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Cookies at high altitudes

BillieM's picture

After living and baking for 50 years at near sea level, I'm now at 6700 feet above sea level. Most baking has been a problem for me so I do more pies and tarts. With my cookie recipes I find that cookies like pecan sandies will turn out okay, cookies like chocolate chips that need to spread out while they bake turn out flat and the texture is not the same. Is there a general tweak for recipes like the chocolate chips that are placed as "lumps" on the cookie sheet? Less butter, more flour, less?

ADodge's picture

(post #67322, reply #1 of 1)

I wish I could say that there's one easy-to-follow, magical formula for adapting your fave sea-level recipes to perform up there in the mountains! I'm not an expert in this area so I consulted a few sources and, not surprisingly, even many of the experts- including the USDA - disagree.
If you're up for some trial and error, I do have a few suggestions for you. It sounds to me like the leavener in your choco-chippers is the trouble-maker. I'd start by decreasing your leavener by 1/4 - 1/2 teaspoon (start with the smaller amount) for every 1 teaspoon called for in the recipe. Check your results and, if the cookies are still flat, try cutting back on your sugar -- 2 tablespoon per 1 cup -- and keep the reduced about of leavener. Remember to keep track of all your changes so when you reach perfection, you'll know which formula worked.
If your patience is limited and experimenting isn't your thing, I'd order up a copy of Susan Purdy's book "Pie in the Sky". It's an excellent resource for all kinds of yummy desserts for those bakers living way up there!