These came out great, I followed the recipe to the letter and it came out just like the photo. Crispy crust and chewy insides.
If your having issues with the cookies I'd recommend you check your technique, you must be doing something wrong.
I'd recommend doing it all by hand, electric mixers can cause things to go wrong very quickly because the generate heat and can over mix your batter.
If your cookies are running flat, it means your butter is melting before you bake. First check and be sure your using real butter, the only ingredients in it should be milk/cream, anything else and it's not butter! Your butter is ready for creaming when it's cool to the touch and when you press your finger against it, it should dent a little. Also when you pick it up it should have no trouble holding it's shape. When your creaming try not to place your hand by the bottom of the bowl, the heat from your hand can melt the butter to much. Also chilling your cookies just before baking can help it keeps it shape, but don't chill for to long, maybe a few mins. Baking soda goes to work immediately, so if you wait to long your cookies won't rise.
If it's coming out cakey it's probably the shortening or too much baking soda (measure carefully!!!!) Hard/dense cookies are do to over mixing, to get that crisp and chewy texture you want to FOLD your dry ingredients in GENTLY a little at a time. Stirring or being aggressive will beat the gluten to much and change the texture of the cookie.
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These came out great, I followed the recipe to the letter and it came out just like the photo....