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Why did my cookies spread out like pancakes?

Why are my chocolate chip cookies spreading all over the baking pan. This does not happen all the time. I have been using the same recipe for years. This year the cookies spread like pancakes. Very, very frustrating and wasteful, please advise. Thank you.


Regardless of how many times a cookie recipe is used with success, there are times when it can unexpectedly fail. The following reasons can contribute to cookies that spread too much and end up being flat:

  1. The baking temperature may be too low. (An oven thermometer really is an absolute necessity in every kitchen.)
  2. Too much sugar, fat, or leavening will cause cookies to spread. (A mistake in ingredient measurements can happen to the best cook.)
  3. Greasing the cookie sheet when it isn't necessary can cause cookies to spread too much, this is especially true with nonstick cookie sheets.
  4. The cookie sheet is too warm (always allow them to cool before baking more cookies).

As a preventative measure, you might try chilling the cookie dough before forming and baking the cookies.

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