Cookies – Why doesn’t the cookie recipe work in the US


This may sound like a stupid question, but I am not sure what to do. Even though I am not a professional, I was on a course and I am not allowed to post any recipe [copyrights thing].

I relocated from Israel to the States (California) and I have some recipes with me, all using accurate units of measurement in grams.

When I decided to bake some cookies, I noticed the dough was not even close to what I know… it was really dry and instead of it to be 1 piece at the end of mixing, it was still powder, no matter how long it was processed [and it shouldn't be processed a lot at all].

Reading a bit online, sounds like these results are usually because of too much flour, but as I said I know this recipe and it is working in my home country.

I wonder if people in the US know the differences in ingredients between [I assume] Europe to the US [I think butter and flour mainly], if I need to do some conversions or maybe to buy a different brands?

The reason I'm not sure it is that important is because we are talking in "bakers percentage", so in general flour is 100% and in cookies case, the fat is ~50%, I can tell the rest of ingredients which are: almond flour [ground almonds basically], shredded coconut, ground sugar, eggs, butter and salt.

Since its' all measured in grams, I feel like ingredients [mainly flour, butter] are different here than in Israel, but no idea how : )

I don't do anything differently as some people suggested… I made them several times and what I did here is no different than the way I made them back in my home country 🙂


Thanks all! Will try to provide all answers again 🙂

Before that..Please don't modify my post unless it is inappropriate [which usually means inappropriate language]

This is a community not an English class – I barely recognized my own post….If the person is not an American, having English mistakes is understandable

In addition, the "UPDATE" titles is easier to manage when you can't just post in your own thread

Anyhow…..I mentioned the ingredients in one of the small post, which probably makes it hard to notice – I know you all want the exact recipe, but I can't and I know the recipe works, so it is not the way I do it but with what ingredients – This is why I'm focusing on the differences than the quantity

Flour 100% – Don't have the brand cause I moved it into a box, but it is an AP one, which I think is mistake #1 – I will try a white flour instead

[The rest are relative to the flour]

Butter ~90% – I used an UNSALTED one. Tried "Lake Lands" & Kerrygold – Both are not that far from the Israeli one, so TBH i'm not that worried here -I also changed the quantity to match the Israeli values

Eggs ~5%

Almond Flour + Coconut + Granulated Sugar – ~85%

Almond Flour – Bob'd Red Mill super-fine almond flour – kind of yellow package which says that this is "simply skinless, blanched almonds that have been ground to a super-fine texture"

UNSWEETENED shredded coconut – blue\green "Let's Do organic" package – One thing I said is that I haven't noticed the reduced fat – 36% lass fat according to package – Not sure this is what we have in Israel

Granulated Sugar – I think this is another mistake I already saw in one of the comments. I have "Wholesome" Organic Powdered Confectioners Sugar – looks like a purple package to me..some will say purple-pink

Also have salt but that not a lot at all

Best Answer

I can't tell you exact differences, but it is known that differences do exist.

  • US flour is frequently bleached. This is illegal in the EU, I don't know how it is in Israel.
  • I don't know what flour your recipes are made for. In the US, "all purpose" flour tends to be closest to German 550 flour, and cake recipes in Europe may have been made with German 405 flour (or the local equivalent) in mind, which has a lower protein content.
  • US flour can be made from different cultivars than those used in Europe. The best known difference shouldn't make a difference to your cakes - in North America, they grow a lot of hard winter wheat and make so-called bread flour out of it. But even with soft wheat, which is used for all-purpose flour, there is no reason to use the same cultivars, so they probably differ.
  • Israel is hot and arid. Flour absorbs a little bit of humidity from the air during storage, and it is possible that, if you are now living in a more humid area, this "prehydration" differs. I cannot tell you what the exact effect is on the final binding power of the flour, my intuition actually would expect the effect to go in the other direction - but I have seen (I think even researched) in another question on the site the difference when flour is stored at different humidities and it is mathematically significant.
  • the growth conditions are different between Israel and the surrounding countries, and the USA. While wheat is a global commodity, I wouldn't be surprised if producers gear their blend towards a binding capacity that is traditionally expected in a locale, else they risk selling flour which gains reputation for "not working".

All this is only a list of possible causes, but it doesn't help you predict how the dough will differ. Luckily, this is a problem which can easily be addressed empirically. Try just cutting the flour back from your recipes and see what the results are. I would go for maybe 10% less the first time and then continue in smaller increments in the desired direction. Another potential solution is to switch to pastry flour if you have been using all purpose - but it has lower protein content than 405, so if the result is too loose, you might have to start mixing pastry flour and all purpose flour.

As a final note, pay attention not to buy self-rising flour (unless your recipe calls for it). It won't lead to the dry results you described, but it will give you other problems.