachment on the mixer, not the whisk.
     
    Norcalbaker59, Aug 7, 2017
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  14. Bettysdesk

    Bettysdesk Member

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    I haven't started to read your revisions but I want you to know I really appreciate you going to all this trouble for me. :) It's pretty impressive. I have a quick question that I think I might've asked before… Do you think, and I won't hold you to this, ;-) but do you think that if I swapped out the chocolate chips in my chocolate chip recipe for pineapple, that it would work? Would it make it a normal chewy cookie with pineapple, and not a cakey cookie? Or is it the pineapple that is making it cakey??
     
    Bettysdesk, Aug 8, 2017
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  15. Bettysdesk

    Norcalbaker59 Well-Known Member

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    Betty, the cause of the cakey texture is a combination of type of fat, amount of fat, type of leavening, flour protein content, sugar type, and hydration.

    Your chocolate chip cookie base may work if it contains baking soda only; you use a brand of flour with a higher protein content, such as King Arthur; use butter; and it has slightly more white sugar than brown sugar.

    The first two issues are easy to address. As for the butter, it contains water. Chocolate doesn't have moisture in it like the pineapple. So you should probably reduce the amount of butter to compensate for the added pineapple moisture. Also, if the recipe contains both brown and white sugar, you should probably reduce the brown sugar a bit and increase the white sugar. Sugar is hygroscopic, meaning it drowns moisture form its environment. Brown sugar is a lot more hygroscopic. So as your baked cookies sit, the sugar will begin to drawn water from the air. The brown sugar will draw a lot more water. So if you don't get the hydration right in the mix, you'll end up with cookies that turn soft very quickly.
     
    Norcalbaker59, Aug 8, 2017
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  16. Bettysdesk

    Bettysdesk Member

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    Oh my goodness! Thank you! Well, it doesn't sound like I'm gonna use the chocolate chip recipe. Not an easy fix. (I'm not sure about the baking soda and it has butter and shortening). I'll try your adjustments to Scotty's mom's Pineapple cookies instead, and get back to you. Thanks again!!
     
    Bettysdesk, Aug 11, 2017
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  17. Bettysdesk

    Norcalbaker59 Well-Known Member

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    Oh I just looked at my revision. The butter is 1 1/2 cups--that's is correct. But that should be 3 sticks butter. I buy butter in pound blocks, not sticks, and bake in metric weight so I get confused by sticks of butter.

    If your chocolate chip cookie recipe has both shortening and butter, the mix will effect how the moisture is absorbed in the flour and evaporated while baking. Baking is all science. Bakers are really just a bunch of mad scientists run amok in the kitchen:eek:
     
    Norcalbaker59, Aug 12, 2017
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  18. Bettysdesk

    Bettysdesk Member

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    Well, like I said, I super appreciate all this help. Now I guess I better give it a whirl. And I WILL make your correction and add 3 sticks of butter. Although I'll probably split the recipe in half. I've wasted a lot of pineapple and flour and such.

    Yeah, my chocolate chip cookie recipe doesn't have baking powder, it only has soda and salt. Also my chocolate chip cookie recipe has shortening and unsalted butter, equal parts.

    You're right, it's science. And I barely passed science! I haven't ever taken any baking courses....I'm sure that's not how you say it. "I never went to culinary school?" But my cookies are super yummy. I've developed and changed them over the years; many years. And I always write the date and what I did differently on the recipes. Of course they're on 8 1/2" x 11" paper. I eventually have to change them, once I make changes and discoveries. (I type them/dictate everything into my iPhone and then print it on my wireless air printer.)

    Even this one is super yummy, tho it's not mine, I've just got to get rid of this stupid muffiny texture. My experience has been: in order to change the texture of the cookie, I add more or less flour, chill it, use a cookie scoop, and a few times change other add in ingredients, but nothing when it came to baking soda, baking powder or salt.

    I did learn that if you add too much extra oatmeal to a cookie with flavorful candy inserts, you won't be able to taste the candy at all. Shocking! I made a bunch of samples with different candies and I even made the candy huge and all I could taste was oatmeal oatmeal oatmeal! I had thought I could just add a bit more oatmeal to make a cookie a little more chewy and not flat, but I learned that I should only add more flour. Period! I'm sure all you more experienced bakers know about increasing and decreasing the other ingredients. Not I, said the fly, apple pie!
     
    Bettysdesk, Aug 21, 2017
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  19. Bettysdesk

    Bettysdesk Member

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    Hi, I was just about to get to making the revised pineapple cookies, when a question came to me, when you brought up that this is a Heritage recipe and they measured things differently 30 or 40 years ago. Norcalbaker59, you said, "The method to measure flour by volume some 30 to 40 years ago was dip and sweep. In my home economics class, dip and sweep was the method taught. Chances are this recipe was developed using the dip and sweep. If you are not using the dip and sweep method to measure your ingredients I would recommend it for this recipe to ensure you use enough flour. If you use the spoon and little method, chances are you aren't using enough flour…"

    So here's my question: wouldn't MORE flour make it even MORE like a muffin? Or NOT?

    Thanks!
    Betty
     
    Bettysdesk, Oct 6, 2017
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  20. Bettysdesk

    Norcalbaker59 Well-Known Member

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    Cakey vs chewy is complex. It's not just about the flour, but the type of sugar, butterfat, and other moisture rich ingredients. This recipe has far more moisture than your average cookie with the addition of the fruit. There needs to be enough flour to absorb the excess moisture and enough heat to evaporate it as quickly as possible. Sugar is also hygroscopic, so it actually competes with flour for moisture.

    As I mentioned you'll probably have to make adjustments and try a few times to get it where you want it. But make it first as the recipe is written so you have a baseline.

    Then in making adjustments I would start with the moisture rich ingredients rather than the flour reduction. Changing the ratio of flour throws all of the other ingredients out of balance.

    To manipulate moisture content, use a butter with a higher butterfat, content so it has less water. Drain pineapple and press between paper towels to soak up excess juice. Change the ratio of brown to white sugar.
     
    Norcalbaker59, Oct 6, 2017
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