Help with M&S copycat failure

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smitt1983

Assistant Cook
Joined
Nov 2, 2023
Messages
5
Location
Sweden
Hi!
I've been searching for ages for a recipe to imitate M&S's choc chunk cookies. (M&S = Marks and Spencer's, UK department store. Their cookies are a classic that has been around for generations). While I couldn't find any, I experimented with other recipes — to no avail. However, I finally found one that seemed to be perfect. At least the photos looked just what I wanted. I followed the recipe to the T, and… absolute failure 😅
Please, please, please, can anyone help me out?

cookies_1.jpg is the original. cookies_2.jpg is my cookie.

Main differences:
1. The original is white-ish, mine comes out rather dark-brown
2. The cracks on the surface — I know many people see it as a negative, but they're a feature of the original M&S cookie
3. The size and height. It seems that the original spreads less, and therefore is "taller", which means more dense and chewy. Mine spread a lot, so they're flatter, less dense, less chewy
(4. I don't think this affected the overall outcome, but I clearly used the wrong type of chocolate for the chunks. It melted and spreaded all over the place)

Down below is the recipe, including the link to the source.
Just in case, I repeat — I followed the recipe to the T. Quantities, times, methods, temperatures…
If anyone has any ideas of how to get these right, I won't know how to thank you 🤩


M&S WHITE 🍪 CHOC CHIP COOKIE DUPES

https://m.facebook.com/story.php?st...HswDhT51GJfzw6kaws6hW1E3l&id=1195890343785753

The closest thing you’ll get to the real deal from your own kitchen! 😊 You can’t beat a good cookie recipe and I think I’ve finally cracked it with this one. In my opinion, the perfect kind of cookie - crunchy on the outside, gooey & chewy in the middle. 🤤 There are a few key steps in this recipe to follow to make the best version 👌🏻 I used my @kenwood_ireland K mix to whip these beauties up. Enjoy 🤍

MAKES 12 - 14 large cookies

280g plain flour
1/4 tsp salt
2 tsp cornflour
1 flat tsp bicarbonate soda
200g light brown sugar
100g caster sugar
1 medium egg
200g butter
2 tsp vanilla extract
250g white chocolate (I used Lindt vanilla here and chopped into very large chunks. Big chunks are key!)
  1. Combine the flour, salt, cornflour & bicarbonate soda in a mixing bowl. I whisk it to make sure it’s all mixed well.
  2. Melt the butter in the microwave in a Pyrex dish. Add the sugar to the melted butter and whisk. Add the vanilla and egg and whisk again.
  3. Mix into the dry ingredients. If the dough is warm let it cool slightly, then add the chocolate chunks.
  4. Scoop in to large ice cream scoop sized balls (impt) and place on a cling film lined plate. Cover & Let chill in the fridge for 1 - 2 hours, with 2 hours being the most preferable if you have time.
  5. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees celsius fan.
  6. Pop the chilled dough balls to a baking paper lined tray. Allow for a lot of space in between these as they spread a lot, I normally bake 4 at a time.
  7. Bake for approx 10-12 minutes, banging the air out half way through cooking on a hard surface. (10 mins will be gooey, 12 will be more set)
  8. Let cool & enjoy.
 

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" If the dough is warm let it cool slightly, "

Why would the dough be warm? Do you really heat the butter that much? Wouldn't it have almost cooked the egg being that warm?
I think maybe I would have perhaps poured off the butter as it melted just to prevent that very thing.
What I'm trying to say here is that maybe if you just softened the butter instead of actually melting it. I mostly "cream" the butter and sugar together, add the egg and mix some more - then incorporate the dry ingredients.
Then the refrigerator hardens/stiffens the butter back up.

Perhaps maybe you could also reverse the amounts of sugar - using more white and less brown? Brown sugar with its molasses melts a little more.

We have several knowledgeable bakers here who hopefully will correct me and guide you in the right direction. Above is just my uneducated guess.

and Welcome to DC smitt1983
 
finding a chocolate with a high melt temp will help with that issue.
I suggest increasing the flour weight (by 10% at a clip.)
had the same kind of issue (in reverse) with oatmeal raisin cookies when I was forced to change from Ceresota flour to King Arthur.
flours are different, they hydrate differently, they bake differently....

top pix is 'the way they were' and the bottom pix is same exact recipe - to the gram - using King Arthur flour.... recipe adjusted...
duplex.jpg
 
" If the dough is warm let it cool slightly, "

Why would the dough be warm? Do you really heat the butter that much? Wouldn't it have almost cooked the egg being that warm?
I think maybe I would have perhaps poured off the butter as it melted just to prevent that very thing.
What I'm trying to say here is that maybe if you just softened the butter instead of actually melting it. I mostly "cream" the butter and sugar together, add the egg and mix some more - then incorporate the dry ingredients.
Then the refrigerator hardens/stiffens the butter back up.

Perhaps maybe you could also reverse the amounts of sugar - using more white and less brown? Brown sugar with its molasses melts a little more.

We have several knowledgeable bakers here who hopefully will correct me and guide you in the right direction. Above is just my uneducated guess.

and Welcome to DC smitt1983
Thank you so much, dragnlaw! :))
I heated the butter just until it was half-way melted, precisely in order to avoid having to wait long until it cooled down. I finished melting it with its own heat, stirring it.
On the other hand, since I only bake one or two cookies at a time, the other 10 or 12 went to the freezer for a good few days. Should that mean that the butter was back hard enough by the time of baking them off?

Next time I'll try your advice and see if they come closer to what I want. Room-temp butter and reversing the amounts of sugar.

I'll keep you posted. Thank you so much again!!
 
finding a chocolate with a high melt temp will help with that issue.
I suggest increasing the flour weight (by 10% at a clip.)
had the same kind of issue (in reverse) with oatmeal raisin cookies when I was forced to change from Ceresota flour to King Arthur.
flours are different, they hydrate differently, they bake differently....

top pix is 'the way they were' and the bottom pix is same exact recipe - to the gram - using King Arthur flour.... recipe adjusted...
View attachment 66698
Thanks a lot, dcSaute! :))
I read somewhere that flour in the UK has less protein, and wondered if that could have any influence… (On the other hand, I don't have a clue how much protein does flour have here in Sweden. I checked the one I have at home and it's not stated).
I'll try with a bit more flour next time and see what happens.
Thank you!!
 
Absolutely Aunt Bea, butter melts a lot more than a shortening in a cookie. I've personally seen the difference using them. Butter makes for flatter cookies where as the shortening seems to hold up its shape.
 
You let the cookies chill for 2 hours before baking, right?

I cant remember a cookie recipe using melted butter. Ive always creamed soft butter into the sugar. The liquid fat may have made it harder for the flour to encapsulate it.

Cookies made with butter spread more, thats true. But they taste better, IMO.

If they spread too much there are three possible reasons that come to mind:
1. The butter was too soft when you baked them. Thats why you usually need to chill cookies before baking.
2. Too much sugar
3. Not enough flour. Flour surrounds the fat. Not enough flour and the fat will melt out and the cookies will spread and flatten.
 
You let the cookies chill for 2 hours before baking, right?

I cant remember a cookie recipe using melted butter. Ive always creamed soft butter into the sugar. The liquid fat may have made it harder for the flour to encapsulate it.

Cookies made with butter spread more, thats true. But they taste better, IMO.

If they spread too much there are three possible reasons that come to mind:
1. The butter was too soft when you baked them. Thats why you usually need to chill cookies before baking.
2. Too much sugar
3. Not enough flour. Flour surrounds the fat. Not enough flour and the fat will melt out and the cookies will spread and flatten.
Many thanks, jennyema, for your help!!
I chilled the first cookies for a few hours, the next ones for a few days, and the last ones went to the freezer, so they got all the cold a cookie could possibly get :)
I will try to use room-temperature butter next time, though, just in case. And a bit more flour.
Thanks again! :))
 
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