Why Do All My Cookies Turn Out Cake-Like?

Good Questions

Q: I just started learning to bake, and after several batches of cookies, I can't figure out how to get the consistency I want — chewy and soft, or even chewy and crunchy. All I get is fluffy, cake-like cookies.

A dozen batches of chocolate chip, pumpkin, sugar, and chocolate cookies all turned out like little cakes. They were delicious, but I need a chewy cookie. Is it my ingredients? Baking time? Oven temp? Over/under mixing?

Sent by Melody

Editor: Melody, here are a few posts that have some in-depth discussion of cookie chemistry. They are a good place to start when investigating factors in cookie texture and consistency.

Kitchen Science: In Pursuit of the Perfect Cookie
How Can I Double A Batch of Cookies?
Food Science: Egg Substitutions in Cookies and Brownies

Readers, do any of you baking wizards have a specific answer for Melody's cookie-baking problem?

Related: Recipe Follow-Up: Final Thoughts on the NY Times Chocolate Chip Cookie?

(Image: Emma Christensen)