RECIPE: Ghirardelli Chocolate Chip Cookie Disaster

Crap!  I’m losing my baking touch!!!  Or am I??

I made some Chocolate Chip Cookies recently using the recipe on the back of the Ghirardelli Chocolate Chip bag and they absolutely SUCKED!!!  Once baked, the cookies turned out flat with the Chocolate Chips sticking up higher than the baked dough.

Ick!  I can’t stand cookies like this.

In an effort to save the remaining dough, I added more flour.  Bad idea! The cookies ended up being, as my 10-year-old daughter put it so eloquently, “Yuck, these cookies are drier than a desert!”

I can’t figure out why the cookies turned out so bad.  Was it the Ghirardelli recipe itself?  Was is because I substituted one of the two sticks of butter for shortening?  I don’t think it was my baking soda since I bought that only a couple months ago.  Or was it?

So here’s the Ghirardelli Chocolate Chip recipe I used:

Ghirardelli Chocolate Chip Cookies

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup butter, softened (I substituted 1/2 cup with shortening)
1 cup sugar
1 cup light brown sugar, packed
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 large eggs
2 cups Ghirardellli Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans (I didn’t use these)

Preheat oven to 375*F. Stir flour with baking soda and salt; set aside. In large mixer bowl, beat butter with sugar and brown sugar at medium speed until creamy. Add vanilla and eggs, one at a time, mix on low speed until incorporated. Gradually blend dry mixture into creamed mixture. Stir in chocolate chips and nuts. Drop by tablespoon onto ungreased cookie sheets. Bake for 9 to 11 minutes or until golden brown.

And here’s how the cookies turned out…

The stacked cookies at the top of the picture are the “flat” ones.  The cookies in the bottom half of the picture have more flour added to them but tasted VERY dry.

I compared this recipe with the Nestle Toll House Chocolate Chip recipe and I see the Ghirardelli recipe calls for 1/2 cup more sugar. Do you think this could be enough to make the cookies “fall” and/or be flat after they are baked?

I’d really love to hear from you if you’ve tried this recipe. Did you have a similar experience or did they turn out OK for you?


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24 Responses to “RECIPE: Ghirardelli Chocolate Chip Cookie Disaster”

  1. Kim — April 12, 2010 @ 7:55 AM (#

    I think I remember similar experiences with Ghirardelli’s recipe. I thought it was me! Sometimes I do lack a knack for turning out a decent product. Now I feel a little relieved, though I’m sorry you had a frustrating time with the cookies.
    I guess the best option is to use the Toll House recipe with the Ghirardelli chips ??


    • MsWonka replied: — April 14th, 2010 @ 4:47 PM

      GREAT solution Kim! I’ll try that! 🙂

  2. Allysia — May 17, 2010 @ 8:38 AM (#

    I make these all the time & they turn out wonderful!
    Try not substituting anything and see how that works out 🙂


  3. Nancy K — December 3, 2010 @ 9:53 PM (#

    This is the recipe I use, but I had that problem when I used the called for amount of butter. I substituted 1/2 the butter for butter flavored Crisco and I also 1/2 the vanilla (too much for my liking) and almost 1tsp salt, and haven’t had the problem since and they taste just the way I like them.


  4. Amber J. — July 21, 2012 @ 7:35 PM (#

    Did you add nuts with the cookies? Leaving nuts out will affect the thickness of the cookies. I’ve noticed if the mixed dough is too runny (usually because I completely melted the butter) then the cookies will end up flat. I’ve solved this issue by simply adding additional flour, about 1/2 a cup or so. The flour can alter the taste of the cookies so if you have time, placing the batch of dough in the refrigerator until it thickens will also help the cookies not be so flat when cooked.


    • Laura Rucker replied: — July 23rd, 2012 @ 7:41 PM

      You know, you bring up a good point. I’ll have to try the recipe again WITH nuts. OR, add a smidgen more flour.


  5. Anonymous — October 20, 2012 @ 9:21 AM (#

    If the cookie dough is too warm, they become like pancakes. Refrigerate the dough before making cookie balls and be sure to flatten them slightly on the pan. They will turn out plump and excellelently shaped.


  6. Elle Mac — March 7, 2013 @ 4:12 PM (#

    I bake often and use many difference choc chip cookie recipes for variety. I just made this recipe and got RAVE reviews from my 4 boys. I would agree with the above – use no substitutions. Suggested tips for success and to avoid flat cookies: use fresh baking soda, make sure your cookie pans are completely cool and your dough not too warm. Let the butter (not margarine or shortening) soften at room temp. Hope things turn out better next time for you, it’s always disappointing to spend the time and ingredients and have it flop. Happy Baking!


  7. Kelli — September 13, 2013 @ 4:27 PM (#

    I know this is late but I swear I followed the recipe to the letter and they sucked!


    • bonnie replied: — July 12th, 2014 @ 6:22 AM

      I had a bad experience with the recipe, too! Very dry even though I followed recipe to the letter! Like the chips; hate the recipe.

  8. Valarie — October 25, 2013 @ 9:39 AM (#

    I tried the Ghiardelli recipe last night and it came out great. I recommend making sure to use real butter, not shortening. I’ve tried the Crisco baker’s shortening in the past and it was awful in cookies. Nothing takes the place of real butter. I prefer the salted sweet cream butter. I used self rising flour instead of all purpose flour and omitted the salt and baking soda/powder. Baking soda leaves a bitter after taste in cookies. Also, your recipe as listed above has a typo. 2 cups of sugar and 2 cups of flour is way too much sugar for cookies. I used 1 cup of brown sugar, and 1/2 cup of white sugar. Make sure all of your ingredients are room temperature and don’t overmix. i also added chopped pecans to my cookies and they wee wonderful. baking from scratch involves a lot of trial and error. I’m sure they will come out fine if you try the recipe again. Just don’t use the shortening. Good luck


  9. carrie — December 1, 2013 @ 9:15 PM (#

    I think it is just personal preference. As a teenager I used to always make choc chip cookies from the better homes and gardens cookbook or my aunt’s recipe and loved them. when I moved to Oklahoma from Colorado, the cookies did not turn out the same. after ten years of trying different recipes I had given up…until the ghiardelli recipe. they turn out exactly like the ones I remember. I love them flat and gooey. I do not like the way nestle recipe turns out.


  10. Trippet — January 28, 2014 @ 7:59 PM (#

    Breathing life back into this:

    We don’t like the Ghiradelli recipe at all. Ours came out fluffy, though, not flat. The difference on the bag we used and the Nestle Tollhouse recipe is Ghiradelli calls for ½ t of salt and Nestle 1 t. Ghiradelli calls for 2 t vanilla extract and Nestle 1 t. Everything else was the same. We’ll be using the Nestle recipe regardless of whose chips are used.


  11. Patricia Millen — January 31, 2014 @ 1:44 PM (#

    I found this blog when searching to see why my chocolate chip cookies made exactly as the recipe reads came out so awful. Twice yet because I thought the first time that I had to have done something wrong. I changed nothing at all and they neither look nor taste good. Never again, it will be the Toll House recipe for me too.


  12. conifera98 — May 11, 2014 @ 8:45 PM (#

    No, it is not the amount of sugar. I have made this recipe many many times and it is a favorite at home and every friend who tries it. My husband tried to bake them once and he got flat cookies because he did not want to listen that the butter was not creamy yet. It really needs to change color and become fluffy. It is my sugestion


  13. conifera98 — May 11, 2014 @ 8:55 PM (#

    No, it is not the amount of sugar. I have made this recipe many many times and it is a favorite at home and every friend who tries it. My husband tried to bake them once and he got flat cookies because he did not want to listen that the butter was not creamy yet. It really needs to change color and become fluffy. Some recipes called also for 1/4 tsp of baking powder.


  14. Cookie Monster — June 19, 2014 @ 5:56 PM (#

    I have been making this recipe for years and have experienced everyone’s undue frustration. Here is the secret:

    ***Make sure that you refrigerate the dough once it is all mixed together***

    I disagree with Valarie being the ingredients should be room temperature. When the dough is cold, it doesn’t “spread” as quickly in the oven as the outside cooks faster than the inside which prevents it from turning into a pancake. This also keeps the inside gooey and the outside crispy as long as you don’t overcook them in the oven. Take them out JUST BEFORE they brown as they continue to cook even when outside of the oven. Let cool for 5 minutes otherwise they fall apart.


  15. nyackgirl — June 30, 2014 @ 6:04 PM (#

    I make these cookies all of the time and they are fantastic. Don’t ever melt the butter. An absolute no-no. Let it soften at room temperature and then cream it well with an electric mixer. Another tip not only for this recipe, but for other butter based cookies as well – use high quality, European style, higher butterfat content butter. I like Plugra.
    Makes a huge difference. Commercial American brands – too much water


  16. dman62 — February 18, 2015 @ 10:13 AM (#

    I recently made Ghirardelli’s chocolate chip cookies and on the back of the semi sweet morsel pack, the recipe calls for 3/4″ cup each brown (packed) sugar and sugar, not 1cup each. To confirm, I checked out Ghirardelli’s website and it also calls for 3/4″ cup each. Not sure where the 1 cup each (sugar and brown sugar) recipe came from but that may be the issue.


  17. Theresa Entin — April 21, 2015 @ 10:10 AM (#

    Always Always use a new box of baking soda and and that won’t happen.


    • Theresa Entin replied: — April 21st, 2015 @ 10:12 AM

      BTW, I always use the giraldi recipe and it always turns out spectacular, except for the time i didn’t use a new box of Baking Soda.

  18. Philip Beni — October 25, 2015 @ 3:36 PM (#

    Why use shortening? It’s flavorless and the most unhealthy fat there is.


  19. Same terrible result — January 8, 2017 @ 9:29 PM (#

    I also used that recipe, followed it precisely – including weighing amounts – and they turned out flat, too. My baking soda is fresh according to the date on the box.


  20. Anonymous — January 14, 2018 @ 11:43 AM (#

    I just made these cookies exactly as written on the box. They turned out good. Not too sweet, approximately 24 cookies.

    To make mixing easier, I sliced the sticks of butter into small squares. Then I stuck the bowl with butter into the preheated oven for about 3 minutes so the butter was about to melt.

    End Result: The cookies were slightly cakey, not flat as yours appear to be. I usually make my chocolate chip cookies with some oatmeal (as per the Doubletree knockoff recipe). I prefer a chewy cookie, so I think I’m going to stick with the doubletree recipe, but I’m just posting here to say that the Ghirardelli recipe is not bad either. Kids ate the cookies happily with milk.


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